How to Build Kitchen Drawer Dividers

Kitchen drawer dividers are a great way to organize the contents of your drawers and make items easier to find. With some simple DIY divider projects, you can custom fit dividers to drawers of any size and configuration. Building your own dividers allows you to customize them to suit your needs, while also saving money compared to buying premade dividers. This article will provide step-by-step instructions on How to Build Kitchen Drawer Dividers using a variety of materials and techniques.

Benefits of Using Drawer Dividers

Before jumping into the DIY tutorials, let’s first look at why drawer dividers are so useful in the kitchen:

  • Separate and organize – Dividers create compartments to separately store different types of items like silverware, cooking utensils, towels, etc. This makes it easy to quickly find what you need.
  • Maximize drawer space – Items can be stacked and arranged more efficiently with dividers, fully utilizing vertical space.
  • Customize to fit drawers – Building your own dividers allows you to get an exact fit for your drawer dimensions.
  • Prevent shifting and clutter – Dividers keep items neatly separated and prevent them from shifting around when opening and closing drawers.
  • Create compartments – Small narrow dividers are great for separating spices, packets, snack bags and other small items that can otherwise get lost in a drawer.

Knowing the benefits, let’s look at some of the best materials and methods for constructing your own custom drawer dividers.

Materials Needed for Drawer Dividers

Many common household items can be repurposed into DIY kitchen drawer dividers. Here are some of the most useful materials to use:

  • Plywood or MDF – Thin sheets are easy to cut to size. These can be stained, painted or left unfinished.
  • Craft sticks – Inexpensive and easy to hot glue together in grids.
  • Cardboard – Free and versatile material to cut into customized shapes.
  • Plastic containers – Clear plastic bins of various sizes can attach together as dividers.
  • Clothespins – Great for small narrow compartments, just clip them to the drawer edge.
  • Pegs or dowels – Hammer pegs into holes drilled across the drawer to create compartments.
  • Wire – Sturdy wire bent into shapes makes removable dividers.
  • Egg cartons – Reuse these free containers as mini compartments.

Along with these materials, you may need tools like a ruler, pencil, scissors, saw, drill, hot glue gun, safety gear, etc. depending on the specific kitchen drawer divider project.

Drawer Divider Ideas and Tutorials

There are many creative ways to DIY your own custom drawer dividers. Here are some of the easiest methods and tutorials to get you started:

Simple Plywood Dividers

Plywood is an inexpensive and versatile material for making basic dividiers with a few cuts:

What You Need:

  • 1/4 inch plywood sheet
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Circular saw or handsaw
  • Sandpaper (optional)
  • Wood glue or adhesive velcro strips


  1. Measure inside dimensions of drawer and cut plywood to match. Leave 1/8 inch gap on all sides for fitting.
  2. Mark divider placement and cut plywood crosswise into sections. Around 3-5 inches wide works for most drawers.
  3. Sand edges smooth (optional).
  4. Apply glue or velcro strips on bottom edges and press into drawer to secure dividers.

This simple plywood method creates removable or permanent dividers that can be painted or stained for extra style.

Peg and Hole Dividers

Drilling holes across a drawer front allows you to insert pegs or dowels to create customizable compartments:

What You Need:

  • 1/8 inch diameter wooden pegs or dowels
  • Power drill with 1/8 inch drill bit
  • Tape measure and pencil
  • Hammer
  • Wood glue (optional)


  1. Measure and mark peg placement in a grid pattern on inside of drawer front. Space holes about 3 inches apart.
  2. Drill holes at each marked spot, being careful to drill straight. Holes should go all the way through front of drawer.
  3. Insert pegs or dowels into holes and use a hammer to tap them evenly into place.
  4. Apply wood glue in holes for permanent pegs, or leave glue off for removable dividers.
  5. Arrange and reposition pegs as needed to create compartments. Cut pegs shorter for smaller dividers.

The peg and hole technique can be used in any size or shape drawer to make customized dividers. Try using colorful pegs for a fun organizer.

Popsicle Stick Grid Dividers

Grids made from inexpensive craft sticks work great for dividing wide, shallow drawers:

What You Need:

  • Popsicle sticks or craft sticks
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors or hobby knife


  1. Lay sticks out in a lattice grid pattern, spacing approximately 1 inch apart.
  2. Apply hot glue at each stick intersection and press together to create the grid.
  3. Trim edges with scissors or hobby knife for an exact fit.
  4. Hot glue the edges of the finished grid to the bottom of the drawer interior.
  5. Allow glue to fully dry before using.

Popsicle sticks come in handy sizes and colors to customize grid patterns for organizing everything from office supplies to jewelry.

Removable Wire Dividers

Sturdy wire bent into shapes creates removable dividers that are easy to reconfigure:

What You Need:

  • 16 or 18 gauge wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Pliers
  • Duct tape


  1. Cut wire into pieces approximately 1 inch longer than the drawer width.
  2. Use pliers to bend each end of the wire 90 degrees.
  3. Shape the wire into rectangular dividers, a grid, or custom configurations.
  4. Tape bent ends to bottom of drawer to hold dividers in place.
  5. Remove or shift dividers anytime by pulling up the wire ends.

Wire offers the flexibility to create tall compartment dividers or small subdivisions that are totally adjustable.

