Recycled craft: DIY desk organizer

Recycled craft DIY desk organizerI’ve been saving some cereal boxes and toilet paper/paper towel rolls for awhile. I’m not just some weird hoarder – I had a purpose. My goal was to recycle these items in a Mod Podge project. I thought, if everyone else can use these items for crafts, I can too. So I challenged myself! It’s kind of fun to do that sometimes to see what you come up with.

Based on what I had in my stash, I created this DIY desk organizer, aka the perfect recycled craft. I just used what was on hand so I didn’t even spend one dollar for this. I won’t say it’s totally free because you might have to buy some supplies . . . but you should challenge yourself to see how cheaply you can make it! Here’s how I made mine using decoupage.

Gather These Supplies

IMG_6169Here are my supplies. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to turn this pile o’ stuff into a desk organizer, but hey, it was a challenge. Right?

IMG_6170I had no idea how to measure the cereal box for my bins, I’m going to be honest with you. So I just cut 1/4th of the box off of the bottom and then proceeded to cut the rest of the box in that same manner. I knew I would have a front row and a back row, so I made the “back row” of boxes taller than the front row.

IMG_6171So here is a finished bin. I also made two smaller compartments by cutting the larger compartments down and taping them. Don’t worry – you’ll cover over that tape with Mod Podge and paper.

IMG_6172I’m completely exhausted at this point. But I have a structure for my desk organizer! If you like, trim the TP/paper towel tubes to different heights to add interest.

IMG_6173I needed to take a break from cutting cereal boxes, so I painted my plaque. Choose colors that coordinate with your paper, paint the whole plaque and then let dry.

IMG_6174Now this is an optional step . . . but I used some white paint on the edges of my cereal boxes and tubes. Sometimes my paper doesn’t match EXACTLY and I didn’t want the brown of the tubes or the colors of the box to show (since they didn’t match). If you are particular, you might want to do this. If not, don’t worry about it.

IMG_6175Now that everything is painted and ready, time to trace. Take a pencil or pen and trace each compartment on your scrapbook paper.

IMG_6176Cut everything out.

IMG_6177Add Mod Podge to the backs of all of the papers . . .

IMG_6180And then proceed to decoupage your compartments with paper and Mod Podge. Hold everything down, smooth and let dry 15 – 20 minutes. Then give it a top coat.

IMG_6181Don’t forget to Mod Podge your plaque as well, just to seal.

IMG_6184Add ribbon to the top edge of each compartment with the craft glue. I did it on the rolls as well.

IMG_6189Glue each compartment down to the plaque using craft glue. You’ll see white around the edges, but it will dry clear.

Recycled craft DIY desk organizerWhat do you think – are you up for making a DIY desk organizer of your own? What would you Mod Podge from cereal boxes and toilet paper rolls?

If you want to check out more recycled crafts, I did a roundup of 20 here.

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  1. Fabienne says

    I’m reading this at work and see a beautiful deskorganiser coming :) with newspaper as deco (i work at a newspaperprintplant (is that an english term) It’s really cool!!!

  2. Terri says

    So cute! I didn’t know they made kids modge podge. Putting my little guy to work to corral his art supplies :)

  3. Glenda Hart says

    My friends birthday is Saturday and she is all about the recycle repurpose, and reuse so this will make a super gift for office in her new home!!! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Lorie Liptak says

    This is one of my favorite projects that I have seen in a long time! It would be perfect for office gifts, graduation gifts, or for Administrative Assistants Day!

  5. Carole says

    I am going to make the desk organizer. I need one and this not only meets my needs but it’s pretty too! So here’s a chance to use what I have on hand instead of what the office supply has. Thank you!

  6. Cassie says

    I am making one now but am just waiting on some toilet paper rolls. I had to do some patchwork with the cardboard because I ran out of actual boxes so I was taping and gluing small pieces of cardboard together. This is a great tutorial and it’s pretty simple to follow too, Thanks Amy, your design is helping me de-clutter my desk

  7. Lisa says

    Great project! I’m actually going to make one to organize my makeup and brushes. Great directions too! Thank you!

  8. Dorsey says

    This is wonderful! Thinking of decorating with masking tape as it comes in so many colors and no muss no fuss.
    Thanks for sharing!!!!


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