Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How to hang pots and pans from a kitchen cart in 3 easy steps

After looking a while for the best approach to this challenge and coming up empty, I decided to document my own attempt. Besides, then I could actually take credit for my handiwork, which was actually quite minimal.

So here's what I did to hang the pots and pans from my kitchen cart.

Step 1: You'll need to find a cart that's got an overhanging edge. I purchased a cart from the VARDE collection at IKEA. Say what you will about IKEA, but the nice thing about this cart is that it provides rails with sliding S hooks -- so half my job was already done for me.

Step 2: Position the (cup hooks for) the outside pots. Again, my setup was pretty simple, but it did require one extra cup hook for the side that didn't have a rail/S hook combo. I chose to put the pots on the outside because this setup offers the most space for the pots to stretch out and enjoy themselves; it'd be too cramped to try to fit them all on the inside, and we don't want any fights.

So here are the outside pots. Two in the back, one on the left side...

 ...and one on the right, complete with my own cup hook. The one on the right is actually a deep dish frying pan, but just looked better if I hung it there. So, I did.


Positioning them was little more than taking a cup hook, putting a pot/pan on it, and just holding it somewhere to see if it fit. Can't really measure this kind of thing. You just have to play and feel out where you've got room and where you don't. It quickly becomes apparent what you can and can't do.

Once you think you've found the sweet spot for a pot or pan, just put a hook on it, and place it in the area once more. This time, press up on the end of that cup hook screw to make a little dent in the bottom of the table top. This is where you'll drill your 3/16" pilot hole for a standard 1 1/4" cup hook.


If your cup hooks are different size, the rule of thumb is to use a drill bit that's just slightly smaller than the shaft of the cup hook's screw. Just imagine you want a drill bit that's the same diameter as the shaft of the screw without the threads hanging off the shaft.

How deep do you drill the hole? I'd just take a piece of tape and mark a spot on the drill bit where you do NOT want to drill past. Take care to ensure that the depth you're drilling at does not go through the table. Never seen a cart with a table top that thin, but it always pays off to be extra careful.

With the pilot hole drilled, all you have to do is hand-tighten the cup hook. If needed, you can use pliers. Just point them vertically at the hook (the same direction the pots hang) and twist to finish off and get the hook to point the direction of your choosing.
Once you get those outer pots and pans situated, you'll likely have a few left over. So the next step is to hang them.
This is the setup that we've been using for quite some time now, and I've always thought that not only was it a waste of all that interior space, but it was also scuffing up our frying pans. And that's no good.


 ...another view from the side of the old setup. Not that pretty.


Step 3: Hang dem pans! The frying pan set we own actually has some nice curb appeal when they're all together in a row. I chose to line them up diagonally for the greatest visual effect. Doesn't seem to interfere with getting them in and out, which is a plus.

You begin by taking the largest frying pan and seeing just how tight you can fit it into a corner without it clanking up against the other pots/pans when you put it in. In this case, I chose the middle-left corner. From there, you just do the same thing with the remaining pans--stick a pan in there, eyeball it, and give it your best shot to make it look nice and neat. No rulers here, just eyeballs and a steady hand.



And there you have it! How to hang pots and pans from a kitchen cart in 3 easy steps.


The finished product. The additional S hooks on the rails provide space to hang trivets, mits, towels, or whatever else you want.

Questions? Comments? Show the world your awesome hanging pots and pans setup so we can inspire others!

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