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Pull Out Drawer Tutorial


Ana White
Ana White
Ana White
Ana White

It’s easy to convert a kitchen cabinet shelf into a much more functional pull out drawer. All you’ll need is drawer slides, a little bit of wood for boxing in the drawer, and some basic power tools.

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  1. Project Steps

    1. Step: 1

      Large 828c4b8f e0a9 4df9 876e 44544eea3451

      Cabinet Members for Face Frame Cabinets If you have face frame cabinets, the inside of the cabinet will need to be furred out so the face frame is flush to the inside of the cabinet where the drawer slides are attached. Since on my cabinet this distance was 1/2", I used 1/2” plywood as shims. I attached my cabinet member drawer slides to the 1/2" plywood.  

    2. Step: 2

      Large 70a4d68a 7ed2 46d8 b905 159bda650cc0

      Install Cabinet Members Inside Cabinet Using shelf pins inside the cabinet to hold my drawer slide in place, I attached the shim to the interior of the cabinet. If you have frameless cabinets, you can simply attach the drawer slide to the interior of the cabinet directly.

    3. Step: 3

      Large 14793593 29d3 4291 905a 8384e394d485

      Installed Cabinet Members When installed the cabinet members should be able to slide past face frame easily, and are level with each other.

    4. Step: 4

      Large f68c4d95 88ae 4169 ad2c 83da9478a542

      Slide Drawer on to Cabinet Members Slide the drawer on to the cabinet members. If the drawer “sticks” or does not glide smoothly, adjust screws or shim until the drawer slides smooth.

    5. Step: 5

      Large de6bdf5d 9580 44cd 95e4 88e42d6e2d29

      Remove Shelf Remove the shelf from your kitchen cabinet. The shelf will be used as the bottom of the pull out drawer, so do not discard.

    6. Step: 6

      Large 3e48474f 15a4 4133 91fc 470d2e8882dd

      Measure Your Cabinet Take measurements of the following - Width of front opening, inside the face frame if your cabinet has a face frame - Depth of cabinet - Width of lip inside cabinet where face frame overextends the interior of the cabinet (normally ½”) for face frame cabinets Make sure your cabinet door opens wide enough to allow a pullout drawer to be installed.

    7. Step: 7

      Large bacf7f2d 2937 4ed4 9957 5f76f68ec159

      Cut Bottom Shelf Determine how much space your drawer slides (normally 1" total) and the sides of the pull out drawers (if using 1/2” plywood, this distance is 1”, if using 3/4" material, this distance is 1-1/2”) will require, and subtract this number from the opening width of your cabinet. Example: Cabinet Opening =18" Drawer Slide Clearance = 1" Pullout Sides Thickness = 1" Cut Width = 16" Cut the bottom shelf to this width. You may also need to cut the bottom shelf down in length to accommodate adding a front and back to it. I cut mine down by 1” (since I’m using 1/2” plywood on the front and back).

    8. Step: 8

      Large bab806e3 b5e4 4c35 822f 8709c7377346

      Cut Sides of Pullout Drawer Cut the material to be used for the sides down in length to match the sides of the drawer bottom.

    9. Step: 9

      Large f6734d05 6b71 4d50 8cfa c0b2823451eb

      Staple Sides to Drawer Bottom Use glue and 1-1/4” staples to attach the pullout drawer sides to the drawer bottom.

    10. Step: 10

      Large 2948d9f1 2ee3 4697 b875 3843659ecd26

      Drawer Front and Back Cut to fit the front and back on the drawer, and attach with glue and staples to the drawer bottom and sides.

    11. Step: 11

      Large 709cc586 7233 4add 90b3 bb917c32f8a5

      Sand Lightly sand the project with a medium to fine grit sandpaper. Apply a finish to the drawer at this stage if desired.

    12. Step: 12

      Large 109aff95 5d15 4980 a6bf 8d32f741b488

      Attach Drawer Members to Drawer Box Read the instructions included with your drawer slides. Following instructions, attach drawer member to drawer box.

Comments (6)


  • Great tutorial Ana! I'm needing to do this for an entertainment center and I got some great ideas for the drawers from your project. Thanks! - Pete

    By DIY PETE, on May 1, 2015

  • Thanks Anna, this is really helpful. Will probably use it in my kitchen.

    By dksheldon, on May 8, 2015

  • well I did this a few years ago, my wife really love's it. I got my slide's very cheap at CSH.com I also made a pull out draw for her spice's. using my Ryobi tools it was so easy to do

    By silverdollar89, on May 29, 2015

  • Can't wait to do this project!!