Painted Clothespin Dividers

Mini clothespin compartments are quick and easy to clip onto a drawer:

What You Need:

  • Clothespins
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Foam paintbrush
  • Scissors


  1. Paint clothespins fun colors using acrylic craft paint and set aside to dry.
  2. Trim one side of each clothespin off using scissors to create a flat back.
  3. Clip the trimmed clothespins onto the inside edge of a drawer, spacing out evenly.
  4. Use clothespin dividers to organize small items like spices, tea bags, jewelry and more.

Painting the pins makes them extra cute organizers for bathrooms, craft rooms, desktops and other small drawers.

Cardboard Sectioned Organizers

Leftover cardboard easily transforms into custom sectioned dividers:

What You Need:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife or scissors
  • Glue or tape


  1. Measure drawer interior dimensions and cut cardboard to size.
  2. Mark fold lines and cut small slits where sections will fold up.
  3. Score along fold lines using the back of your utility knife.
  4. Apply glue or tape and assemble into sectioned compartments.
  5. Glue finished divider into the bottom of drawer.

Cereal boxes, shipping boxes and more can be repurposed using this project. Get creative with the size and shape of sections.

Drawer-Width Mason Jar Dividers

Wide mouth pint sized mason jars are just the right size to divide most drawers:

What You Need:

  • Wide mouth pint sized mason jars
  • Duct tape, painter’s tape or hot glue


  1. Arrange jars across width of drawer, adjusting spacing as desired.
  2. Place tape or dots of hot glue on the bottom of jars to hold in position.
  3. Fill jars with kitchen utensils, cooking/baking tools, silverware, and other items.
  4. Lids allow you to stack multiple small items within each divided section.

Jars are transparent for easy viewing of contents. For cheap glass organizers, upcycle used food jars.

Plastic Container Modular System

Connect modular plastic containers together to make customizable dividers:

What You Need:

  • Assorted clear plastic containers
  • Hot glue gun


  1. Look for small containers and lids in different shapes and heights that can attach together.
  2. Glue together same sized bottoms and stack different height containers on top.
  3. Cut rectangular containers in half to make thin divider walls.
  4. Arrange containers in desired drawer formation and glue bottoms.

Plastic containers can be found affordably at dollar stores and make great see-through organizers.

Installing Your Drawer Dividers

Once you’ve created your custom drawer dividers using one of these techniques, follow these general tips for properly installing them:

  • Test fit the dividers in the drawer and make any adjustments needed for good fit.
  • Apply adhesive velcro, glue, or non-permanent tape/putty on bottom edges to hold dividers in position.
  • Ensure dividers are evenly spaced and squarely aligned. Press firmly into place.
  • Let any glue or adhesive cure fully before loading the compartments.
  • Start organizing! Edit your divider creation if needed. Remove glue-on dividers carefully.
  • Consider adding drawer liner to create a soft, non-slip surface across the compartments.
  • Clean inside surfaces periodically using a mild detergent and water. Avoid overloading.
  • Reconfigure or recreate dividers over time as your organizational needs evolve.

Custom fitting your own DIY drawer dividers is an easy and affordable kitchen project. Got organized with one of these divider ideas today!

Frequently Asked Questions About Building Drawer Dividers

Here are answers to some common questions about creating your own custom drawer divider organizers:

What are some good measurements to use for divider widths?

3-5 inches is a common standard width for drawer dividers to effectively organize most kitchen items. However, feel free to create compartments of any size you need. For small items, dividers can be as narrow as 1 inch or made with clothespins. Wider dividers around 6+ inches work well for large utensils or cookware.

What materials can be used to make DIY drawer dividers?

Many household items can easily be repurposed into drawer dividers, like wood boards, cardboard, mason jars, craft sticks, egg cartons, plastic containers, wire, and more. Choose stiff, sturdy materials that will stand up over time.

How do you secure dividers in a drawer?

Options for securing dividers include adhesive velcro, duct tape, painters tape, hot glue and wood glue. Temporary solutions allow you to remove or rearrange dividers later. Permanent glue provides the most secure hold.

Should you measure exactly or make dividers slightly smaller?

For a tight friction fit, measure precisely and cut dividers to the exact interior dimensions of the drawer. Leaving a 1/8 inch gap all around allows dividers to slide in more easily.

How do you keep drawer dividers from shifting around?

Adhesive velcro on the bottom edge secures dividers well. For removable dividers, put tape or small velcro dots on the bottom to hold them in position. Gluing or screwing permanent dividers into the bottom attaches them most securely.

Can you organize drawers without using dividers?

Sure, dividers aren’t your only option. You can also neatly group items in bins, trays or baskets. Drawer liner helps keep contents in place. Arrange similar items together and store vertically to maximize space.

Should dividers match the height of the drawer?

Not necessarily. Full height dividers are good for large items, while shorter dividers can hold stacks of smaller goods. Combining dividers of different heights creates more compartment options.

What is the best way to clean drawer dividers?

Use a mild detergent and water, cleaning the surfaces periodically. Avoid submerging wood in water. Dividers made from plastics, wire, jars, and other washable materials are easiest to clean. Let all materials fully dry before replacing in the drawer.


Adding custom dividers is an easy DIY project that pays off with better kitchen organization. Now that you know How to Build Kitchen Drawer Dividers from various common materials, you can create specialized compartments that make your items accessible and your drawers clutter-free. Dividers also optimize drawer space since everything has a dedicated organized spot. Whether you need wider divisions for cooking utensils or narrow spaces for spices, you can craft dividers to suit your storage needs. Use these tutorials to get started designing and building your own drawer dividers to maximize your kitchen organization.