Sunday, August 28, 2011

DIY Drawer Organizer - No tools required!

The feedback on my PB Knock-Off Letter Bin was absolutely astonishing. I want to thank you all for taking the time to send nice words my way, either via Pinterest, the tutorial on, the feature on knock-off decor , or even personal messages, sent to my inbox.

A trend that I've noticed is the WANT to recreate letter bin... but a discomfort in the plans... maybe I'll even go so far as to call it a fear. Mostly of a saw.

I was amazed by how many people responded with things like, "I'll get my husband to do it." or "I'd love to, but I'm not handy with a saw."

Not because I don't think they could do it... But because I was RIGHT THERE WITH YOU! Every single response along those lines took me back to January of 2010 (hmm... not so long ago, huh?!) when my husband bought a jig saw. When he first used the jig saw, I KNEW he was going to kill himself, and I stood nearby with a phone, waiting to call an ambulance.

You have no idea how much I wish I could say that was an exaggeration. 

No idea.

He survived, but I still wouldn't even touch the thing. And I don't want to try to coerce you into doing something you're not comfortable with. You'll get there. I have faith in you :-) And until then, I figured I'd try to do something that didn't require anything scary to create.


(who else loves looking at all the accessories than the products being sold?!)

Source: Pottery Barn

This is supposed to be a detailed shot of the Rustic Wall Organizer  - but honestly, WHO is looking at the organizer, when there is that AWESOME container made from yard sticks?!

Umm... Those teeth marks in my nightstand are "distressing," ok? It's the next big thing.. You'll want to send a teething toddler to all the furniture in your house soon. You'll see.

I created one for my nightstand months ago, but after showing you all my amazingly tidy junk drawer, I knew I needed to rethink this.

There are plans for drawer dividers out there, but they require tools. And we're keepin' it simple today. So go grab some yard sticks, glue and a box cutter, and let's get organizing!

We're gonna go from this 

To This!

To the untrained eye, this may still look like a hot-mess... but there is definitely organization goin' on in here!


Measure your drawer! I knew that I wanted a spot for all of my manuals (top left), my wash cloths (bottom left), scissors/tape/glue (bottom middle), Pens/tools (umm... bottom right middle?), fire (bottom right), and "misc" (top right). So get an idea of what sizes you might need and get to work.

An amazing benefit of working with yard sticks is that... you don't have to measure! 

To cut, score a line at the right measurement (ON BOTH SIDES). Go over it a few times to make sure you'll get a clean break.

It's a good idea to use a protected surface when scoring your stick. I, however, am not very fond of this train table....

NEXT! Line your scored line up with a corner. You're going to bend the yard stick at the weak point you just created 

Snap it quickly. In the ruler at the top of the picture... I didn't score both sides. SO MAKE SURE YOU DO!

You end up with a not-so-smooth edge (but I wouldn't call it ROUGH, really...). Just take your utility knife, make sure your fingers are out of the way, and scrape off some of the ugly.

Score, break and glue all of your pieces. The measurements are absolutely customized to what you need.

I keep a gun nearby... you know... in case the zombies come! Or until the kid comes and finds somewhere else to play with it.

You have the choice of just inserting the dividers into the drawer, or gluing them. I chose not to glue mine because they were a good, tight fit. 

So tight, in fact, that I had to bust out the rubber mallet to gently nudge it into place.

Now put everything back!!! In it's intended spot! :-)

So tell me, is this something you can do? :-) If you think you can, it'll cost under $2.


  1. Love this project--it's inspired! I don't like power tools either, but I can handle a box cutter.

  2. I love my miter saw but I'm horrible with the jigsaw. I've been looking for a drawer organizer and haven't found one with the "right" configuration. I'm going to try this.

  3. I used to work for Pottery Barn a while back and their discount is very generous. Used to be 40% off on regular priced merchandise and 20% on sale. When I left it was 40% off everything. Needless to say I spent most of my paycheck there.

  4. Katie, I really hope you'll try it (if you need organized, I mean ;-)). It was super simple (well... except waiting for the glue to dry. I'm so impatient!!!)

    Jodie, I am SO JEALOUS. I used to get coupons from PB, but it seems like they've stopped even offering them! What's up with THAT!? haha

  5. I saw this on Knock Off Decor, and can I just say "squeeee!"? I have been gazing longingly at the yardsticks at Lowe's for a couple months now, trying to justify buying another thing I have to find a home and a use for (I already have a gazillion things to measure with). Now I can go out and buy one!!! (Or two or three or...)

