Easy DIY Drawer Dividers

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If you’re like me, you may have kitchen drawers that are functional and semi-organized, in the sense that similar items are grouped together and your family knows where to find basics, like, you know, a fork. Maybe you’ve even purchased different types of drawer dividers, but none of them were quite right. There’s still hope!

Originally, I had lofty plans for custom dividers with felt lining, but thought it would be too expensive. I was determined to find a solution that was affordable, fit perfectly, and didn’t involve buying more dividers. After a little research, I decided to do it myself, ’cause why not. I bought poplar hobby boards to make the dividers, self-adhesive felt to provide visible contrast and dampen sound in some drawers and marble print Con-Tact paper to line other drawers for quick cleaning. It was easy and only took a few hours to complete. Here’s how it all went down:


Silverware drawer

I started with the silverware and serving pieces drawer because it was the most used drawer and needed the most help. The divider I had was too small, requiring that I wedge boxes of Nespresso capsules between the front edge of the drawer and the cutlery divider to keep it from sliding around the drawer. I hadn’t even attempted to corral the serving pieces; those were held in place by 2 silicone pot holders. Functional, but not exactly what I was going for.

Silverware before photo

We already owned a nice looking bamboo kitchen drawer organizer set, but it was in another drawer, being under-utilized. Once I placed it in the silverware drawer, the drawer immediately started taking shape, plus it was taller and held ALL the silverware, plus cheese knives and ice tea spoons! Even the long salad servers received a sliver of space between the edge of the drawer and the divider! However, our larger serving pieces were still loose at the back of the drawer. This is where the custom dividers and felt came in. Since our drawers are not full-extension, a single, felt-lined box was the only solution for reach-in access for the serving pieces.

Silverware progress photo

I measured the area at the back of the drawer behind the silverware organizer, transferred those measurements to the hobby boards, then used a carpenter square to draw a straight line across the boards to ensure a precise cut. Using a compound miter saw, I cut the hobby boards to size. (If you don’t have a compound mitre saw you can use a hand saw and a miter box.) For this box, I cut 2 side pieces, as well as a front and a back piece. After a test fitting, I glued the boards together with Loctite Express Power Grab glue (this stuff works great and dries quickly!). I placed the bamboo silverware organizer into the drawer to hold the boards in place while the glue set up.

Loctite glue and hobby boards

While the glue dried, I measured the box interior and cut the self-adhesive felt. Oddly, this was the trickiest part! On my first attempt, the self-adhesive felt became a weird amorphous blob that was no longer a rectangle. Tip: Felt should be handled carefully in order to avoid the necessity of filling in gaps with tiny slivers of felt. In the end, the drawer looked great!!!

Close-up back of silverware drawer

Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect. In my case, the boards in the back corners aren’t perfectly aligned, but since our drawers aren’t full-extension, no one will ever notice.

Silverware drawer after.
Silverware drawer after Fstop

This project turned out to be so quick and easy, seriously, that I decided to organize and beautify all the other drawers. 


Miscellaneous Drawer

This drawer is a mishmash of smaller kitchen items of varying shapes and sizes to include birthday candles, an egg slicer, straws, chopsticks, toast tongs, a marble rolling pin, and dish towels.

Misc drawer before

This drawer needed more sections for items of varying sizes so I laid it out with tape first to visualize the design before building the dividers.

Misc drawer progress.
Misc drawer after.

Knife Drawer

This drawer already had one thing going for it – a bamboo and cork Knifedock which is attractive and protects both knives and hands (we keep our knives in a drawer for convenience and to free up valuable counter space). I don’t have a before photo, but it was similarly organized to our other drawers with interlocking trays next to the Knifedock and more interlocking trays in the front of the drawer. To remedy that, I built a divided box to the right of the Knifedock to separate baking utensils from other tools like the microplane and carving forks. I added felt to the drawers to keep everything quiet.

Knife drawer after.

“Wait, what are those goggles?!?!?” you may be asking. They’re Onion goggles!!! And they really work!!!


Spice Drawer

This drawer started out as containment for spices and oven mitts and was not the best use of space. I gave the oven mitts a new home on metal Command Hooks inside lower cabinet doors and moved the less frequently used spices to an acrylic Lazy Susan in an upper cabinet (still within easy reach for cooking).

Spice drawer before.
Spice drawer planning.

Our most frequently used cooking utensils were previously housed in a super cute, and handy, champagne bucket next to the range. I moved these utensils to the newly divided drawer to free up premium counter space.

Spice drawer after.
Spice drawer after f-stop.

Scale Drawer

This drawer is home to the kitchen scale, more kitchen towels, meat thermometers, and a few other miscellaneous items. This drawer is near our Nespresso machine, so it also holds spent Nespresso pods. This was the easiest drawer to organize, because it holds so little. 

Scale drawer before.
Scale drawer after.

End Result

Organizational bliss!! An exaggeration? Hmmm. Nope! Now all our hardest working drawers are functional and good-looking. The bonus is that the project took only a few hours and cost less than $40 to take our kitchen drawers from meh to amazing! Give it a try, it really was easy!

Tools and equipment used

  • Measuring tape
  • Carpenter’s Square
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Compound Miter saw (but you could use a hand saw and a miter box)
  • Protective eyewear

Supplies

Project Total: $37.81


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