The Classic Custom Insert: Solid Maple

To inegrate a maple tiered knife block in your custom insert, start by

To inegrate a Santiago knife block in your custom insert, start by

Learn about our economical

All of the information below can be found in our design/ordering wizard. As you work through the custom insert wizard, you'll come to the information below as you need it. You can read the information here or, as long as you don't want to integrate a knife block, you can get started by getting an

We need to know the size of your drawer. Be as accurate as you can. We'll take off a little (one eighth inch, to be exact) to ensure that our insert fits into your drawer.

The best way to get an accurate measurement is to measure your drawer multiple ways - preferably in more than one manner. The easiest way to measure - but not necessarily the most accurate - is in the following manner. Measure the drawer in three points - front, middle, and back - to check for consistency. Enter the smallest measurement in the fields

Sometimes the tip of a tape measure will be bent or broken. Even a new tape measure may have this problem! If that's the case or if you are unsure, try this:

Instead of measuring by starting from zero (the tip), you can measure starting from 10 inches or any other round number. Then just subtract the start number from your measurement. It is especially difficult to measure to the corners of the drawer. If using the +10 method above, it can be difficult to see exactly where the corners on the bottom of the drawer begin. Using the following credit card method can help.

Most credit cards are a standard size: 2.125" wide. Lay a credit card against a side of the drawer. Measure from one end to the credit card. Then add in the width of the card.

how to measure your drawer

Some people have vision problems that make it hard to read the fine lines on a tape measure. Others may have trouble interpreting those lines to arrive at a measurement. ("Is this seven-sixteenths or nine-sixteenths?") In these cases, you need to get help. We cannot accept returns of custom inserts unless the fault is ours. It's a hard line, we know, but it helps keep the price low for everyone else. Thanks for your understanding.

We'll need to work around those rounded corners. We recommend that you simply build up the bottom of your drawer (with something like dominoes or match boxes) until the curved part is cleared. You'll need to order an insert with an attached wood bottom. Then the insert would sit on top of the built up drawer bottom.

The form above allows internal drawer widths and depths of between 4 and 40 inches.

The height of your insert is the height of the usable storage you'll have in your insert.

Bottom Options

Your choice of bottom-type will affect your insert's overall height.

Bottom Type Additional Height
No bottom 0"
Wood bottom <0.25"

Should I get an attached wood bottom?

In some cases, it's simply a matter of preference. Some people find it easier to clean bottomless inserts and/or want to use a mat in their drawer. There are some instances in which we recommend attached wood bottoms.

  • If your drawer bottom is bowed/sagging, you need an attached bottom for your drawer insert. Check to see if your drawer bottom is bowed by using a tight string stretched from one side to the other, or a straight edge to test it.
  • If your drawer is large, we recommend that you put some weight in the drawer so that you know whether the bottom will actually remain flat, rather than bowing, when loaded. If it bows, we recommend adding an attached bottom.
  • Consider what you will be storing in your drawer organizer. Thin and/or very pointy utensils can be prone to getting wedged underneath a wall and/or movable divider. If you will be storing these types of items, an attached bottom can help.

Can I make the insert taller than the drawer box?

Example: your drawer box is 1.75" tall, but you are wanting a 2" tall drawer insert. Can that be done?

The real limit of your insert's height is not the height of your drawer, but rather the clearance to the cabinet frame above the drawer. All drawers have some clearance above the drawer box. There is no standard clearance in the cabinet industry: some are small, others are considerable. Measure from the drawer bottom to the nearest obstruction to see if the insert will fit in your drawer; don't forget to check all the way back into the interior of the cabinet body. We recommend leaving at least .25" of clearance between the top of your insert and the obstruction above.

What are the acrylic wedges/shims I received with my order?

We ship stepped acrylic wedges with every bottomless custom insert and with all Custom Jr. inserts. Use the wedges in the space between the sides of your drawer and the corners of the insert. The wedges will help pin the insert to the drawer's bottom, decreasing instances of utensils creeping under the insert's walls or dividers.

Your custom drawer insert will be sized slightly smaller than your drawer's dimensions.

The insert's width will be 1/8" less. This will leave 1/16" of space between the insert and both sides of your drawer.

The insert's depth will be 1/8" less, leaving 1/16" of space in the front and back, UNLESS you have hardware screws protruding at the front of your drawer. In that case, the insert's depth will be 1/4" less than the drawer's depth, leaving 1/16" in the back and 3/16" of space in the front.

fixed walls and movable dividers orderly drawer

Your custom insert will be made up of 1/2" thick fixed walls and thin movable dividers. The fixed walls create sections within the insert. Typically, the sections are subdivided into compartments by movable dividers.

drawer section compartment

Targeted Dividers

Targeted Dividers are for when adjustability is not wanted or needed, or for when you need for the dividers to be positioned in specific, or "targeted", locations (as was the case with the glassware insert below.)

custom maple drawer insert with targeted dividers
glassware drawer insert with targeted dividers

Targeted dividers...

  • will not be adjustable
  • will be evenly spaced unless you say otherwise
  • will be removable

Targeted dividers can be selected on the final page of the ordering wizard.

