February 18, 2013

How to Add Interior Drawers to Kitchen Cabinets

Ohhh yeaaa. You know what time it is. The long awaited, oh so intriguing drawer tutorial. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, we’re about to get crazy up in here with step-by-step instructions on how we added interior drawers to our kitchen cabinets.

For the rest of our kitchen organization process visit here, here, and here

But first, a little history. Last time I touched on this I mentioned looking into buying Ikea’s drawers. We have Ikea cabinets so it only made sense to buy the interior fittings that they offered. Except, when we had it priced out we discovered that it would run us around $200 for the first cabinet and it wasn’t even possible for the pantry cabinet. Umm. What? No.

So, we opted to make them ourselves :)

Add Interior Drawers to Kitchen Cabinets | Cape27Blog.com

Let’s break these babies down.

Yep, I’m about to go all Ana White on you. I’m not even addressing the possibly that you may not know who that is. Time to come out from underneath the rocks people. Oh heyyyy, there you are :)

Make Interior Drawers for Kitchen Cabinets | Cape27Blog.com

We didn’t take any real-life photos of the process (bad blogger, bad), so I’ve resorted to Google Sketchup to help us out. It may be easier to understand anyway. I’ll do my best :)

Alrighty. Good to know – The inside of the cabinet we were working with (a tall pantry cab) measured 28″ W x 24″D, so you’ll need to make adjustments to your measurements accordingly. Our finished product measured 25 3/4″ W x 23″D x 6″H.

Make Interior Drawers for Kitchen Cabinets | Cape27Blog.com

If you explode the drawer a bit, you can see that it’s really just a simple box. The entire structure was made from 1/2″ plywood, strong enough to support the contents but light enough not to weight down the drawer slides (more on that in a sec). Rick made all the cuts before assembling anything, and then used a pilot bit with a counter sink and wood screws to combine the pieces. Patience is key here. The wood isn’t very thick, so you’ll want to make sure the screws go in as straight as possible to prevent the wood from splintering.

Make Interior Drawers for Kitchen Cabinets | Cape27Blog.com

Once the box was assembled he filled all the holes with wood putty, and sanded the entire piece with a 120 grit orbital sander for a super smooth finish. We choose to paint our drawers white with Sherwin Williams Pro Classic (leftover trim paint from the kitchen) but a fun pop of color or a wood stain would look really nice too!

Next up drawer slides. You’ll want to purchase these before you even begin to think about measurements of the drawers. And please, don’t cheap out on these. There’s nothing worse than beautiful drawers that won’t open and close properly or fall off the track every time you use them. Ugh. Trust me. The instructions included with ours provided the exact amount of space that they would require, width wise. So it was more of less just a little math.

In order to allow clearance for the drawers to be pulled out without interfering with the doors on the cabinets, we added 1×2′s between the drawer slides and the cabinet base. Very important step if you want your drawers to actually open :)

Make Interior Drawers for Kitchen Cabinets | Cape27Blog.com

We used some leftover 1×2′s for this step. See that empty space between the drawer and the yellow 1×2? That’s where the drawer slides will live.

Make Interior Drawers for Kitchen Cabinets | Cape27Blog.com

We also added a few notched out pull handles in our drawers. Again, super easy. Rick just made a few measurements (our handles measure about 5 1/2″ at the widest point) and used a jigsaw to make the cuts. Definitely not necessary, but it was something that made the drawers feel a little more custom for us and less like a giant box :)

Are you still with me? Any kitchen organization going on with you guys? Anyone inspired to get out there and build some drawers? Or did I just bore you to death with numbers? Ha :)

SHARE THIS

16 thoughts on “How to Add Interior Drawers to Kitchen Cabinets

  1. Pingback: Organizing the Kitchen (part two) | Cape 27

  2. Tamie

    Amazing! I don’t think I would even think of that! Please please please tell me you have a tutorial coming up soon for how your did your beautiful valance. It’s no-sew, right, because I can barely sew on a button! I am in desperate need to make a valance in my kitchen and in my master bath to add some color and texture to those spaces. I’ve been on the hunt for fabric but it’s so expensive and I’m not sure if a yard is enough, etc. Where did you get your fabric?! It’s gorgeous!
    Loving your IKEA kitchen! Keep the posts coming! =)

    Reply
    1. Jessie R. Post author

      We had planned to have a tutorial on the no-sew window treatment, but considering we basically used another blogger’s tutorial 100% we’re thinking of skipping it. You should have everything you need right here! She does a great job walking you through it step by step. The fabric is from here. Hope that helps!

      xo,
      Jessie

      Reply
      1. Tamie

        It does! Thank you so much! Great fabric options on that page! I can’t wait to get started! Did you just buy 1 yard? My window looks to be the same size as yours.

