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Picture of Swiss Army Shelves
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Bare walls don't work! As a couple who like to cook we need our kitchen to work for us. This one afternoon project allows us to have everything in reach.

Swiss Army Shelves are part of a 'working kitchen'. A working kitchen puts tools at hand. We customize the kitchen to make cooking/baking effortless. I enjoy sharing a few of the ways we use our shelves. This setup is easily modified. Here's how! (see customization step)

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

Here are the suggested tools and materials for building a Swiss Army Shelves.



Cost: All materials lumber cost around $80 from HD/Lowes. All tools cost under $120 and were purchased refurbished online or used off craigslist. Links provided for where I would buy today on Amazon.

TomO291 year ago
I don’t see a range hood, you don’t fry or boil anything? Do you need one take and wipe down everything weekly?
jprussack (author)  TomO291 year ago

Thanks Tom. Was wondering if the lack of hood would get attention.

We are renters so we came into a kitchen lacking a hood... that said, never really used it in the past. We do limited frying and the boiling isn't an issue for us. We wipe the back of the range but only when we see spots.

GaberielK1 year ago

Having recently taken over the cooking (and cleaning) responsibilities in my household, I can really appreciate these shelves. It is obviously a REAL cook's system. You don't even label your spices... I'm not that good yet but I absolutely love the use of recycled jars to get larger containers for some of the spices. So simple yet so cool!

jprussack (author)  GaberielK1 year ago

Thanks! Funny how it works... we keep having to sniff to find the gram marsala (vs chili powder) but have no problem spotting the different shade of granulated garlic vs onion powder.

It piqued my interest enough that I had to google "spice labels" and of course there are many very elegant options on Etsy for premade stickers to label spice jars. Of course, you could always just make your own too.

JavierZ121 year ago

Como escribí en la imagen estoy emocionado...

jprussack (author)  JavierZ121 year ago

Yes, we love drawing in staples from different cultures. Having the beans out makes it easy to remember to soak them overnight! Also helpful for breadmaking. I'm finding ways to work masa (cornmeal) into most dishes.

DanB3671 year ago
If a carpenter, cabinets with door shelves would be a nicer look and still easy access. Unless its a cabin or a Swiss Army field kitchen. Just a thought.
jprussack (author)  DanB3671 year ago

Not sure the question... yes, I can see cabinets being popular in the kitchen :)

The challenge we faced was providing a low profile solution for the space above the stove/counter. cabinet doors would swing out in an awkward way. While it may look a bit cluttered the consistency of the jars helps. It also means clear countertops which is preferred.

Very cool! I like all of the jars!

jprussack (author)  bryans workshop1 year ago


diten1 year ago

Nice "Mate" there. Cheers from Argentina.

jprussack (author)  diten1 year ago

Ha, thanks! Nothing better for a 10+ hr overnight drive from BA to Mendoza!