DIY Pull-Out Slotted Drawer For Cookie Sheets, Pizza Pans, Cutting Boards, Etc.
I’m back with another kitchen/pantry organization project that I’m pretty excited about. I worked more on my pantry yesterday, and I spent the afternoon building and installing this custom DIY pull-out slotted drawer for baking sheets, pizza pans and baking dishes.
It’s nothing fancy — no fancy corner joints or hidden dowels. It’s just a very basic drawer with butt joints and visible staples where everything is attached. But it’s very sturdy, easy to make, and very functional.
The whole drawer took almost one sheet of 1/2-inch plywood, which means it cost around $45 with the drawer slides.
And speaking of drawer slides, these are the ones I buy. That’s the best price I’ve found on full-extension ball bearing drawer slides. The price at Home Depot is about two to three times that amount per pair, depending on which brand you get. These are not the soft automatic close slides, but I really don’t care about that. As long as the drawer slides move easily and smoothly, are full-extension, and will hold the weight of the drawer and the items in it (these are rated for 100 pounds), then I’m happy.
When building drawers or pull-out shelves, I always install the drawer slides before I even begin building the drawer. The main thing to remember when installing drawer slides is that you need to make sure you shim out the drawer slides enough so that the slide will clear any face frames on the cabinets, and the slides and drawer will will clear any cabinet door hinges. I had to shim mine out an inch on either side (I used two layers of 1/2-inch plywood) so that my slides would clear the face frames and the sides of the pull-out drawer would clear the cabinet door hinges.
When installing drawer slides, you generally have to remove the piece that attaches to the sides of the drawer. So when the slides are installed inside the cabinet, I replace those pieces that attach to the drawers, pull the slides out about three inches, and measure between the slides for the drawer width.
With my measurements in hand, I’m ready to begin building the drawer. My drawer needed to be 23.25 inches wide, 21.5 inches long, and 14 inches tall at the back. But for easy access to the cookie sheets and other items stored in the slots, I wanted a slanted design. So I decided on six inches for the front.
For the bottom piece, I subtracted one inch from both the width and length (since I was using 1/2-inch plywood for the sides) and cut the bottom piece to 22.25 inches by 20.5 inches. Then I cut the two side pieces to 20.5 inches by 14 inches, and then used my jigsaw to cut an angled top edge.
I attached those sides to the bottom piece using wood glue and my narrow crown staple gun. (This is the stapler I have, which I use with this air compressor.) I’ve learned that when building drawers, staples hold much more securely than nails, so my stapler has been getting quite the work out lately as I’ve been working on my pantry.
Next, I cut the piece for the front and attached it with wood glue and staples. This piece was 23.25 inches by 6 inches.
And then I cut and attached the piece for the back. This one was 23.25 inches by 14 inches.
Next, I cut six dividers to go inside the drawer. Using the side of the drawer as a pattern, I traced the angle for the top edge onto one of the pieces, and then stacked three pieces at a time to cut them with the jigsaw. I couldn’t find my awesome jigsaw, so I had to use my old cheaper one, which doesn’t cut as well. (Jigsaws are one tool that you don’t want to skimp on. You get what you pay for.) So I ended up with some very uneven top edges.
So I clamped all six pieces together, and then used my rotary sander with 40-grit sandpaper on it to sand the top edges until they were all uniform.
They still needed sanding individually once I unclamped them, but at least the top angled edge was uniform on all six of them now.
Then I placed all six dividers into the drawer and shoved them all over to one side, and measured the remaining width in the drawer.
I divided that by seven (six dividers would give me seven slots). That gave me a measurement of 2.79 inches for each slot, so I rounded down to 2.75 and used my table saw to rip two scrap pieces of plywood to 2.75 inches wide so that I could use these as spacers while attaching the drawer dividers.
Starting on one end, I placed a spacer at the front and back of the drawer right up against the side, and then placed a drawer divider right up against the spacers.
I stapled right through the front of the drawer and into the edge of the drawer divider to secure it into place. I eyeballed the first (top) staple placement on both the front and back of the drawer, and then I used my framing square to draw a vertical line so that I’d know where to put the rest of the staples.
Once all of the drawer dividers were stapled into place, I sanded the whole thing, using my rotary sander on all of the flat areas and the butt joints, and then I sanded all of the edges by hand. The sanding process got rid of all of the pencil marks and minimized the appearance of the staples. I was fine with that as a finished look, but if the staples bother you, you can always cover over them with a dab of wood filler and then sand it smooth to make them practically disappear.
