DIYdiy projects

diy wednesdays: drawer divider

by Grace Bonney

we’re always looking for ways to better organize our lives. and after years of starting each day with a visit to one of the most disappointingly disorganized spots in our home we’ve finally decided to do something about it. as shop owners constantly awash in packing materials, the cardboard and giftwrap needed for this project were right under our noses. this diy is a good example that even if no one else in the world (other than a couple bazillion design*sponge readers) is ever going to see it, the simplest of craft projects can make a big impact on your daily routine.

have fun!
lauren & derek

**you can very easily add more sections to your drawer depending on your specific needs.
**for an even simpler solution you can place a shoebox in your drawer to keep smaller items in order.
**this technique works well for all kinds of drawers, like that crazy “catch-all” one in your kitchen.

CLICK HERE for the full instructions after the jump!

Drawer Divider

here’s what you’ll need:

-gift wrap
-measuring tape
-double-sided tape
-box cutter, metal straight edge, cutting mat, or scissors

1. measure the interior of your drawer (ours was 25” x 14”, and 5” deep).

2. cut a piece of giftwrap to that size, lay it in your drawer, and secure with a few pieces of double-sided tape.


3. based on the size of our drawer, we cut two cardboard pieces for the dividers: one measuring 25” x 5” and another measuring 14” x 5”. then we cut 2 1/2” notches in the center of each piece so they would slot together.


4. place the cardboard in the drawer and load up your stuff in a pleasantly organized fashion.


Suggested For You


  • You don’t know how perfect this DIY is! For the past month or two I’ve been itching to get some of my dresser drawers organized but I didn’t want to buy any ugly plastic dividers… this tutorial came at a great time! Thanks!

  • I’ve gone through so many similar renditions of this project including throwing shoe boxes in to hold socks separate from underwear. I’ll have to try this on a larger scale to keep my T-shirts neatly stacked.

  • where have you been all my life, oh fabulous and free drawer divider? My life and my drawers are forever changed!

  • Great paper liner… I have tons of different patterned papers at home and love finding new ways to use them. I’ve also lined the back of my book shelves.

  • I did this in a drawer that has both underwear sets and tights in it, but I used just one piece of cardboard to stop the tights/nylons from constantly tumbling into the rest! It works really well and is definitely an “anyone can do this” DIY.

  • The divider is a good idea. I do recommend checking for insects (especially roaches) first, as they do tend to hide within the spaces of the cardboard.

  • This is a GREAT idea! I’m always battling with the socks & underwear! Love the stripey lining too…

  • Holy smokes, could this be any simpler and yet any more inspired? The top drawer of my desk is in dire need of organisation and I was thinking of all these complicated solutions involving plastic trays and figuring out how to fit them to the drawer dimensions when DER of course dividers are far easier, and totally customisable! Thank you thank you thank you :) I might actually cover teh cardboard with the paper as well, as a variation on the theme.

  • I can’t believe it. I was lookign for days a few months ago for something like this.- in the end I cut some boxes that had held beer and nappies, but the result is noweher near as visually satisfying and simple as this — duh!
    Design sponge, I love youse

  • What a smart idea! If you really wanted to be an overachieving craftress, you could even cover the cardboard with a contrasting pattern or color. Not sure if I’ll go that far, but I’ll definitely try this idea on an old desk I’m fixing up.

  • DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT use cardboard by itself for this project!!

    Try and cover the cardboard with some sort of plastic contact paper. I’m pretty sure cardboard and paper attract silverfish!

    • jean

      i did this with cardboard a year ago and haven’t had any silverfish yet– but maybe it’s the climate here in nyc?


  • I did this, and used some complementary wrapping paper to cover the cardboard with… Nearly free, adjustable, and cute. LOVE IT.

  • Great idea! I’d take the project to an even higher level and use the same pretty paper to cover the ugly cardboard. Or another one as Heidi suggests :)

  • Thank you !!! I have been looking for drawer compartments for a while now and nothing out there suited my requirements… i thought of making something, but needed ideas.. This article really helped. Thanks !!!

  • I like the idea, but surprised that the cardboard wasn’t covered with paper to liven it up as well.

  • Tried this and covered the cardboard with some pretty wrapping paper – it worked perfectly! Terrific idea… Thanks

  • Would look even better with white cardboard, or a destructed IKEA box. As for attracting bugs, we use boxes for storage in our office and haven’t had any problems. We live in humid Alabama.

  • I am so excited to try this! I’ve been wanting to buy drawer dividers for years. This is so much better! I definitely pinned this pic to pinterest and blogged about the post!

  • I’ve been trying to find an inexpensive way to organize my son’s dresser drawers. This is a FABULOUS idea! So doing this tonight! Thanks!

  • I would have covered the cardboard with the paper along with the bottom of the drawer.

  • I used FOAM CORE panels from the dollar store, instead of cardboard. I think it looks neater and is just as easy as the cardboard. The drawers look fantantic and at first glance they look store bought. I only spent $1 per drawer.

  • I love this idea! WARNING: I used a cute greyish/paisley-patterned wrapping paper in a drawer for sheets and the sheets picked up the color from the paper.