HomeDIY CraftHow to Make a Wooden Desk Organizer (DIY) -

How to Make a Wooden Desk Organizer (DIY) –


This wooden desk organizer is a great beginning to intermediate weekend project. You can use it as a catchall for everything you want to access quickly and easily, as a desk paper organizer, or even turn it into a planter!

Minimalist wooden desk organizer with notebook, scissors and a small plant

I’ve been in major organization mode lately (hence my recent hall closet organization). So I made a wooden desk organizer to keep my papers, notebooks, and scissors close by without taking up all of my desk space. Because earlier there used to be a pile of stuff on my desk, which became irritating after some time.

Honestly, this is a pretty straightforward project. So even if you are a beginner with power tools, you can still make this with ease. It only requires a few cuts – no screws or special tools required.

So if you want to learn how to make a simple organizer like this, click for the tutorial.

Wooden desk organizer with muted notebook with gold scissors and flowing plant inside

Instructions for making a wooden desk organizer

materials needed

  • Wood pieces (exact dimensions below in Step 1)
  • compact circular saw (i use it,
  • measuring tape or ruler
  • pencil
  • table clamp
  • wood glue
  • damp cloth or paper towels
  • Sandpaper or electric sander (optional)

How to Make a Wooden Desk Organizer

1. Cut wood.

Start by cutting all the wood needed for the project.

I was able to find some pieces at my local art supply store in exactly the dimensions I needed, so I only had to make a few cuts for the extra pieces I needed.

Since you can make straight cuts, it is very easy to do it yourself. Especially if you are using small power tools, such as This one (which is what I use). Once you cut the pieces, sand if necessary for an extremely smooth finish.

Here are the dimensions…

  • 2 wood pieces that are 4.75 x 7.5 inches (these are the side legs)
  • 2 wood pieces that are 6 x 12 inches (these are the long edge pieces)
  • 1 piece of wood that is 5.5 x 4 inches (this is the inside divider)
  • 1 piece of wood that is 4 x 12 inches (this is the bottom piece)

2. Add wood glue.

Next, apply wood glue to the two long sides of the bottom piece of wood (the bottom piece is 4 x 12 inches).

The piece I’m holding in my hand in the photo is actually the bottom piece and the one on the table is one of the side pieces that will be added soon.

3. Connect the edges.

Add the two long edge pieces (6 x 12 inch pieces) to the bottom piece.

These two long side pieces will cover the sides of the bottom part to create a seamless look.

4. Attach the bottom to the sides.

Next, apply wood glue to the bottom and both sides that will touch the other wood pieces for the middle divider (which is a 5.5 x 4 inch piece) wherever you want it to go on the inside.

I did mine from the center out, so I would have a larger side for notebooks, etc. and a smaller side for pens, pencils, or even a plant.

5. Press everything down and wipe off excess glue.

Use two table clamps to hold everything together while drying, as shown in the photo.

Then, use a slightly damp cloth or paper towel to wipe off any excess wood glue that you can see oozing from the joints.

Let the entire piece dry overnight (or according to the drying instructions on your wood glue packaging) with the clamps still attached.

6. Remove the clamps and apply more glue.

Remove the clamps, make sure the entire piece is secure/solid and then move on to the raised edges.

Apply wood glue to the two remaining edges that are still open.

Then, flip over (so the very bottom of the piece is facing up) and add the remaining two wood pieces (these are the 4.75 x 7.5 inch pieces).

You want one end of each of those two pieces to be in the air, as you can see in the photo.

Those extra ends will become the legs of the organizer when you flip it back over for use.

7. Close everything tightly and let it dry overnight.

Press everything together once again.

Again use a slightly damp cloth or paper towel to wipe off any excess wood glue that you can see coming out of the joints.

And let the entire piece dry overnight (or according to the drying instructions on your wood glue packaging) with the clamps still attached.

8. Remove the clamp.

Remove the clamps, flip the organizer over and it’s ready to use.

If there is an area that doesn’t seem level, you can easily fix it with an electric sander or sand by hand (which will take longer but still works perfectly).

Just be sure to clear all sanded areas before using.

Comment: If you want one side (or both sides for that matter) to be used for housing the plants, be sure to insert a plastic liner or something similar before adding your plants. The liner will catch water and keep your wood from getting soggy.

