How to Make a DIY Roll Out Drawer for Less

September 17, 2013

How to make a simple roll out "drawer" for pans and lids, cutting boards and more!

This little hack is so much cheaper than the store bought version, and allows you to store taller items with ease. It's perfect for baking sheets, large pans and all the other awkward kitchen gear that is hard to store.

My DIY roller drawer idea for our cabinets came from my desire to have these fancy slide outs in all of the cabinets in my kitchen:

container store roll out drawer

These metal roll out drawers help make all that space in those deep dark cabinets easier to use. ‘Tis a dream.

But that dream is expensive. Those up there are usually anywhere from $50-$75 each (for only 11 inches wide!), yowza. 

The organization in our kitchen island cabinets was nonexistent so I needed help -- but I didn’t want to spend that much to make them work. So I figured out my own way!

I’ve since seen some different ways to make this by making a shallow box for the stuff to sit in. I’m going to attempt something similar for the other cabinets later. But my version (using mostly what I had in the garage) works great!

I started with a set of drawer slides – you can find them at most hardware stores and they come in various lengths:

drawer slide

You’re supposed to install them on the sides of the cabinet and to the sides of a drawer, but instead I installed them on the bottom of the cabinet:

DIY roll out drawer slides

You’ll see I had to nail down some scrap mdf first because I realized right off the bat that my DIY “drawer” wouldn’t clear the lip of the cabinet unless I raised this up a bit.

I just secured the slides into the mdf using four screws – two at the front and two at the back:

diy slide out drawer

Since the drawer is pulled out now you’re seeing the bottom part of the slide here. That part is covered when the slides are pushed back.

I had a scrap piece of mdf I was planning on installing on top of the slides as my “drawer,” but I couldn’t figure out how to secure the two together. I couldn’t use screws because I couldn’t get to the bottom of everything, you know? 

I finally had an idea to use some heavy duty Velcro – I just stuck it to the top of each slider with the other part of the Velcro on top with the sticky side up. Then laid down my piece of mdf right on top, so the Velcro stuck to the bottom of it. 

Here’s what I ended up with:

IKEA pot lid holder

The Velcro connects the mdf on top to the drawer slides underneath. It also makes it so I can take it off if needed (which I did have to do once) – but that Velcro is crazy strong. It’s a struggle to get it off!

The reason I had to pull the wood board off was because the sides of it were scraping up against the screws that were used to put the island together on the sides of the cabinet. 

Just make sure you have plenty of clearance on each side before you install everything. 

The expandable metal rack is really a Variera pot lid holder from IKEA, but I use them for pans here (and plates in the dining room built ins):

DIY roll out drawer organization

I didn’t want it to move around so I used some plastic holder thingamabobs to secure it to the wood.

My last addition to this project was the handle I installed yesterday. I usually just pull it out by grabbing the IKEA organizer, but this will be much easier.

My only purchase when I did this was the drawer slides – I had everything else on hand. So my version was $15 -- much better than the $45 version. ;)

Mine slides easily, even with all the weight of the pans on it:

roll out drawer in cabinet

I've learned that sometimes a bit of weight on the slides helps them to slide even easier. 

I forgot to mention – it pulls out SO far out of the cabinet: 

do-it-yourself roll out drawer

You can use fully extendable slides for this project to make it come all the way out of the cabinet. There are also soft close options available as well. 

Oh and you’ll want to make sure your taller items are in front if you have that upper shelf inside the cabinet.

Well there you go – my DIY roll out drawer. :) Sometimes when you want something bad enough you figure out how to make it work! 

Do you have any of these amazing contraptions (bought or DIY’d)? I love them – they make it so much easier to access everything in the cabinet!

See how I made these work even better with actual pull out, soft close DIY drawers for our new and improved pantry:

DIY pull out shelving

Never miss a post by signing up to get posts via email
Email subscription form header
Your email:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide


  1. I love this idea! Thank you for sharing.

    1. If you screw the tracks to the plywood first, you can then screw the tracks to the bottom of the cabinet. Just make sure everything is right first. I have done it that way before

  2. Awesome! I'm always shocked by the price of these things. I think one that fit our cabinet was $90 at Lowe's? Crazy. This, however, is much more manageable. I imagine you could customize it pretty easily as well!

  3. You're a genius! I just had a "duh, why didn't I think of that!?" moment. :)


  4. I would love to do this in my kitchen, but living in an apartment (obviously renting) I don't know if I could do this without damaging the interior if I were to remove when (and if) I move out. Is it easy to disassemble and use again?? You are life-saver seriously!! :)

    1. I don't know about her version, but the purchase ones only require 6 screw holes which you could hide with wood putty when you leave.

    2. just use a piece of mdf that covers the entire bottom of the cabinet,, then you wouldn't have to screw into the cabinet base. If that "moves" around too much, you could use the velcro idea on the bottom of the mdf to attach to the cabinet or use non-sliding cabinet liner on bottom of the full piece mdf. I had thought of this before - using side drawer slides as bottom drawer slides because bottom drawer slides are crazy expensive as well - but couldn't put my head around how to make it work, so THANK YOU!

