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A Super-Easy, Super-Customizable DIY Desk Organizer

The completed simple wooden DIY desk organizer with a cute copper embellishment at the front, housing pens and notebooks and other stationary items, being held up by a hand in front of a wall decorated with paint swatch cards.
Maca Atencio

Want to boost productivity? Start with a well-organized home office, where everything on your desk has a designated home. But what do you do when all the desk organizers on the market are either ugly, don’t fit your style or too expensive for what they are?


That’s when you turn to today’s project: An easy, highly-customizable wooden DIY desk organizer (with the cutest copper touch). This organizer features a section for pens and pencils and two long compartments perfect for notebooks or mail. Like the natural, minimalist look? Leave the plywood blank (like we do). But you can also paint it any way you like! Like we said, this desk organizer is super customizable to match any style.


Stylish DIY Desk Organizer in a Few Steps


  • Ruler, square and measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Clamps (optional)
  • Jigsaw or circular saw (or any saw you have at home)
  • Paint brush
  • Sandpaper


  • Plywood panel, 24-inch x 24-inch
  • Wood glue
  • Copper decorative plate (optional)
  • Acrylic paint (optional)

STEP ONE: Draw Out Your Pieces Stylish DIY Desk Organizer in a Few Steps

Firstly, grab your measuring tape or ruler and measure out the following eight sets of dimensions on your large piece of plywood, marking the sides with your pencil. We’re going to use these eight smaller plywood pieces to build our organizer.

  • 2 pieces: 12 inches x 4 inches (base and back pieces)
  • 2 pieces: 3 inches x 4 inches (pencil holder sides)
  • 2 pieces: 4.5 inches x 4 inches (side exterior pieces)
  • 1 piece: 9 inches x 1.5 inches (front)
  • 1 piece: 9 inches x 3 inches (inside divider)

Before we move onto Step Two, cutting these pieces out, use your clamps to firmly fix the plywood to your worktable. This will help you make straighter cuts.

Related: These Unique Cork Board Office Organizers Are Super Simple to Make

STEP TWO: Cut & Sand Stylish DIY Desk Organizer in a Few Steps

Like stated in Step One, fix the plywood board firmly to your worktable with clamps, ensuring it’s steady so we can make straight cuts. To cut, the best tool for a project like this is a jigsaw. If you don’t have a jigsaw, use any saw you have handy at home.

After cutting out the eight smaller pieces, use sandpaper to smooth the edges. When finished sanding, dust off the edges. Letting residual dust sit where you’ll be applying wood glue will lessen the effectiveness of the glue.

Related: 15 Items Every Home Office Needs to Boost Productivity This Year


STEP THREE: Begin Gluing the Pieces TogetherStylish DIY Desk Organizer in a Few Steps

Now for the fun part: Assembling the DIY desk organizer. Start with the biggest pieces (12 inches x 9 inches): One will serve as the organizer’s base, and the other, its back. Lay the base piece flat on the table. Then, take the back piece and apply wood glue along this piece’s bottom.

A hand applying wood glue to the bottom of the wide side of a piece of plywood. This piece is one of the two large pieces cut from our original plywood sheet for this DIY. This piece will serve as the DIY organizer's backpiece, the wood glue fixing it to the identical plywood piece used as the organizer's base.

Maca Atencio

Using the same technique, apply glue to the skinny front piece (9 inches x 1.5 inches) and attach it to the other side of base. As seen in the first image in this step, you can use a clamp to hold the front and back pieces in place. This will ensure that as the glue dries, the pieces become very firmly fixed together.

Hands gluing the front and back pieces to the base piece.

Maca Atencio

Then, attach the two side exterior pieces (4.5 inches x 4 inches) on either end of the structure you’ve just built. Next, construct the pencil holder by attaching the interior and front pieces of this section (3 inches x 4 inches). Lastly, attach the interior divider (9 inches x 3 inches) between the back and front pieces.

Let the structure sit, clamped, for 45 minutes, allowing glue to dry. Use a damp cloth to wipe off any glue excess while drying.

STEP FOUR: Copper Detail Stylish DIY Desk Organizer in a Few Steps

Once the glue is dry, remove the clamps and add the finishing touches that’ll make this DIY desk organizer unique to your aesthetic. We found this beautiful copper plate that makes the perfect simple, modern accent. Fix to the front with a touch of wood glue. Apply pressure to fix firmly and let the glue dry.

Related: How to Make These Cute No-Sew Rope Bowls in 5 Easy Steps

Stylish DIY Desk Organizer in a Few Steps

STEP FIVE: Paint The Details

This step is optional. We opted to add a tiny touch of light green acrylic paint to the top edges of the wood pieces. Use a thin artist brush and add one coat of paint. If you’d like to add more coats, let each coat dry for 30 minutes before adding another. Et voila! Your DIY desk organizer is complete and ready to house all your desk clutter.


Related: How to Use Cane to Turn an Old Shelf Into a Sweet Design Piece

Stylish DIY Desk Organizer in a Few Steps

Stylish DIY Desk Organizer in a Few Steps

Images Courtesy of Maca Atencio

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