How to Build a Silverware Drawer Organizer the EASY Way!

Want to build a silverware drawer organizer to fix your cluttered silverware drawer? Well, then, I’m going to teach you how to build a custom kitchen drawer organizer that takes a few hours and uses only basic tools. If you don’t want to spend money on expensive drawer dividers, keep reading for step-by-step instructions.

silverware drawer

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Professional organizers have had a windfall of opportunities in the last several years. People are tired of their batteries, hair ties, and receipts sharing a drawer in the kitchen with 475 other items without connection. There are many organization products on Amazon, but in my experience, I always own something that doesn’t quite fit. So, I figured out a way to build a completely custom silverware drawer organizer. The dividers are less costly than what could be found online, and, in my opinion, look much classier than the typical plastic organizers. And they can be made for every drawer in the house!


1/4 in x 2 ft x 4 ft Sande Plywood
1 1/4 inch Brad Nails
Wood Glue


Nail Gun
Tape Measure
Miter Saw
Table Saw

Prepping to Build a Silverware Drawer Organizer

The first thing I did was dump and wipe out my drawers. This was the perfect time to get rid of mismatched silverware and takeout chopsticks I think I’ll use but never do. This drawer has a little bit of everything. In my defense, we had just moved, and I hadn’t had a chance to establish my new system yet.

messy silverware drawer

How to Cut a False Bottom For The Kitchen Drawer

The next step to build a silverware drawer organizer is to measure the drawer’s width and depth. I used these measurements to cut a false bottom on my table saw. I cut mine to be about 1/8″ smaller on two sides than the bottom of my drawer so it’s not too snug that you can’t get it in easily but also won’t be so loose that it shifts easily.

I could have nailed the partitions to the bottom of the drawer, but a false bottom prevents things from sliding underneath the partitions when you build a silverware drawer organizer like those pesky butter knives. Plus, this makes it more renter-friendly if you don’t own the home.

Arranging the Kitchen Drawer Organizer Shape

My goal was to get the most real estate out of my drawers, so it took a bit of puzzling to make everything fit.

Some items need to be placed horizontally. While figuring out the spacing, I staggered/offset the areas from one another. This helps when securing the dividers together. But you do whatever you want; there’s more than one way to build a silverware drawer organizer.

How to Cut Drawer Dividers

When the dividers stand up, you don’t want them to be as tall as your drawer. I cut mine 1 inch shorter than my drawer so everything will fit when putting the dividers back in, and also so I’ll be able to reach over dividers for other items. Mine ended up being 1 3/4″ tall. For super skinny items like silverware, it’s a good idea to go even a little shorter so you can fit your fingers in there to grab them out. My silverware dividers were 1 1/2″ tall. I cut my plywood into a bunch of long strips with my table saw.

Next, I measured the drawer dividers and cut the long plywood pieces into smaller pieces with a miter saw.

Then I dry fit the dividers, making sure I liked the setup enough to commit.

How to Secure the Drawer Dividers

Next, take a pencil and outline the divider pieces on the false bottom. I used a ruler to make sure the lines were straight.

I started with the horizontal dividers and applied a thin line of wood glue along the bottom edge. Then, while holding it in place, I came up underneath and shot several nails into the dividers. I did the same with the vertical dividers.

After everything was secured at the bottom, I shot 1 – 2 nails into the sides of each divider piece.

As an alternative, you can use a heavy-duty stapler and wood glue – OR – just a regular old hot glue gun with some good sturdy glue like Gorilla Glue.

Then I slid the entire piece into the drawer, and it was time for the real fun to begin!

Now Go Build a Silverware Drawer Organizer!

I love that these can easily be removed and turned upside down over the trash can. It’s a mystery why there are always crumbs in the silverware drawer if the silverware is clean. Stay tuned for a post on how I made this super easy custom knife block!

knife block in a silverware drawer organizer
How to build a silverware drawer organizer

I love it when a project can combine my love for DIY and my desire to be organized. I’ve been on a kick lately and finished projects that organized my spice cabinet, created pullouts in my cabinets for my glassware and my trash cans, and converted a lazy suzan in my corner cabinet to permanent shelves. Stay tuned for those posts!

If you liked this post or plan to build a silverware drawer organizer, comment and tell me how it went!

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