Custom Cabinet Inserts

Custom Cabinet Inserts

Use Carpenter David Leon’s instructions to make custom inserts for your cabinets.

5 col

Kitchen cabinets have a tendency to become cluttered with dishes, spices, and other ingredients. In this project, we show two easy ways to organize your cabinet.


Note: These materials and instructions are based on a 16 1/2-by-12 -inch cabinet unit. Be sure to measure your cabinet and scale dimensions accordingly.

(2) 10-inch Lazy Susans
3/8-inch Forstner drill bit
(8) 12 x 3/8-inch wood doweling
(7) 5 1/2 x 3/8-inch wood doweling
(4) 16 1/2 x 3/4-inch wood pieces
Wood glue


Lazy Susan:
Measure your cabinet space to make sure you purchase a correctly sized lazy Susan
Lazy Susans work best in cluttered cabinets. So first, remove all of the spices or ingredients and organize them by type or alphabetical order
Place the lazy Susan in the middle of the cabinet shelf. If you want it permanently in your cabinet you can place some wood glue on the base of the lazy Susan before placing it in
Add the spices and ingredients back to the lazy Susan in the order you determined in Step 2

Tip: A lazy Susan is a great way to quickly organize a shelf. Spices that would get lost in the very back of a shelf can now be easily reachable.

Dish Rack:

  1. Take two of your 16 1/2-inch wood pieces and make 8 marks in spaces of 2 inches. On your other two pieces make 7 marks in spaces of 2 inches
  2. Next take your drill and forstner bit to drill 3/8-inch holes in the wood where you made your marks. These holes don’t need to be deep and a good tip to make them uniform is to drill into the wood until the back of the forstner bit is flush with the top of the wood

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  1. Once all your holes are drilled, take the two pieces that had 8 holes drilled and place them side-by-side with the holes facing up. Put a small amount of wood glue in each hole. Place the 12-inch doweling pieces in each hole on one piece so they’re sticking straight up
  2. Now position the remaining wood piece on top of the dowels, with the holes facing down on each dowel. Remove any excess glue with a rag. Lightly tap the top piece with a hammer or mallet to get a tight fit
  3. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with your 7-hole wood pieces and your 5 1/2-inch dowels
  4. Once the glue is done drying, paint or finish your dish racks. We chose to paint ours the same color as our walls for a more uniform look using interior paint
  5. The 7-doweled piece will lay face down in the back of the cabinet and the 8-doweled piece will stand straight up in the front. This will allow your dishes to stand on their side with stability in the front and back of the cabinet. First, lightly apply wood glue to the face down sides of the 16 1/2-inch wood pieces of your 7-holed piece. Lay it face down 2 inches from the front edge of your cabinet
  6. Next, lightly put wood glue on the top and bottom on the 16 1/2-inch pieces of the 8-holed rack. Place this standing up in the front of your cabinet. The top of the rack should be flush with the first shelf. Remove any excess glue with a rag
  7. Allow glue to dry before putting dishes in the racks

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