DIY Upright Utensil Drawer Organizer

Since the beginning of Pinterest (which really wasn’t that long ago, but pre-Pinterest may as well be the age of the dinosaurs, ha!), there have been plenty of ideas that just go wild because they are so smart! One that I have seen over and over again is a utensil drawer organizer, with organizers turned vertically so that you can actually see all the utensils in the drawer. It’s everywhere because it’s brilliant, but typically the pictures are from a home show or builder’s website — and they are high-end upgrades for luxury homes, not found in older homes or the builder-grade homes that most of us live in. But, our brilliant guest today  got the same look, for a fraction of the price — and it’s removable for easy cleaning, or if you decide you want to use the drawer for something else! 
how to turn a deep drawer into an organized utensil drawer, Queen Bee of Honey Dos on @Remodelaholic

vertical utensil storage drawer
Read below for Rachel’s tutorial on building your own upright utensil organizer in a deep drawer, and consider making your kitchen work smarter (not just harder) with these other space-saving “luxury” (on a budget!) ideas:
How to create a Custom Storage Range Hood via @Remodelaholic #kitchenstorage #whitekitchen #DIYkitchen #rangehood
build a chic range hood with storage 
Organizing Kitchen Cabinets - use pull-out cabinets with tiered organizers to tidy up under the sink
smart cabinet pull-out ideas — full DIY tutorial here
update builder grade kitchen cabinets with a plate rack cabinet and storage shelf and crown molding
built-in plate rack
side of cabinet spice rack, Confessions of a Serial DIYer on Remodelaholic
slim space-saving spice rack

Ready to make your kitchen completely beautiful and functional and amazing while still staying true to your budget? You’re going to love Rachel’s utensil drawer organizer!

Give your kitchen high-end upgrade by creating your own utensil drawer organizer. It only takes a few minutes and a few supplies to convert a deep drawer!

 This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. See our full disclosure here.

How to Build an Upright Utensil Drawer Organizer
by Rachel Lynn from Queen Bee of Honey Dos

Beautiful white kitchen -- and those drawers have amazing utensil and plate organizers!

Hello Remodelaholics! This is Rachel Lynn from over at Queen Bee of Honey Dos, where I blog about all things home and garden. I am so very excited to be able to be with you all today, and to bring you one of my favorite DIY projects.

For those of you who do not yet know me, allow me just a few seconds to better introduce myself. I have an affinity for DIY projects, and the bigger the impact for the lowest budget that I can achieve, the better. I came into blogging after spending a few decades of remodeling and designing my own rooms and projects. I especially love creating furniture, either from scratch, or from old unused pieces that just need some love. (Like this beautiful sideboard)

As you can see from my kitchen, I am a drawer lover. In fact, this entire lower side of my kitchen has all drawers and pull-outs. Today, I am going to show you how I turned one of these deep drawers into a useable utensil storage space. So, let’s get right to it!

Because there are deep drawers on both sides of my cooktop, this is the best place to store all of the cooking utensils. However, I hate shuffling around through drawers, searching for a spatula or a spoon. I needed a solution, and I knew just what I wanted. I had seen something similar to this once during a kitchen showroom tour. I knew then that I would recreate what I saw at some point, and this seemed like as good a time as any. You’ll be surprised at how easy it was!

How to create this deep drawer utensil organizer

how to turn a deep drawer into an organized utensil drawer

This is where the drawer is located in reference to my cooktop. And because I know from experience that some of you want to know the brands for the appliances, I will disclose that information to you now.

Those are Thermador Pro double ovens. The gas cooktop is also by Thermador. It is from their Pro line as well, and has the griddle center.

The cabinets came from Batesville Cabinets in Mississippi. ( I am not affiliated with either company in any way, and disclose this for informational purposes only). The design is my own.


Materials for this project

  • (2) 2X 1/2″ strips cut to cabinet length
  • 1/2″ sanded plywood or MDF cut to length and width for the inside of the drawer. (Leave 1/8″ on each side)
  • Stainless steel utensil holders with lips. (These can easily be found at Amazon or Ebay).
  • 1″ wood screws
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill

Step 1 – Measure

To get the placement for the ledger strips, measure the depth of the utensil holders, subtract the width of the ledger strips and the width of the plywood. For example: My holders are 5″ from the bottom to the lip, my plywood is 1/2″ thick and my ledgers are 1 3/4″ wide. So, 5 – (1/2 + 1 3/4) = 2 3/4. The bottom edge of the ledger strip will rest 2 3/4″ from the bottom of the drawer. Let’s round that off and make it an even 3.”

kitchen utensil drawer organizer diy how to make step 2, Queen Bee of Honey Dos @remodelaholic

Step 2 – Attach ledger strips/supports

To attach the ledger strips, I will use a scrap piece of wood that is 3″ across as a spacer. This will help to keep it in place and level until the screws are inserted.

