Make: Projects

Drawer Organizer

Make a custom organizer for your kitchen, workshop, or desk.

Steps

Step #1: Measure the height, width, and depth of your drawer.

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Drawer Organizer
  • My drawer is 19¾" long, 10¼" wide, and 2¾" deep. Then draw a picture and decide how you want to divide it up.
  • Now measure each compartment, taking into account the thickness of the material being used as dividers.

Step #2: Write up a materials list.

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Drawer Organizer
  • I used 1/8" clear acrylic (plexiglass) because it looks clean and is washable (as opposed to wood). My measurements came out as follows. The 8 smaller pieces are for the 2 end pieces and 6 interior dividers. (Bottom 19¾"×10¼", 2 sides 19¾"×2⅝", 8 pieces 2⅝"×10")
  • The drawer is 2¾" deep, but the sides and dividers are only 2⅝" deep because they’ll rest on the 1/8"-thick bottom piece. The same math was used to determine the divider widths.

Step #3: Obtain your plastic or other material.

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Drawer Organizer
  • I got mine cut to size at a TAP Plastics store, so I didn’t need any tools (you can also order from http://www.tapplastics.com).
  • You’ll also need glue and an applicator.

Step #4: Glue the first corner joint.

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Drawer Organizer
  • Peel the masking off one face of the bottom piece, and off both faces of one of the long side pieces (19¾"×2⅝").
  • Place the side piece on the unmasked face of the bottom piece. To keep a right angle, I used a couple of pieces of plastic with a corner cut off so they wouldn’t touch the glue joint.
  • Gently squeeze the applicator bottle and drag the needle along the corner formed by the 2 pieces. Glue will flow into the joint and set in a few minutes.

Step #5: Glue the rest of the joints.

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Drawer Organizer
  • Glue the pieces together in the order shown.
  • Peel the masking off one end piece and glue it in place.
  • Add the dividers, the other end piece, and finally the second side piece.
  • Weights will help maintain better contact between the pieces, to make stronger glue joints.

Step #6: Flame-polish (optional).

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Drawer Organizer
  • To give the divider a professional look, you can flame-polish the edges. A MAPP gas torch works best, but you can also do it with a propane torch.
  • Quickly move the flame along the edges and watch them go from dull to polished. Make sure you wait a couple of hours for the glue to fully dry first.

Step #7: Use it.

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Drawer Organizer
  • Give the glue at least 24 hours to build up strength.
  • Remove the masking from the bottom, then put the divider in the drawer and enjoy!
  • There are some great free how-to videos at http://www.tapplastics.com with more ideas.
  • Special thanks to Jim Beddow at TAP Plastics in San Rafael, Calif., for his help and advice.

Conclusion

This project first appeared in MAKE Volume 19, page 126.


  • Goli Mohammadi

    Hi RobbDee,

    Thanks for the catch! You are right, and it should be 1/8″. There were some other fractions that had rendered incorrectly as well. The project is all fixed up now. I also added the Weekend Project video to the introduction.