This DIY custom kitchen drawer organizer was so easy to make and cost less than $10 for the entire project. I am SO THRILLED with how much better my kitchen drawers look!! They drove me crazy when they were a jumbled mess! I was constantly digging through junk and could never find what I was looking for in the tangle of whisks and tongs and spatulas.
Now with these custom drawer dividers everything is perfectly organized and easy to find. And I’m not a big DIYer, so I’m telling you, if I have the patience to do this, I promise you can do it too!!
Here’s another look at my kitchen drawers before. This was a great drawer with tons of storage space. But it definitely needed some drawer dividers! With no dividers, everything was just a jumbled mess.
I knew it had potential, and I kept thinking someday I’d get a drawer organizer for it. The problem with pre-made drawer organizers is that the slots are never big enough and never where I want them to be. And custom drawer organizers are expensive and can take a long time to custom order!
I had an idea one afternoon to make my own kitchen drawer organizer and had my brand new drawer dividers the very same day.
First I removed the drawer, took everything out, and sorted everything in the drawer by type: scoops, whisks, spatulas, cutters, etc. Then I placed everything back in the drawer, arranging it like a puzzle so they would all fit.
I used Jenga blocks as barriers to give me an idea of where the dividers would go. At first I was going to use masking tape, but Kevin suggested I use Jenga blocks, and I am never one to argue with board games.
With an idea of how much wood we’d need, we made our way to Lowes.
And headed for the lumber aisle to get supplies to make our new kitchen drawer organizer.
This is what we were looking for — 1/4″ thick craft or hobby board.
This was exactly what we bought — 1/4 x 3 x 2 Poplar Craft Board.
They also have different types of wood: aspen, pine, red oak, etc, if you’re looking for a different type or color of wood.
For the drawer layout below, we needed 6 pieces of wood for a total of $8.76 before tax.
When we got home, Kevin cut the boards to size. He used a skill saw. We’re not big DIYers, so that’s the only kind of saw he had. If you know your measurements, Lowe’s will also cut the boards for you! Then we set the boards back in the drawer to make sure they’d fit.
The photo above is before we glued the boards together or anything. They’re just sitting snugly in the drawer, not attached.
Finally it was time to glue everything together. We used Locite Clear Power Grab Heavy Duty adhesive. LOVED that it dried clear!! When we first put it on, you could definitely see a ton of the glue in the cracks. We smoothed out the glue along the seams (like you would do caulk) and it dried totally clear. You’d never even know it had been there.
Okay, here’s a sneak peek at another drawer organizer we did. I’m showing you this one because I forgot to take a photo of this step for the other drawer! Anyway, this is just to show you how we glued everything together. We lined the drawer with newspaper so we wouldn’t drip glue on the inside of the drawer, then glued the dividers together, using the drawer as our guide.
We did not glue the boards to the drawer because I wanted the drawer dividers to be removable. I didn’t want to do anything permanent to the drawers.
We glued the boards to each other while the drawer held the boards in place. Using the drawer as a guide helped hold the shape of the dividers and keep the pieces lined up so we knew we were still on track.
Here are the organizers out of the drawers. Totally removable! They fit snugly inside the drawers and don’t move around once inside the drawer. But if we ever wanted to take them out for any reason (like to clean the drawer) they just lift right out.
Lastly, we fitted the organizer into the drawer and placed the utensils in their newly organized slots.
Since we had the drawer out anyway, we also installed full extension drawer slides, which are an absolute must for getting the most real estate out of your drawers. We would not have been able to use that back storage slot (with the funnel and pizza cutter) without full extension drawer slides.
While we were at it, we also organized our cutlery drawer. Here’s what it looked like before. It was okay, but you can see my knives and some of the other utensils were too big and hung over the edge of those cheap plastic trays.
And here’s what the looks like now with our custom kitchen drawer organizer. So much better! We installed the full extension drawer slides here too. You can see it opened up a whole new back storage slot. And now nothing is hanging over the edge.
Make sure you have WD-40 on hand if you are going to install new drawer slides. We had to generously spray the new slides with WD-40 and open and shut the drawer about 100 times to get it opening and closing smoothly again.
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Totally try this on your kitchen drawers!! These kitchen drawer organizer are so easy to make and look professionally made. It’s beautiful and it makes the drawer a thousand times more functional since everything is organized and easy to reach!
Kitchen Drawer Organizer Update
Five year update! Many of you have asked how these drawer organizers are holding up. Five years later we are STILL using these same drawer dividers!