I have a confession to make – I’m a really awful cook 🙁 I can toss a salad together, but that’s about it. Fortunately hubby is an undercover Master Chef and I have a best friend who runs her own catering business, so I figure, I have all my bases covered. Talking about best friends, Freda is also moving soon, and I wanted to make her something for her new house to say thank you for all the times she’s bailed me out from all my cooking experiments that went horribly wrong. She really loved the HOME shelf we made a few months ago so it seemed like a good idea to make her something similar. We tossed some ideas around ( 😀 see what I did there?) and came up with an idea to make a COOK shelf for all her recipe books and other kitchen-y bits.

Just some pallets and an idea new to make a cook shelf

The shelf can hold some of her recipe books, favorite spices, and a few other special things. The shelf portion is made from a piece of pine and the COOK letters are all put together using pallet offcuts.

Make something special for the chef in your life. This unique COOK shelf is functional and easy to make from pallets or scrap wood. #StorageIdeas #CookShelf #ACraftyMix #PalletRepurpose #ShelfIdeas

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How to cut the wood to make the COOK shelf

Most pallets aren’t wide enough to function as a shelf so we used an old shelf that’s been lying around in our storeroom for a few years. The shelf itself is 94 cm long and 24 cm wide (37″ x 9 1/2″). For the letters C, O, and K I used pallet scraps that were all 13 cm wide (5 1/8″). You can adapt the measurements to suit what you have on hand.

The bits that make up the letters for the cook shelf

For the C

  • 1 x 24 cm x 13 cm (9.5″ x 5 1/8″)
  • 1 x 20 cm x 13 cm (7 7/8 ” x 5 1/8″)

For the O’s

The O’s at the bottom of the shelf are basically just squares with the top missing:

  • 4 x 24 cm x 13 cm (9.5″ 5 1/8″)
  • 2 x 20 cm x 13 cm (7 7/8″ x 5 /8″)

For the K

This one had me stumped for a while. All those angles:

  • 1 x 24 cm x 13 cm (9.5″ x 5 1/8″)
  • 2 x 20 cm x 13 cm (7 7/8″ 5 1/8″)

Making the letters

The C and the O‘s are pretty easy. To make the C, glue the shorter piece to the longer piece and secure it with L-shaped brackets.

Join the longer piece to the shorter piece to form the side and top of the C

For the two “O‘s,” glue the two longer sides to the shorter piece as shown below. Use L-shaped brackets to make the join more secure.

Join the two longer pieces to the shorter piece to form the bottom of the O

The K had me stumped trying to figure out what angle to cut the K pieces. It was almost as bad as figuring out how on earth you can blind-bake something. Really, who thinks of these things? I drew triangles until I saw angles everywhere. I even hauled out my old trig books, and then I found this little app that made it way easier. Don’t you just love the internet? Anyhoos, to make the K, we needed to cut the 20 cm pieces so that there’s a 39-degree angle on the one end and a 51-degree angle on the other side. The “arms” of the letter K were glued to the upright. I figured it would be strong enough since they wouldn’t be used to store anything 😉

Figuring out the angles that make up the K and joining them together

When all the K stress was over, we checked that all the letters fit on the COOK shelf and trimmed off any excess.

The C O O & K arranged on the shelf prior to painting and staining

Once we were happy with all the bits, we stained and painted the letters and the pine shelf.

Stain and paint the letters to suit your decor

Because the shelf will be used in the kitchen, we sealed everything with water-based polyurethane.  

Putting everything together

To attach the letters to the shelf, we used L-shaped brackets and gorilla glue. The C and the K are positioned towards the back of the “COOK” shelf, and the O’s are in front.

Attaching the letters for the COOK shelf

To hang the shelves, we used galvanized pipes and flanges, which we screwed into the wall. We had some left over from when we made this industrial-styled blanket ladder.

Galvanized pipes to hang thre cook shelf

The galvanized pipes are strong enough to support the weight of the shelves, and all the other bits and pieces my friend might want to add.

Hanging the "cook" shelf

The C is perfect for smaller recipe books.

The C on the "cook" shelf

And the O‘s can store all those spices that get used every day.

The Os on the "cook" shelf

The K works really well as a bookend.

The K on the "cook" shelf

Thank goodness those angles worked out 😎

Old world charm

But I would love to know what you think of the COOK shelf. Is it something you would make for the chef in your life?

This shelf is cooking. Full tutorial on the blog

If you like the idea of making a COOK shelf, don’t forget to pin it for later.

Make something special for the chef in your life. This unique COOK shelf is functional and easy to make from pallets or scrap wood. #StorageIdeas #CookShelf #ACraftyMix #PalletRepurpose #ShelfIdeas

BTW, if you’d like to make your own COOK shelf and don’t want to go to all that trouble of finding some of the materials we used, or you’d prefer to buy rather than DIY, we’ve got you covered 😉 Disclosure: If you click the links below, we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry, it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us feed our fur babies 😉

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