How to Make a Slide Out Shelf

Are you looking for an easy way to add extra storage space to any room in your home? Consider installing a slide-out shelf! Slide-out shelves are an inexpensive yet highly effective way to make the most of limited storage capacities, fitting into almost any kitchen cabinet or pantry.

How to Make a Slide Out Shelf

Installing one in your kitchen cabinets can give you quick and easy access to dry goods, cooking supplies, and dishes while being able to quickly tuck it away when not in use.

With this post as your guide, learn how to make a slide out shelf that is perfect for adding organization and convenience at home.

Tools and Materials You Will Need to Make a Slide Out Shelf

  1. Measuring tape
  2. Pencil
  3. Circular saw
  4. Drill/Driver and Bits
  5. Screws
  6. Laminate or Plywood
  7. Glue
  8. Dowel (optional)

Step-by-Step Guidelines on How to Make a Slide Out Shelf

Step 1: Measure the Cabinet Space and Cut Plywood or Laminate for the Shelf

Start by measuring the inside of your cabinet to get accurate measurements for the shelf’s width, depth, and height. Then, cut a piece of plywood or laminate that matches the dimensions you just measured out. Make sure to account for an extra inch of width and 3/4 inch of depth to allow space for two sides that will make up the slide-out shelf’s frame.

Measuring the Inside of Your Cabinet

Step 2: Attach the Side Supports

Once you’ve cut your plywood or laminate, it’s time to attach the side supports. Measure out and mark the locations for your side supports on both sides of the shelf. Then, drill pilot holes in each location and attach the side supports using wood screws or dowels.

Attaching the side supports will provide more stability and support to your slide-out shelf. Make sure the side supports are flush with the top and bottom of the shelf.

Step 3: Drill Mounting Holes for the Sliding Racks

Once you’ve attached your side supports, it’s time to drill holes in each side for the sliding racks. Measure and mark where these holes should go (one on each side) and then use a drill bit to make the holes.

Make sure these holes are slightly larger than the screws that will be used to attach the sliding racks. While drilling, be sure to use caution and always wear protective eyewear.

Step 4: Attach the Sliding Racks

Now that you’ve drilled all the necessary holes, it’s time to attach the sliding racks. Align the racks with the holes and then use screws to attach them to each side of your shelf. Be sure to leave some space between the racks and the sides of the shelf so you can easily slide them in and out. Use the drill to tighten all screws.

Drilled All the Necessary Holes

Step 5: Attach the Glides

Once all of your shelves and supports are in place, it’s time to attach the glides. These will help ensure that your slide-out shelf moves smoothly and securely when pulled out or pushed in.

Place a glide on each side of your shelf and then use wood glue to attach them. Be sure to apply enough glue so that the glides are securely fastened. Allow 24 hours for the glue to set before using your slide-out shelf.

Congratulations – you have successfully installed a slide-out shelf in your kitchen cabinet or pantry! Now you can easily access all of those hard-to-reach items and make organizing your kitchen a breeze. Enjoy all of the new storage space you created with your DIY skills!

Additional Tips and Tricks to Make a Slide Out Shelf

1. Consider adding a drawer pull or handle to the shelf for added convenience and easy access. You can make your own handle with a jig saw, or purchase one from a hardware store.

2. If you plan on using the slide-out shelf frequently, consider installing ball bearings to allow for smoother movement when opening and closing the shelf.

Adding a Drawer Pull or Handle

3. Make sure to use the appropriate materials for your project. For example, if you are constructing a shelf out of wood, choose plywood or hardwood that is strong and durable enough to support items without sagging or warping over time.

4. Use a protective finish on your slide-out shelf when it is complete, such as polyurethane, to protect the surface from wear and tear.

5. If you plan on adding a frame to your shelf, use corner braces or other hardware pieces for additional support and stability.

6. Take precise measurements before constructing your slide-out shelf and double-check them against the opening dimensions in your cabinet or pantry. This will ensure that it fits properly and slides in and out without any obstruction.

7. If you plan on painting or staining your shelf, make sure to do it before assembling the pieces. This will ensure an even finish and keep colors consistent throughout.

8. Before inserting the shelf into its cabinet, check that there are no sharp edges or corners that could cause a potential hazard. Smooth out any rough edges with sandpaper if needed.

9. Make sure to use screws or bolts when attaching pieces together, rather than nails or glue, for a more secure connection and longer shelf life.

10. Test out the shelf before inserting it into its cabinet to make sure it slides in and out properly without any issues. This will help to ensure a safe and successful installation.

Use Screws or Bolts

Following these tips and tricks can help you create an effective, attractive slide-out shelf that lasts for years to come. With a little time and effort, you can transform an ordinary cabinet or pantry into a user-friendly storage solution that makes it easy to find what you need quickly. Happy building!

