IKEA Hack: DIY Over the Fridge Cabinet Organizer for Cookie Sheets and Cutting Boards
Organize the cabinet above the fridge to fit cookie sheets and cutting boards with this easy IKEA kitchen cabinet hack. These DIY over the fridge cabinet organizer dividers are removable, adjustable, and easy to customize to fit any type of cabinet.
When it comes to kitchen organization, clever storage ideas abound. For our kitchen, that means we have a baking drawer instead of a pantry of supplies and our beloved IKEA cabinets are home to rollouts that we organized with our favorite pantry containers. In this video, we’re showing you a recent IKEA kitchen cabinet hack: how to install a DIY over the fridge cabinet organizer.
DIY Over the Fridge Cabinet Organizer
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How to Make Your Own Above-Fridge Organizer
The space above the refrigerator is one of the trickiest kitchen cabinets to organize. Some opt to have no cabinet above the fridge, for open shelves or just open space for storage. We prefer to have a deep cabinet above the fridge for lots of storage space.
This easy DIY makes an organizer that stores cookie sheets, cutting boards, etc. vertically while still having space for large pots or appliances. Talk about maximizing the storage space above the fridge!
We are big fans of IKEA kitchen cabinets and have used them many times in our kitchen remodels. Often we use the components available at IKEA to organize the cabinets, too, but for this above the fridge cabinet organizer, we hacked it and DIYed an organizer to fit exactly what we wanted. Look how much we fit and how organized and accessible it all is!
Want to learn more of our secret tips and tricks for planning and installing IKEA cabinets? Leave us a comment below and let us know!
Materials & Tools
We partnered with DAP for this project to test their DAP Rapid Fuse glue, but all opinions expressed are, as always, our own.
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All you need for this vertical cabinet organizer is 3 materials:
- one 1/4″ x 4′ x 8′ sheet of 2-sided white MDF
- white edge banding (such as this)
- glue – we used (and were really impressed with) DAP Rapid Fuse glue
As you can see in the video, using double-sided MDF where both sides are pre-finished saves a lot of time! The laminate/melamine finish makes for easy cleaning, which is a bonus. We found ours at a lumber store in our area. If you can’t find a 2-sided MDF panel, a bit of paint and primer will work, too.
We were also really impressed with the Rapid Fuse adhesive from DAP that we tried for the first time on this project. A little bit of that glue really had a strong hold! I’ve used other rapid set type adhesives before, but they were 2-step glue, and having just one step for a quick strong hold was really nice for a project like this.
You’ll also need:
- a saw — a table saw workbench like mine makes it so fast, but you could also make the cuts with a circular saw or jigsaw and a miter saw
- a metal file
- an iron (thanks for letting me borrow yours, Cass!)
- nail gun and short brad nails
This IKEA cabinet hack was done at my parents’ home (see my cute mom in the video!) but you can see more of our IKEA kitchen cabinets here.
Building the Cabinet Organizer
The specific dimensions of the organizer will, of course, depend on the dimensions of your over the fridge cabinet.
The best part of this DIY cabinet organizer is that you can customize it to fit whatever size sheet pans, cake pans, cutting boards, serving trays, etc that you have. Plus, the removable dividers make it easy to adjust to accommodate if you need a larger section later as well.
We designed our over the fridge cabinet organizer with only vertical organizers, creating 6 thinner slots and one wider section for things like large pots, paper goods, etc. To fit your storage needs, you can easily install the vertical dividers across the entire width of the cabinet, too.
Dimensions of the cabinet over the fridge and the organizer
Your specific fridge cabinet will vary, so measure twice before cutting! Our IKEA cabinet over the fridge is 36″W x 20″H x 24″D.
To fit that space, my vertical dividers are 21″D x 18 3/8″H, cut from the 1/4 inch melamine sheet. There is a metal bracket along the back of the cabinet, so I left space to accommodate that rather than making the dividers the full depth of the cabinet.
For my 6 vertical partitions (to create 7 spaces), I cut 12 spacers. Each section needs a horizontal spacer at the top AND the bottom. My spacers are 21″D x 3″W, matching the depth of the vertical dividers and leaving a 3-inch space for cutting boards and cookie sheets.
