Pull-out Cabinet Drawers

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About This Project


Inspired by Ana's Pull-out Cabinet Drawer Organizer I made pull-out drawers for all of my lower cabinets and for my pantry cabinet. My pantry cabinet is 22" deep which makes it very easy to eventually come across soup that expired four years ago, or to find three bags of sugar when I thought I was out. The pull-out drawers make it so easy to access and organize everything in the cabinets. Absolutely love them! In the organizing spirit I also made spice racks for the cabinet doors and hangers for measuring cups/spoons. The hardest part for me was installing the drawer slides - they have to line up perfectly!

Required Skill Level: 
Starter Project
Finish Used: 
Minwax Early American, General Finishes Satin Arm-R-Seal. I used Minwax Wood Conditioner before staining to avoid splotches.


Looks great! I've been thinking of doing the same thing myself, I just need to get motivated and convince myself that I won't be "destroying" my kitchen cabinets if I screw in a few drawer slides.

Not only will you not be destroying them - you will be amazed at the increased organization and convenience! Putting away/getting out dishes and pans is so much easier and organizing the pantry is awesome!

Just one bit of advice for future projects, concerning drawer construction. It's better to have the sides come out to the front, rather than stop at the drawer front, and run the screws/pins through the side and into the front.

Another option, if you own a router, table saw or rabbet plane, is to cut a rabbet into the fronts and pin or screw through there, so you still show a solid front, but have the security of pinning through the sides.

I have a large pantry cabinet like the one in the photo and I have a cabinet with a foldable door like yours. I've been wanting cabinet drawers for a while. Your photos give me inspiration and motivation to start building.

I am so going to do this. But, I need some kind of a plan to go by. None of the links take me to any plans. If anyone knows the link, please post them.

Teresa, there's no way to make useful plans for this, because your cabinets are most likely a different size than the original builder's cabinets. That doesn't mean you can't build these though.

The hanging hook racks are trivial. Cut a strip slightly less than the width of the opening in the cabinet face frame, attach hooks as desired, and then attack to the doors, making sure to mount them level and inside the opening.

Drawers are slightly more involved, but not much. Buy the drawer slides first, because they will determine how much clearance you need. Typical clearance is 1/2" on each side, for a total of 1", but there's no solid rule.

Once you have the slides, build a set of boxes as deep as your cabinets and as wide, minus the necessary clearance. There are plenty of different ways to build drawers. Any good furniture construction book will discuss ways to do it. There is even a whole book on the topic.

You'll mount the slides and then put the drawers in. Kreg makes a nice jig you can use to mount the drawer glides. You can order the jig and the glides from Rockler.

Thanks for the advice. I have just purchased the Kreg master kit and can hardly wait to get started on this. Although hubby has told me first I had to build him a set of corner shelves for his collection. This will be my first project with drawers so I am a bit apprehensive, but still going to try.
I do have one more question though. My cabinet drawers seem to not have alot of support. You can push down on the center and it gives. Should I take those out and reinforce them before I start?
Thanks to everyone here, as there always seems to be someone willing to help out, and also thanks to Ana for this site.

A lot of commercial drawer bottoms are made out of very cheap material. You can make better bottoms out of hardboard or luan, and if the drawers are going to be holding heavier items like pans, you can build bottoms out of 1/4" plywood.

It's very hard to change the bottoms out of an existing drawer. For a strong drawer bottom, it needs to ride in a groove on the sides and front. If the existing bottoms ride in grooves on the three sides, you can probably pull the securing nail out of the back and replace the existing bottom, if you have replacement material that will fit in the existing groove. Otherwise, you'll need to build a new drawer with grooves sized for the bottoms you have.

Teresa -
I don't know why the link above doesn't work, but if you will go to Ana's home page and do a search for Wood Pullout Cabinet Drawer Organizer, that is the basic plan that I used, just changing the measurements to fit my cabinets. They were very easy to make, the hardest part being sure to get the drawer slides even on both the drawer and the cabinet, but that just takes patience and adjusting. Good luck with it - you can do it!

@Sarah - I saw where you had a question about the price of making the cabinet drawers. I have seen them priced anywhere from $35 a drawer on up. Most of mine are made of 1x4's and the pricing is as follows. A 1x4x8 at my local lumber yard is $3.29 and that will make one drawer. A sheet of 4x8 1/4" luan is $11.49 and that will make bottoms for 8 drawers. A 2x2x8 is less than $2.00 and that will make rails for the slides for 2 drawers, so that would be about $6.00 for one drawer plus $6.00 for the slides, total of $12.00. On the drawers for my pots and pans or anything heavy I used 3/8" plywood which would be slightly higher. Hope this helps!

We're having a modular built and it will have a pantry 18" wide without sliding shelves. I think I want to add at least a few sliding shelves for it like you did here. thanks for the inspiration!