Super EASY DIY Slide Out Cabinet Trays (Free Plan!)

I’m in the middle of making two bathroom vanities which have sliding trays in them and figured it would be a good opportunity to make a short video on the construction of these easy DIY slide out trays. The benefit of using trays such as this in the bottom of your cabinets is that it instantly allows access to items you placed in the back of the cabinet. Without a tray system you would have to move all of the junk in the front to get to what you have in the back.

While cabinets are made to various sizes I’ve put together a free plan (at the end of this article) for you to follow with a few easy formulas to determine the exact size pieces regardless of what size cabinet you are working with. I’m using inexpensive Euro Slide drawer slides in this project. They will do just fine in most kitchen applications and pretty much all of your bathroom vanity applications. If you are wanting to make trays for garage or shop storage cabinets that will hold heavy tools a more heavy duty drawer slide is recommended.

The first step is to make reference lines according to the cabinet opening. These lines will help line up the mounting strips later.

cabinet slide out trays version 2 (1)

To make things easy, all of the dimensional lumber for this project is cheap pine 1×2. Cut two pieces that are the same depth as your cabinet shelf and predrill for three mounting screws along the short edge of the boards.

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Attach these strips to the base of the cabinet so that the inside faces are in line with the reference lines you made.

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Use a pen or pencil to elevate the center of the drawer slide from the base of the cabinet. Align the front of the drawer slide with the front of the mounting strip and not the front of the cabinet face frame. This will ensure that your tray in now way interferes with the door closing. Predrill and secure the slide to the mounting strip with three screws.

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Cut all of your 1×2 tray pieces according to the diagram in the plan at the end of this article.

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With all of your tray frame pieces cut you can do a quick layout to ensure everything looks good. The side pieces of the tray frame will be on the inside of the front and back. This will give the front of the tray a slightly cleaner look.

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The formula in the plan will give you the appropriate size for your tray panel but you could also measure the interior measurements of your layout from the previous step. A piece of 3/4” plywood is used for the tray.

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Attach the tray sides with glue and 1-1/4” brad nails. The side pieces go on first followed by the front and back pieces.

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With the tray completed flip it over and install the other half of the drawer slides. The end with the wheel on it goes to the back of the tray. The front of the slide should be flush with the front of the tray.

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Predrill and use three screws to secure the drawer slide.

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Slide the tray in and everything should line up perfectly. This is a super simple DIY project that anyone can make with a few tools. I used a miter saw and a table saw to cut my pieces but technically you can make every cut needed for this tray system with a simple circular saw, jigsaw, or even a hand saw. You will need a drill though.

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And of course I had to test it out. I loaded it up with a bunch of shop supplies which I would imagine are heavier than anything that would be stored in a bathroom. If you find this project and free plan useful it would help me out tremendously by sharing it with your friends! Have a great day folks!

cabinet slide out trays version 2 (12)

Free Plans!

Although this plan is free to you remember that it isn’t free to produce. If you would like to show your thanks please consider using the donate button at the bottom of this page. If you liked this project and found it useful please share it so others can do so as well. Thanks for stopping by folks and have a great day! Thank you for your support!

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17 Comments

  1. Hans A.

    Mounting the drawer slides further back in your cabinet would allow you to increase the size of the front piece to effectively conceal the slide when the drawer is closed.

  2. rollie

    I know I have commented a few times about the ryobi toys you have. But I am curious about reviews of these since I own a few of them myself. Which of the two nail guns do you have? Or do you own both? do you have any firing issues with it/them? I have blown through many a nails trying to get it adjusted correctly. Any hints that might help with that? good build as always Jay. Keep up the badassedness

  3. Chris P

    Hey Jay thanks for the shirt designs first of all( got the screw and it and stool one). Secondly, do you plan on doing a video for the vanities? I’m actually looking to build a couple myself, but don’t really have any cabinet experience. Thanks for the videos and plans!

    1. Jay Bates

      Hey Chris. Yes I’m going to have a the vanity build in a video. But it’s not going to be incredibly in depth. Going to be like my moxon vise video. The free plans should be able to get you going with general cabinet construction.

  4. Web

    Jay…thanks for showing the drawer guides…always thought this was a complicated process. Am interested in the work table you use in conjunction with your table saw. Do you have plans and a video for that? Thanks

  5. Tony

    Thanks Jay this is exactly what I was looking to do for the bottom of my work bench. I inherited with our new house a long work bench with a wide open bottom shelf. I am putting upper shelves to double the space and wanted to install pull out trays for easy access, this is perfect. Thanks!

  6. akıllı telefon fiyatları

    Thanks for the great article. i really appreciate it. I have been making research on the internet for a very long time and now come up with something useful. it will be a great guide for my thesis here:

  7. Dave

    Jay, great write up. Been wanting to do this for a while now Have to hand it to you, on your video and explaining skills are really clear. Going to the store this AM and working on this for my bench as a practice and then indoor vanity.

  8. Jill

    Hi Jay, thanks for the tutorial! This will be my first ever woodworking project and your write-up makes it very do-able even for a beginner like me. Just wondering, is a nailer absolutely necessary to install the brad nails? I don’t have a nailer and was just wondering if there are alternative methods of installing them. Let me know when you get the chance. Thanks in advance!

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