This tutorial for making a DIY Custom Drawer Organizer for less than $5 and takes less than 30 minutes to make!
After updating our 80s style kitchen to something closer to this century, I finally had a hankering to tackle creating an organizer our kitchen drawers. Matt has been wanting to do this since we first unpacked and put our utensils and such into the kitchen drawers, so of course it only took me 15 months to get around to it.
Months ago, I hit up our local Home Goods and Bed Bath and Beyond to look for a drawer organizer and I was utterly shocked that the decent looking ones that you could customize to your drawer cost around $40! And that would be for one, maybe one and a half drawers. Seeing that we had 6 kitchen drawers we wanted to organize, I wasn’t about to drop over $200 for some stinkin’ drawers, for that price, they could stay unorganized!
I scoured Pinterest, but only found some tutorials that looked like they took waaay to much time or I could never find the materials they mentioned and would give up.
The key thing I found (after a good 30 minutes of meticulously looking at every possible item in Home Depot) that makes this DIY tutorial a time saver is the Polystyrene Moulding. It’s perfect! It’s white, so I don’t have to paint. It’s smooth, so I don’t have to sand. And it’s plastic, so cleaning it is a breeze compared to wood (I have a tendency to have drawers slightly ajar, then spilling things off the counter, which makes a horrible mess in my drawers).
Step 1: Acquire all your supplies
I bought this exact moulding from Home Depot. If you go to the store, it’s in the Moulding section, and mine was in a sub section called “Designer Moulding”.
About one 8 foot piece of moulding was good enough for each drawer, but it depends on the size of your drawers and how many dividers you want. If you are more diligent than me, you could measure and figure out how many 8 foot pieces you will need before going to the store, but I went ahead and just bought 1 per drawer, plus an extra one for good measure.
For super glue, I like to use DAP RapidFuse All-Purpose. I couldn’t find any at home, so I just picked up an extra bottle at Home Depot while I got the molding.
Tip: I keep my super glue with a safety pin keeping it in the original packaging. Storing it in the original packaging helps avoiding the bottle sticking to where ever you store it, in case you dripped some glue on the outside of the bottle. The safety pin keeps it in place and is used to poke the hole at the top since the glue hardens in the nozzle between uses. I usually never can find a pin when I need it, so keeping it with the super glue has been crazy useful.
I already had the speed square, pencil, measuring tape, and a saw. For the type of saw, you could use a hand saw or even a jig saw if you wanted. But the easiest thing to use would be the miter saw (if you have one). Alternatively, you could also pre-measure all your cuts and cut the molding at home depot.
Step 2: Measure and Cut
Lay out all your utensils in about the way you would want them arranged with the dividers.
Measure the entire length and width of the drawer. Having trim for the outside border is optional, but I preferred to have it for most of my drawers since it helped hide my poor shelf paper lining skills and I think it gave it a cleaner look.
Tip: Make sure to take into account the screw heads for the drawer pulls. I added 1/8 of an inch for this.
Sketch and measure the dividing sections. You can see I have a very basic sketch, just so I could remember which cuts go where.
Tip: Remember to take into account the width of the molding when measuring your cuts.
Mark your measurements on the molding with a pencil and cut your pieces.
Step 3: Dry Fit
Place all your pieces in the drawer and make sure it looks about how you had envisioned the layout. Use a pencil to mark the intersections of where each divider needs to be glued.
Step 4: Glue it together
So you can either glue the entire drawer divider together and drop it into the drawer, but you would probably have to take the drawer off the rails to fit it in like this, or you can do what I did, and just glue some of the interior dividing sections together so you can just put each piece in its place, without taking the drawer off.
I also did this because I’m more prone to spilling, so it would be easier for me to take out for my frequent cleanings. But this method does all for the dividers jostle a bit, this doesn’t bother me, but if you like the dividers to be more secure, I would suggest gluing the entire thing together.
To get perfect right angles, I used the speed square to line up the pieces when gluing. When gluing, I used 6 to 8 tiny dots of glue, to avoid excess glue from spilling out, then I used my thumb and forefinger to make sure the 2 pieces were properly aligned and the speed square to keep perfect 90 degree angle, held it for 30 seconds and moved on to the next piece.
Step 5: Assemble
Assemble your organizer dividers into the drawer or drop the entire thing into your drawer (which ever method you decided on) and throw in all your junk!
Viola! What an improvement!
I went ahead and created an organizer for 5 other kitchen drawers and my makeup drawer in the master bath. A total of seven took about 2 hours to make. Here’s how a few more of my shelves turned out:
FYI, I love the shelf liner I chose for the kitchen. I bought it on Amazon, if you are interested, they also have other colors and patterns., here’s the link Self Adhesive Shelf Liner – 2 Pack – Rugby Chevron Graphite – Measure 1.5′ H x 10′ L (style M-79820)
This was a quick and easy project that I am still enjoying today. How did your drawer organizer turn out?