5 Best DIY Desk Organizers

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Experts recommend keeping your desk organized to help boost your mood and your productivity. But every home office is slightly different, and everyone’s desk storage and organization needs are different.

With a DIY desk organizer, you can customize your desk organization for precisely what you need and the amount of space you have.

Even better, you can design and decorate your DIY desk organizer to fit in your space and reflect your taste.

Here are some of the best DIY desk organizers to improve your productivity.

Best DIY Desk Organizers

1. DIY Upcycled Tin Can Desk Organizer

This project is a great way to reuse ordinary household materials, upcycling things you already have while making a functional and versatile desk organizer.

It’s also a great way to customize storage to create space for pens and pencils, scissors and rulers, paperclips and binder clips, and all those other small objects you store at your desk.

It’s also a great way to organize a child’s desk, to keep art and craft supplies organized. To make a DIY upcycled tin can desk organizer:

  1. Choose your cans. You may want an assortment of cans of different sizes and shapes to hold various items and supplies.
  2. Wash and dry your cans
  3. Decorate your cans. You may want to paint them or decorate them with craft paper or washi tape. You may also want to decorate them with small stencils.
  4. Attach your cans to a base. You could use screws to attach your cans to a piece of scrap wood or use hot glue to attach them to a matching decorative tray.
  5. Optional upgrades. Hot glue a magnet onto a small can. The magnet will magnetize the can, making it a great place to hold paperclips, binder clips, sewing pins, and other magnetic items.
  6. Add vase fillers. Using vase fillers inside your cans makes them more attractive and helps them hold pens, pencils, paintbrushes, and other items more securely.

2. DIY Upcycled Tin Can Desk Organizer: Alternate Design

If you have a large number of matching tin cans, you may want to clean and decorate your cans and then use hot glue to assemble them on their sides, stacking them into a pyramid shape, with the openings facing forward.

This is an excellent design for art supplies and a kid’s desk because it’s convenient to store many pens, pencils, markers, crayons and keep them organized by function or color.

3. DIY Upcycled Desk Organizer from Paper Rolls

For an even more versatile DIY desk organizer project, you can use toilet paper or paper towel rolls, along with your old cereal boxes and other empty cardboard containers to make a convenient desk organizer.

To make this project, all you need are some of the items in your recycle bin and an unfinished wooden tray.

You will also want craft paper and a glue stick, ModPodge, or craft glue. To make this project:

  1. Arrange your paper tubes and cut your boxes to complete your organizer’s layout—experiment with where you will place the items and your design boxes’ right height and size.
  2. Once you have finalized the size and design, reinforce your boxes and tubes. Cut new cereal boxes or cardboard tubes, and then glue them to the outside of all your boxes and tubes to add strength.
  3. Decorate your paper tubes. You will need to use a primer before painting over these kinds of reused materials in most cases. You may want to use craft paper instead, which will add more strength while covering any labels or brand marks. You can add accents with washi tape, lace, stickers, or other decorative items.
  4. Glue your boxes and tubes together. Gluing your pieces of cardboard to each other adds more strength, stability and keeps everything organized.
  5. Glue your assembled organizer onto a base made of wood or cardboard. A wooden tray that you have painted or papered to match is a great way to add stability and make the final organizer look more finished and professional. You can also store loose items in the tray.
DIY Desk Organizers

4. DIY Desk Organizing Charging Station and Tablet Display

Managing your devices and charging cables is another essential part of desk organization.

With this DIY, you can charge all your devices, keep cords tidy and organized, and still have full visibility of your tablets and devices. It’s a great way to manage cables, charge devices, stay organized, and make your desk look more stylish, all at once.

For this project, you will need:

  • A picture frame without glass. Choose a frame or shadow box large enough to fit all your devices. The frame should have a stand behind it, so it leans slightly backward when set on a table. If you don’t have a picture stand built into the frame, you can use an easel stand.
  • A cable channel. Choose a small J cable channel that you can cut or trim to fit your frame.
  • A drill to make holes in the frame
  • Hot glue or small screws to hold the channel in place

To build a DIY charging station and tablet display:

  1. Lay out your design. Lay your frame down flat and place your device(s) on it to do the layout. You will use the cable channel to build small ledges inside the frame that your devices will rest on while they are charging.
  2. Make pencil or chalk marks on the frame to determine where you will place the channel(s)
  3. Determine how many charging cables you will need to use, and plan how they will enter the back of the frame and be concealed inside the channel(s)
  4. Drill holes in the frame and the channel(s) to receive the charging cables.
  5. Using hot glue or small screws, secure the channel(s) in place.
  6. Thread your charging cables through the back of the frame and into the channel, allowing the end to poke out at the correct place to charge your devices.
  7. Plug in your devices, and let them rest on the channel while they charge
  8. You may also want to tidy cables on the back of the frame using more J channels or small cable clips.

Displaying your devices inside a beautiful frame wired for power is a great way to keep them charged and visible and set aside your devices when you want to focus on work, keeping them out of your hands.

5. DIY Desk Mail and Paper Organizer from Cardboard

This project is a great way to make your mail or paper organizer, using cardboard boxes you probably already have in the house.

You can also cover it with fabric or craft paper to match your other DIY desk accessories. To make this project, all you need is cardboard and a hot glue gun.

To make a DIY desk mail and paper organizer:

  1. Choose a box that is the size you want your organizer to be. You may want your organizer to be upright, for mail, or horizontal, for paper or an inbox. You may need to trim your box to be the correct size or build a box from cardboard to your desired size.
  2. Use a pencil or chalk to measure and mark where you want to install your shelves/dividers.
  3. Cut flat sheets of cardboard to act as your dividers/shelves. They should be the same size as the inside top/bottom of your box. Use two sheets of cardboard for every shelf/divider, and glue them together.
  4. If you want, cover your shelves with decorative paper, fabric, or paint.
  5. Measure the distance between your shelves/dividers, and cut long strips of cardboard to that height. You will need two strips for each shelf.
  6. Glue the long strip of cardboard around the three inner sides of your box, making sure it fits tightly in the corners. Glue a second strip of cardboard precisely over the first one, making sure it fits tightly against the first layer.
  7. Place a shelf inside the box, resting on your strips of cardboard. Glue the shelf in place.
  8. Add another strip of cardboard around your box inside, resting on top of the first shelf. Repeat with a second layer, then add a second shelf.
  9. Once you have assembled all the shelves, add a second layer of cardboard around the outside of your box to reinforce it.
  10. Decorate your organizer with paper, fabric, or paint.

This versatile design can be used vertically or horizontally and easily expanded over time to help you stay organized no matter how many projects you have.


These DIY projects are fast, simple, and beginner-friendly. They are also a great way to reuse and upcycle items you already have, express your creativity, and make your desk reflect your style.

An organized desk is a productive desk, so make your desk organizer today.

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