Carola template
Mary Ann template
"Mary Ann"
Brandi template
Susan template
Brie template
Richard template
Shelly template
Clara template
Larry template
Debbie template
Jill template
Andrea template
Millie template
William template
Linda template
Cody template
Rene template
Jeffrey template
Neil template
Paul template
Cheryl template
Matthew template
Ana Ruth template
"Ana Ruth"
Elizabeth template
Theodore template
Eric template
Kari template
DeAnn template
Phillip template
Alex template
Joni template
Julie template
Jolene template
Sandra template
Roger template
Sterling template
Michael template

"What if none of these templates will work for me?"

You are welcome to come up with your own design. But before you do, view this instructional video regarding common mistakes when making your own design.

Here are the ways you can communicate your design to us:

  • Sketch it in the style of the templates above, photo or scan it, and email it to us.
  • Fax it to us.
  • Describe the dimensions of your drawer and contents, we'll make a sketch, and email it to you for approval. Going this route may delay your shipping date somewhat.
  • Prices are subject to change. Quotes are valid for one month.

    "Now that I have my insert, some of my sections have more storage space than I was expecting! How is that possible?"

    The dimensions of the sections listed on this page should be considered minimum dimensions. The actual dimensions may be slightly larger, though it is rare to see one more than a quarter inch above what is listed. This is possible because, when we have an unslotted wall on the outside of an insert, we can create more space for you and save trees by substituting a thinner structural wall in that spot.

    For example, the classic case is the Brandi template which is a favorite among owners of narrow drawers. By substituting 3/8" (0.375") thick walls on the left and right sides for the 1/2" standard walls, we are able to give those narrow inserts a bit more storage space. Some other templates that are potential candidates for thinner walls are William, Mary Ann, and (as shown below) Richard.

    Rest assured that we will never substitute a thinner element if it will cause any compromise to the structural integrity of your insert. If you prefer that we use all 1/2" thick fixed walls, just let us know by responding to the "thank you" email you'll receive after you have placed your order.

    One design feature to avoid

    You need to avoid putting 'crosses' into your template, like in the image below.

    Although these templates have a pleasing symmetry, we will reject this design because the "4-way intersection" joint is weaker than a normal "T" type joint.

    A second reason to avoid crosses is that this type joint implies a design that has redundancy of storage lengths, which means that you are losing some of the valuable storage space from your insert. Notice how the template below improves on the template shown above.

    If you want all compartments to be equally sized, a better option than the "cross" option would be to use the Brandi template, as shown below.

    If you have a large insert with no attached bottom, take a moment to check your design for...

    ... long, unsupported walls.

    Take a look at the long, slotted wall in the design below. It supports many movable dividers, but it's going to need support (to maintain its straightness) from either:

    1. Other walls, or
    2. An attached bottom.

    If you have unsupported walls of longer than 20" in your design, we require that you have an attached bottom. Just click on the "Height and Bottom" cell at the top of this page to go back to that page. Then progress forward, working your way back to here.

    If you have unsupported walls of 15-20" in your design, we recommend that you consider adding a bottom. If the unit is left bottomless, we reserve the right to break up the long spans with bracing as needed. We'll do this by either putting a fixed wall where a movable divider would have been, as shown below...

    Or, we may glue a divider in place at or near the middle of the span(s).

    This is a complex decision that needs to be made as the insert is being built. This change generally results in zero loss of functionality/usability because of the flexibility of movable dividers.

    If you want to avoid this possibility by adding an attached wood bottom, just click on the "Height and Bottom" cell at the top of this page to go back to that page. Then progress forward, working your way back to here.

    Movable Dividers

    The dividers are movable and removable. By moving the dividers, you can "tailor-size" the width of your compartments.

    Scooped Dividers

    For 2.5"+ tall organizers, you may opt for scooped dividers. Scooped dividers make items in tall, narrow compartments more accessible to the hand. The charge is $3.60 more than the price of a regular divider of the same length.

    Set the quantity of dividers by using the + and - clickers in each section.

    How Deep is a Scoop?

    Set Quantity and Type of Movable Dividers

    Use the plus and minus buttons to set the number of dividers you want in each section

    How thick are the movable dividers?

    Our movable dividers are 3/32" to 1/8" thick for typical silverware lengths (8-10" long). Longer than this, they may be thicker, up to 3/16". Shorter than this, they may be thinner, but never thinner than 1/16".

    While that may seem surprisingly thin, the high-quality, hand-selected maple wood used in our process results in very strong dividers at those thicknesses. The failure rate is somewhere below 0.1%. If you should ever have a divider break under use, contact us and we will replace it free of charge.

    How are the slots spaced?

    The drawing below shows the typical spacing and size of the slots in our custom inserts.

    For spans over 10", we'll use our discretion and may use thicker movable dividers and wider spaced slots. The drawing below shows the maximum size of movable dividers and slot spacing.

    What if I wish I had ordered more movable dividers?

    We can cut and ship additional movable divider if you decide you need to order more. (Of course, we'll need to charge shipping too, so it will be more economical to get what you need with your first order.)

    Enter your drawer dimensions for an instant quote.

    step 1: enter drawer dimensions
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