And here is my finished slotted drawer, ready and waiting for the drawer slides to be attached.
And here she is all installed…
I am ridiculously excited about this drawer.
I do about 95% of my cooking on the stove top, so I don’t really need all of my baking sheets and pans taking up space in my kitchen. But I also hate digging through stacks of things trying to find what I need on those occasions when I do want to make something in the oven.
So this is the perfect solution for me. It’s out of the way, and yet allows quick and easy access when I need them.
And the best thing is that any cabinet can be converted into a pull-out slotted drawer for this type of storage. If you currently have a cabinet with stacks of baking sheet, remove those stacks, add some drawer slides, build a slotted drawer, and make your life a bit easier!
My pantry is finished! Want to see the entire project from start to finish? You can find every single post about the pantry build right here…
Or you can skip to the end and see how it turned out. Here’s a peek of the finished pantry…
You can see more pictures on the before and after post right here…
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.
I AM RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS DRAWER!!! I’m showing it to my hubby right away…I need this in my life…Thanks for the tutorial…You are so talented!
I don’t understand why you don’t use your table saw rather than the jigsaw to cut the angle? Wouldn’t that be easier than a jigsaw and you’d get consistent cuts?
That definitely would have worked better.
It would be pretty difficult to cut this angle safely on a tablesaw, without building a time consuming jig. It’d be much easier to use a track saw or skilsaw along a straight edge to cut the angle
Agreed – anything but a jigsaw.
That was precisely my thought as soon as I saw it mentioned on a later step that she had a table saw available! I do ALL cuts that I can do on my table saw, instead of a handheld saw of any kind!
If I were you, I would build another shallow drawer for above this one so you wouldn’t lose all that vertical space at the top of the cabinet. Unless you might possibly put taller things in this slotted drawer at one point, you could easily fit another drawer that’s a few inches in depth at the top of this cabinet. But, I love this drawer!!
I’ll be doing exactly that. 🙂 I just didn’t have time yesterday after finishing this drawer to build another drawer. I also wanted to get this one built, installed and loaded with all of my baking sheets so that I could see exactly where the top pull-out shelf needed to be placed.
Haha, sorry to jump the gun! I should have known you would already be planning that. Can’t wait to see the results!
That was what I was figuring..have to load it to determine the head space.
love this! Can’t stop guessing what is going to be organized and stored in the top “drawer”…..?
I’m glad I’m not the only one that had that thought, when I saw all of that extra space!
That is awesome! Looks like you have enough space above the pull out to build another one if needed!
I also have a divided cupboard for my baking items. It doesn’t slide out but it sure helps when I’m looking for a certain pan or baking dish. You will love using this!
Great job and helpful instructions – thanks!
I so need one of these (if only I had the room).
I. LOVE. THIS.
OOOooh that organizer makes me giddy. I love that it holds those dang 13x9s too. Very nice. VERY nice. This is amazing. I just bought the big 24 reg cupcake and 48 count mini pans and I would love to be able to store them out of the way. Along with all my other baking accoutrements.
This is awesome, and I can’t wait to make this!! I always LOVE your posts and everything you do, but yesterday’s and today’s posts really have me excited to get to work this weekend!!
Wonderful! Your talents are endless Christie! I’m curious ….. how do you finish off the plywood draws and inside the cabinets? Do you varnish the final product or just leave them as is?
They sell a one coat polyurethane that you can use. I used it on all of the insides of my kitchen cabinets. It’s easy to do because it’s only one time brushing it on. And easy to keep clean.
So far, I’ve just left them as is. I bought a new gallon of General Finishes clearcoat in a matte finish just in case I decide to clear coat all of the plywood. I’m still undecided. If this were a kitchen, I’d definitely be clear coating all of the plywood, but I’m just not so sure how necessary that is in a pantry where I won’t be preparing food.
But you might be spilling food, have cans burst (don’t let that can of tomato juice sit hidden in the back of the cupboard for years!), bottles break, containers leak.
Absolutely. Or just dust collecting in there, in the dark, staining that wood, no matter how often you dust in there. I live on a gravel road, and there’s nothing I can do to prevent dust from collecting inside, even though this is a pretty new home, and had dust sneaking in even when it was brand new. I make sure everything is a material that I can wipe down with a damp cloth, at minimum, and that won’t absorb that dust.
