DIY Drawer Organizer for $6

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Since we moved into our current house, my silverware drawer has been driving me crazy. I could not find any kind of drawer organizer to organize it!  It’s hard to tell in the pictures below but I found some plastic containers at the dollar store and I had been using them to organize the drawer. The problem was that they didn’t fit so the sides were smashed in and they kept sliding all over the place so they wouldn’t stay put. I tried duck tape and grippers, all of it and it wouldn’t stay put.  The other problem was that the compartments just weren’t arranged well and they were too small. 

So I set out to fix it. I went to four or five stores and bought five or six different silverware trays and nothing would fit my drawer right! Then I saw the best thing! It was an adjustable divider. You could buy as few or many as you needed and then just make your own. They had a spring on the end that moved the divider longer and it was perfect! I was so excited that I grabbed it at Bed Bath and Beyond… Then I looked at the price. $20 EACH!!!!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? It would cost me $100 to organize one drawer. NO WAY!!!

As I was cruising around the Internet one day, I found someone who had made her own. I didn’t keep the link because I thought, “Yeah right! What a pain to make.” Then after my $100 revelation, I thought, “What can it hurt to try??”.  So I went to Lowe’s and got 2 pieces of birchwood and made my own drawer organizer. It was pretty simple!!


I know it doesn’t look horrible but it was a huge pain to use!


I took everything out and measured the scientific way. I put the stuff in there and then put a cut board at the top and put it in at the top of the knives.



Then I divided the bottom section to put my most used items at the front. I had enough silverware that I could just equally divide them. Then I put a little mark so I would know where to glue them in.



Then I discovered that I made a scientific calculation error. I cut the board to divide the top too short. Oops! I WAS NOT about to run to Lowe’s to buy one more piece of board because I messed up so I found a scrap piece and was able to put it on the edge to hold the board in place.  Not much will fit in there but you could use it to store twist ties. :-)

I used gorilla glue for my dividers. I had a hard time keeping them upright and in place so I put a finishing nail in the top to keep them all in place.


Here’s my new silverware drawer loaded. I put all the plasticware and straws up at the top so that now we can get to our regular silverware easier.  The best part is that now nothing is sliding all over the place and all the utensils fit in the drawer even when every piece is clean. Before, the silverware would get stuck on the top of the drawer and jam the drawer if you didn’t get them in there “just so”. So, I now have an easy homemade drawer organizer for $6 instead of $100. Yeah!!!




  1. Peggy says

    Wow. I may have to do this. I think a man designed my kitchen…I have one large drawer to hold all my silverware, etc…it is always in need of organization. I will definitely have to do this!

    However…I am not the only one living here…so it may not stay that way…but at least I won’t be able to blame it on the dollar store plastic bins anymore! :)

    …adding birch wood to my Lowe’s list! Or rather HUBBY’S Lowe’s list 😉

  2. Cindy says

    I wonder if foam board would work – I am not handy at cutting wood. Actually, I try to avoid any sharp edges out of a sense of self-preservation, based on past experience!

    • says

      I think foam board would work fine. If you need it even stiffer then double it. Also you maybe don’t need it for this project but if you do hate cutting wood places like Lowe’s and Ace will often cut boards for you in some cases for free or for a $1 a cut. In a case like this even if you would have to pay say $5 it would still be cheaper then paying $20 plus for a drawer organizer and you would have a more custom made one on top of that.

    • Sassy says

      I used foam board that lasted for almost a year by making sure the silverware was always dry, but have to re-do it now. I just bought some hard board tiles and will be re-doing it.

  3. TootsNYC says

    Actually, for that measuring error at the top–you could have cut the too-short board to be even SHORTER, and created a slightly wider cubby there. Because what you do have in those slots doesn’t need as much length.

    As for the wood–I didn’t know Lowe’s carried pre-cut strips of birch or birch ply! That’s great.

    I do know that hobby stores carry precut strips of basswood (easy to cut), and Midwest Hobby makes precut 3″-wide strips of hardwood, so if you wanted to splurge a little and choose a wood to match your fancy kitchen cabinets, you can.

    also, Lee Valley hardware has drawer-divider brackets or channels that you can hammer into the drawer. Not as cheap, of course, but very secure, and you don’t have to worry as much about them wobbling while the glue dries.

    And foam board would work great–I use foam board and hot glue to make a specialized “drawer” to hold lightbulbs, and it’s very sturdy.

  4. Valerie Murphy says

    Lowe’s & Home Depot usually (last I checked) give you 2 free cuts per board & then .25 each cut thereafter. The small boards are in the lumber aisle down below the big boards. I just made my own spice racks because I couldn’t find any that would fit in the space I had & couldn’t bring myself to pay the amount required for custom spice racks. It was fairly simple & they look good & fit on the wall where I wanted them & hold all my spices!

  5. Sheri says

    I have also seen cereal boxes cut down and arranged to organize the drawer. That’s free! You could even start with the cereal boxes and when you find the combination you like, make it permanent with the wood.

    My daughter-in-law has put boxes on their sides all fit together to make shelves behind the bathroom door. She is so clever! One box for towels. One box for toiletries. Etc… Their house is under 800 square feet. Probably closer to 500 square feet. Not a lot of room! But she has a yard and a garden! And a garage! Half of the garage is being converted to living space. That makes all the difference!

  6. Nancie says

    I used a similar system when I had a large dresser drawer that I kept my underware in. I used cardboard because of the sturdiness and the height and used duct tape to hold it in place in the drawer. That kept the gowns, panties, etc separated and much easier to put away and find.

  7. Roxane says

    To organize my junk drawer– I simply used the bottom box from Kraft Velveeta soft cheese cube (2# cube.) It works great. I put the boxes all to the left of my drawer and have a long space on the right for extra long items.

  8. Bushra Alim says

    I would like some advise on how to organise a jewelry draw,I have difficulty finding what I need at a glance,something that can keep them stable,I loath jewelry box
    many thanks

    • says

      I have yet to find the prefect system myself. A large armoire I think would be nice but to be honest I can’t afford one and I’m not sure I would have room to even hang one on my walls because my bedroom is so tiny. At the moment I use egg cartons to store my earrings in. You could paint or mark each carton a different color then put your gold earrings in one, silver in another etc. I then stack them 2-3 deep in my drawer and that works pretty well for me. That is for my larger earrings. For my studs I have a 8″x2″ strip of stiffer foam that came in some package I got. It is 1/4″ thick. I put all my studs on it then I can grab my little foam sheet of studs out and pick what I need off of it. I don’t have to look for backs or anything this way. I also keep them in order on the sheet of foam. All the pearls, silver, gold, colors etc. together.
      Maybe some of our readers will have some ideas.

  9. Rosemaid says

    You ladies are all too clever. My renaissance man husband built my tray as a “double decker” in a deeper drawer. Sharpe knives & odd serving pieces are below and the tray above holds the flatware. The tray runs along parallel wood slats. It was one item on his “honey do” list, which turned out really well.


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