Sewing Drawer Dividers

Babies.  While babies enter the world just as is, keeping them dressed, diapered, clean, and fed can mean the use of a lot of stuff.  A LOT of stuff.  We’ve been truly blessed by many friends and family members helping us out with gifts and hand-me to help us do all of the above.  Honestly, if it weren’t for their generosity, our child would probably be wrapped in old towels most days of the week.   Which isn’t such a bad idea as I’ve realized many of their needs can be taken care of that way, but it just wouldn’t be as easy or cute or acceptable as going the usual route.  Anywho, the question is, how to organize all of this:   DSC01095

Into this: DSC01094

I am not that tidy, so a big drawer like this would just end up being a big, thrown together mess.  Believe me, that’s what’s become of my own drawers.  And that would not be useful to me, nor the other loving people who help take care of our baby as they try to find things.  The solution?  Drawer dividers.  There are plastic drawer dividers out there for sale, ready to pop into the drawers.  But they cost more than I wanted to invest in a couple pieces of plastic rectangles.  I had simply used pieces of cardboard as dividers before, but they always fell over and some websites said cardboard was acidic and could damage the clothes.  No bueno.

I had seen on google images someone using fabric storage bins in their drawers to organize.  I have been wanting to make these storage bins for other places in the house, as they are perfectly rectangular (unlike the fabric bins sold at the store which have angled sides, thereby wasting valuable shelf space, in my opinion) and use plastic canvas (found in the needlepoint section of a craft or fabric store) instead of cardboard which is genius, and the instructions are phenomenal.   Thing was, it was a lot of work to make one bin and kind of redundant for a drawer since there is already a solid base and some sides in a drawer.  A Martha Stewart website showed (after really reading through it and peering at the tiny photos and being confused for a bit) using pieces of foam board with fabric glued to them to make dividers.  The non-acidic fabric would protect the clothes from any damage the foam board may cause and linked the pieces together so the divider would stand up.  This seemed like a good idea to me, but gluing sounded tedious.  I’d have to make everything smooth, research what glue to buy, buy glue, and wait for it to dry.  A lot of tucking in fabric ends too, which seemed annoying.

Then I realized I could make basically the same thing, but just by sewing fabric tubes and sliding the plastic sheeting into them.  This seemed easier to me, as it would require just cutting and sewing some straight lines.  I also have tub loads (literally) of fabric from my grandmother, so I found some sturdy material for the job.  Sorry if these instructions are not clear enough.  I find writing them tedious, and this is more for my memory than to be a Pinterest superstar.

I made my game plan.  DSC01068My drawer is 38″ wide x 14 1/8″ deep x 6 1/2″ high.   I decided on the layout I wanted.  I decided that the dividers would stand up better if made into U shapes and if they pressed against each other to hold each other up.  How big each section is and thus how big each divider is is up to your desires and the drawers size, but the height must be slightly shorter than the drawer height or else things will get stuck.  As you can see in the top drawing, I made mine 6″ high (gives me 1/2″ clearance) by two 9″ panels on either side of one 7″ panel.  (I later found it worked better just to make most dividers go 7″ panel, 9″ panel, 7″ panel, but whatever.  Back to the drawing.)

To make my tube, I added up the length of the panels I needed: 9+7+9= 25 and then added an inch to each side for seams on the ends and in between the plastic pieces.  Length= 27″

For the width, my panel is 6″, double that to make the tube, plus 1″ allowance for the seam and wiggle room to get the panel in.  Width= 13″

I cut my fabric to size.  DSC01071Then I folded it lengthwise in half and pinned the long cut side and one of the short sides.  DSC01072I sewed a bit less than 1/2″ from the edge so it’d be easy to slide the plastic in, but still tight enough to look nice.  Turn tube inside out, so rough edges are on the inside.  I cut my plastic canvas (two 6″ x 9″ pieces and one 6″ x 7″ piece).  After sliding the first 6″ x 9″ piece to the end of the tube, I sewed as tight as I could to hold the plastic piece in place. Do again with the 6″ x 7″ piece.  After inserting the second 6″ x 9″ piece, I tucked in the end fabric into the tube, with a little leway, and then sewed across to close it all in. DSC01080DSC01081DSC01085And there’s your divider!  Here’s the drawer with several dividers in it.  DSC01099While I wrote these instructions for using the plastic canvas in it, I found it was cheaper to use foam core board, so that is actually what is in the pictures here.  The only difference with using foam core board is they are much thicker than plastic canvas, so their extra width must be taken into account when measuring and cutting the fabric tube. So tidy!  I planned to add labels to the sections, so visiting family members and other helpers would know what was what, but I still haven’t gotten around to it and have basically given up on doing so.  DSC01100Yay organization!

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