Whether you are making your own nightstand or dresser or have invested in a new one, you want to make sure that you have a drawer stopper to prevent the drawers from sliding all the way out and falling on someone’s toes.
To make a drawer stopper, you will need scrap wood at least 2 inches (5cm) in length and half an inch (1.27cm) in thickness. You will then drill or screw in a screw into this piece of wood and either onto the back of the drawer or on the inside of your desk’s front end.
If you want to learn how to make your own drawer stopper, keep reading to go through the steps it takes to make this easy addition to your nightstand or dresser.
1. Get Wood Scraps, a Drill, Drill Bit & Screw
First and foremost, you will have to gather your materials. It is best to use wood scraps as you will need only a small piece to make one stopper. It needs to be at least 2 inches (5cm) long and thick enough that the drawer’s weight will not cause it to snap. To be safe, using a piece that half an inch (1.27cm) in thickness will ensure that.
If you have only large wood scraps, a saw of some kind or a SKIL 5280-01 15-Amp Circular Saw will be needed when you get to cut it down to size. You can also glue together wooden paint sticks or thin pieces of wood if needed using wood glue and a clamp.
You will also need a drill, any basic one such as the Hi-Spec 18V Pro Combo Cordless Drill Driver with screwdriver bits. You will also need a screw that is long enough to go through the thickness of your piece of wood, as well as halfway into the depth of the place you are installing it.
You may also find it easier to finish screwing in the screw with a screwdriver, so having one handy is a good idea.
2. Mark the Wood to Desired Size
With your wood scraps, you want to make sure that you cut it to the proper size. To do this, you will want to mark where you will cut with a pen or a marker. Ideally, you will want to mark it at 2 inches (5cm) in length, at least 1 inch (2.5cm) in height, and about half an inch (1.27cm) thick.
3. Cut the Wood to Marked Size
After marking the wood to your desired size, you can then cut it to the size you have marked using whichever saw you have available. You can also opt to get a little fancy here by rounding the edges, but this is completely optional.
4. Mark the Hole on the Wood
You then will want to mark a hole in the wood where you will be putting the screw and then attaching it to your dresser/desk/nightstand.
You want to mark the hole using a pen or a market on one end of the piece of wood on the flat side. Make sure to center it as best as possible as you don’t want to drill the screw in too close to the edge of the piece of wood.
5. Pre-Drill the Hole
You do not want to miss this step, especially when you don’t have a lot of extra wood sitting around. By pre-drilling the hole, you will make it a lot easier for the screw to go in and prevent any cracks or snaps in the wood from occurring.
If you are using a drill, you want to place your wood down and hold the drill perpendicular to the floor. Then slowly begin to drill in the hole in a slightly smaller size than the thickness of the screw you will be putting in. You should drill the hole almost completely through the piece of wood.
Pro Tip: Place a scrap piece of wood that you have underneath your drawer stopper so that you can avoid your drill going through and continuing the hole through your floor or a table.
6. Screw in the Screw Into the Hole
You then want to start screwing in the screw into the hole of the piece of wood. To do this, place it through and begin using either the drill or a screwdriver to get it in. You will want it to just barely come out of the other side of the piece of wood.
7. Mark the Spot on Your Dresser
Now it’s time to attach it to your desk, dresser, or nightstand. This will be at the front end of the desk or dresser, on the inside of where the drawer goes in.
If you are making your own, it is best to install these before putting the top of the desk or dresser onto the base of it. This way, you can easily mark the spot that is central to the drawer.
If this is too hard or you cannot reach inside your desk or dresser, you can also attach the drawer stopper to the back of the drawer itself, on the inside of it. Instead of being attached to the dresser or desk, it will be attached to the drawer itself.
8. Screw the Wood Into Dresser
You will then place the wood piece you have cut, with the screw positioned at the center spot you have marked on your dresser with the wood hanging down past the drawer opening. The idea is that it will then catch the drawer instead of allowing it to fall out.
You want the screw to be screwed in about halfway into the wood of your desk or dresser, either doing this with a screwdriver or a drill. You want it to be tight, but not so tight that you cannot twist it down. This is necessary as if you cannot twist it, you will be unable to put your drawer back in properly.
If you are having a hard time picturing how this would look, take a look at this video that ensures you of how simple this technique really is:
9. Test It Out
Then go ahead and test it out. As mentioned previously, make sure that it can twist. If it can’t, you will want to loosen the screw a little bit but be careful to make sure that you do not crack any of the wood.
Once it is all good, you can go ahead and put your drawer in. To do this, you want to twist the wood, so it is horizontal to the drawer. Then, when you have the drawer halfway in, you can reach your hand in and twist it to be vertical to it, so it catches the drawer as you pull it out.
Keep in mind to be mindful of how much you put in the drawer compared to the drawer stopper’s thickness. As the heavier the drawer, the more likely a thin drawer stopper will snap.
Making your very own drawer stopper is one of the easiest and least expensive do-it-yourself hacks you can do with all of the tools and scrap wood you most likely already have in the house.
To ensure that you make an effective drawer stopper that will stop drawers that are always falling out, you want to make sure that it has the right thickness and appropriate length. You also want to make sure that you have pre-drilled the hole you are going to put your screw in and make sure that you can twist the stopper sideways.