Tuesday, February 19, 2008

One Way To Display and Store Your Dishes

I have a moderate size kitchen. Not much in the way of counter space and no abundance of cabinet space. I’m not in the market for a new kitchen either, so I make due with what I have. Being creative with the space that I have is a must. One entire cabinet is devoted to my collection of Fiesta ware including cups, plates and bowls. I was thinking that there may be a way to move some of that out of there and open up some more space for other things.

I have a desk with cabinets above it at the end of the kitchen. It dawned on me that I may be able to store some of my dishes over there without causing any inconvenience. It’s located right next to the table so it seemed to be an ideal place to put them.

Here is what is looked like after I completed it.

I’ve seen these plate racks in newer kitchens and I love the way it looks. In my mind it seemed like an easy enough project to do. Two pieces of wood, cut to size and dowels also cut and spaced equally a part to make room for each plate. It wasn’t the easiest project to do especially if you are “math challenged” like I am, but in the end it worked out pretty well.

How I did it:

Pine wood
Wood glue
A bunch of dowels (they come 36” long)
Drill with drill bit the exact size of the dowel diameter

Cut two pieces of ½ “ pine wood to fit exactly into my cabinet. Sanded smooth, primed and eventually painted.

Enough dowels to cut and insert into the pine wood. I ended up cutting 32 dowels long enough to cover the height of my plates plus one inch. I used two dowels (one placed in the front and one in the back) for each plate separator. In the end I had 17 slots.

I clamped the top and bottom pieces of pine wood together. I drilled right through the top to the bottom, but only ½ way through the bottom piece. I marked my drill bit so I wouldn’t go all the way through. I then glued each dowel into the bottom holes. When the glue was all dried I placed the top on and made sure each dowel was in its designated hole.

The unit was built and then installed when it was all primed and painted. If you are good at math, this project is a snap. For me…………..well…….a little more a challenge, but I was happy with the results.
One tip……I made my dowels a little too close to each other and sometimes I have to force a plate into the space. Measure your plates carefully and allow for the contraction and expansion of the wood. Live and learn (from my mistakes).

I installed a little piece of molding along the front of the rack so the plates don’t fall out.

If you have an area in your kitchen where you can build on of these racks I can tell you that it empties out a lot of space in your cabinets for some more “stuff”.
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  1. Thanks for this post, I'll be sending it to my mom to read. She also has a Fiestaware collection.

  2. First, you have a gorgeous collection of fiesta ware!

    Your project is both a wonderful storage piece and display piece. I love things that have a dual functionality!

    I see you have a Galo de Barcelos, too. My parents bought us one when they were visiting Spain and Portugal a few years ago. He looks cute next to your fiesta ware!


  3. Dear Christy,

    I just love this idea. I too have limited cabinet space. What really caught me eye was your cabinets. Did you paint them? They look simply beautiful. Keep up the great work. Thanks, Lou

  4. I have the worlds smallest kitchen and hate dealing with the doors so I took them all off. I think this would make them look a whole lot better! I might have just found my Saturday project! Thanks!

  5. Sounds like a great Saturday project to me. Remember to space them far enough apart so your plates are not as tight as mine. My mistake...........but for the most part they fit.

  6. I have to say this is what I've been looking for. I tried to convince my mom to do this between the bottom of the cabinent and the counter top. But she is 71 and totally against the idea. This will work great and I can create it out of MDF put the dowels between and still use my original shelves like you show the coffee cups. My kitchen is done in cherries so, I can even paint the rack red for something fun. Definitely going to be my Saturday project. When I get this done, I'll send in a picture.

  7. Time constraint!! I would like to just buy a plate rack but I can't find any for sell! Any ideas?

    1. To be honest, Tracey, I've never seen these for sale either. Making it was the only way I could get what I wanted. I wish I could be more helpful. Sorry :(