Learn how to DIY custom kitchen drawer organizer to easily and inexpensively transform your messy kitchen drawers into beautifully organized kitchen drawers!
My husband has worked so hard the past few years renovating our home into our “little cottage in the suburbs” – as I like to refer to it.
We have these beautiful new shaker style kitchen cabinets that my husband purchased through an auction at a fraction of the cost. We now have so much storage and our kitchen is white and bright and organized and it flows so much better!
We have a rather small drawer for our silverware. At first I tried to keep the silverware separated and organized – sort of. But, every time you close the drawer or open it, the knives, forks and spoons slide around. I found myself constantly re-organizing our silverware.
Looking for a DIY Solution
Because of the odd size of the drawer, a typical silverware tray just wouldn’t fit. Then I had the idea that I would make some fabric utensil holders. That soon proved to be a bad idea (for me anyway).
So, back to the drawing board…..
Then I remembered seeing where Damjana from AppleGreen Cottage made these drawer dividers out of cardboard. You can find her tutorial here.
Well, I happened to be rummaging through my husband’s wood stash (don’t tell him) and came across these poplar craft boards. They are 1/4″ thick (sort-of) and 3″ high. Perfect for my kitchen drawers!
Plus the wood matched the inside of my drawers perfectly. You wouldn’t know that these dividers weren’t part of the original drawer. You definitely wouldn’t think they were a do-it-yourself project that I completed essentially for FREE because I already had all the supplies I needed at home.
But, let’s take a look at how you can accomplish this DIY Custom Kitchen Drawer Organizer project for your home!
How to DIY Custom Kitchen Drawer Organizers
Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures of my drawer organizers as I constructed them, but I think I can explain it well enough that you will be able to complete this project even without the photos.
Supplies & Tools
There are just a few supplies and tools you’ll need to complete this project:
- Poplar boards
- Miter saw, circular saw or hand saw
- Glue gun and glue sticks or wood glue
- tape measure
Step One: Prepare the Drawer
You’ll want to empty your drawer(s), clean them and get ready to design your drawer organizer.
Again, I apologize for not having pictures, but I promise I’ll be as descriptive as possible. At some point, I’ll come back and update with some pictures.
Step Two: Design Your Dividers
With your drawer emptied, determine what you want in your drawer and how you want them laid out in the drawer. My drawer was pretty simple. I simply wanted a place for teaspoons, tablespoons, forks and butter knives. So, four compartments in my little 9″ wide silverware drawer.
I literally took one of each kind of silverware and laid it out in my drawer and then took measurements. Be sure to allow for the thickness of the wood (1/4″ typically) when you make your measurements.
It may be helpful to draw out your design on paper or to cut pieces of paper to size and lay them in the drawer. Once you have the design and know exactly where you want your dividers and how many dividers you need, you’re ready to do your measurements.
Step Three: Measure Twice, Cut Once
Take your tape measure and measure the depth of your drawer (front to back). Write this number down.
Then measure the width of your drawer (side to side) and write this number down.
I knew for my drawer that I was simply going to have one piece of board down the center (front to back) and two smaller boards right in the middle of each side of center. It kind of looks like a cross or plus sign.
My drawer measurements were: 19-1/2″ x 6-3/4″.
So, I cut the longest board 19-1/2″. Then I cut two smaller pieces 3-1/4″ (3.25 + 3.25 = 6.5″ with 1/4″ allowance for the middle divider). You can cut the boards with a miter saw, circular saw or even a hand saw. Remember that when you cut your boards, your saw blade will take up some space so you need to allow for that when you make your cuts.
For example, if you have a 24″ board and you cut one piece at 18″, and the blade is 1/16″ wide, you’re left with a 5-15/16″ piece of wood. I recommend you mark your cut, make the cut and then mark your next cut and make it.
Step Four: Affix your Dividers
I dry fitted the boards – which means I just simply put them in the drawer and then added my silverware. At first I thought I’d be able to just use the drawer dividers without any adhesive because they seemed to fit in there nice and snug. But, with use, the dividers began to get nudged out of place.
I was going to use wood glue until my husband suggested I use hot glue. He said hot glue would be less damaging to the wood if I ever decided to remove the dividers. Sold! I got out my favorite Ryobi glue gun and put just a little bit of hot glue on the edge of each piece of wood, then slid them into place.
I believe you could even paint your drawer dividers, apply a protective coating or cover them with vinyl adhesive, if you wanted. So far, I’ve left mine just the natural poplar wood. They’ve been in place for a few months now and I just love them.
Now to move on to the other drawers in the kitchen. Honestly, the hard part will be simply figuring out how I want everything laid out in the drawers so that I know where to place the dividers.
I hope this DIY Custom Kitchen Drawer Organizer tutorial was helpful to you in helping to organize your kitchen drawers. If you give this a try, I’d love to hear about it! You can leave me a comment below or come visit me on A Handmade Home Facebook Page and share your photos with us!
You’ll also find me on Instagram. If you share your photos there, be sure to tag @birchcottageblog and use the hashtag #thebirchcottage so I’ll see your results!
Til next time…