Things You Should Consider to Make a Slide Out Shelf

1. Measure the Space:

To make the best use of your space, it is important to measure the area you are looking to install a slide-out shelf in. You want to ensure that you have sufficient clearance for both the shelf and its contents when it slides out so that there is no obstruction or risk of damaging other objects. Measuring your space accurately will also help you when it comes to purchasing the right shelf for the job.

2. Select Materials:

You want to select materials that are strong and durable enough for your slide-out shelf, as well as suitable for any environment in which it is going to be used. Plywood is a popular choice due to its strength and affordability. However, particleboard or laminated board may also be used depending on the environment and purpose of the shelf.

3. Choose Hardware:

The hardware you select can affect how smoothly your slide-out shelf operates. You want to opt for high-quality hardware that is going to endure regular use without becoming loose or unstable over time.

It should also provide enough support when the shelf is fully extended. Choose the appropriate hardware for the weight you will be putting on the shelf and make sure to follow manufacturer instructions for installation.

4. Consider Accessibility:

When designing a slide-out shelf, you should consider how easy it will be to access items when the shelf has been pulled out. If possible, leave a few inches of clearance between the front and back of the shelf so that items can easily be removed or replaced without having to reach inside.

5. Install the Shelf:

Once you have determined the dimensions of your shelf and purchased all the necessary materials and hardware, it is time to install it. Start by securely attaching both sides of the shelf to a wall or other supporting structure using screws, bolts, or anchors. Try to leave as much clearance as possible between the sides so that the shelf can slide freely.

Following these considerations should make the process of installing a slide-out shelf easier and quicker. As always, it is important to take extra care when handling tools and materials to ensure that your project is completed safely. Doing so will help you get the most out of your slide-out shelf for years to come.

Precautions Need to Follow for Making a Slide Out Shelf

1. Use solid wood for making the slide-out shelf instead of particle board or other materials. Particle boards tend to bow and sag under heavy weight, which may cause the shelf to malfunction or even collapse. Solid wood is more durable and can withstand a lot of weight without compromising its structure.

Use Solid Wood for Making the Slide-out Shelf

2. Make sure that the track you decide to use is of suitable size. If the track is too narrow or too wide, it can cause problems while opening and closing the shelf.

3. Check that all the edges of the shelf are smooth so that you don’t injure yourself while accessing the contents stored on it.

4. Make sure to use quality hardware for mounting the slide-out shelf onto the cabinet. Poor quality hardware can cause the shelf to be unstable and unsafe.

5. Use a good adhesive to attach the track onto the bottom of the shelf as well as on each side of the cabinet where you plan to mount it. This will ensure that your slide-out shelf is firmly attached and won’t come loose over time.

6. Make sure to level the shelf before mounting it onto the cabinet. Leveling the shelf will ensure that it opens and closes smoothly and without any hiccups.

7. Finally, make sure to secure all of the hardware with a wrench or screwdriver once you have mounted the slide-out shelf onto your cabinet. This will prevent any accidents from occurring due to loose fasteners.

Following these precautions will ensure that you have a safe and sturdy slide-out shelf that won’t cause any problems in the future. With a little bit of care and precaution, you can easily make your own slide-out shelf at home with minimal effort.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Materials Do I Need to Make a Slide-out Shelf? 

You will need wood or plywood, screws, metal strips, or drawer rails depending on the desired size and function of your shelf. You’ll also want to use glue to ensure all connections are secure. Additionally, you may want to use paint or sealant to protect your shelf from wear and tear.

What Are Some Common Uses for Slide-Out Shelves? 

Slide-out shelves can be used in various types of cabinets, cupboards, shelves, or drawers. They are great for organizing items in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom closets, or even office space. Many people use them as a replacement for traditional pull-out drawers, as they are much easier to install and can hold a great deal more weight.

Organizing Items in the Kitchen

What Size Should My Slide-Out Shelf Be? 

The size of your shelf will depend on the space you have available, as well as the items you plan on storing in it. Generally speaking, most shelves should be between 8 and 18 inches in width. The depth of the shelf should be between 8 and 12 inches so that all items will fit comfortably.

What Are Some Safety Tips for Installing a Slide-Out Shelf? 

When installing a slide-out shelf, it’s important to make sure all screws are securely tightened, and that there is no movement or shifting of any components. Additionally, it’s important to make sure that the shelf is level and that there are no gaps between the shelf and its supports. Lastly, always ensure that all electrical connections are properly secured and insulated.


Now that you know the steps for how to make a slide out shelf, why not go ahead and give it a try? It can be an excellent way to upgrade your home or office in no time. Not only is it helpful, but it looks great too. And with such simple instructions, anyone can build their very own slide-out shelf.

So grab some basic equipment and start building the perfect storage solution today! In addition to offering convenience and practicality, you’ll create something unique and special all of your own. Get started now and enjoy having your own personal pull-out shelf in no time.

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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