An ingenious way to organise your drawers: the DIY drawer divider

An open drawer that is divided by a drawer divider. Little socks and baby clothing are in the drawer. A quilt, a pillow and a teething ring are top of the chest of drawers. A stuffed elephant and a book are on the floor to the left of the chest of drawers.
It has never been so easy to get organised – with the DIY drawer divider.

  • Difficulty
  • Cost
    < 50 £
  • Duration
    1-3 h

Are your drawers a sea of chaos? Join the club. We all have the tendency to throws bits and pieces into drawers that already contain all sorts of useful things – and chaos can quickly reign. However, tidying up a drawer couldn’t be easier! We’ll show you how to build your own drawer divider so you can find everything quickly and easily.

You need
  • protractor
  • safety glasses
  • g-clamps
  • ear protectors
  • work gloves
  • face mask
  • pencil
  • 3–4 mm multiplex plywood boards (make sure they are glued crosswise)
  • scrap wood
L: Length, W: Width, H: Height, D: Diameter

Let's go - step by step

Step 1 7

Measure your drawer

You need: Laser-Entfernungsmesser Zamo ( Set ), optional: ruler

First, measure the inside of your drawer. The final design of your drawer divider depends on your preferences and requirements. If you want to store a lot of small things, you’ll need a lot of compartments. If you’d rather use it to house larger items, then you’ll need fewer compartments. So it’s up to you how you divide up your drawer.

Whatever you decide, you’ll need two boards for the broad sides and two for the long sides. You can use these four boards to build a stable frame that holds the inside boards together. We have used three long boards for the long side and five short boards for the broad side for the divider in our example.

Step 2 7

Transfer the measurements to the boards and cut them to size

You need: Digital Laser Measure Zamo (Set), Jigsaws, Jigsaw blade, bi-metal, T 101 BF, g-clamps, safety glasses, ear protectors, work gloves, 3–4 mm multiplex plywood boards (glued crosswise)

Transfer the inside measurements of your drawers to the boards and mark the corresponding places. You can use these markings to then cut the boards to the desired length. Secure the boards to your workbench with G-clamps and take precautions, making sure to put on protective googles and gloves and to put in ear plugs before you start sawing.

Alternatively, you can also have the boards cut to the right size at your local DIY store.

Step 3 7

Mark slots at regular intervals

Close-up of a hand. It is measuring the slots for a cross lap joint on a wooden board using a laser measure. Another board, a pencil and a protractor are lying next to it.
Close-up of a hand. It is using a pencil and a laser measure to mark a wooden board.
Close-up of two hands. They are using a protractor to mark a wooden board with a pencil.
Mark the slots for a cross lap joint at regular intervals.

You need: Laser measure, Digital Laser Measure Zamo (Set), optional: ruler, pencil

Measure the boards. It is up to you how far apart you mark the slots for a cross lap joint. The number of slots you make is determined by the number of compartments you would like. We have gone for four in our example.

A cross lap joint uses an insertion method that sees two pieces of wood inserted into one another at a right angle so that half of each board sticks out. This creates stable compartments in which you can store your things.

Step 4 7

Drill where you have made the markings

A board is lying on the floor. There is a marking on it. A pencil and a protractor are also on the board.
A wooden board is clamped to a work surface with G-clamps. A person is drilling a hole into it using a cordless drill.
Mark out the slots and drill a hole there.

You need: Jigsaws, Jigsaw blade, bi-metal, T 101 BF, pencil, safety glasses, scrap wood

Next, measure the height of your boards. Mark the halfway point with your pencil. Use your cordless drill to drill through the marking. This hole defines the width of slot that you are going to cut out for the cross lap joint in the next step with a saw. Put in ear plugs and put on your protective gloves before you start sawing.

Please note: We have used a metal drill bit in our example as 6.5 mm drill bits are only available as metal drill bits, but a wood drill bit would also work just as well.

Step 5 7

Saw the slots you have marked out

Close-up of a hand that is using a jigsaw to saw along markings. A person is operating the saw and is wearing protective gloves.
Two wooden boards are lying on a work surface. Slots have been sawn out at regular intervals.
Saw the slots you have marked out.

You need: Jigsaws, Accessories for jigsaws, PAM 220, g-clamps, safety glasses, work gloves, ear protectors

Use a protractor or a ruler to mark a line to the right and to the left of the hole you drilled in step four. These lines define the edges of the slots. You can use these to insert your boards into one another. Don’t forget to mark the slots on the other side of the board as well. Then, use the jigsaw to saw out the slots. Make sure to wear your gloves and protective goggles and to put in ear plugs.

Step 6 7

Sand the boards

Close-up of a person sanding a board with a sander. They are wearing protective gloves and using one hand to lean on the work surface.
A person is sanding the edges of a slot in a wooden board with a sanding sponge.
Sand the boards.

You need: Multi-sander, Sanding sheet for multi-sander G120, Polishing sponge for EasyCurvSander 12, g-clamps, safety glasses, work gloves, ear protectors, face mask

Sand the boards and smooth the edges. You can use either a sander or a sanding sponge to do this. Make sure to wear your gloves, protective goggles and a mask, and to put in ear plugs.

Step 7 7

Join the boards together

A woman is putting the boards of a DIY drawer divider together. She is standing behind a work surface. A white wall can be seen behind her.
A woman is presenting a wooden board to the camera with a smile. She is just about to put her drawer divider together.
Join the boards together.

You need: patience, skill

Now, put the boards together and your DIY project is complete. You now always know where everything is in your drawer.


Put the compartments together directly in the drawer because it’s more practical and you can start putting things in it straight away.