Sunglasses Organizer – DIY Drawer Insert

The Big Guy celebrated the big 3-0 and I decided to make him something. A Sunglasses Organizer! You see… he LOVES sunglasses. Has more pairs than I could even begin to remember… so he NEEDED a Sunglasses Organizer! I’ll show you how I made this custom sunglasses organizer drawer insert. This same method could be used to make drawer inserts for all sorts of things!

Make Your Own Sunglasses Organizer

I made a stop at Michaels on my way home from work one evening. I knew I needed some thin, easily cut wood and though balsa might do the trick. Once there, I realized I could purchase a sheet of thin plywood (sold in a convenient, small crafty size) that would do just the trick! I also found a bag of plywood “scraps” that all happened to be 6″ wide and about 4″ high. Perfecto! A few pieces of grey felt and I was headed to the register (with my Michaels iPhone app coupons ready of course!).

Making the drawer dividers:

I used a circular saw to rip the sheet into four even strips. (Dad, aren’t you proud?! I just said I “ripped” a sheet of plywood!) Sorry… no pictures of this step. It’s not exactly safe to use a circular saw in one hand and a camera in the other!

Then I measured the drawer and cut two strips for a SNUG fit as vertical runners. When you cut the strips, err on the long side. You can always shave a little more off but if you cut it too short, you’ll be left with a loose, wobbly fit.

Once my vertical strips were in place, I was ready to cut my horizontal strips. Using my precut 4″x6″ scrap boards I determined the spacing I’d need.

The trick here is to cut halfway into your horizontal boards and center vertical board(s) so they can slide together like a snug puzzle. I found that using my miter saw was the easiest way to achieve this. (Show below LEFT)

After notching all horizontal boards and ONE of the vertical boards, I was able to slide everything together. (Show above RIGHT TOP)

Finally, I used wood glue to secure the joints and add the 2nd vertical board on the far right. The 4″x4″ post in the drawer was a scrap – used soley for keeping the boards squashed together for drying. Yep – that’s my technical term… squashed.

I left the drawer outside to dry and headed inside to work on the felt-covered pieces that would create angled “displays” for the glasses.

Making the Felt Inserts:

As I said before, I found a bag of pre-cut 4″x6″ plywood scraps in the wood craft section at Michaels. They all varied a bit in thickness, but that’s okay. I can work with that!

Let’s dive right in and I’ll explain as we go:

  1. Cut the sheets of felt into 6″ wide sheets and fire up your trusty hot glue gun!
  2. Run a bead of hot glue along the board, secure the felt. Pulling TIGHT, wrap the board with felt and secure with another line of hot glue.
  3. Use a rotary cutter or scissors to trim the edges of the felt even with the board.
  4. Here you can see my boards are all slightly different thicknesses… but same width and height.
  5. Find some scrap ribbon in your stash and cut into short strips to create tabs. These will allow you to easily remove the felt inserts from the drawer should you ever not want them in there. (Plus they just look nice)
  6. Glue the ribbon on the back edge, allow to cool and then fold back and glue again.
  7. Here you can see how the ribbon will fold forward to create a tab when dropped inside the organizer.
  8. Tuh-dah!

All in all, this was a really easy project. It took a little math, but nothing scary. Don’t be intimidated!

I think The Big Guy likes having a place for his sunglasses in the nightstand where he can easily see if everyone is accounted for… although this organizer only has 6 dedicated spots… and barely scratches the surface of his collection! With the extra large spaces in back and open side slot, he’ll have room to store cases, bags, etc.

…and if he keeps buying sunglasses, I may have to make him an entire dresser of sunglasses drawer inserts!

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