How to Make Pretty Drawer Liners for Kitchen Drawers

How to line desk, kitchen and dresser drawers with decorative paper. No measuring needed to get the perfect fit.

how-to-cut-perfect-paper drawer-liners-for-kitchen-drawers

Besides my enjoyment of the changing seasons I also begin to get that overwhelming urge to clean and organize everything in my home… also known as nesting.

how-to-cut-perfect-drawer-liners-for-kitchen-drawer organization

It hit me hard when I returned home from a 3-day trip I took earlier in the week.


I want everything to be easy to access and most of all organized.

Drawer Organizing-Ideas-using-baskets

I have always used small wicker baskets to organize all the smaller items I have in my kitchen drawers. In my previous house, my kitchen cabinets and drawers were new so the insides of the drawers were pretty.


This is not the case anymore since we moved to the lake. The kitchen is circa 1970. I painted the cabinets and both sides of the doors, but not the insides of the drawers and cabinets themselves. They are still stained brown.

how-to-cut-perfect-paper drawer-liners-for-kitchen-drawers

To add some color, I lined the drawers with decorative paper.  I looked into ready made rolls of shelf liner and contact paper, but didn’t find a pattern I liked.

I also looked into Chic Shelf Paper, but I didn’t want to spend a lot on the drawer liners. Instead I used my easy trick for lining drawers using inexpensive decorative paper.

You don’t need anything fancy or expensive. Wallpaper, gift wrap, paper table cloths, maps, even leftover pieces of fabric will work. I used gift wrap and paper table runners that I bought a few years ago.

To protect the paper so it can be wiped clean from time to time, I sealed it using Heat’N Bond Iron-On Vinyl.  It is easy to apply, no harder than ironing a piece of clothing.

Many of you have asked me over the years what my favorite craft product or tool is.  I never have given it much thought as I use many, but when I was lining the drawers, I knew the answer.

I love iron-on vinyl and am so happy that someone invented it for the DIYer. I mostly use the Heat N’Bond brand that is sold at craft stores in pre-cut packages or in fabric stores by the yard.

2 Different Ways: How To Cut Perfectly Sized Drawer Liners

I wrote a drawer lining post tutorial a few years ago. It is the way I measure to get the paper cut perfectly to the drawer’s size. You can read the post here: The “Easy” Trick for Lining Drawers

If your drawers are not constructed in the same way as I show in that post, then you can always use the place-in and  fold-over method below.

How to line drawers with paper or fabric

supplies needed:

  1. I lined this drawer by using the method I linked to above.
How to use HeatN Bond vinyl

2. Once I had the decorative paper cut to size, I cut a piece of iron-on vinyl to the same size.  (Optional – You can use clear contact paper instead of iron-on vinyl to protect the paper. You cannot iron this on though, but it will protect paper so you can clean the drawer liners from time to time.)

Easy way to line drawers with no measuring needed

3. Remove vinyl from paper backing. Lay face down on top of decorative paper. Place shiny side of paper backing on top of vinyl and decorative paper. Use a warm, but not hot iron to press over the entire surface. Let cool, then remove the paper backing.

kitchen drawer liners made using gift wrap

4. The shiny vinyl will be fused to the paper or fabric if you use fabric. Place in drawer.


Place items back inside. I was lucky to find a wood silverware organizer at HomeGoods that fit into the right side drawer perfectly. No drawer liner needed. I could make small liners for each section of this organizer, but I will do that once the bottom begins to wear.

How to Line Drawers Without Removing or Measuring the Drawers

kitchen drawer organizing tips

This is my kitchen utensil junk drawer.  It holds mostly longer items so I don’t have any baskets that fit their length.

  1. Cut paper a little larger than the drawer. You can lay the paper over the drawer to make eye-ball sizing easier. There is no need to have all sides even. You will custom-fit it in the next few steps.
How to fit drawer liners like a pro

2. Place paper in drawer and fold over excess. Make a crisp crease by running your finger over the folded over section. Repeat on all sides.

how to fit drawer liners into drawers without the need to measure

3. Remove the paper and fold the paper where you creased, back under the paper. Repeat on all sides.

how to make drawer liners using paper and vinyl

4. Place back in drawer. I do not glue the paper into place as I find the contains of the drawer keep it from moving.

kitchen drawer organizing

I purged some of the contents, but think I may end up making my own drawer dividers like I did for my desk and bathroom vanity drawers to help organize the contents of this drawer even more.


Now that I have all the drawers lined…

Organizing a pantry ideas and tips

I just made over a small pantry closet in my kitchen a makeover. It is not as large as the pantry above that was in my previous house, but I did create better and more organization to hold and store a lot more than it does now.