  6. Maura, that made me LAUGH... Only because I've SO been there! One of the best things about these yard sticks is that you can stain them and get an aged look, or spray paint them (you could fill in all the Lowe's insignia) and then get very cool-looking results!

  7. Love yard sticks and am always wanting to make something new with them... and then make them look old. Ah, to have a few really old ones. They have to be out there somewhere! Thanks for a great tutorial. I have used a steak knife to cut things in the past. Where there's a will, there's a way!

  8. OMG! I LOVE THIS PROJECT! I just asked for yard sticks on FREECYCLE! I am going to do every drawer in the house! This is an awesome idea! LOVE IT!! Now can you figure something out for me with video game storage? My son can seem to put them back in the basket I gave him.. help me! I AM SO EXCITED!!

  9. Tremendous! My junk drawer, which is about to get a makeover, thanks you!

  10. Hahahahahaha. I wish I could help with the kids not putting stuff back. *I* have that issue, too! Anyone got any good ideas? ANYONE?! :-)

  11. The is a great idea for organizing my daughter's panty drawer.

  12. Sorry typo...This is a great idea for my daughter's panty drawer.

  13. buying a yardstick tomorrow!! I hate that I have a junk drawer, but have never been able to get rid of this, so this is a great was to organize it a bit!

  14. They're a necessity. The sooner you accept that, the happier you'll be ;-)

    Ok, they may not be a necessity, but they sure do make finding everything a "home," easier!

  15. I love this, but I don't have any rulers on hand.... hhhmm, I wonder if i can do the same thing with paint stir sticks.

  16. It's perfection! So practical and easy.

  17. Paint stir sticks will work if you can cut 'em!

    Tracey- Thanks, I agree! It's made a world of difference in my drawer - my husband even puts things where they belong!!!

  18. Awesome! I have several broken yard sticks that would be great for this.

    P.S. Love the Scentsy bar! =)


  19. GREAT! Give those suckers a JOB!

    P.S. I love the scentsy bars, too :-p

  20. This is awesome! Unfortunately, I don't have a drawer I can dedicate to junk, but I'm thinking I could do this with my tween's vanity table drawer to separate all the hair & nail accessories!

    Thanks for sharing! I just pinned this on Pinterest! :)

  21. Thanks for crafting on the cheap side. I have at least 3 drawers that need a little help organizing their hot little messes! This is also a perfect way to organize shallow bathroom drawers! And a little spray paint could add some color inexpensively! Thanks again!

  22. I'm glad you'll get some use out of it! And I agree, spray paint would look awesome on these. If you want, you can even fill in the store insignia that's printed on the yard sticks and just get the measurement marks. That'd look awesome :-)

  23. This is GREAT! I have the messiest drawers and this idea is so simple. My fiance is a math teacher so we have a ton of meter sticks around the house, so this will be a more than cheap solution to cure my clutter. Thanks for sharing!

  24. @creationsandcrafts Yay! I'm glad that my messy drawers could help someone else out! :-p It really is cheap & easy!

  25. Awesome. Love it. So easy and cheap!! Thanks for sharing.


  26. This is spectacular! I have a few drawers I'm going to do this to, including my silverware drawer and my kitchen utensil drawer! That utensil drawer was going to be the death of me! Thanks for sharing!

    Karen U

  27. Please don't trim toward yourself like the photo. You might get away with it every time, or you might need the phone nearby when you slice the web between your thumb and forefinger!

  28. OMGsh!!! This is AMAZING!!!! Thanks =D

  29. I am in the process of making this right now! I love it! Question, though, how do you keep the pieces together while you glue them? I can't find our C-clamps and I'm not sure how I would attach them anyway. lol This just might be my first time attempting any type of project like this! I am excited! I just might do this for all of my utensil drawers, too!

    1. Hi Sweet Heart! YAY! You know what? I didn't clamp mine together. If I remember correctly, I put objects next to the boards to make sure they didn't fall over, but they were stable enough to stay together while the glue dried without the clamps. I'd just grab a couple books, and start from the inside and work your way out!

      Hope this helped!

  30. Great You are happy

    I have got one myself because like 10 decades. I enjoy it also, not modded as yours nevertheless.

    Currently it doesn't operate, it accelerates if heat. Brought to a neigbour of mine and he'll find a deeper look at it.

    It appears like some have had trouble with the automatic decompression valve, so does yours have that?

    Enjoy a superb day!

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