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Wood Pullout Cabinet Drawer Organizer

March 22, 2011 |
posted by Ana White
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After organizing my junk drawer successfully, I felt confident and inspired to tackle some more cabinet storage.  And of course, first up, what to do with all the princess plates, lunchroom trays and sippy cups with missing lids.

How about a drawer, right at the height of a four year old?  And how about a nice deep drawer, with a big chalkboard label on it?
Of course, you could install this drawer on the bottom shelf, make the drawer have taller or shorter sides, or even put it under the sink for trash cans . . . and attach the cabinet door to the front of it for a real pullout trash can on a super budget.  There are no limits, beyond your time and your imagination.
I'm going to show you today how I built this drawer for Grace (and will probably be building more drawers for my pots and pans and maybe even one for our dog  . . . ) and you can easily modify it to fit your cabinets.  I spent about $10 on the drawer, with $6 for the 1x6 (I actually had scraps so this was free for me) and about $4 for the drawer slides.  I also used half of a 2x2, so there's another buck. I made the chalkboard label with scrap plywood and chalkboard paint and glued in on.  The drawer as shown here has not yet been finished.
Wood Pullout Cabinet Drawer Organizer

Additional Photos

Wood Pullout Cabinet Drawer Organizer
Wood Pullout Cabinet Drawer Organizer

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About Project

Author Notes: 


Custom to fit your Cabinets

Materials and Tools

Shopping List: 

1 - 1x6 @ 8 feet long

1 - 2x2 @ 4 feet long
scrap 1/4" plywood 
21" Drawer Slides
2 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
wood glue
wood filler
measuring tape
safety glasses
hearing protection
circular saw
countersink drill bit

Cut List

Cut List: 

Cut to fit your cabinets.

General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!

Step 1

Wood Pullout Cabinet Drawer Organizer

The first thing you need to do is measure the opening of your cabinets and the depth of your cabinets. Mine had a clearance opening (the hinges took up a little room too) of 14 1/2". Remember that your drawer slides also take up 1" all for both, so that's a total drawer width of 13 1/2". To be safe, I made mine 13" wide, and cut 2 1x6s to this length. Then I measured the depth of the opening. Mine was 22 3/4" deep. So I cut the 2x2s to the depth of the cabinet and then cut the two 1x6s to this measurement minus 1 1/2" - so for me, 21 1/4". I then cut the 1/4" plywood to 13" x 22 3/4".

Step 2

Wood Pullout Cabinet Drawer Organizer

With all the boards cut, I built a simple box (used 1 1/4" pocket hole screws but you could also use 2" screws countersunk) and glue. The I tapped the bottom on with 1 1/4" finish nails and glue.

Step 3

Wood Pullout Cabinet Drawer Organizer

Because these cheapo drawer slides (that actually work really well and are quite strong) are side/bottom mount, you can get away with just tacking 1/4" plywood to the bottom. The weight of the drawer contents sits right on the slides. I attached the two drawer parts of the slides to the bottom of the drawer as shown above.

Step 4

Wood Pullout Cabinet Drawer Organizer

Then I attached the remaining drawer slide pieces to the 2x2s as shown here. Make sure these pieces are attached level and in the same position on both 2x2s. This is important. I used the screws that came with the slides, and followed the directions on the slides.

Step 5

Wood Pullout Cabinet Drawer Organizer

And now it's time to test it out. I just screwed the 2x2s directly to my workbench and oh yeah! it works!

Step 6

Wood Pullout Cabinet Drawer Organizer

Then I simply positioned the whole setup inside the cabinet, and because of the tight fit, screwed the 2x2s to the shelf from the underside. But if you had more clearance from the top, you could screw from the top too. Used 2" screws here, just two per 2x2.

Step 7

Wood Pullout Cabinet Drawer Organizer

And then just put the drawer in. The drawer is easy to remove and clean (and in my case, finish) and I really love the 2x2s in there, because they keep things from sliding under your drawer. Off to build . . . six more.

Finishing Instructions

Preparation Instructions: 
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.

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Wooden drawer pullout cabinet organizer

This is a fabulous Idea! I have wanted them for my cabinets but to have them done is outrageous. I am SO going to do this! Thank you Ana

posted by Marsa (not verified) | on Tue, 2011-03-22 01:17

lazy suzan cupboard?

We have a lazy Suzan style cupboard in our kitchen. I love the amount of room in it, but that shelf never stays up so I want to pull it out again. I was wondering if you might have some ideas about how to make it more functional?

posted by Jeanne Miller (not verified) | on Tue, 2011-03-22 01:20
sebringvillemum's picture


I've done this before in our previous house... and really need to do it in this house for the tupperware lids! So nice to have a clear picture of how to make it work smoothly!

