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Organizing: How to Make Desk Drawer Dividers the Easy Way

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How to make desk drawer dividers using small cardboard boxes to organize the contents of a desk drawer

I recently lined my desk drawer with pages from a thrift store book on lettering.  I love how it turned out, but since the drawer is nice and big, it needed some sort of organizing dividers to keep everything in the desk drawer from shifting around.

Drawer Dividers would also make it easy to find things and maintain as well as easy to find and keep organized.

 Restoration Style Home Office Decorating Ideas

In this photo, I love the way the drawers are divided with a simple label for each compartment.  The scan quality of the photo isn’t great, but if you look at the bottom left you can see what I am talking about.


I used a P-touch label maker to help me get my desk drawer organized like the one in the photo.


If you know me, you know I enjoy finding ways to re-purpose items. I went around my house and collected all the small boxes I could find.  I found quite a few since Christmas wasn’t that long ago. They held candy, jewels, checks, wallet, etc.

I used the tops and the bottoms of each box. Since the boxes were all different colors, I sprayed the top edges with spray paint just so they would look cohesive.

Drawer organizing ideas for your home office desk

I also picked out a few pieces of scrapbook paper and lined the boxes using a few decorative patterns. I still have to collect more boxes, but you can see how I have created pretty dividers to organize all my drawer junk. The boxes can be changed and rearranged in many different ways – they fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.

How to Make Desk Drawer Dividers Using Boxes and Scrapbook Paper

supplies needed:

  • An assortment of small boxes
  • Scrapbook Paper
  • Paper Cutter
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil/Colored Pencil
  • Glue Stick
  • White Cardstock
  • Labels

Drawer organizing ideas

Make a Liner for Each Box (optional)

How-to-line-a-box-with-scrap paper

1. Lay scrapbook paper right-side down. Trace the top of the box on the paper making sure there is extra space all around that is the same measurement or taller then the height of the box.

2. Use a colored pencil/pen and a ruler. Make a line on each side of the box outline 1/8” inside the lines. This will allow for the fact that the inside of the box is smaller than the outside. If it is a very thick box, make the lines 1/4”.  Once you make one line – you will understand this step, if it seems confusing.

-Once the lines are made you need to score the lines. This is easily done by lining  up the ruler with each line and gently running the closed tip of a pair of scissors or a paper clip along the ruler. You don’t have to press too hard, you just want to make an indent in the paper.

3. Cut outside the lines to cut off each corner- so that no pencil marks show on the 4 tab like sections.

4.  Your lining should look like this.

Fit the Liner into the Box

 DIY Pretty Drawer Dividers

1.  Fold the score lines and place the paper into the box. If it is too big – adjust the size by taking another 1/8” off of one or more sides until it fits.

2. Once it fits, mark the height of the sides of the box on the liner. Remove and cut off excess.

3. Rub a glue stick all over the back of the liner.

4.  Place in box. Smooth the bottom and sides with your fingers to make sure the paper is adhered.  If you want to cover the outside of the box, measure the height and cut a strip to size.  Glue the strip around the box.

Make A Paper Strip for the Label

Drawer Organizing Ideas Tutorial

1.  Using a paper cutter – cut the card-stock into 1/2-inch strips.

2. Score down the center of each strip by running the closed tip of a pair of scissors along the ruler. This will create a scored line to fold the strip in half nice and neatly.

3.  Place the folded strip along the back of your lined box. Mark the length and cut with scissors.

4. Run a glue stick along the inside bottom of the strip.  Attach to top back of box. Smooth with your hands to make sure it is adhered.

5. Peel the backing from your label and attach to the paper strip.

6.  All done.

Organizing a Desk Made Fun

The P-Touch Label Maker I used was quite easy to use right out of the box. It came with one cartridge and full instructions.  I just started playing with it until I understood how it worked. It came with a diagram of all the sizes, fonts, and stylish designs you can create on the labels. I just went with the simple Helvetica font. Once I made a few, I started having fun with it and thought of all the other places that could use a label – like the circuit breakers in the electrical box in the basement. We labeled that years ago, but the writing has faded and now it is a guessing game on which breaker is for what.  The labels made with the P-touch are said to be indestructible and will never fade.

The only downside I found using it was that it needed 6 AAA batteries – which can get costly if you start labeling everything in sight, like me :)  It would be more cost effective if you could just plug it into a wall socket, but then the initial price of the machine would be more.  The retail cost of the the P Touch runs around $39.99.

The labels come out the back of the machine once you press print.  There is a side button to press and your label is instantly cut.  It is quite fun and easy to use.


I am feeling very organized and I like the feeling, the feeling of order.

How to make Drawer-Dividers

Since I love the black and white lettered drawer liner, I added a few clear plastic boxes to the mix. They won’t need a scrapbook liner since they are see-through.

Drawer organizing ideas

This was a fun project since I love to organize.

Home Office Organizing Ideas

Once I was finished with the drawer, I started making labels  for the file folders in my file cabinet. The P-Touch only comes with one sample starter pack of tape and I used it up, so I will have to get a full roll to finish my file drawer on my next trip to Walmart or Staples.  It will be a huge milestone for me to finally have the files in the cabinet all nice and neat with easy to read labels instead of my scribbled on handwriting in all different colors of inks.

Update: If you want to make permanent drawer dividers, see this post: How to Make Wood Desk Drawer Dividers

If you like to label things: Check out my:  Free Printable Label Library. It is where I have lots of freebie labels for you to use all around your home.

Colorful DIY Drawer Organizers

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  1. Diane,
    Is there a banner, crown jewel, award for you? You come up with the best, inexpensive, easy to do, “why didn’t I think of that,” ideas! I am convinced my mind doesn’t work that way although I do an okay job of “copy!”

    Such a great idea . . . once again thank, YOU!
    Love, Lynne

  2. I just cleaned out my desk drawers and am wishing I had some boxes I could use like you have. Unfortunately, I pitched them last week when I was decluttering.