When I gave Henry’s bedroom dresser/hutch a makeover (read all about it HERE), his drawers were also in much need of a purge-and-sort session! Out went the winter and too-small clothes, and his new three-year-old summer wardrobe was moved to lower drawers so he could access it himself. In our old setup, we used canvas bins to hold everything from socks to hats to shoes; but in this latest transformation, those bins were no longer needed! However, it didn’t take me long to go a little crazy with all of H’s little socks and shoes and “accessories” floating around in a single drawer. While my gut was to add a drawer organizer to my shopping list, I knew I could DIY my own version from things I had around the house! If you have drawers than need a touch of order, try these simple DIY Drawer Dividers using cardboard and decorative shelf liner!
Measuring and Cutting the DIY Drawer Dividers
Start by measuring the internal dimensions of the drawer you are organizing (width, depth, and height). Be sure to get exact measurements here; you want the organizers to fit snug so they stand up straight and don’t move as you open and close the drawer.
Next, cut out two rectangles from some corrugated cardboard (I had some leftover from a few projects, but you can use any sturdy boxes you have around the house). An x-acto knife and sturdy ruler come in handy here. Cut both rectangles the height of the drawer (my rectangles were 6″ high, the same height as the drawer). For the width of each rectangle, one should be cut to the drawer’s depth and one cut to the drawers width, as shown:
Decorate Your DIY Drawer Dividers
To make this a super simple project, I could have just popped these into the drawer and called it a day, but I had a tiny bit of green striped contact paper leftover from THIS project that I decided to give the drawer a fun little pop of pattern. (This is the contact paper I used. It appears the striped pattern is no longer available, but there are lots of other patterns you can try!)
My method for covering things like this is pretty simple: start by cutting a rectangle sheet of contact paper about 1″ wider and 1″ taller than the cardboard rectangle. Notch out the corners with a scissors and fold the ends over to the other side of the rectangle.
Next, cut a rectangle about 1/2″ shorter than the height and width of the cardboard rectangle and lay it over the backside of the rectangle to cover up the folds from the first side.
Assemble and Insert Your DIY Drawer Divider
The last step is to assemble and insert the drawer divider. Find the center of each rectangle and cut a slit half-way into the board. Then, insert one rectangle into the other and adjust your cuts (as necessary) so the two rectangles sit at the same height.
If you measured right, the cardboard dividers should squeeze right into your drawer and stay in place without a problem!
The last step is to load up the drawer and enjoy some order where there was previously none!
Sometimes simple projects like this one can make such a huge difference. This little update cost me nothing and took about 10 minutes. But the result is added connivence when putting laundry away or quickly finding socks and shoes when it’s time to go!
Just an FYI – my original plan was to line all the drawers in this hutch in this same green and white paper (you know me, I love having pattern in my drawers, so I hate posting these pics without it!) I thought I had enough contact paper but discovered (after this project) my roll was lighter than I thought, and I only had enough for one drawer. Shucks. I decided to wait and see if I could find more or find another pattern that will work with his room color scheme. To be continued I guess!
Updated 10/2019: I’ve recently improved this project by adding stability via adhesive cable clips! This update makes this project even sturdier and more effective in keeping your drawers compartmentalized! See it by clicking below!
I’m hosting Easter this year and there isn’t a lick of Easter or Spring decor around here – time for me to get on that. I hope to have a Spring update for you here by the end of the week. See you then!
Looking for more clever drawer ideas? Click on the picture to check out these other drawer projects!