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Cardboard drawers + dividers: Organizing drawers with cardboard

Check how I made cardboard drawers dividers for my office and also custom boxes for very awkward spaces, that way I could use every inch.

Cardboard drawers

By now most of you already know that I love to use cardboard for pretty much everything I can think of =] so using it to organize my sewing room is not a surprise, but I still wanted to share because I know this can help someone else with problems similar to mine.

This will not be a step-by-step tutorial just because my build-in is custom, so I am not sure if my measurements will work for anyone else, but I am sharing the idea and how I made mine, so you can also organize with cardboard.

paint drawers organizers

The materials

I customize the spaces to fit my craft and sewing supplies in each of my 4 drawers with cardboard inserts and the cost for all of that plus the cardboard drawers for the awkward space below the drawer was $0

cardboard cutting

Since my back was hurting really bad when I worked on this project I decided to work on the carpet instead of my work table, but if you have a dog that needs as much attention as Curly does you might need to change your plans, like I did – definitely not very productive with him asking for love all over my work area =]

The process

drawer organizer

For the organizers I first measure the width and height, cut a piece of cardboard 1/8 of an inch shorter so that I could have some moving room, I made a little circle cut on the back so that I could lift my piece from there once it's in the drawer.

Then I placed everything I wanted to organize on the drawer, made little groups and drew on the cardboard the separations that I was going to need.

I measure how deep the drawers were and cut pieces that fit my sketch of separations. I used the kraft tape to finish the top so that it would look better.

tape close up

If you want to go the extra mile I would recommend you to either cover the cardboard with paper (easy and economic alternative), fabric or you can even paint them =] I decided to leave them just like that for now. I will probably make them pretty later, for now, I just focused on the functionality.

cardboard organizer
cardboard drawers

Cardboard drawers

If you remember when I showed you the build-in revamp I mentioned how much I loved one of the compartments because it had a pull-out shelve that I could use for a future Serger. You can see the images below to refresh your memory =]

painting oak cabinets
painting the inside white

The good part of the built-in is that is fairly deep, but that means that the space below the drawer is awkwardly long. So anything that places there on the back could eventually be forgotten. I love having that space but I needed a way to be able to reach all the way down there. So I decided to make custom drawers for all of them.

organizer cardborad

I basically measured just like with the drawer-insert and also measured the dividers I needed for the inside depending on what I was going to place on the drawers. Here you can see the one I did for hair accessories and felt.

I also made some for elastics, zippers, and ribbons. Basically, anything that was small and didn't have a specific spot yet on my sewing/crafting room.

felt organizer
drawer insider

I cover the drawers with the kraft tape all over and made them double cardboard so that they would be reinforced in case I decided to put heavier stuff there. they slide fine and if I need to take something from the far back I can just pull the whole thing off.

So much easier than trying to find a container or plastic tubs that fit that really awkward space.

And here one of my favorite drawers, probably because of all the pink inside =]

This is my sewing accessories drawer, so I keep all needles and sewing machine parts along with all of my purse hardware and little things.

organizer for drawer
Cardboard drawers

I love how organized everything is on the built-in and what a cheap way to do it, you can say it's eco-friendly too! because I recycled all of our moving boxes with all of the cardboard drawer-inserts I made, not just for the craft room but for our room and the nursery too =] but you'll get to see the rest later, once they are all pretty!

I hope you guys enjoyed and got inspired to organize with cardboard too =] it's so easy and budget-friendly!
Have a lovely and sunny day!

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Monday 1st of December 2014

Did you use just the hot glue to attach the dividers to the bottom cardboard sheet?


Sunday 26th of January 2014

My firm msedhan passed evaluation


Thursday 23rd of January 2014

I absolutely LOVE your use of cardboard for dividers. I too have been searching the world over on cutlery trays for my kitchen drawers but my dilemma is that I'm an apartment dweller so the next move might not fit trays I buy for this apartment. You have provided a solution to my problems forever more! Thanks off to get the cardboard out of the recycle bin!! :)


Tuesday 21st of January 2014

I love this idea - i have boxes in drawers at the moment, but want long runs of dividers for embroidery threads, yours is much more stable as you glue sides to a base - brilliant. Thank you for sharing Elaine


Saturday 23rd of November 2013

Amazing and time saving. Thank u so much.