How do you organize your drawers? Do you line them? Any tips to share with other readers?

How I Organize Drawers Using Small Baskets

Sources: affiliate links used

Sharing post over at Tip Junkie’s TipMe Tuesday

Colorful floral drawer liner in kitchen drawer. Text over lay says The prettiest drawer lining paper

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  1. I like the look of lined drawers but first I prefer to paint interior of all drawers a bright, crisp white. The sides of drawers are often a bit worn. I do the same with the interior of cabinets and cabinet doors. The end result is fresh and clean.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Mememe – I have painted the insides of the kitchen cabinets in my previous home. They were new and easy to paint. I opted not to paint inside of my current kitchen cabinets since the wood is old and it would take a few coats of primer and paint to cover. More work than I wanted to take on. :-)

      I have also painted drawers, even the outsides of them. You can see in this post:

      I also like to paint the insides and line them when I don’t want to see any wood tone, like I did for these drawers:

      Like you mentioned, it does offer a fresh clean look.

  2. That Sassy Life coach says:

    I see you love tea just as much as I do!

  3. What a great idea with the vinyl heat and bond! I didn’t remember about that vinyl and didn’t even think to use it on paper! Making drawer dividers and liners for my kitchen drawers and my hobby/ office/ guest/ storage room drawers (Yes, that is just a single room!) is next to do on my project list!

  4. It all looks great.

    I just finished fall-organizing my entire kitchen. It feels so good!
    I did not line my drawers but rather used individual wooden trays in different sizes for my item /Bed Bath and Beyond.

  5. As always you are a great inspiration! It makes me want to go home tonight and start lining my drawers! :) Thank you for sharing!

  6. Well…I don’t have any tips on drawer lining. But…I have used old vinyl placemats to line my shelves. They are great cushions for glassware and my dishes…less clanging, and easy to wipe clean! Your drawer lining is so festive…I really like it. Enjoy your day! ;)

  7. laura janning says:

    i never thought to line my kitchen drawers with something pretty. I have plain white contact paper but may have to jazz them up a bit. is it safe to assume that you are a tea drinker? :)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Laura – I am not a coffee drinker, but I LOVE hot tea. I am always looking for a new one to try. Hope you have a great weekend. Stay cool, it is going to feel like summer.

  8. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

    Well I’m going to try and accept that it is officially Fall. Against the fact that I don’t want to yet! It’s of supposed to be more than 90 today.

    Okay I used those 5 gallon paint stir sticks to organize my kitchen drawers.

    And I bought Marshmallows to top my breakfast Mocha. Fill coffee cup with milk, heat in mic for 1 minute to 90 seconds, then add heaping tablespoon instant coffee, stir, let sit a bit to dissolve, then add 1/2 teaspoon Cocoa powder, pinch salt and slightly heaping teas sugar. Stir again & let powder dissolve then heat again about 30 seconds and top with big Marshmallow! Yuuuum!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sheryll – Great idea to use the 5 gallon paint sticks as the wood to make drawer organizers. I will have to look into getting a few the next time I am at the paint store. Your Breakfast Mocha sounds delish and perfect to serve around the firepit out in my yard that overlooks the lake. Thanks for sharing the recipe. :-)

    2. Sheryll & Critters. says:

      Oh my gosh! That should be a heaping TEASpoon of coffee! So sorry!

  9. lou clifton says:

    I love the idea of glue dots, are they easy to remove. I wanted to cover the back of an entertainment center to make a home office. I want to close the doors and not see any thing. I had bought an expensive entern. center years ago and now have moved tv out of it and trying to reuse it. I have moved it into the kitchen and it was the perfect size to put between to cabinets. Its alot of useable space and trying to make it function.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lou – What an excellent idea to use the glue dots to hold the drawer liners down and backing for your very creative use of an old entertainment center to make your home office. They are an ingenious product too, just like iron-on vinyl.

  10. Sue Bauman says:

    I wish I had some drawer lining tips to share, but what I can suggest to line drawers are the heavy wrapping papers that can be found at TJ Maxx and HomeGoods. They are inexpensive, heavy gauge paper and the store usually has an extensive selection of patterns. The paper holds up well and looks substantial in the drawer. I chose a pattern that looks like an antique world map; it’s colorful and suitable for almost any drawer in any room!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sue – I agree with you about the gift wrap you can find at TJ Maxx, Marhshalls and HomeGoods – they are the perfect weight and price. Do you use them in any other ways besides wrapping gifts and lining drawers? I ask as I can’t seem to pass them up when I see them displayed by the checkout. I have more than I could ever use, but the colors and patterns always speak to me so I keep buying them. I am always on the lookout for new ways to use them. I plan to use some when I makeover my pantry.