I have something similar to this, only it doesn’t pull out and yours is WAY MORE AWESOME!! This just made the top of my Christmas list.
This is awesome! I keep telling my husband that we need a couple of these in our kitchen!
By the way when I clicked the link for the drawer slides my Ebates cash back app popped up, not sure if you use Ebates when buying all your stuff online, but it is the best sight I have found for online purchase cash back. You can get 3% back on those drawer slides right now since they are in the home improvement department. https://www.ebates.com/r/SBERNA23?eeid=28187
Happy to see you are excited once again about working in your pantry which seems to get more awesome by the day.
Being able to use the pantry as a pantry must feel wonderful too. I would imagine that your mind is racing a mile a minute figuring out all the small projects that would make your life so much easier.
Always look forward to your posts.
We follow a special diet and I cook every bite of food we eat. It helps A LOT to have the kitchen organized. It is time well spent.
Suppose its a cabinet that is on the end and the end such as a kitchen island? Do the screws which attache the slides to the cabinet go through the shims and stop before they can go through the woodwork? Are the shims glued only in that case or would you put small finishing nails right through the cabinet sides?
I attach the shims with wood glue and 16-gauge nails, and I decide on the length based on the thickness of the material. My cabinets are made of 3/4-inch plywood, and I used 1/2-inch plywood for the shims, so I used 3/4-inch 16-gauge nails to attach the shims. I needed two shims per side, but I attached them one at a time. Then I attached the drawer slides using 1/2-inch screws. I could have used 1-inch screws, which would have gone through the shim and the cabinet sides, but I only had 1/2-inch on hand.
I have serious pantry envy, lol. This is going to be SO lovely when you’re done!!!
Really cool! What makes this so special is the full extension drawer slides, making access so easy!
My absolute all time favorite of all the things you’ve made. It would be so nice to have this is any kitchen!
You amaze me every day gal!
Very nice! I need one!
OEMGEE!! I am speechless! I NEED one of those fabulous looking things! Great job!!
Neat idea. And I spy pink Pyrex!
LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS! Great idea and tutorial! It’s coming right along… 🙂
What a great idea and tutorial! Definitely going to try this!
This is awesome, i have a drawer already but everything is just laying flat and its a pain to get to the things on the bottom. I think i could make an insert that works just like this.
Quick question, has anyone been getting email updates recently about new posts that are out of order, sporadic or days after the post was published? Not sure if its just me!
That’s so strange about the sporadic emails! Can you forward one to me so I can see? My email: [email protected]
Beautiful job, Kristi! Do you have some taller pans that you’ll be storing in there? If not, you have enough room to install a shelf above the pans or to install a shorter drawer.
This is a great addition! So easy to grab instead of having to dig for your item! Goes into my ‘new house’ file! Your pantry is coming along beautifully
Kristi – great idea, and it looks like a pro built it! We recently moved from a house with a walk-in pantry to one with pull-out drawers, and to our surprise, we like it better. We don’t have this cool feature, though – might have to find a way to work it in somewhere!!
This is so awesome, Kristi!
I had a question about if this could be done with undermount/bottom mount slides?
A row of our cabinets don’t have internal sides so I’d have to put the slides underneath the insert.
Anything you can think of that might make this adaption difficult?
I can’t think of any reason that wouldn’t work.
Looks good but I noticed a few things that others might want pointed out. First, there’s no need to make cuts with a handheld jigsaw when you have a tablesaw. Also, when the tallest item in that collection is put in, measure to see if there’s room for a 3″, 4″, or even taller drawer above the pull-out. As well, I hope you ended up coating it with poly. If not, you’ll collect dust, and even the oils from your skin will collect on the raw wood over time, and it won’t clean off as it soaks into the wood fibers. If that happens, it will have to be sanded down and then sealed.
One nit I do have to pick. You didn’t describe how to attach the slides on the drawer and attach then to the slider rails. Some people might really badly need those instructions. Other DIYs I’ve seen always describe even that kind of step unless it’s a pro-level site (or nearly so).
I’ll be interested in seeing what else is on site, since I am preparing for a kitchen remodel – which is what led me here, as someone had this pull-out DIY pinned on Pinterest, and I spotted it from there. I have a ton to get fixed, but when I do, and start to get things put back together, I intend it to be better than it was when new!