How to Build a Canned Food Dispenser


Pantry closets are more useful if they are efficiently organized. The shelving can become quite cluttered with groceries unless homeowners use a plan. Canned foods are commonly stored in pantries. To help organize the shelving in the pantry, homeowners can build a canned food dispenser that can be used to rotate canned food for freshness. The dispenser works by allowing the consumer to drop in new cans on top of older cans.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 piece 8 by 16 3/4 by 3/4-inch wood
  • Framing square
  • Variable speed drill
  • 1/16-inch drill bit
  • Wood glue
  • 4 pieces of 3 1/4 by 13 by 3/4-inch wood
  • 4-penny finish nails
  • Hammer
  • 1 piece of 16 3/4 by 13 3/4 by 1/4-inch wood
  • 2-penny box nails
  • Damp cloth
  • 3 triangle blocks 1 by 1 by 1 3/8 by 3-inches long
  • Philips head screw tip
  • 1 1/4-inch wood screws
  • 3 pieces of 2 by 16 3/4 by 3/4-inch wood
  • 2 pieces of 2 by 5 3/4 by 3/4-inch wood
  • 2 pieces of 3 1/4 by 5 3/4 by 3/4-inch wood
  • Put the 8 by 16 3/4 by 3/4-inch plywood (bottom) on a worktable. Measure from one 8-inch end and make marks at 5 7/8, 6 5/8, 11 1/8 and 12 5/8 inches. Place the framing square on the marks and draw lines across the material.

  • Measure from one of the long edges (becomes the back) and make marks between the lines at 3 1/4-inches. Drill two pilot holes between the lines with a 1/16-inch drill bit. Repeat this 3/8-inch from the ends as well. Drill one about 3/4-inch from the back edge and one at 2 1/4-inches.

  • Stand the bottom on its back edge. Apply glue to one 3 1/4-inch edge of the 13-inch pieces (dividers and sides). Secure them between the lines and on either end of the bottom shelf with the finish nails. Turn over the unit so the bottom shelf hangs off the worktable.

  • Apply glue to the edges of the dividers and sides as well as the bottom shelf. Place the 16 3/4 by 13 3/4-inch material on the glue. Secure it to the unit with the box nails. Turn over the unit and clean up the excess glue.

  • Put glue on the 1-inch sides of the triangle blocks. Center them between the dividers and the sides in the corner where the bottom shelf and the back meet. Secure them through the bottom shelf with the 1 1/4-inch wood screws. You may need to drill pilot holes depending on the material used to build the food dispenser.

  • Lay one of the 2 by 16 3/4-inch pieces on the front of the dispenser at the top. Secure it to the dividers and sides with the drywall screws. Next, secure the 2 by 5 3/4-inch pieces on the sides with the finish nails.

  • Center the 3 1/4-inch material on the dividers and secure them in the same manner. Set the second 2 by 16 3/4-inch piece on the front at the bottom of the stiles. Secure it with the finish nails. Secure the third piece on the front edge of the bottom shelf.

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  • Photo Credit Aluminum cans on end image by Jeffrey Studio from
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