        Reply
  3. Lelia

    Looks great! Two questions, where did you get the sliders, and how did you attach the 1×2 to the inside of the cabinet base?

    Thanks for the tutorial!

    Reply
    1. Jessie R. Post author

      Thanks, Leila!

      The drawer slides were from Lowes, can’t seem to find a link, but they were a middle grade option. Not the most expensive ones (which had the catch on them to prevent slamming drawers) but the grade just below those. And the 1×2′s are just screwed into the cabinet base. Hope that helps!

      xo,
      Jessie

      Reply
  4. Annie

    These are great! Do you have a link to which drawer slides you used? I’m curious what that total cost per drawer might be. And did you attach the 1x2s to the drawer or to the cabinet?

    Reply
    1. Jessie R. Post author

      Can’t find a link, but the drawer slides were from Lowes. The 1×2′s are attached to the cabinet and the drawer slides. Hope that clears any confusions up :)

      xo,
      Jessie

      Reply
    1. Jessie R. Post author

      I’d have to look into the drawer slides, but I remember it being relatively high. You can get all of this info on the drawer slide packaging, so really it’s just a matter of which ones you choose to buy.

      xo,
      Jessie

      Reply
  5. Chaney

    Wow, this is great!! Thanks for doing this tutorial. Though I’m a renter now (and can’t do anything like this to our kitchen…), I’m pinning it so I can refer to it someday when we have our own kitchen to redo!

    Reply
  6. Julia

    Hi Jessie! I found you on pinterest, though I remember hearing about you from young house love as well. I love your kitchen, and we are in the process of building our own home (having a dried-in shell built for us, and then doing all the interior walls and finishing ourselves,hello biting off more than we can chew… I have a VERY handy hubby but I still worry about the scope of work, and hopefully it will be finished sometime in the next decade lol) and using their cabinets for the kitchen (and the dining room,the living room, laundry room and maybe bathrooms lol). We picked the lidi doors, a tad bit more traditional, and are going with black granite counters, but otherwise our kitchen will be very similar. I am currently in the finishing stages of deciding what will go where inside our U shaped kitchen, and I have a question. I know you love your ikea cabinets (I was happily surprised by their great quality), but I’m curious about one thing (well a lot more than that, but I’ll try to be succinct). I am choosing to put drawers instead of lower cabinets in almost every location, because I like the functionality of drawers so much, and would rather not have to open a cupboard door and then pull outa drawer. It also is cheaper than door bases with drawer insets. Did you not want lower drawers, or are you only putting in pullout drawers on your full height cabinets? Because we have basically a blank box right now I am trying to be very conscious of what goes where to maximize my usable storage. Were there places you prefered doors to drawers, or things you wanted to store in cupboards rather than doors? Thanks so much forreading my novel :) and for any comments you want to offer re: your ikea cabinetry and kitchen storage options.You have a beautiful home! PS we’re also stealing your craftsman trim :)

    Reply
    1. Jessie R. Post author

      Hi Julia! We would have used the lower cabinet drawers everywhere if we could go back and change things now. We used a few of them to the right of the range and love the ease. We thought that a few lower cabinets with basic doors and shelves would be appropriate in other areas, but we lived and learned. If I could do it all over again, I’d go ALL drawers in the base cabs and only use shelves for the upper cabs. Oh, with the exception of a cabinet for baking sheets. I love my regular cabinet for those. Hope that helps and good luck with your kitchen!

      xo,
      Jessie

      Reply
  7. Judy Battenberg

    I’m curious as to the type of wood. I know you said 1/2″ plywood – but anything more special than that abou the type? I’m ready to start building mine. Like you, I’ve checked into having them done as well as buying the pre-fab type from IKEA – but that cost would be astonomical.

    Reply

Leave a Reply