Should You Build Your Own Custom Closet Drawers?

Custom Closet Drawers

This is part of an ongoing series on building your own custom closet shelving.

A custom closet does not require drawers. You can simply design adjustable shelving using plywood, mdf, melamine or wire shelving. If you want a closet with more functionality and a sophisticated look, you will either need to purchase drawers or craft them yourself. You benefit from a DIY build because you get to select the materials and joint methods. However, expect this phase of the project to take the bulk of your custom design closet building time. Here are some pros and cons of constructing drawers for a custom closet:


  • You can use 3/4″ thick material.  When you buy drawers as part of a custom solution at your local home center, the wood used is often 1/2″ or less!  A 3/4″ drawer is much stronger.
  • You decide on the joint methods.  The factory made drawers for assembly break down hardware which does not always hold up to rugged use.  You can often find failed drawers on display at the home center (drawers out of alignment, falling apart, etc.).
  • You can custom size your drawers.


  • Building your own drawers requires a lot of time
  • If you decide to build drawers using melamine, there are design challenges.

Alternative Strategies:

One strategy is to build your own boxes but mail-order false drawer fronts on the internet.  If you are making drawers for a melamine based closet, you can purchase thermofoil drawer fronts in the style you prefer.

In a future post I will discuss how I made the drawers pictured in this post.

Note: This is a text only post from the Handyguys. There is no audio.

homemade custom closet drawers installed

7 thoughts on “Should You Build Your Own Custom Closet Drawers?

  1. I recently moved into my new home which has a walk in closet I was originally going to customize it myself but just didn’t have the time or energy so I hired someone to do it for me and I couldn’t be happier. If anyone is looking to customize their closets I definitely recommend Custom Closet Design check out some of their work Custom Closet Design, very impressive.

  2. Hi The Handyguys! Just stumbled upon this post.
    Building your own closet drawers may sound like a good idea, but just one of you cons stated, it takes a lot of time. Unless you have that time to devote to building the drawers then it may be best to buy a ready-made drawer unit or have it custom built my a closet company.
    Thanks for the great content!

  3. I am also thinking if I am going to have a DIY drawers or just purchase a ready-made. I don’t mind if it takes time, I have a lot of time repairing our home I just wanted to know if which one is cheaper if I buy a ready-made drawer or create one?

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