Sew a divided bin to help you keep your drawers and shelves organized! This free sewing pattern for a divided drawer organizer includes step-by-step photos to help you make it in your favorite fabrics.
This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The blog post below is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF download for $3 is totally optional. No template is necessary, all of the cutting dimensions are below.
Besides sewing one for each of your dresser drawers, you’re going to want bins like this for your closet, sewing room, craft supplies, and bathroom. You don’t have to hide it in a drawer – show it off on the counter or a shelf! It would also make a cute bedside organizer (make one to match these bedside pockets).
DIY Drawer Organizer Details
This sturdy box shaped bin is made with flexible foam stabilizer on the inside to help the walls stand up. There’s a divider in the middle too!
The outer dimensions are approximately 14” x 12”, with 4” tall sides. It would make great storage for accessories, sewing supplies, or even small tools.
The top edge looks like it has binding sewn to it, but that’s just the lining wrapping over to look like binding. I really thing the quilting adds charm.
The bottom edge has binding that is sewn on as the very last step. Since there are no curves, you don’t have to use bias binding – cutting it straight is fine.
Besides a sewing machine, cutting tools, and thread, the materials you’ll need for this easy sewing project are fabric, flexible foam stabilizer (such as Soft and Stable from ByAnnie), and a small piece of ultra firm stabilizer (I used Peltex).
Will you sew my organizing bin to put in a drawer or on a shelf? Either way, let’s get started!
DIY Divided Drawer Organizer Sewing Pattern
To make this project, you will need…
- 3/4 yard of cotton fabric for the exterior
- 3/4 yard of cotton fabric for the lining and binding
*Fabric requirements are based on cotton quilting fabric that is 40” wide.
Flexible foam stabilizer (such as Soft and Stable):
- 1/2 yard if your stabilizer is 58” wide
- 1 1/4 yards if the stabilizer is 20” wide
You will also need:
- a 3” x 12” piece of ultra firm stabilizer (such as Peltex – I used the double sided fusible kind, but single sided fusible or sew-in would work great too. You could use cardboard in a pinch, but it won’t be washable)
- quilt basting spray (such as SpraynBond)
- a walking foot (or dual feed foot) for your sewing machine (for quilting the fabric and foam stabilizer together)
- a fabric marking pen
- an acrylic ruler, rotary cutter and cutting mat, wonderclips or pins, and coordinating thread
From the cotton fabric for the exterior, cut:
- 1 rectangle 10 1/2” x 28 1/2”
- 1 rectangle 14 1/2” x 16 1/2”
From the cotton fabric for the lining, cut:
- 2 rectangles 5” x 26 1/2”
- 1 rectangle 14 1/2” x 16 1/2”
- 1 rectangle 7” x 12 1/2”
- 1 short binding strip that is 1 1/2” x 5”
- 2 strips 2 1/4” x 40” for the main binding (or enough to piece together 1 binding strip that is at least 2 1/4” x 60”)
From the flexible foam stabilizer, cut:
- 1 rectangle 10 1/2” x 28 1/2”
- 1 rectangle 14 1/2” x 16 1/2”
The photo above also shows your 3” x 12” piece of Peltex or other ultra firm stabilizer.
Make 2 Quilted Pieces from Fabric and Flexible Foam Stabilizer
1. Use quilt basting spray to adhere the 10 1/2” x 28 1/2” piece of fabric to the piece of flexible foam stabilizer of the same size.
Note that this piece is single sided – the lining fabric will be sewn to it later.
2. Make a sandwich with the two 14 1/2” x 16 1/2” pieces of fabric and the piece of flexible foam stabilizer of the same size. Use quilt basting spray to adhere the wrong sides of the fabric pieces to either side of the stabilizer.
Another option is to machine baste the fabric and foam stabilizer together as I demonstrated in this post with a video.
This piece is double sided with both exterior and lining fabric.
3. Use your walking foot or free motion foot to quilt the fabric and stabilizer pieces together.
I found it helpful to mark the first line at a 45 degree angle, and then use the guide for my walking foot to help me quilt lines that were 1 1/2” apart. After quilting lines in one direction, I turned the piece and quilted lines in the other direction.
Quilt both the 10 1/2” x 28 1/2” single sided piece and the 14 1/2” x 16 1/2” double sided piece.
4. From the double sided quilted piece, cut a piece that is 12 1/2” x 14 1/2” for the bottom of the divided bin.
5. From the single sided quilted piece cut 2 strips 4 1/2” x 26 1/2”.
Sew the Long Quilted Strips Together
1. Place the two 4 1/2” x 26 1/2” quilted strips right sides together and pin along one short edge.
2. Stitch with a 1/4” seam allowance.
3. Finger press the seam to one side. From the right side of the strip, topstitch 1/8” away from the seam.
Make the Divider
1. Fold the 7” by 12 1/2” fabric rectangle in half, right sides together, with the 12 1/2” edges together. Pin.
2. Sew the long edge with a 1/4” seam allowance to make a 3 1/4” x 12 1/2” fabric tube.
3. Turn the fabric tube right side out and press it flat.
Slide the 3” x 12” piece of ultra firm stabilizer (Peltex) inside the fabric tube.
4. Center the stabilizer inside the tube and press to fuse it in place.
If your stabilizer piece is the sew-in variety (not fusible), you can baste 1/4” away from either side edge to hold it in place.
