Introduction: 6 Easy Steps to Make Drawers

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In this Instructable I'll show you how to make drawers in 6 easy steps.

Be sure to watch the video above which shows the process and a bonus clip on an alternate drawer bottom for larger drawers. And if you like it please subscribe to my YouTube channel!

You can also see a more detailed blog post at:

Step 1: Figure Out Height of Drawers and Cut Material (if Needed)

The first step in making drawers for any cabinet or other project is to figure out the height of the drawer box.

I take the measurement of the opening where your drawer will fit and then subtract 1 to 1-1/2" to get to the closest half inch increment.

In this example my opening was 7-1/8" so I subtracted 1-1/8" to get to a 6" drawer.

I'm using 3/4" plywood so I cut strips of 6" wide material leaving them long for the next steps.

If you're using dimensional lumber from the home store then you would go to the nearest lumber size at least 1" lower than the opening. In my case that would have been a 1x6 at 5-1/2" wide.

Step 2: Pick Drawer Slides and Cut Sides to Size

The depth of your drawers depends on the size drawer slides you are using.

Drawer slides come in 2" increments and you want to use the longest that will fit in your project.

Figure out the size of your drawer slides and cut your drawer sides to this length.

My drawer slides for this drawer are a 16" model which is actually 15-3/4" so I cut the drawers to that size.

Step 3: Measure for and Cut Drawer Fronts and Backs

This is the only tricky part of making drawers. You need to do a little math, but it's easy.

Measure the width of the drawer opening then subtract 1" of the total opening to account for the thickness of the drawer slides. Most drawer slides need 1/2" on each side for install. If yours differs then adjust accordingly.

My drawer opening was 15-7/8" so I needed a 14-7/8" total drawer width.

To get this I set my stop block on my Miter Saw Stand to the full drawer width (14-7/8") then put two scraps of 3/4" ply against the stop. This takes into account the undersized thickness of plywood without having to measure for it.

You can also just measure and cut the fronts to size if you don't have stop blocks.

Step 4: Drill Holes and Assemble Drawer Box

The drawers are assembled using pocket hole joinery.

I drilled 3 pocket holes on the end of each front and back. Then assembled with 1-1/4" pocket screws.

Make sure the front and back are between the sides and not overlapping the edges. Use a clamp to keep everything secure and square while joining.

Step 5: Cut and Install Drawer Bottoms

The drawer bottom is made from 1/4" plywood.

Measure the drawer and cut the plywood to exact size.

Lay down a bead of glue on the bottom edge then nail the plywood down with a brad nailer or using finish nails.

Step 6: Install False Drawer Fronts

To finish off the drawers they will need false drawer fronts.

The size of the false fronts will be determined by the style of your drawers and the reveal you are looking for.

I won't get into the drawer slide install and reveals since they differ so much project to project, but you can see how I did all these things in my DIY Base Cabinet article for the cabinet shown above.

After you've sized your drawer fronts, and installed the drawers onto the slides then install the drawer fronts with 1-1/4" screws from inside the drawer.

Hope this helped you with the basics of making drawers. And if you liked it please subscribe to my YouTube channel!

You can also see a more detailed blog post at: