I’ve never met a drawer organizer I didn’t like, but when I saw a tutorial for custom drawer dividers, my heart literally skipped a beat.
I don’t believe in junk drawers. I think junk drawers are sad and confused. I love when I open a drawer and everything I need is right there, easy to see, tidy, organized, and happy to see me. My husband, on the other hand, prefers drawers that are just random collections of crap piled on top of more junk that makes every spoon search a treasure hunt, but that’s another story.
This original tutorial was from Keys to Inspiration, but I tweaked a few things when I did mine. For this particular project, the first step is actually the hardest. You need to take everything out of your drawer(s), figure out what goes where and in what order. See, told ya this wasn’t going to be easy. But the truth is, it’s kinda fun. I got giddy lining up my spatulas and gathering my wisks. I was so excited at the possibility of everything having a place and a place for everything. Once I was able to see the possibilities, it felt like my whole world opened up.
I’m not a math wiz, I barely passed Algebra II, but using grid paper made it easier to draw things by scale. I measured my utensils so I knew how big each section needed to be. Be sure to allow an extra ¼-inch for the width of the dividers. Once you have your rough blueprints. You’re ready to start cutting.
As the experts always say, measure twice and cut once. This is especially important in this project. It’s also really important to cut your biggest pieces first. There will probably be at least one piece in each drawer that is either the same width or depth as the drawer itself. Cut these ones first. Then proceed with the smaller cuts.
Now it’s time for assembly! This is where I did this differently. Start with an empty drawer placing your pieces inside without any glue. This dry run is to make sure that the cuts you made are correct. Once everything looks correct, use the largest length as your base and glue the smaller lengths in a place where they go. It might be helpful to use a pencil during the dry run to mark where things go.
I used regular construction glue. The original tutorial recommended Loctite, but this did not hold at all for me. I also tried gorilla glue with no success. Wood glue (and a little patience) seemed to do the trick. Once you have the dividers in the empty drawer and the smaller pieces glued to the larger ones, you need to let the drawer sit for at least 6-8 hours.
In the original tutorial, they also glued the dividers to the sides of the drawer. My husband was VERY concerned about drawer damage. So instead, the largest cuts are held only by pressure (this is why it’s critical that your cuts are EXACT). Then, the smaller pieces are glued in place only on the sides where they meet the dividers, not to the sides or bottom of the drawer itself. Even without gluing the dividers to the actual drawer, they held perfectly and they can be easily removed if necessary.
Organizers from the store are a great start, but they always seem to be a little too big or a little too small or slide around too much and leave odd open spaces around the drawer. Once I did one custom drawer, I couldn’t help myself. Now almost every drawer in the entire house is beautifully divided just the way I like them.