Kitchen Cabinet Organizers: DIY Dividers

Adjustable slots organize cookware for space-efficient storage.

Time

A few hours

Complexity

Beginner

Cost

$20-50

Introduction

Cookie sheets, cutting boards, cooling racks, serving trays, pizza peels…Most of us have a disorderly pile of large, flat cookware—and the thing we need is always at the bottom of the stack. This simple system of dividers brings order to the chaos. It requires minimal skills and materials and goes together fast, which allows you to spend more time cooking and less time searching and sorting.

Tools Required

  • Basic hand tools
  • Brad nail gun (or hammer and nails)
  • Circular saw
  • Drill

Materials Required

  • 1/4” x 4’ x 8’ AC or better plywood
  • 3/4” x 1-1/2” x 4’ pine
  • 3/4” x 3/4” x 4’ pine
  • 3/8” x 1-1/2” x 8’ mull strip

How to Build it

Measure the width and depth of your cabinet, then cut two 1/4-in. plywood panels (A) to fit. If you have a double-wide cabinet (like ours), cut the plywood so it extends at least halfway beyond the vertical center stile. Tip: If you have a double cabinet, you can cut the plywood extra wide, install the divider strips, then cut the plywood to final width so you wind up with full-width divider strips on both ends.

Cut the slats (B) 1/2 in. shorter than the plywood and use a sander or sandpaper to lightly round the ends. Glue and nail the divider slats into place, using a scrap piece of 1/4-in. plywood and an old credit card as spacers; this extra wiggle room will allow you to slide the divider panels in and out more easily. To prevent brad nails from poking through the plywood, adjust the depth setting of your nailer and drive brads at a slight angle.

Build the top frame (C and D) the exact size of your plywood panels and predrill the mounting holes on each end. Install this frame with the bottom edge even with the top of the cabinet opening. Screw the front in place first. Before screwing the back, make sure it’s at exactly the same height as the front.

Attach the panels (A) to the bottom of the cabinet and to the upper frame. Measure between the panels to determine the height of the dividers (E). Cut one divider panel to size then “test slide” it through several of the openings. If all the openings are equal, use your first divider panel as a template for cutting out the remaining ones. We created a 2-in. indent on the end of the divider panels to allow easier access to the trays and other items stored between them.

Cutting List

vertical kitchen cabinet shelves cutting list

Tech Art

cabinet dividers

Project step-by-step (6)

Step 1

Measure inside your cabinet

cabinet dividers

Measure the width and depth inside the cabinet. Subtract 1/8 in. from those measurements and cut the top and bottom panels to that size.

Step 2

Tack the slats to the panels

cabinet dividers

Fasten the slats with glue and 1/2-in. brads. Space the slats with a scrap of 1/4-in. plywood and a credit card.

Step 3

Assemble the top frame

cabinet dividers

Build a frame the exact dimensions of the top/bottom panels. This frame provides a mounting surface for the top panel.

Step 4

Install the top frame

cabinet dividers

Screw the frame to the cabinet, making the bottom edge flush with the top of the cabinet opening. Have the frame propped up with a couple braces cut from scrap wood while you work.

Step 5

Install the top and bottom panels

cabinet dividers

Secure the panels to the cabinet bottom and to the upper frame using nails or screws.

Step 6

Measure, cut and install the divider panels

cabinet dividers

Cut one panel to size, then test-fit it in several of the openings. Use that panel as a template for making the remaining divider panels. Next, see more of our favorite cheap kitchen cabinet add-ons you can DIY.

cabinet dividers