Sew the Divider to the Lining Strips
1. Place one 5” x 26 1/2” lining strip on your workspace right side up.
Lay the divider on top of it, with one short edge of the divider lined up with a short edge of the lining strip.
Place the divider so that it is is about 1/2” above the bottom edge of the fabric strip and 1 1/4” below the top edge. Pin it in place and then baste the two pieces together along the short edge, 1/8” from the edge.
2. Place the remaining 5” x 26 1/2” lining strip on top, right side down. Pin together the end that has the divider sandwiched in between.
3. Sew with a 1/4” seam allowance.
Sew the Side Lining and Exterior Pieces Together
1. Lay the long quilted piece for your side exterior on your workspace right side up. Place the long lining piece on top right side down. Pin all along the top edge.
Tip: Make sure that the lining piece is oriented so that the divider is still 1 1/4” away from the top edge and 1/2” away from the bottom edge.
2. Sew across the top edge with a 1/4” seam allowance.
3. Wrap the lining around to the other side of the quilted piece so that wrong sides are together.
Pin the raw edges together at the bottom. As the lining wraps around the top edge of the quilted piece, it should appear similar to a bound edge.
4. Baste the raw edges together along the bottom of the strip about 1/8” away from the edge.
5. On the exterior side of the piece, stitch in the ditch between the lining and the exterior fabric to keep these layers from shifting.
6. Place the free end of the divider against the short end on one side of the strip (against the lining). Pin together with the divider 1/2” above the bottom edge.
Baste the short ends together with a 1/8” seam allowance.
7. Now place both short ends of the long quilted side piece right sides together (exterior sides together) with the divider on top). Pin.
8. Sew the short edges together with a 1/4” seam allowance.
Bind the Raw Edge of the Side Piece
1. Fold the 1 1/2” x 5” binding strip in half lengthwise and press.
Lay the strip over the the short seam with the raw edges lined up.
Line up the bottom edge of the binding with the bottom edge of the side piece and let the extra binding fabric extend upward.
2. Sew the binding over the seam with a 1/4” seam allowance.
3. Open the side piece and fold the binding over. It does not need to wrap around the seam, just cover it.
Pin the folded edge of the binding against the side piece on the other side of the seam.
Wrap the binding around the seam at the top and tuck the raw edges under for a neat finish.
4. Topstitch close to the folded edge of the binding to hide all the raw edges.
Sew Together the Sides and Bottom of the Divided Bin
1. Use the fabric marking pen to mark the center of each long portion of the side piece as indicated above.
2. The bottom piece is quilted with pretty fabric on both sides! Choose which side you want to show inside the divided bin.
Mark the center of all 4 edges on the side that you want to show.
3. Place the side piece on top of the bottom piece and clip (or pin) the edges together, lining up the markings on the long portions of the side piece with the center marks on the shorter (12 1/2”) edges of the bottom piece.
The seams on the side piece (that hold the divider in place) should be clipped or pinned at the markings on the longer (14 1/2”) edges of the bottom piece.
Place more pins or wonderclips, working out toward the corners.
At each corner, use your scissors to cut into the side piece just 1/4” to enable it to turn the corner neatly.
Use lots of pins or wonderclips to pin the sides and bottom together all the way around.
4. Sew together with a 1/4” seam allowance.
When you come to a corner, stop with your needle down. Lift the foot to pivot the bin and sew the next side.
Now you are ready for binding!
Bind the Bottom Edge of the Organizing Bin
1. Join the 2 1/2” strips together to make a binding strip that is at least 60” long. Fold the binding in half lengthwise and press.
Tip: See my tutorial for binding a quilt by machine. I’m using the exact same process!
2. The binding will be sewn to the bottom of the bin first and then wrapped around to the sides. To get started, pin or clip one short end of the binding to the bottom of the bin with the raw edges lined up.
3. Leave about 6” of binding free and begin sewing the binding to the bin with a 1/4” seam allowance.
4. Stop sewing when you are 1/4” away from a corner and backstitch. Remove the piece from your sewing machine.
Fold the binding to the right, making a crease with a 45 degree angle.
Fold the binding back to the left and pin or clip in place. Turn the bin and resume sewing binding to the next side.
5. Continue sewing the binding around the bottom of the bin. Stop sewing about 6-8” away from where you started. Remove the piece from your sewing machine so you can sew the ends of the binding together.
6. Bring the ends of the binding together and fold them back where they meet. Use your fingernail to crease the fold.
Cut away the extra binding 1/4” past the fold on each side.
7. Place the binding ends right sides together and pin. Stitch with a 1/4” seam allowance.
Finger press the seam open and re-fold the binding as before. Finish sewing the binding to the bottom of the bin.
8. Wrap the binding around the raw edges and over to the side of the bin. Topstitch on the binding close to the fold.
A sewing stiletto really helps with this step!
As you approach a corner, fold the binding to make a 45 degree angle. Then fold it up over the raw edge on the next side.
Sew to the corner, pivot, and continue attaching the binding all the way around.
Press, Pinch, and Stitch the Corners
1. To make the corners nice and crisp, fold and press the sides of the bin flat at each corner.
2. Pinch each corner together at the top and hold with pins or clips.
3. Using a small stitch length (1 or less), stitch back and forth for about 1/4” at each corner. Sew right in the ditch where you topstitched previously.
This makes the corners look crisp and beautiful!
And now you are done! I would love to see the divided organizing bins that you make with this sewing tutorial or projects from any of my free sewing patterns! Please post a photo to instagram and tag me @sewcanshe so I can take a look.
Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