Brilliant... now to see if I have any wood to build a box with!

posted by sebringvillemum | on Tue, 2011-03-22 07:28
mplauger's picture

cabinet color

we are remodeling our house so we are going to need stain for all kinds of things: doors, trim, etc and now that I found your site:  I need it for furniture!  Our cabinets and vanities are maple; one company calls is Sandelwood.  They look really similar to yours, at least in the picture.  I am having the toughest time matching up stain to it!  Help!

BTW, love the drawers!  :-D

posted by mplauger | on Tue, 2011-03-22 07:44
sydneyroo's picture

I didn't even know I needed

I didn't even know I needed this until I saw it!  One step ahead, as usual, Ana!

posted by sydneyroo | on Tue, 2011-03-22 08:02
mycreativeescapes's picture

You read my mind!

OK Ana - you must have read my mind.  I am building a craft room - and want to put in drawer slides - this came at the perfect time!!!  Thank you so much!


posted by mycreativeescapes | on Tue, 2011-03-22 08:11

where did you get the drawer glides?

I had wanted to do this in my cabinets, but the only drawer glides I saw (at Lowe's--we don't have HD near us) were around $25.  Where did you get some for $4?

posted by songbirdfeeder | on Tue, 2011-03-22 08:14

Got mine from Home Depot

It does depend on the length but I just bought 22 inch ones for 7.48. They had some that were MUCH more - around $25 - but you don't need all the hoopla that comes with it. I got mine at Home Depot but Lowe's and Home Depot are owned by competing brothers so I am surprised that they would have prices so different even if there isn't competition in your area. 

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Tue, 2011-03-22 20:17

Thank you

I found the ones online at HD that you're talking about.  I think I'll print that out and take to Lowe's.  Maybe they have some comparable ones that I couldn't find when I was there.

posted by songbirdfeeder | on Thu, 2011-03-24 17:44
judym's picture

I found some at Lee Valley Tools

Though Lee Valley Tools only has stores in Canada, they do offer online shopping.  Right now, there is a no shipping fee deal on until March 28.  You can find all kinds of drawer slides ... the standard kitchen slides hold about 55lbs which is more than I need.  The prices for a 21" (550 mm) set of slides range from $4.80-$6.00 depending on how many you buy.  If you live in a rural area like me where there is no Orange or Blue or much of anything within a 30-45 minute drive, online is the way to go!

posted by judym | on Thu, 2011-03-24 14:32

Thanks judym

Maybe because I'm in the US, the free shipping is only on orders of $40 or more.  I don't need that many slides.  The shipping for up to $20 will be $8.50.  Even though the closest HD is a ways away, it might still be cheaper for me to do that.  But I appreciate your help!

posted by songbirdfeeder | on Thu, 2011-03-24 17:39

Wood drawer pulls

We bought ours at Lowes on isle 4 last night for I think 5.50 a piece hope this helps!

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Sat, 2011-04-09 11:13
Tomboy Lisa's picture

Drawer Glides

I was at my Habitat for Humanity Restore and saw some recently. They are an awesome resource for your "rebuilding" products.

posted by Tomboy Lisa | on Mon, 2011-04-25 12:32
crustymom's picture

Thank you!!

Thank you thank you thank you!! I have been waiting for this. You are awesome. I am going to build it this weekend. You have saved me a a pile of money. Store bought ones are $100 each.

posted by crustymom | on Tue, 2011-03-22 08:49

love drawers everywhere

thanks! I have been saving drawer slides from furniture and now can get motivated to use them for this!!

I started installing drawers everywhere..mostly the plastic storage kind or the wire kind. I like the look of these better.
I also made a mini dresser with boxes, paper mache and covered it with fabric. I know your site focuses on wood items, but since so many of boxes from all the online orders, this is a cool project to consider :)

posted by Jenny graddy (not verified) | on Tue, 2011-03-22 08:49

I have been thinking of this

I have been thinking of this very thing as of late! I desperately need an accessable drawer for my kids to retrieve their own cups, plates, etc. Awesome Ana--thanks so much!!

posted by Sarah R. (not verified) | on Tue, 2011-03-22 08:53
crystal777's picture

Thank You!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I have wanted to know how to do this forever!  I have been watching your site faithfully in hopes of finding just this.  (Of course, I've fought several other projects along the way, too:)  I don't comment often, so, while I'm at it; I LOVE your site, thank you so much for all you do.

posted by crystal777 | on Tue, 2011-03-22 08:55

Thank you!

