How to Make a Cardboard Desk Organizer
Making a desk organizer out of cardboard is an easy, inexpensive way to get organized. With just a few supplies and some simple steps, you can create a custom organizer perfect for your needs.
Gather Your Materials
To make a cardboard desk organizer, you will need:
Cardboard – Collect cardboard boxes, sheets, or panels. Look for sturdy corrugated cardboard at least 1/4 inch thick. Avoid thin cardboard like cereal boxes.
Utility knife – Use a sharp utility or craft knife to cut the cardboard.
Ruler – A metal ruler with a straight edge will help you measure and cut straight lines.
Pencil – Use a pencil to sketch your design and mark cutting lines.
Glue – An all-purpose or craft glue will adhere the cardboard pieces together.
Scissors – Scissors can help trim corners or cut details.
Paint, markers, or decoupage (optional) – Decorate with paint, markers, decoupage papers, etc.
Design Your Organizer
Once you have your materials, it’s time to design your cardboard organizer. Take measurements of the desk area where you plan to use the organizer. Sketch ideas for the overall shape and interior compartments.
Consider including features like:
Dividers – Vertical dividers create sorted sections for office supplies, papers, etc.
Shelves – Horizontal shelves double your organization space.
Drawers – Drawers hide away small items. Use cut cardboard tabs as pull handles.
Angled back – An angled backrest against the wall uses space efficiently.
Decorative elements – Cut shapes from cardboard to glue on as decorative details.
Make your design as basic or complex as you want. Just be sure to make compartments large enough for your items.
Cut Out the Pieces
Use your ruler and pencil to measure and mark cutting lines on your cardboard. Clamp a metal ruler against the lines to keep your utility knife blade straight. Press firmly and make several passes to slice all the way through the thickness.
Work slowly and safely. Make interior cuts before outer edges. Smooth edges with scissors once pieces are removed.
Cut connected pieces like shelves and dividers in one section. Number pieces with a pencil so you can keep track.
Assemble the Organizer
Once all pieces are cut out, it’s time to assemble them. Work on a flat surface and use your pencil sketches as a guide.
Apply a thin layer of glue to one joining edge at a time. Align edges and press firmly together. Allow glue to dry fully before moving on.
For drawers, glue bottom and side pieces first. Then glue on a piece cut to size for the drawer front. Glue tabs to the back edge to serve as handles.
Shelves can be notched to fit into upright divider slots or simply glue shelves atop divider walls.
Let all glue dry overnight before using your organizer. This ensures maximum strength.
Customize the Finish
To finish off your cardboard organizer, decorate however you like! Here are some ideas:
Paint – Coat with spray paint or use acrylic to paint designs.
Decoupage – Adhere colorful scrapbook papers for a collage effect.
Stencils – Use stencils and spray paint to add patterns.
Markers – Draw or doodle with markers directly on the cardboard.
Photos – Glue on photos or magazine cut outs with Mod Podge.
Labels – Print and attach labels for sections to stay organized.
Get creative with colors, textures, and embellishments! Add a personalized touch to your handmade cardboard organizer.
With some simple tools, recycled materials, and your own custom design, you can make a desk organizer that suits your space and storage needs perfectly. Just take it slow and have fun crafting with cardboard!