Prepping the partitions and spacers
After I used my table saw (and my amazing workbench) to cut the MDF sheet to the sizes I needed, it was time to start the edge banding process. Applying edge banding to cabinet dividers is easy but time consuming. I was so grateful for the vise on my workbench that made the job so much easier!
Just cut a piece of edge banding a little wider than the edge you need to cover. Iron the banding on (be sure the iron is plugged in and turned on…) and then fold the banding at the edge and use the metal file to remove the excess by sanding the edge carefully.
Because this MDF is so thin, I was able to use a utility knife to trim the second part of the banding neatly and use that section for another piece, doubling the linear footage the banding could cover.
I only applied the banding to the edges that would be visible. It makes for a very clean and professional look to your DIY cabinet organizer! No one will ever suspect this custom job was done by YOU and not a pro.
Installing the cabinet organizer above the fridge
We installed the cabinet organizer with the IKEA kitchen cabinet in place. As we showed in the video, we started at the right side of the cabinet and installed 2 spacers, one at the top and one at the bottom of the cabinet.
I used DAP Rapid Fuse adhesive, which worked great! We also used a couple of short nails to hold the spacers in place while the glue dried, just for extra insurance and to allow us to install everything faster. In retrospect, I didn’t even really need the nails in most places because the glue dried so fast!
Then we slid in a divider and installed 2 more spacers… rinse and repeat for all the dividers.
The left-most divider is glued and nailed into place, but the other dividers just sit between the spacers. I didn’t use glue or nails on the other dividers so they are removable, leaving the cabinet organizer adjustable for wider vertical storage section later if needed.
We did this above the fridge but you could do this for any cabinet to add vertical dividers, for kitchen pans or office folders or anything that needs stored upright. Where do you need a vertical cabinet organizer like this?
More kitchen organizing ideas:
- Organizing a drawer as a pantry alternative
- Our favorite pantry containers to organize IKEA rollout shelves
- Printable custom pantry and spice labels
- DIY storage range hood from the cabinet over the stove
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We had our kitchen remodeled a few months ago. I had our cabinet maker do this to our cabinet above the fridge and it is my favorite part of my kitchen! I can store so many things up there- Bigger, bulkier items that take up so much space.
Such a big difference to the cabinet above the fridge, for sure! Thanks for the comment Jo Ann
Ikea sells a steel cookie sheet divider. Called utrusta screws into the cabinets with two screws 6.99 for a 2 pack. Cool idea but a waste of time and resources. No way all those steps are necessary for achieving organization of cookie sheets. Buy the IKEA one and do yourself a favor.
Thanks for the comment, Thomas. We’ve used those before and didn’t love them, so we prefer this — but that can be a great option if it works for you!
It turned out amazing! Useful yet good looking!
You are great! Thank you for making me laugh about the iron when you said you asked your wife if you could use her iron. “Right honey”
I’m going to go to Arkansas to try to help my sister redo her kitchen. They don’t have much money which I don’t either but she’s in bad shape healthwise and I want to do the most I can for her. You’ve given me some great ideas so I hope I can help her. Thank you for your videos.
Smart move always ask before use anything that belongs in kitchen or in your case laundry room. My husband decided to use my favorite dish brush (put in dishwasher clean don’t make anymore..) to clean pool filter…didn’t ask just used it then wondering why I was so pissed off.
Yessirree, always ask permission 🙂
I really liked the over fridge idea. Do you have any suggestions for the gap between fridge and cabinet without having to replace cabinet?
How big is the gap? I remember in a house we had, I built a quick 4″ wide shelf to hold cookie sheets. I think it had three shelves and it was about 6′ tall.
Cassity, great idea. Nicely presented and utilizing space in an organized manner that would otherwise go to waste. No greater feeling than a project well done from good plans.
OMG how ingenious! I need one of these over the fridge organisers – pinned for when I get the time to make one!
Help! I’m struggling finding the 1/4 inch double sided white MDF. Where did you get yours?
Ours was in-stock at our local Home Depot. You might have better success looking for a smaller sheet size. Best of luck!
Your video was helpful and your comments were great! Easy to follow and good info.
I’ll be back for more of your info! Thanks! PS- is that USU Aggies hat you are wearing ? 🙂
Thanks for the comment — and go Aggies! 🙂