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Thursday, September 1

Operation Organization - PANTRY PALOOZA!

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Remember when Shelley Smith
turned the world on it's ear with her
fabulous pantry makeover?

Shelly proved that even a small pantry
can be a decorative feature
in your home.

Well, I've been inspired ever since & 
I finally took on my own project.
I'm calling it PANTRY PALOOZA!
But, I'm getting ahead of myself. 
Let's go back to what my poor pantry 
looked like before . . . 

First I emptied everything out.
What a scary mess!
{Some things that I seldom used were moved to my 
food storage closet. I'll talk about that in my next post.}
My shelves were quite dirty & beat up,
so I cleaned & painted them. 
I used a professional oil-based paint.
I have a tip about using oil-based paint . . . 
Ha ha!
It is stinky & messy, but it sure does
give you a hard-as-a-rock finish.
SOO much better already.
I was tempted to leave it like this -
just clean, simple, & white.

But I decided to 
add a decorative feature on the "focal wall".

The blogosphere has been buzzing with
talk of the new Martha Stewart stencils,
so I thought I'd give them a try.
I got mine at Michael's crafts.
IMPORTANT: These stencils are made from
a thin plastic & they will warp if left in your hot car.
Don't ask me how I know ; )
BTW, I got the idea to make "chalkboard labels"
out of vinyl from the Decor Chick.

I experimented a bit on poster board  & then 
propped it up in the back of the pantry to get 
some idea of the color & pattern I wanted to use . . . 

As I mentioned earlier,
I used an oil based paint -which takes days to cure.
By the time I could stencil over it,
I couldn't bear to use oil paint & stink my home up again.
Everything I read on the internet said 
you can't put latex over oil.
Guess what, I'm a free spirit, 
so I did it anyway!

Another fun way to decorate your pantry
is found at Amber Lane Living.
Danielle mod podged pretty fabric
onto contact paper. Brilliant!

Here's a close-up of my stencil work . . .
Now for the FUN part!
It took me about six trips to Ikea to get what I needed. 
Note to self: just buy more than you think you'll need!
I put all the food I could into nifty containers.
The uniformity makes everything feel orderly.

Cooking instructions for some things are taped
to the inside of the lids.

POST SCRIPT -  I have gotten a few questions about these large jars, below. Apparently Ikea has discontinued this large size.  :{
Walmart does carry some big glass jars, though. 
Here's a link if you want to check it out.
{Apparently, I'm a fan of vinegar.}

I also have lots of spice packets 
& Jello flavors.
{I do live in the Jello capitol of the world!}
These went in these cute tin containers . . . 
I won this marvelous burlap sack from Rose Petals & Rust
{Thank you Stefanie}.
I'm going to do something great with it,
but for now it looks pretty cute with my potatoes in it.
Shelley also taught me that you don't have to keep
your cereal in those big bulky boxes.
This takes up so much less space & it's prettier.
{My wire baskets are from the thrift store- SCORE!} 

I just love these pretty white baskets from Ikea
to hide things in.
I keep re-usable shopping bags, extra paper goods, etc. in them.

Since my family constantly leaves our pantry
doors open, I'm enjoying how pretty it looks now.

AND it's so much easier to find everything.
I feel like a new woman.

{CLICK HERE} to see the follow-up post about how much I like my pantry two years later!

{CLICK HERE} for my next project - the spice cabinet 

{CLICK HERE} for my Walk-in Closet organization project - From Crappy to Happy!


  1. Can a pantry be swoon worth? Because your pantry is!

  2. Ahhhh is beautiful!!!! Love it girl and thanks for the shout out!

  3. Looks beautiful. You must want to do a happy dance everytime you look at it!

  4. I wish I had a pantry so I could prettify it....sigh. Next house...

  5. I love this transformation! You gave me an idea for my laundry room. Will be following you via BlogFrog. I was trying to find fellow creatives on there. : )

  6. Oh, how cute that is! Love the stencil, I got that one in my stencil picks too. You did a great job sprucing up your pantry, I love all these great pantry makeovers! Nice to meet you!

  7. What a difference! It may be time for me to clean out my pantry and at least remind myself what is in there. So pretty in there now!

  8. oh, it looks so clean and organized!!!! I love your pantry...ok, what a good idea, just taking the bags out of the cereal boxes, that may just blow my kids minds thou!! lol...cute, the potatoe sack for potatoes!!!
    I think I need to cleam my pantry now!

  9. It looks AWESOME!! I'm so digging your bottles for your vinegars and such. Great job!

  10. It looks fabulous....where can you get those tins?

  11. This looks fabulous!! I think that you should totally come over and organize my scary pantry! Also, you are one brave woman to use oil based. I hate the stuff and refuse to use it. I know that it's supposed to wear better over time, but I am far too lazy to use it. Great job!!

  12. Michelle, your pantry is gorgeous! I would find myself constantly going into the panty just to look at it's awesomeness! Thanks for sharing! Love the stencil work...I may have to do some of that myself! :)

  13. You did a great job on this. I'd love if you'd link some of your projects up to the blog link up I'm having this weekend.
    Hope you can join in!

