Use old cereal boxes and toilet paper rolls to create a unique DIY desk organizer! This craft organizer is perfect if you're on a budget.
Scroll down to the bottom of the post to see a video of how to make a recycled desk organizer of your very own. You'll also get two bonus projects in the video: a drawer organizer and a magazine holder!
I'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 by rooting through the recycling bin.
Before we jump into the project, I want to share some things about this desk organizer you should keep in mind while you're making it. I hope these help!
Paper for Your Craft Organizer
I used a few large pieces of scrapbook paper to make my desk organizer. You can use nearly any paper for this project, but you should keep a few things in mind. You'll want the paper to be thick enough so that you don't see the labels from the boxes through the paper. Therefore papers like tissue paper, wrapping paper, and napkins might be too thin.
There is a way around that though. You can always paint the boxes with a white acrylic paint or primer after cutting them into the desired sizes so that the labels don't show through. It's an added step to paint, but it will make your craft organizer look so much better when it's finished.
Plaques to Buy
The fun thing about this craft organizer is that you can use any size or style of wood plaque to make it! The wood plaque that I chose was an 11″ x 14″ oval that I purchased from Michaels. I encourage you to try this in a different shape if you want to. I think even the natural wood slice would look cool for this DIY desk organizer – and you could leave it natural if you so choose.
Formula to Use
I used Mod Podge Satin for this project, but you could use Gloss, Matte, or Hard Coat. You can even add glitter here and there with a little Sparkle or Extreme Glitter Mod Podge. Give the craft organizer several coats of whatever decoupage formula you choose so that it is durable.
You want the toilet paper rolls in particular to stand up to constant putting things in and pulling things out – so I'd say use at least three coats of the formula you select.
Are you ready to dive into the project? Here's how I made my craft organizer using Mod Podge!
DIY Desk Organizer
Gather These Supplies
- Cereal boxes and toilet paper rolls
- Wood plaque
- Mod Podge Satin
- Acrylic paint in the colors of your choice (white is optional)
- Scrapbook paper
- Ribbon in coordinating colors
- Craft knife
- Craft glue
- Pen or pencil
Here 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?
I 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 boxes 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.
So here is a finished bin. I also made two smaller compartments by cutting the larger compartments down and taping them on the outside. Don't worry – you'll cover over that tape with Mod Podge and paper.
I'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.
I 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.
Now 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.
Now that everything is painted and ready, time to trace. Take a pencil or pen and trace each compartment on your scrapbook paper. Keep in mind that for the larger compartments (i.e., the cereal boxes), you might need to trace and cut multiple pieces of paper to completely cover them.
Cut everything out.
Add Mod Podge to the backs of all of the papers . . .
And then proceed to decoupage your compartments with paper and Mod Podge. Hold everything down until it sticks, smooth, and let dry 15 – 20 minutes. Then give it a top coat.
Don't forget to Mod Podge your plaque as well, just to seal.
Add ribbon to the top edge of each compartment with the craft glue. I did it on the edges of the toilet paper/paper towel rolls as well.
Glue each compartment down to the plaque using craft glue. You'll see white around the edges, but it will dry clear.
What do you think – are you up for making a DIY desk organizer of your own? Let me know in the comments!
If you want to see a video of how the project is made (plus two bonus projects), just click play below:
If you want to check out more recycled crafts, here's another post that might interest you!