How to Install a Sink Tip Out Tray for Storage.

Replacing the false front of your sink with one of these tip out trays is one of those DIYS that looks like magic (hard) but is actually surprisingly easy.  And the cost to convert your sink front into a useable space is only about $20.

White Martha Stewart shaker style cabinets.

Upon first inspection it’s a common variety fake drawer front.  And it was exactly that at one point until I installed a little tip out tray that makes this fake drawer front actually USEFUL.

I’m not sure why all kitchen cabinet makers don’t just make all their fake drawer fronts into tip out trays from the get go – but they don’t for some reason. After eating 7 macaroons and an entire bag of Ruffles with dip last night I’m in a particularly foul mood today … so I’m going with “they’re just trying to anger me”.

That little spot underneath the front of your sink is UNUSED space for keeping your counter tidy.  Sure it can’t hold a lot but it can hold a cloth, a scrubbie pad, a pot scraper and a little vial of dish soap.  Those are 4 things that we use all the time and need to be able to grab quickly. I mean those of who aren’t either royals or prisoners.

At the same time, I don’t like leaving them on the counter because they weren’t designed by Steve Jobs, the King (RIP) of simple design.


Karen Bertelsen removes the fake front panel in front of a sink.


Most false drawers like this are easy to remove. This Martha Stewart fake front is just attached with clips so you can pop it right off. Others might be attached with screws.


Pulling away a white shaker style front panel to add a Rev-a-shelf tray.

Once you get your front removed all you have to do is install your tray and hinges and you’re well on your way to being the greatest person on your block. You’ll invite friends and neighbours over for the sheer joy of making them jealous. Then you’ll bonk them on the head to induce a little harmless short term memory loss, so you can show them all over again.

Kitchen sink with the cupboard doors beneath open and the false panel removed.

To do this DIY all you need are the proper hinges and of course the tray that will hold whatever it is you want to hold in there.

You can get the exact ones I have here online but most hardware stores carry some variation of it. This particular tip out tray is by Rev-A-Shelf.

If you buy a kit make sure it comes with the tray AND the hinges. The trays are also sold separately sometimes.

Rev-A-Shelf tip out tray kit.


You may as well do the easy part first to make you feel like you’re accomplishing something immediately. It’s the whole instant gratification thing.

So centre your tray and screw it in place. Make sure you pay attention to the closing and opening of the drawer so the tray doesn’t interfere with that. There isn’t a lot of wiggle room. The plastic clip you see on the right needs to be removed.  It will be replaced with the specialty hinge.

Installing the plastic tray onto the back of a cupboard's false front.

Screwing the Rev-a-Shelf tray into the back of the drawer false front.

The hinges are marked left and right so there’s no confusion. When you hold up your hands as though you’re framing a picture, the hand that is in the shape of an “L” is your left hand. In case you were unsure. Don’t worry. I won’t judge you for not knowing. I will however judge you if you admit to liking canned cream of mushroom soup. For that I will judge.

The marked left and right hinges for a tip out tray laid on a marble countertop.

You will be installing the hinges on the edge of your opening.

Like so. Notice I am using the “R” hinge on the right side. Because I am clever. And held my hands up.

Fitting trip out tray hinge to side of cabinet front.

Place the hinge in the centre of your edge and mark your holes with a pencil. Drill your holes.

Tip down tray hinge being pulled out to reveal where to attach screw into cupboard face.

Install your screws. Do the same thing on the left side. I can’t believe I had to tell you that.

Now hold your front panel in place, slide under the cabinet and mark where the holes that attach the hinge to the drawer front are. Don’t worry. It’ll  make sense when you’re doing it.

Here’s an action shot for you.

Karen Bertelsen crouches under cabinet to install tip-out tray in kitchen cabinet.

Tip! Predrill your holes.

Predrilling a kitchen cabinet false front with a lime green ryobi drill to install hinges.

That’ll make screwing into the hard material MUCH easier and neater.

Screwing a screw into a cabinet front with a pink screwdriver.

From underneath the cabinet (like you were when you were marking the hinge holes with a pencil) screw the hinge into the drawer front. You will be contorted and squished but it shouldn’t be too difficult.

A kitchen cabinet under the sink with the cabinet doors open and the false front panel removed.
Now that the hinges are screwed to the drawer front and the cabinet you can see the drawer in action.

Pulling out a sink drop down drawer fitted with a Rev-a-shelf tip out tray.
And finally me and the tray in action. The both of us. In action.  I’m casually reaching for a plant to pretend to water.  That plant is now dead.

Karen Bertelsen reaches for a plant in her white kitchen with butcher block counter tops.

How to Install a Tip Out Tray

How to Install a Tip Out Tray

Yield: 1 tip-out tray
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour

Turn your sink's false front into a useable storage space with a tip out tray kit.


