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DIY - Double Layer Drawer Organization

diy projects to keep your kitchen organized

two drawer in one - utensil drawer
Organizing the drawers in my small kitchen is a task that's been on my to do list for years. Not having enough space to organize all the kitchen gadgets was a huge drawback, but I'm so glad I found a neat way to make the most of those drawers, which means more storage space, by turning them into double layer drawers! 

Our kitchen is very small, I've been bringing organization to it with plate racks, tray dividers, adding counter storage and many other ways, but as for the drawers, those few drawers have been a messy sight most of the time, and let's not talk about the wasted space we have in there.

Well, the tipping point was last December, when visitors were trying to find serving spoons in that messy drawer where everything goes.  Yeah, that one, ☺ I guess we all have one of those drawers.

So, a few days ago, I decided to turn things around and begin organizing one drawer at a time.

kitchen island with cheap plastic divider utensil

The first candidate was the largest drawer I have, the one in the kitchen island. This is how it looked two years ago when I first blogged about it, and with the kitchen island not even painted the new color.

Those plastic dividers provided some kind of organization, but I didn't like them, and besides there were wasted spaces that made things look messy.

My inspiration for this project came from my blogging friend Debbie HERE, some days ago I noticed that the fabulous Ana White HERE, also tackled this project.

This is how it went for me →

Materials and tools:
NOTE:  The dimensions of the inside of the large drawer are: 16" x 20-5/8" x 3½"
              The smaller drawer was built at: 14-15/16" x 20" x 1¾"

how to make wooden drawer dividers with poplar

The drawer was emptied and I began playing with the silverware. When I was happy at how things looked, that's when I started cutting the ½" poplar divisions.
Little marks were done before taking all the wooden pieces out to set the divider.

using Ryobi nailer to secure wooden drawer divider
18-Volt ONE+ AirStrike 18-Gauge Cordless Brad Nailer
Wood glue and three 1" brad nails on each joint were more than enough to secure the pieces together.
how to build a wooden divider for drawers

I made that black outline to better visualize it inside the drawer. Perfect fit.

silverware store in drawer in blue kitchen island.

That removable divider on the left prevents the entire divider from moving sideways. I can remove this entire piece for easy cleaning.

But, there was still wasted space with this configuration. Those 2+ inches were the ones to tackle next.

kitchen organized.

One more divider/drawer was built. Same ½" poplar material, but this one was given a ¼" plywood bottom. It's final dimension: 14-15/16" x 20" x 1¾" - I always give drawers a 1-1/16" slide space.

The outline of the divider was traced on the lower part of the plywood bottom in order to see the lines where to drive the nails.

Build it! create your own wooden dividers in your kitchen

After adding a line of glue all around and flipping it over, ¾" brad nails driven on the marked spots secured the two pieces together.

Sand all those sharp edges, clean and protect the wood with clear poly
How to remove the back of a drawer to install a smaller drawer inside it. Jigsaw used to cut the back of drawer
Ryobi Jig Saw
The next step is to cut the back of your big drawer, so the smaller drawer can slide out of it.
I drew a line at the 1-¾" mark, and using a jig saw made the cut outside the line.

Ryobi drill to install drawer slides

The final step is to install the drawer slides. I followed the top edge line on the big drawer.

how to build a double drawer step by step instructions

The only thing left was to bring the smaller drawer into the larger one and WHOA, look at all that storage space!

Make the most of your drawers using two drawers in one.

Here you can see the back of it.

keep all those utensils organized.

An here is how it now looks inside the kitchen island with the smaller drawer all the way back.

diy projects to keep your kitchen organized

And out! :)

The main silverware pieces were stored in the larger drawer, those are heavier than the serving pieces that I decided to store in the smaller drawer.

how to build double layer drawers - kitchen organization

Well my friends, that's my first double drawer and I'm loving it!
My final recommendation for you ... measure twice cut once. 
I now have to go and tackle three more. ;)

For more Kitchen DIY ideas check these out:

how to make a double layer drawer

duck egg blue ASCP on kitchen island with white cabinets

empty tray divider diy above the refrigerator.

*Ryobi Tools were given to me to try out, 
I love them so much so that they are the tools I use for my every day projects. 
All stated opinions are my own.*
Affiliate links were added for your convenience.

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  1. As always you amaze me with your clever projects Cristina. Making dividers for my small kitchen drawers was on my list for February, but the slider adds a whole new element to this project - so smart!!

    1. Oh Lisa, I'm amazed at how organized it all looks and feels. I just finished my second double drawer and I have to tell you, I finally have extra space! :D Gotta go shopping for some more cute kitchen gadgets. ;) You should totally do this!

  2. Love what you did to the drawer!! The addition of the drawer slides is just genius!!

  3. What a great project! It's such a great way to maximize space which is always at a premium in the home. Thanks for the inspiration :)

    1. So true, Jelica! Now I have some empty spaces, but I guess not for long. :D
      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. What can I say? You are my building super hero! Every project you do is more special than the last. I just LOVE the cabinet upgrades, especially these fabulous space-saving inserts. Susie from The Chelsea Project

    1. Hahah Let me find the cape, Susie! :D You are as always, so kind! <3

  5. This post just made me SO excited! I have so many problems with storage in our kitchen, mostly because I don't have things like this to keep my things corralled and they all slide around and out of order. I had no idea that you could make these yourselves & I couldn't stomach spending so much money on the store-bought ones at Bed, Bath, & Beyond! I would love to try this project myself!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

    1. Jordyn, that's right, if you buy them, they're not cheap. And it's kind of hard to find the perfect fit for your cabinets. For this one, the 20" slide was the one that brought the cost up→ $20, those pieces of wood are cheap. So, this is definitely a project that's easy on the pocket and you can customize it to your own needs.

  6. wow!! It is such a clever idea to maximize the drawer

  7. This is a brilliant idea. I need to make this for my drawers.

  8. You made perfect use of the space, well done!

  9. This is fabulous. I may have to do this with all my drawers!

  10. Love it! When you open the drawer is the top layer always all the way to the front or does that stay pushed in unless you pull it out?

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