Closeup of a plant growing out of a wooden organizer, sitting on a desk

More DIY Organization Ideas

Start here: With 42 Organization Ideas for Your Home – There are plenty of great ideas left to implement. And then check this also…

  • A DIY hanging wall organizer made of canvas that can hold almost anything you can think of. It was above my desk for years and housed all my office and craft supplies. Now I use it in my son’s room for all his toys and books, etc.
  • One of my favorites… a wooden storage shelf/mini vanity, which you can see here: DIY Small Bathroom Storage Ideas.
  • DIY office organizers made of cork – You can hang these on the wall or use them as containers on your desk.
  • Make your own a pencil organizer that also serves as a makeup caddy. I like the way it turned out. It is made of wood.

Minimalist Wooden Planter/Desk Organizer with Notebook and Scissors

Back to School DIY Ideas

While I think this project is great to make throughout the year, it’s also great for back to school. So, if you’re thinking of using this for one of your kids during that time of year, here are some more DIY back-to-school projects you might like…

Minimalist modern desk space with wooden caddy and planter, wall hanging calendar

Minimal modern desk space with wooden organizer and calendar on the wall

Closeup of wooden desk organizer with plant and notebook inside

Closeup angular view of desk caddy with gold scissors and beautiful artistic notebook

How to Make a Wooden Desk Organizer

This wooden desk organizer is a great beginning to intermediate weekend project. You can use it as a catchall for everything you want to access quickly and easily, as a desk paper organizer, or even turn it into a planter!

Keywords: lamp, organization

Author: brittany

  • pieces of wood Exact dimensions given below in step 1
  • pencil
  • wood glue
  • damp cloth or paper towels
  • sandpaper or electric sander optional

Cut wood.

  • Start by cutting all the wood needed for the project.

  • I was able to find some pieces at my local art supply store in exactly the dimensions I needed, so I only had to make a few cuts for the extra pieces I needed.

  • Since you can make straight cuts, it is very easy to do it yourself. Especially if you’re using a small power tool like this one (which I use). Once you cut the pieces, sand if necessary for an extremely smooth finish.

Here are the dimensions…

  • 2 wood pieces that are 4.75 x 7.5 inches (these are the side legs)

  • 2 wood pieces that are 6 x 12 inches (these are the long edge pieces)

  • 1 piece of wood that is 5.5 x 4 inches (this is the inside divider)

  • 1 piece of wood that is 4 x 12 inches (this is the bottom piece)

Add wood glue.

  • Next, apply wood glue to the two long sides of the bottom piece of wood (the bottom piece is 4 x 12 inches).

  • The piece I’m holding in my hand in the photo is actually the bottom piece and the one on the table is one of the side pieces that will be added soon.

Attach the bottom to the sides.

  • Next, apply wood glue to the bottom and both sides that will touch the other wood pieces for the middle divider (which is a 5.5 x 4 inch piece) wherever you want it to go on the inside.

  • I did mine from the center out, so I would have a larger side for notebooks, etc. and a smaller side for pens, pencils, or even a plant.

Press everything down and wipe off excess glue.

  • Use two table clamps to hold everything together while drying, as shown in the photo.

  • Then, use a slightly damp cloth or paper towel to wipe off any excess wood glue that you can see oozing from the joints.

  • Let the entire piece dry overnight (or according to the drying instructions on your wood glue packaging) with the clamps still attached.

Remove the clamps and add more glue.

  • Remove the clamps, make sure the entire piece is secure/solid and then move on to the raised edges.

  • Apply wood glue to the two remaining edges that are still open.

  • Then, flip over (so the very bottom of the piece is facing up) and add the remaining two wood pieces (these are the 4.75 x 7.5 inch pieces).

  • You want one end of each of those two pieces to be in the air, as you can see in the photo.

  • Those extra ends will become the legs of the organizer when you flip it back over for use.

Press everything together and let it dry overnight.

  • Press everything together once again.

  • Use a slightly damp cloth or paper towel again to wipe off any excess wood glue that you can see coming out of the joints.

  • And let the entire piece dry overnight (or according to the drying instructions on your wood glue packaging) with the clamps still attached.

Remove the clamp.

  • Remove the clamps, flip the organizer over and it’s ready to use.

  • If there is an area that doesn’t seem level, you can easily fix it with an electric sander or sand by hand (which will take longer but still works perfectly).

  • Just be sure to clear all sanded areas before using.

  • Note: If you want one side (or both sides for that matter) to be used for housing the plants, be sure to insert a plastic liner or something similar before adding your plants. The liner will catch water and keep your wood from getting soggy.

photography amelia lawrence

What do you think of this DIY desk organizer? Will you use it as a notebook and pencil caddy, plant holder, or something else?



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