  14. It looks fantastic. Is it wrong to be a little envious? ;)
    One day I'd love to have an awesome pantry, but first I need a pantry. lol.
    Curious though, where do you have your food?

  15. MICHELLE RESPONDS: Thank you for your comment NIcole . . . and for making me laugh out loud at the question about "Where's the food?"! The food is there, but without all the boxes & packaging it's not as obvious. I have to say I don't buy a lot of snacky processed stuff. I try to cook meals instead. {So that's why you see all the staples like flour, etc.} I do have a food storage closet with more in it. I'll write about that after my linky party!

    Warmly, Michelle

  16. oh my word.. SOOOOO organized. I need your skills! That looks awesome!

    stopping by from TT&J!


  17. You REALLY did a great job on your pantry makeover!! Looks like your ready for some good ole holiday baking for the upcoming season! LOVE the idea of taping the instructions inside some lids - GOOD TIP!

    xo Lynda

  18. I love your pantry -- it looks so clean and orderly. This is a definite improvement, I would want to cook and bake more with this panty in my house.

    I have tried latex over oil, and it lasted for awhile, then it started to peel a bit (and I helped it).

  19. MICHELLE'S RESPONSE: Thank you for your comment, Deila. And thanks for the info about latex over oil. I only tried it on this project because I knew the surface would not be "disturbed". Since it's only on the back walls of the pantry, I think I'll be OK. BUT I wouldn't recommend it on surfaces that are rubbed or touched a lot.

    Warmly, Michelle

  20. Wow! You go! That's an amazing difference. I love the chalkboard labels and the new canisters. Definitely and organizational improvement. Great job!

  21. That looks awesome! Cleaning out is such a great feeling! I look forward to meeting you tomorrow.

  22. I love your pantry makeover. I like the varying distances and lengths of the shelves...a great way to stash more stuff in without things looking crazy!

  23. I love everything about your pantry makeover. It's a great inspiration! Maybe I'll get mine painted one day. Thanks for sharing it at the Home Decor and Organizing Link Party. I'm featuring it today.

  24. I love your new pantry! I featured it today in a post about some of the most fabulous pantries in blogland!

  25. I'm totally copying your pantry. Imitation is the highest form of flatter, right? Can i ask where you got the roll of vinyl and the chalk markers? Thanks!

  26. Your pantry looks absolutely amazing. I recently befriended someone that is a Shelf reliance consultant. I had never heard of the company or even the concept but she gave me a shelf reliance coupon and now I have more food than I know where to put. I had a huge issue with storage ideas but your post gave me some insightful info to go off of. Thanks again for sharing.

  27. So glad to have found your site! The pantry has wonderful detail that I'll be sure to refer back to with clients--labels and the stencil. It's a great pantry you should be proud of. Great inspiration.

  28. Where did you get your jars/bottles/tins?
    How about the labels?

    Great job! I am inspired!

  29. Most of them look like IKEA...she did a wonderful job...thanks :-)

  30. Great pantry redo I just completed mine awhile it makes you feel grand to get projects completed! Enjoy!

  31. This is so awesome! Please tell me where you got the glass jars that you have the flour, sugar, etc. in. I saw them pin Ikea's web site but it doesn't look like they have them as big as you have. Do you know what size those jars are? Thanks!

  32. Love the pantry … can the chalkboard labels go in the washing machine?

    1. Thanks for your question. I've never put my "chalkboard labels" in the dishwasher, but you could peel them off, wash the jar & put them back on again {since they are just vinyl}. You can also erase them & re-write on them. Hope that helps!

      Warmly, Michelle

  33. Everyone loves the jars, I do too but I like the air tight ones I get at Walmart. They have screw lids and they have different sizes. I want to know where you got the baskets. I am getting ready to go into a smaaaaaalllll kitchen and need some massive storage help. I love those baskets, are they Ikea too? The vinegar bottles are they from Ikea as well? A lot of my stuff will have to sit on the counter in baskets so I want a clean look.

    Oh and I covet your pantry. It is just stunning.

    1. Thank you for stopping by & for taking the time to comment. The white baskets are from IKEA. They aren't extremely sturdy, but I have light weight things in them {such as all those re-usable bags for my grocery shopping}, so they've been fine. And the bottles are also IKEA, but I've heard that readers are also recycling lemonade bottles instead. Thank you for the tip about the Walmart jars. And good luck with your project!

      Warmly, Michelle

  34. OK, this is an amazing transformation, I am planning on organizing my pantry this month, so this is great inspiration. Please share this on my linky party:

    1. Thanks so much, Rita. I dropped by & linked it to your fabulous party.

      Warmly, Michelle

  35. I have a serious case of pantry envy after seeing this. I just bought a house and it doesn't have any kind of pantry to speak of. I am hoping to have a cabinet/cupboard pantry built some time soon, but it will never be as grand as yours.

    Even knowing this, your pantry truly is inspiring and I hope to use some of your ideas and adapt them for my tiny kitchen.

    1. Hello London {love your name - by the way},
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment & for taking the time to leave it. Good luck with your own pantry & make sure to send me pics!

      Warmly, Michelle

  36. Can you tell me the name of the canisters..I would like some even in a smaller size?


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