    By kdiliberto, on June 3, 2015

  • Ana I have done something similar to a portable island in my kitchen. You did a fantastic job. your projects are very economical and give the high end results C

    By maga, on June 28, 2015

  • Oh my goodness, I can't wait to do this!

    By cnoher0, on December 18, 2017

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Pull Out Drawer Tutorial

by Ana White
May 01, 2015
Medium 3590cef9 88e9 4ebb 8d2a 03d30526188c

It’s easy to convert a kitchen cabinet shelf into a much more functional pull out drawer. All you’ll need is drawer slides, a little bit of wood for boxing in the drawer, and some basic power tools.

Project Steps

  1. Step: 1
    Huge 828c4b8f e0a9 4df9 876e 44544eea3451

    Cabinet Members for Face Frame Cabinets If you have face frame cabinets, the inside of the cabinet will need to be furred out so the face frame is flush to the inside of the cabinet where the drawer slides are attached. Since on my cabinet this distance was 1/2", I used 1/2” plywood as shims. I attached my cabinet member drawer slides to the 1/2" plywood.  

  2. Step: 2
    Huge 70a4d68a 7ed2 46d8 b905 159bda650cc0

    Install Cabinet Members Inside Cabinet Using shelf pins inside the cabinet to hold my drawer slide in place, I attached the shim to the interior of the cabinet. If you have frameless cabinets, you can simply attach the drawer slide to the interior of the cabinet directly.

  3. Step: 3
    Huge 14793593 29d3 4291 905a 8384e394d485

    Installed Cabinet Members When installed the cabinet members should be able to slide past face frame easily, and are level with each other.

  4. Step: 4
    Huge f68c4d95 88ae 4169 ad2c 83da9478a542

    Slide Drawer on to Cabinet Members Slide the drawer on to the cabinet members. If the drawer “sticks” or does not glide smoothly, adjust screws or shim until the drawer slides smooth.

  5. Step: 5
    Huge de6bdf5d 9580 44cd 95e4 88e42d6e2d29

    Remove Shelf Remove the shelf from your kitchen cabinet. The shelf will be used as the bottom of the pull out drawer, so do not discard.

  6. Step: 6
    Huge 3e48474f 15a4 4133 91fc 470d2e8882dd

    Measure Your Cabinet Take measurements of the following - Width of front opening, inside the face frame if your cabinet has a face frame - Depth of cabinet - Width of lip inside cabinet where face frame overextends the interior of the cabinet (normally ½”) for face frame cabinets Make sure your cabinet door opens wide enough to allow a pullout drawer to be installed.

  7. Step: 7
    Huge bacf7f2d 2937 4ed4 9957 5f76f68ec159

    Cut Bottom Shelf Determine how much space your drawer slides (normally 1" total) and the sides of the pull out drawers (if using 1/2” plywood, this distance is 1”, if using 3/4" material, this distance is 1-1/2”) will require, and subtract this number from the opening width of your cabinet. Example: Cabinet Opening =18" Drawer Slide Clearance = 1" Pullout Sides Thickness = 1" Cut Width = 16" Cut the bottom shelf to this width. You may also need to cut the bottom shelf down in length to accommodate adding a front and back to it. I cut mine down by 1” (since I’m using 1/2” plywood on the front and back).

  8. Step: 8
    Huge bab806e3 b5e4 4c35 822f 8709c7377346

    Cut Sides of Pullout Drawer Cut the material to be used for the sides down in length to match the sides of the drawer bottom.

  9. Step: 9
    Huge f6734d05 6b71 4d50 8cfa c0b2823451eb

    Staple Sides to Drawer Bottom Use glue and 1-1/4” staples to attach the pullout drawer sides to the drawer bottom.

  10. Step: 10
    Huge 2948d9f1 2ee3 4697 b875 3843659ecd26

    Drawer Front and Back Cut to fit the front and back on the drawer, and attach with glue and staples to the drawer bottom and sides.

  11. Step: 11
    Huge 709cc586 7233 4add 90b3 bb917c32f8a5

    Sand Lightly sand the project with a medium to fine grit sandpaper. Apply a finish to the drawer at this stage if desired.

  12. Step: 12
    Huge 109aff95 5d15 4980 a6bf 8d32f741b488

    Attach Drawer Members to Drawer Box Read the instructions included with your drawer slides. Following instructions, attach drawer member to drawer box.