Little Free Ones

Protohaven’s Little Free One is an open-source, low-cost, quickly produced community pantry. It’s faster to make than other designs, and is made using less than one sheet of exterior grade plywood.

It’s designed to be mass produced by anyone with access to a CNC Router. Less than one sheet of plywood per pantry, cut in less than an hour, flat-packed, and easily assembled.

We designed these as flat-pack kits it in partnership with PA Cyber and Sarah Heinz House as part of their after-school Design Factory Program focused on sustainable design and construction. Over 40 participants received a kit to build and place in their community.

Here’s how you can make one.


  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Power Drill
  • Adjustable crescent wrench


  • (1) ⅛” Drill Bit
  • (52) Roundhead screws
  • (12) Short flathead screws
  • (9) Long flathead screws
  • (21) Nuts

(1) Bottle of Wood Glue
(2) Hinges
(1) Door Handle
(1) Hasp in 3 components

Design Files

(Coming Soon!)

Pantry Parts

Assembly Guide

1. We’ll start with the back and bottom wall.

2. Apply a thin line of glue to the back groove of the bottom piece.

3. Use the pattern of holes and grooves to align the corner as shown above.

4. Use the first guide hole to drill a pilot hole. Ensure the bit is level and straight so you don’t drill through the side.

5. Secure your freshly drilled hole with a roundhead screw so it does no shift.

6. Find the next guide hole, pre-drill the pilot hole, and secure it with a screw.

7. Repeat for each hole until all (4) screws are in place.

8. Next, we’ll attach the left side.

9. Apply a thin line of glue along the entire side groove—from top to bottom.

10. Align the corner. Pre-drill the first pilot hole, and secure it with a screw.

11. Repeat for each hole until all (5) screws are in place.

12. You’re ready to attach the right side!

13. Repeat steps 9 through 11.

14. Line up the top shelf, keeping its groove facing the bottom as shown.

15. Slide the shelf into the grooves until it meets the back wall.

16. Slide in the middle wall, keeping its groove facing the right hand side.

17. Slide in the bottom shelf.

18. Make sure each shelf and wall sits well against the back wall so the door can close properly when attached later.

19. Use the (3) guide holes on the middle wall and (3) guide holes on the top shelf to pre-drill and immediately secure each with a screw.

20. Repeat for the (6) guide holes on the first side.

21. Move on to the (10) guide holes along the back

22. Repeat for the (3) holes on the final side before shifting on its side to tackle the bottom.

23. Pre-drill and secure the (9) holes along the bottom.

24. Here is the pantry ready for it’s roof and door!

25. Grab the roof, noticing the U-shaped groove.

26. Apply a thin line of glue along the entire U-shaped groove.

27. Here, make sure to hold the drill straight up and down as shown.

28. Secure each hole with a screw immediately after drilling so your holes don’t shift between rounds.

29. Here is the pantry with the roof secured in place.

30. It’s time to install the door. Here it is in the correct orientation.

31. Remove paper coatings from the door.

32. Use short screws to attach all hardware to the front of the door. Pinch the nut on the back to secure in place.

33. Use a wrench to gently tighten. Do not over-tighten, or the door may be damaged.

34. Here is the door ready to be attached to the pantry.

35. Use long screws to mount the hinges to the box. Secure by hand and then tighten with a wrench.

36. Use long screws to mount the hasp, keeping the shoulder against the pantry as seen above.

And there you have it!


Creative Commons License
Protohaven’s Little Free One by Alexis Caldero, Deborah Lange, Devin Montgomery, and Marty Swartz in partnership with PA Cyber and Sarah Heinz House is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on work at