  • Rev-a-Shelf Tip out Tray kit (or similar)


  • pencil
  • screwdriver
  • ruler
  • drill
  • drill bit


  1. Remove the face of the false drawer. Most false drawers are easy to remove and are just attached with clips so you can pop it right off. Others might be attached with screws.
  2. Centre your tray on the back of the false drawer face and screw it in place. Test it by placing the panel back into position at the sink to make sure the tray doesn't interfere with the opening and closing of the tip out.
  3. If your panel originally had clips to hold it into place, remove those.
  4. Place the right hinge against the right side of your opening so it is centred in the space and flush with the front edge. Mark your screw holes with a pencil. Pre-drill your holes.
  5. Install your screws. Repeat these steps with the left hinge on the left side.
  6. While holding your front panel in place with one hand, slide under the cabinet and mark where the holes that attach the hinge to the drawer front are.
  7. Pre-drill those marked holes.
  8. Hold the panel in place with one hand like you did before and then from underneath the cabinet screw the hinge into the drawer front. You will be contorted and squished but it shouldn’t be too difficult.
  9. You're done!
That’s all there is to installing a tip down drawer.  No mystery. No real effort.  No real explanation as to why cabinet makers don’t just make them standard other than to anger me.  And you.  All of us really.

What’s the best way to cure tip-out tray and potato chip bingeing anger?  Chili Con Carne obviously.  


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How to Install a Sink Tip Out Tray for Storage.


  1. Vikki says:

    I saw this and thought–what a great idea!! Then looked at my cabinet and the doors go all the way up to the countertop. pffft!!
    Don’t hate me; there are sooo many things worse than canned cream of mushroom soup.
    (btw…Steve Jobs was an egotistical putz.)

  2. ~laura says:

    my sink already has a tip out front, and i’m so busy doing other stuff that i shouldn’t take time to read about stuff i don’t NEED to do. BUT keeping my life in balance includes making time for fun, and you’ve given me my quote for the day with this: “bonk them on the head to induce a little harmless short term memory loss, so you can show them all over again”

  3. Kylee Baumle says:

    We’ve always done this in both the kitchen and the bathrooms. My parents had them in their 1961-built home. Why oh why aren’t they standard?? It’s 2020, for crying out loud. Ohhhhhhh…

    By the way, I do love Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup. 😶 And I’m a picky eater.

  4. Maryanne says:

    Hi Karen,

    I’ve always thought this was a great idea… except for air flow. I’ve never lived with this kind of drawer before so I’m curious – Does the false front drawer allow for sponges to dry? Does it get gungy quickly?

    Thanks in advance :)

    • Alena says:

      Hi Maryanne,
      When I was redoing my kitchen (it was after Karen did hers) of course I had to install the tip out tray as well. It is not, in fact, fully enclosed. What I mean is that when I open the bottom door of my sink cabinet and I reach inside, I can put my fingers into the tip out tray. If you scroll up and look at the photo of the plastic tray you will see that the front side (where it’s attached to the front panel of the sink cabinet) is higher. So the tray is actually “open” all the time.
      I don’t bother putting my sponge in there, I use it to store neatly folded plastic bags (from a grocery store) that I use to line my garbage bin with.

      Seeing the article reminded me all the swearing I did while installing this little gizmo. Unless one is as tiny and as limber as Karen (I am NOT) it’s as easy to fold yourself into a little ball and do the installing from the inside of the sink cabinet. But a copious amount of swearing does help.

  5. Kat says:

    I’m dislexic, both hands make an L, lol!
    Luv the drop drawer! 😀

  6. crin claxton says:

    Great article. How stable are those hinges? I’m making a drop down door out of the last step in a flight of stairs (enough space behind to store 2 large packs of toilet rolls. Why would I waste that storage?). I’ve tried different hinges and wonder if I’d need standard butt hinges as well as the drop down hinges. I need my door to open completely (at 90 degrees to the uprights).

  7. Patti says:

    Nice guns!

  8. melanie says:

    I love this hack!! But you must tell me, where did you get those beautiful pulls? I have been on the hunt for them forever and have not been able to get my hands on them!

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I didn’t notice the thumb nail or the pink screwdriver but I did notice the turtleneck. I got all hot and sweaty just looking at you (and not in the creepy way, in the “how can she wear a turtleneck in June?” way, since we are into such clarifications :))
    The thyme plant died because you forgot to water it just ONCE, I suspect. Thyme is like that.

  10. finny says:

    Well, shit. I’m just going to go ahead and use this smidge of free time allotted to me by the new hire gods to finally install one of these things. Using your handy quick tutorial, of course. Before it was all hypothetical in my head, which would have meant a mess and extra swears. Now I can use your tutorial and the appropriate number of swears.

    PLUS Ruffles with dip, haphazardly placed rage and rhubarb crisp? Woman – we are some kind of semi-messed up kindred souls.

  11. Barbie says:

    ….That ruler…….I need/want it! lol

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