  5. Wow, I was wondering if there was a way to DIY those...because yes they are just soo darned expensive! If I ever get the time I might try this myself.
    So smart!

  6. It looks great! My aunt built a pull out shallow drawer and even a pullout garbage bin for her cabinets and she loves them. I like that you use the pot lid holder so you don't have to stack them. That's what I did in my island for cookie sheets, and not stacking things is what keeps it from getting messy again.

  7. Excellent idea! I've got a couple of deep cabinets that I could use this on.

  8. This is fantastic Sarah! I need these all over my kitchen!! And that pot lid holder - I need to make a trip to IKEA soon!

  9. brilliant! I bought one years ago for one of my cabinets and even though it was $$ i never regretted it. I might try your idea in some other cabinets of mine. Thanks for sharing!

  10. I need some of those in my kitchen! It looks so organized.

  11. I have the same accordion organizer from Ikea and I use it for the pan covers! Great ideas Sarah!

  12. Beautiful.....that color just pops and makes an amazing statement.

  13. Nice organization! I might have to try that at home.

  14. What a great idea! I'm off to my hardware store to make one today :)

  15. We got four of these when we remodeled our kitchen. I love them more than my new granite! I put my plates and cups in a bottom cabinet so the kids wouldn't be climbing on the newly painted cabinets to get stuff. Bonus: They can unload the dishwasher now! I also love the one I got for my pans and lids. I got pull down spice racks and put two of them in an upper cabinet. They are awesome! Here are the links to mine. I can't wait to add them to more of my cabinets, but you are right - they are very expensive. Maybe I'll try your idea.

    1. here they are installed in my kitchen.

  16. Thanks for the great idea! I'm going to share this post with my husband and see if this will work for me in my tiny kitchen!


  17. Sarah!! you are in my mind somehow?!?! I have been wanting to do something like this for our desk area in our kitchen. I keep our big bulky printer in a lower cupboard so it frees up more counter space. It fits perfectly but the problem is getting to the printer to operate it and load paper since it fits perfectly ;) I have extra mdf in the garage I just need a handle and the slides...eeeeeek I can't wait to do this!!

  18. Sarah, you're a genius! I have wanted those drawer organizers in every kitchen we've ever had, and never could justify the expense. I think I could do this, I really do. :)

  19. Awesome sauce, my friend, pure awesome sauce. I feel in danger of losing toes every time I try to get pot or pans out of my lower cabinets; they're so disorganized! I'm filing this away in the "I'll do that when I'm not a renter" part of my brain ;)

  20. I love those drawer slider things but yes, they are quite pricey. I never even thought to try and make my own. What a great idea! =] Our kitchen is going through a mini makeover right now and these might find their way into the project. Thank you!


  21. I like your idea! Funny that the handle was so much later-good addition!

    k, dumb question seems like the handles on the pan would 'spin' from their weight and fall into the side of the cabinet, get caught, prevent opening and make ya have to fuss with them every time the cabinet is opened. How is this prevented? Not a problem at all?


  22. Such a simple thing that adds so much design and makes it look really thought out! I love it!

    Slightly Skint Blog

  23. Awesome!! I've been wanting the pull-out drawers too, but we couldn't afford them when we redid our kitchen last year. This is a great idea. Thanks so much for the tutorial!!

  24. You are one clever and talented chick!! Wish I had your DIY skills, because I need this in two or three cabinets.

  25. That is one great post! Thanks for sharing! So much cheaper.

  26. I'm only commenting as "Anonymous" because I don't subscribe to any of the options. That said, I love the way you think! The way you problem solve and work things out based on what you have available is amazing. Are you related to MacGyver?
    Great post,

  27. What a great idea! I have lots of wasted space in my cupboards at the back where I can't put any pans for fear of never getting them out again!

  28. i am sorry, i am still a little confused about where the velcro comes in. i am DYING to do this to my old pantry that i CANNOT reach anything! also, could you easily add sides to that platform to make them drawers? sorry, i am not following it 100% and really want to try it!

  29. I LOVE YOU, I have been looking for something similar to do with my cabinets and this is perfect! gonna go look for the items needed THANK YOU THANK YOU

  30. I'm going right now to the hardware store to get supplies to do this for my craftroom! GENIUS.

  31. Thanks for this! I want to install a slide out drawer for a printer. This should work!

  32. I love this idea! I have been loking at the prices of those you buy at the various stores & it is CRAZY what they want so I decided to see how to do it myself - I am going to definitely do what you did - want to start with my cabinets in 2 of my bathrooms. thanks so much for sharing!!

  33. THANK YOU! I have an odd shaped cabinet only 14" deep but it holds my pan lids perfectly. I knew there had to be a way to make a pull out shelf but the slides I could find for the bottom only came in 18". Your method is perfect and I can do it myself without bothering my very over-worked and multi behind project husband. Thank you again

  34. Perfect! I need a pull out shelf for my craft machine and I knew there had to be a way to finagle one from stuff on hand

  35. You can get drawer slides that separate, so you can remove the drawer completely. Then no need for velcro


If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here!

You can find our paint colors and links to items at the "Our Home" tab at the top of my site.

THANKS so much for reading!