I have been planning to figure this out for myself for a long time now, but you've taken the guesswork out of it for me, Ana! Yay! It's actually cheaper than I thought it was going to be. My bathroom cabinets are in dire need of these drawers. Now that I think about it, the kitchen cabinet would be great with them too. Now I have no other reason to procrastinate doing it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! And my cabinets thank you.

posted by Janey (not verified) | on Tue, 2011-03-22 09:20

Can you come up with an

Can you come up with an organizer for a blind corner PLEASE.  I REALLY need one.

posted by cate (not verified) | on Tue, 2011-03-22 09:30

Love, the drawers, need about

Love, the drawers, need about 20.  Grace is the most beautiful project that you made!

posted by Ellie (not verified) | on Tue, 2011-03-22 10:52

Oh, Wow

My to do list just keeps getting longer.  I have a 'kid cupboard' where whenever you open the door, something falls out.  This would be a perfect fix.  Thank you!

posted by Vickie | on Tue, 2011-03-22 12:47


posted by Guest (not verified) | on Tue, 2011-03-22 14:07


I was just asking my husband to show me how to install drawer slides.  Now I can do it all on my own!  Thanks Ana, I love your new website and visit it daily!

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Tue, 2011-03-22 14:09

Very nice!

I've been thinking about doing something like this for my pots & pans. I wouldn't have thought to use 2x2s. Glad you posted this.

posted by Ulrike (not verified) | on Tue, 2011-03-22 14:19

Love these!

As always, you are awesome!

posted by Lynn Peters (not verified) | on Wed, 2011-03-23 05:12
judym's picture

Yay - something I can work on until the snow goes!

I've been wanting to work on this project for some time now, but until now did not feel confident (or have instructions as clear as yours!).  As the snow and temperatures continue to fall and fluctuate here in rural Alberta, it may still be some time yet before I can work outside.  This project is actually feasible in my small garage  ... and this is something for which I can enlist the help of my kids (who will be off for Spring Break for the next 10 days and will need activities to keep them busy!).  Thank you!

posted by judym | on Thu, 2011-03-24 14:38

Wha if top shelf is only half as deep as the bottom?

All my base cabinets have a top shelf that is half as deep as the bottom, do you think it would still work? 

posted by Sherrie Bowen (not verified) | on Fri, 2011-03-25 14:33
loniwolfe's picture


I've got a tape measurer at my side and am going to take measurements right now!

I see a new home for the lids to my pots and pans!!!

posted by loniwolfe | on Fri, 2011-03-25 17:17
amadorgirl's picture

Perfect for a re-purpose

I have a beautiful mission style entertainment center. I am considering mounting my tv on the wall and for the past 2 weeks have been trying to figure out how to refit the shelving underneath with drawers (which currently house CDS and DVD player, etc.). I am running out of DVD movie shelving elsewhere and felt like drawers here would solve my problem and I would be re-purposing a piece of furniture I love! THANK YOU!


posted by amadorgirl | on Fri, 2011-03-25 22:01

Blind Corner / Lazy Susan to come??

Ditto the above request. I soooooo need to do something with a deep, dark, corner kitchen cupboard.

I actually put an old drawer from my neighbor's kitchen remodel (they were throwing out our exact cupboards! hmmm... couldn't mean they're shabby, could it?) and just placed it on the bottom shelf. For a while I considered gluing a frame around it on the cabinet base so it would come out straight, as I saw the $25 slides and about fell over! Now I will definitely look for slides. And it's MUCH heavier than your rendition, which would work so much better. Repurposing only goes so far! ;)

Thanks for all you do, Ana.

posted by jengil_1 | on Sat, 2011-04-02 01:22


I found heavy duty drawer slides for $3 at our local Restore. Yeah!

posted by jengil_1 | on Mon, 2011-05-02 23:12

Love Habitat for Humanity's Restore :)

Me too! I love Habitat for Humanity's ReStore :)

posted by Heatherdawn | on Fri, 2011-11-25 03:04

Getting Started

Hi Ana!! I am sitting here figuring out what I need to get for my cabinet project.  I have a cut list ready to go.  But I can't seem to find the Getting Started page that you suggest reading at the beginning of the instructions.  Maybe I don't know where to look for it.  Also didn't you used to have a post about how to select wood and where to find what you're looking for?  

Anyway, I think I'll just go wander around until I find the right wood, but I love the new site.  Looks beautiful!

posted by nikiley | on Mon, 2011-04-11 09:32
armymiz's picture

On the home page

I think both of the pages you are looking for can be found on the home page. There is as drop down menu under "How To..." near the top of the page. Hope that helps! 

posted by armymiz | on Mon, 2011-04-11 11:44

drawer pull outs

I love this!!1 I need this desperately for my pots and pans drawer.

posted by debbie (not verified) | on Thu, 2011-06-16 10:33

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