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DIY Drawer Organizers with Upcycled Boxes

Let’s say you have a drawer you need to organize. You could buy fancy drawer organizers, or you could make them yourself. We show you how to make simple DIY drawer organizers from recycled boxes right here.

Decorated shoe boxes, cereal boxes, or even electronic boxes make perfect drawer organizers. Contact paper, scrap paper… Just take a look around you and you will see what you can reuse, repurpose, and upcycle!

In this tutorial, I will show you how to be creative with what you have and just buy what’s needed so you get this project done on a budget.

I’ve mentioned in the past that I love keeping things organized and that I love boxes. When I saw this idea on The Thinking Closet where she was upcycling boxes, I got a super inspiration to upcycle a bunch of boxes that I had around the house to keep my drawers organized =D.

You might also love these other organization ideas: How to Keep Your Home OrganizedUpcycled organizing box for ribbons and tapes, and DIY Drawer Dividers for Desk Organizing (+Tips and Tricks).

An open drawer with diy drawer organizers made with upcycled boxes

How to Upcycle Boxes to make Drawer Organizers

When you have a specific place for each thing or group of similar things, it is easy to keep the organization.  I love to have things handy and when I get that level of organization I usually keep it.

Today I thought I would share with you how I made these super easy and (probably) FREE drawer organizers to hold my office supplies. This table I have has great size but I still needed a way to organize all those small items that end up all mixed up in the drawers.

I had just tossed everything and anything into those drawers turning them into my personal junk drawer. I could never find a thing in there and sometimes I bought things I already had but didn’t remember.

How do you organize a desk drawer?

Before even starting organizing, we need to create an efficient storage system for your desk. For this let’s break the steps so it’s easier to digest.

  • Evaluate your space, what’s your available space, what do you have, what do you really need.
  • Prioritize the top drawer. Set here only what is most important and that you use every day.
  • Create pretty organizers.
  • Smartly fill each drawer.
  • Keep things organized, if you don’t create a mess you won’t need to organize again.
  • Don’t be scared of empty spaces. Empty space is good too.
  • Find new ways to organize and stay organized.

To get organized on a budget, make use first of what you already have. Things that might otherwise end up in the trash or recycling, so you’re saving the planet as well.

For years I have been gathering and collecting all kinds of boxes, cereal, shoes, those that come when someone gets a new phone or iPad, and some of them I was already using to store things like mini markers, pen drives, paperclips.

The boxes are the perfect size for most drawers and sturdy enough to work well for organizing.

Lauren shared a great idea to keep craft drawers organized saving money, you can see her post HERE for more details. I also love how I Heart Organizing organized her drawers.

I figured I could use those boxes would look a little more fun with contact paper and some scrap of felt added to the bottom pop for color and protection so they would also work well with the decor I had in mind.

Here I’m sharing how I made it. It didn’t turn out as I wanted since the contact paper I chose wasn’t the best. It was not sticky enough so it was hard to make it stay straight. I would give it a try again with some better contact paper.

What else besides cardboard boxes can I use for drawer organizers?

I can think of a gazillion things but I have only experience with two, cardstock and cardboard boxes. You can use cardstock or pieces of cardboard to create your own dividers. Anything less heavy than cover cardstock might not hold for long so I suggest thick/heavy materials.

But the truth is, dividers can be made out of anything. It will depend on your skills and how perfectionist you are.

Where can these DIY drawer organizers be use?

Pretty much any drawer. If you find strong cardboard boxes, you can use them in your kid’s drawers, dresser drawers, your utensil drawer. Just make sure wherever you use them if they will get in contact with humidity, water, or way too heavy things that might damage your dividers reinforce them.

These drawer organizers can also be used as magazine holders, craft supplies storage among other storage ideas.

What can I use to cover the cardstock boxes?

OMG, I could talk about this forever LOL. You can go from leftover wrapping paper using the decoupage technique, to any type of contact paper that you love. Use fabric with either decoupage or just mod podge, or glue. You can make fun eclectic collages from photos, magazine cutouts, printed digital paper, cute paper napkins, etc.

Anything that could be glued to the boxes and fun ideas will work and will make them such attractive storage solutions.

How to make these DIY Drawer Organizers

I liked the final result. It was so satisfying getting all my stuff organized and handy =D.

I completely forgot to take the “before” picture but if you have an office drawer you know how it could have been LOL.

So, here it is, I hope you like it.

DIY drawers organizers Supplies:

  • Different cardboard boxes
  • Contact paper
  • Felt
  • Hot glue gun
  • Pencil or sharpie, ruler and scissors or knife.
cereal, cookies, and electronic boxes to make DIY Drawer Organizers


Before we begin with the full instructions, be sure to follow us on PinterestFacebookInstagram, and YouTube, and also sign up for our email list (at the end of this post), so you’ll never miss a post!

Measuring and Cutting

The first thing I did was cut all the boxes to the same height. Once I had my desired location for each of the boxes, I used the drawer as a guide to mark the height around each edge of each box then started cutting them.

measuring and tracing the heights of the boxes
Cutting the boxes to the desired height with a knife
All boxes cut and ready to be covered.

Wrapping and decorating

Once I had them all cut, I wrapped every box inside and outside with two different contact papers. Use your favorite patterns and mix and match.

first coardboard box wrapped in contact paper

Then I cut some felt to put in the bottom of the boxes. I glued the felt with hot glue.

several boxes wrapped with contact paper to make the DIY Drawer Organizers
putting a piece of felt at the bottom

The upcycled boxed drawer organizers are ready.

