Learn how to make dresser drawer dividers for free using recycled materials you already have at home and organize your folded clothes like a pro.
If you’ve been here before, you know how much I love organization. And if you haven’t been here before, you’ll notice my obsession for tidiness real quick. One place in my house that I absolutely positively have to have neat and organized is my dresser drawers. Maybe I’m borderline OCD, but my clothes need to be put away correctly and I need to be able to see them all. One way I keep my drawers in tip-top shape is by using dividers.
Make Your Own Drawer Dividers
Sure, you can buy manufactured dividers, but more than likely you’ll have to do some cutting to make them fit. Dressers don’t really have a generic drawer size, so it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to just buy some and pop them in without doing any work. Not to mention, the ones for sale are…well…ugly. They’re plastic and plain and really cheap looking.
I guess you could splurge and buy those expandable wooden ones that cost $30 a piece, but if you’ve got that kind of money to spend on at least twenty of those puppies, you’re at the wrong blog. I’m all about doing pretty stuff on the cheap. And this project is more than cheap. It’s free.
Here’s What You Need
- Cardboard From Leftover Boxes
- Leftover Fabric From Previous Projects (or you can buy some from the clearance section)
- Fabric Scissors
Cut Off The Long Flaps Of An Old Cardboard Box
You’ll want the flaps to be somewhat the same length as you need for the drawer, with a few extra inches on each end to hold it in place.
Shape The Divider
Fold one end of the cardboard flap to the right and the other end to the left, making sure it fits snuggly in the drawer. Make sure you fold really good creases in the cardboard so you can find your creases again when it’s covered in fabric.
Related Post: DIY Fabric Lined Dishes
Cut Fabric To Size
Flatten the cardboard back out on top of the fabric and cut to size. Make sure to leave about an inch on the sides and a couple of inches at the bottom. I used leftover fabric from my DIY Fabric Lined Dishes, so I didn’t spend a dime on the whole project. Clearly I need some new fabric scissors…it’s on my shopping list, I promise!
Secure Bottom Edges
Staple the bottom edges to secure the fabric nice and tight around the cardboard, but not so tight that it causes it bow inward. Make sure you don’t staple where the fold creases are.
Start by stapling one side of the fabric as shown above. This will leave the other side of the fabric open.
Fold Other Flap Of Fabric
Fold the other side (the open flap) under to create a nice clean line along the edge of the cardboard.
Secure Open Edge
Staple the folded edge closed. Then repeat the process on the other end of the cardboard.
Check Fit And Make More As Needed
Make sure the folds are correct and put the divider in place. You can put your clothes in as you go so you can be sure the dividers are spaced right.
Related Post: DIY Fabric Scrap Garland
File Fold Shirts and Shorts
To maximize space and save time looking for the right piece of clothing, you should use the file folding method. It’s so much easier to see what you have and your drawers will be so much neater. For a full tutorial on file folding, check out this post I wrote.
The dividers work wonders, and they really do look awesome. Not a bad way to spend a rainy afternoon if you ask me. You can also customize the fabric for each drawer or family member. Kids love picking out a fun pattern and it may make them more inclined to keep their drawers neat. (Hey, I said it “may”)
Related Post: How To Fold Clothes Like A Retail Pro
Are You Folding Clothes The Right Way?
This post will break down how to fold shirts and pants the right way, as well as that cool file fold trick I showed off in this tutorial.
Still Have Leftover Fabric?
Check out these other projects I’ve done that only require a little bit of fabric and you can knock out the rest of those leftovers.
Fabric Scrap Garland | Fabric Lined Dishes | Fabric Scrap Wreath
Denise Matthew says
I love it and I do have all the supplies and will be making this! Thxs for sharing
Brad Gandy says
You’ll love them, Denise! They’ll make getting dressed and storing laundry so much faster.
I love this idea! And I think I’ll have to try it out because I can’t find any dividers that fit my drawer!
Brad - Admin says
Always glad to help, Nikki! And those dividers are so helpful. Not only do they make getting dressed easier in the mornings, but you’ll realize how many clothes you actually have, and that gives anybody confidence no matter what they’re wearing.
How durable have these ended up being for you? Do you find that the cardboard has bent out of shape and become useless over time? I think that with taking the clothes in and out, it would cause it the flex too much and make it lose its structural integrity. Do you find that to be the case?
Lela Burris says
Hi Jen! I’m actually still using the original ones with no damage at all. But I think it’s because I have the clothes folded towards the front of the drawer instead of towards the dividers. The only time they ever move is when the drawer is almost empty, but I’m really impressed with how well they’ve held up. I definitely suggest using a good sturdy box lid like a moving box, though.
Kelly Savage says
I love your DIY Divider Drawer post! Everyone is talking about the Netflix “Tidying Up with Arie Kondo ” You take her drawer organization a step further and I was always wondering how to keep the clothes in place and organized when you have less clothes in them, and not falling over.
Your divider idea is simple, inexpensive and answers my question. Kudo’s to you! and I can’t wait to try it.
Lela Burris says
Thank you! You’re right, it does work really well in holding them in place. I’ve been file-folding for over ten years now and I swear by it! You can actually buy dividers for that, but these are nice and soft so they won’t snag any of your clothes. And they’re free if you’ve got leftover fabric and boxes hanging around! Score! Thanks so much for your comment Kelly!