Easy DIY Drawer Dividers For Any Size Drawer
One thing that’s been fun about having a third child is that I get to do and try things for the third time! And, for me at least, the third time must be a charm because giving birth and caring for a newborn and nursing have all come much easier and gone much smoother. But it’s beyond just the newborn experiences. You see…for the third time now, I am using the exact same furniture in the nursery. And in doing so, I’m re-visiting old projects and solutions and improving them for the better. One example is the dresser drawers. For all three babies, I have outfitted the top drawers of the dresser with really easy DIY drawer dividers. But it wasn’t until I saw a clever hack on one of my favorite sites that helped me (finally!) make this a truly perfect organization solution. Let me show you what I mean!
One of the most popular posts on my site (of all time!!!) is my DIY Drawer Dividers (Using What You’ve Got). I first made these drawer organizers for Henry’s room about 8 years ago (below left). I loved how simple and inexpensive the dividers were, and they really allowed me to create more order in these super deep drawers. So…I repeated the project in Sam’s nursery 5 years later!
But if I’m being honest, it was a tad difficult to size the dividers snug enough so that they fit but didn’t slide around. The ones for Sam’s drawers were actually cut a smidge too small, and they always kept collapsing on me.
Then a while back, I saw Jen from I Heart Organizing use a really clever solution to hold her foam core drawer dividers in place and instantly KNEW they were the exact thing to perfect my famed drawer organizers. Can you spot what I used?
Yep! Adhesive-backed cord holders are the perfect things to keep these easy DIY Drawer Dividers locked in place! Now, they don’t slide around, and the measuring doesn’t have to be quite as precise…hurray!
These drawer dividers are not only super inexpensive and easy to make, but they now truly stand tall and firm and do wonders for keeping large drawers compartmentalized. Let me show you how they come together!
My original post was titled “DIY Drawer Dividers (Using What You’ve Got)” and that is still somewhat true since you can make these out of foam core or sturdy cardboard (like from large Amazon boxes 😉 ). Here’s what else you need:
- Foam core or cardboard
- Multipurpose Cable Clips
- Contact paper, shelf liner, or peel-and-stick wallpaper to cover dividers (optional)
- Tools: Tape measure, X-Acto Knife, Ruler, Pencil
How to Make Easy DIY Drawer Dividers
Start by measuring the height, width and depth of the drawer you want to outfit with dividers. Be as precise as you can.
Next, if desired, line the bottom and/or sides of your drawer with contact paper, shelf liner, peel-and-stick wallpaper, etc. I had just enough leftover wallpaper from the feature wall to outfit 6 drawers.
To create your first divider, you will cut a rectangle from your foam core or cardboard in the following dimensions:
WIDTH of drawer – 1/2″ X HEIGHT of drawer.
Next, you will “dry fit” this cut into your drawer. To do so, place one or two cable clips on each side of the foam divider (as shown in the two photos below). Do NOT remove the paper backings on the cable clips.
NOTE: I started with two cable clips on each side of the divider, but really, one clip on each side was sufficient for stability!
With the clips on the foam core but the paper backings still on the cable clips, slide the divider into your drawer, ensuring it’s centered and completely vertical.
Next, use a pencil to trace around all the cable clips:
With the locations of the cable clips penciled in, you can remove the drawer divider from the drawer. You can then remove the cable clips from the divider itself. Finally, remove the paper backings off the cable clips and secure them to the sides of the drawer inside your pencil markings.
Now the clips are perfectly positioned to hold the drawer divider.
You will then complete the exact same process for the perpendicular divider. First, trim your foam core or cardboard as follows:
DEPTH of drawer – 1/2″ X HEIGHT of drawer
Then repeat the exact same process as outlined above (tracing the cable clips etc), this time positioning the divider front-to-back in the drawer (rather than side-to-side).
With the two foam organizer pieces cut to size and dry-fitted to the drawer, you can then cover them in a decorative paper of your choice. I find it easiest to cut a piece of paper as follows:
WIDTH of your drawer organizer + 1″ X (2 x HEIGHT of your drawer organizer) + 1″
Then, fold the adhesive-backed paper over your foam divider and trim away all the excess edges with the X-Acto knife. Repeat the process on the other/shorter divider.
Finally, so that your dividers fit together, use the X-Acto knife to cut a 1/4″ wide slit halfway down the exact middle of one board and halfway up the exact middle of the other (as shown below).
NOTE: This is more than just a straight slit. You will need to remove about 1/4″ or so of foam core board to allow the two pieces to fit into each other, as shown below.
With your dividers papered and fitting into each other nicely, all you need to do is slide them back into the cable clips you’ve already secured to the inside of your drawers!
Then organize each compartment to your heart’s content!
The methodology of my previous drawer dividers really was sound. But getting the dividers cut so precisely that they didn’t budge was pretty tricky. Adding the cable clips makes a significant difference in the sturdiness of these dividers and will go a long way in improving the overall longevity of this solution!
See…third times a charm! If you’ve made these dividers in the past, adding the clips is a really valuable upgrade. If you haven’t tried them, I think you’ll be really impressed with the functionality of this easy idea!