All DIY Drawer Organizers wrapped and ready for the drawer

Organizing the drawer

Then what I had to do is just make them fit into the drawer it’s fun because you can play around with the drawer organizers like a puzzle =D.

Once I was happy with the placement,  I purged, put things back where they belonged and the rest of the items found themselves in their new upcycled box drawer organizers.

Upcycled Box DIY Drawer Organizers all in use inside the drawer.

There you go! One organized drawer with your own cardboard drawer dividers.

Drawer ready with the DIY Drawer Organizers

Oh, happy day!  No more messy drawer!

The best kind of organization is the simple one, and when it’s free, it’s even better! So start collecting all those boxes, they could be useful in so many spaces, you could use them in a children’s desk or drawers, or even in bathroom drawers, so many possibilities!

Happy organizing everyone!!!

What do you think? have you ever upcycled boxes to create drawers organizers before?

Tell me all about it in comments!

If you found this DIY Drawer Organizers tutorial helpful, don’t forget to PIN and share it with friends

Learn how to Upcycle Boxes for DIY Drawer Organizers Pinterest Image

If you enjoyed this Organization idea, you might also love these too:

DIY Drawer Dividers for Desk Organizing (Tips and Tricks)
DIY Upcycled Crate Jewelry Organizer
15 Clever and Inexpensive Drawer Organization Ideas for you

Til' next time...

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  1. Congratulations! This post is going to be featured over at Diana Rambles tomorrow and has been pinned in the Featured at Diana Rambles board at Pinterest, Tweeted, and Recommended on G+. Please grab a featured button off my sidebar or via the link under the features. Thanks for sharing this awesome idea!

    1. WOOHOOOOO How exciting Diana! Thanks so much. I’m sure stopping by later! Also thanks for visiting and leaving some love!

  2. Hi Camila – This is a great idea! I’ve done this a little bit in the past, but have really gotten away from it – this is a great reminder to start using this strategy again. Thanks so much for sharing with the Let’s Get Real party. This is going to be my featured post at this week’s party.

    1. Awwww that’s so sweet of you! Thanks so much for the feature and for taking the time to stop by and leave some love!!!

    1. Yayyy Thanks so much for featuring my drawers LOL. Yes it’s an old one. I usually bring it out my old posts so they don’t get too dusty LOL
      Thanks again!

  3. Great post, Cami! I love to organize ~ and recycle.
    Thank you for sharing your post this week at Brag About It Link Party on VMG206. I’m featuring you at Next Weeks Brag About It Link Party, Monday at midnight!
    ~ Megin of VMG206

  4. You mean it is actually possible to keep drawers organized?!? What a great idea, I never would have thought of it but I am totally gonna use it! Thanks for linking up to Snickerdoodle Sunday! Can’t wait to see what you have for us next week! – Kristina

    1. LOL yeah it is. I don’t know how long it would last though LOL. In my case I made it last until I moved but you know we always move things around but it does help a lot!!!

      Thanks so much for our sweet visit!

  5. This is my kind of organization! I always hold on to boxes because I know they will come in handy at some point! Contact paper is a new idea for me! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks so much Ashley, Boxes are always a great solution for organization and it’s always good to re/up-cycle right! Thanks so much for stoping by!

    1. Thanks so much Leigh, I love it. I’m already saving some more boxes to organize some other drawers LOL. Glad you like this!

    1. Thanks so much Sinea, always good to have you around. Glad you like it!!!


    1. Thanks so much Sarah! organization is my obssetion! LOL I can’t help myself!


  6. Denise and I love to have a place for everything and these little boxes are perfect! Thanks for sharing the tutorial. (Sharon)

    So glad you linked up with us at the BeBetsy BRAG ABOUT IT Link and Hop.

    Thanks for allowing us to add a link-back to BeBetsy!

    Have a great weekend~xo
    Sharon and Denise!

    1. Thanks so much Sharon, I’m always happy to have you here and the most thatyou like it and that it inspired you!!!


  7. LOVE your idea! I reuse cereal boxes for so many things but hadn’t even thought of this! Its a must do!

    1. Awesome isn’t it? It’s so good to reuse, upcycle and recycle! Thanks so much Heather!


  8. I think this is great! You could use wrapping paper or scrapbooking paper, too, and just tape it on, I guess. I might do this in my top dresser drawer, to organize socks. Thanks for the great idea! -Dawn

    1. Awesome ideas! yes possibilities are endless, the best part it that each one is unique! Thanks so much for stopping by Dawn!


    1. Thanks so much, I’m so glad you like it! I love organization too! I’m a bit obsessed LOL!!!


    1. Thanks so much Linda. I’ll be there next weekend!!! have a wonderful week!!


  9. This turned out great, Camila! I’m so glad you found inspiration from my post. In fact, I’m working on a Reader Showcase Post, and I’d love to feature this. You’ve given me some inspiration with felt in the bottom of the boxes. I might have to try that next time I make some. Well done!

    The Thinking Closet

    1. Hey Camila! Just wanted to let you know I featured this project in my Reader Showcase post today. Thanks for being so awesome! Feel free to stop by to check it out and grab a featured button whenever life permits.

      Reader Showcase: Spring 2013

      The Thinking Closet

  10. I did that a while ago in my junk drawer. But I didn’t measure any of the heights of the boxes and I didn’t make it pretty with contact paper. So I might have to go back and improve things.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment. Glad that some of my tips could help you a bit!!! yayy!


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