Step 3 – Attach supports

Next, pre drill a hole at each end of the ledger strip to prevent splitting. Then, insert a 1″ screw into each hole. Repeat the process for the opposite side of the drawer.

kitchen utensil drawer organizer diy how to make step 3, Queen Bee of Honey Dos @remodelaholic

Step 4 – Determine utensil holder placement

Trace the outline of the utensil holders onto the plywood in the layout that is desirable. On mine, I evenly distributed all six stainless steel holders.

 kitchen utensil drawer organizer diy how to make step 4, Queen Bee of Honey Dos @remodelaholic

Step 5 – Cut

Drill a starting hole for each circle and then, use a jigsaw to cut the opening for the holders. When, making the cut stay about 1/4″ on the inside of the traced line so that the edge of the holders have a ledge to rest. Test the holders for fit.

Tip: when using a jigsaw, place the visible side of the wood down so that any splintering will not be seen. 

kitchen utensil drawer organizer diy how to make step 5, Queen Bee of Honey Dos @remodelaholic

kitchen utensil drawer organizer diy how to make step 5a, Queen Bee of Honey Dos @remodelaholic

This is the back side of my wood after all six holes have been cut. As you can see, the holes do not have to be perfect, and thank goodness for that. 😉

kitchen utensil drawer organizer diy how to make step 5c, Queen Bee of Honey Dos @remodelaholic

Step 6 – Finish

Paint or apply finish of choice to plywood. I suggest doing this; otherwise, cleaning will be difficult. The wood that I used was a left over piece that was cut from the vent hood when the vent was installed. So, it already had a finish on it. However, I often use polycrylic for things like this.

minwax polycrylic gloss


DIY kitchen utensil drawer organizer upright utensils deep drawer tutorial, Queen Bee of Honey Dos on @Remodelaholic

Step 6: Put it together

Finally, drop the plywood in place. Then, add the utensil holders and the utensils.

I priced this out when my cabinets were being designed, and the cost was around $200 extra to have this made custom. I spent a total of $32 doing it myself. Plus, with this design I can take everything out for cleaning. So, I think I definitely came out ahead on this one!

From my kitchen to yours

Want more articles about my kitchen? I am gradually working my way through all of the drawers and cabinets, customizing them to my needs.

pretty white kitchen dishware storage drawer diy, Queen Bee of Honey Dos @remodelaholic

See how I turned this large drawer into the perfect place to store my dishware with just a few simple items. (Hint – if you have any left over plywood from the project above, you may want to save it). 🙂

You may also be interested in some of my design advice articles, like this informative piece on “Microwave Location Options.”

So what do ya think?

Well, it’s been a pleasure being with you all today. I hope you liked this project. If you did, please be sure to let Cassity and the rest of the Remodelaholic crew know!


Rachel, I love all the work you are doing in your kitchen! It is already beautiful and you are making it Pinterest-drooling functional, too!

Remodelaholics, leave Rachel some love in the comments and be sure to visit her over at Queen Bee of Honey Dos to see more of her great work, like her smart and inexpensive wall storage system and her beautiful console table.

queen bee of honey dos wall storage system

And as always, if you love it — please pin it or share it on Facebook!
This is brilliant! Turn a deep drawer into an upright utensil organizer. No fancy tools required, and for under $40!
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Lorene has been behind the scenes here at Remodelaholic for more than a decade! She believes that planning projects and actually completing them are two different hobbies, but that doesn't stop her from planning at least a dozen projects at any given time. She spends her free time creating memories with her husband and 5 kids, traveling as far as she can afford, and partaking of books in any form available.

We love hearing from fellow Remodelaholics, so let us know what you like about this and leave any questions below in the comments. If you've followed a tutorial or been inspired by something you've seen here, we'd love to see pictures! Submit pictures here or by messaging us over on Facebook.
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