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14 Budget-Friendly DIY Projects That Will Upgrade Your Desk Space

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As much as I dream of Instagram-worthy office spaces and picture-perfect desks, I’ve had to live with the reality for a long time now that they’re nearly impossible to maintain. If I use my desk on a regular basis it tends to get disorganized pretty quickly, especially as I rifle through everything on it and move it all back and forth as I need space. But when I’m not using my desk, it piles up with junk that I’m definitely going need again someday, like that illegible grocery receipt I just pulled out of my pocket and last month’s car statement. Well, thanks to these DIY tips, it’s possible to keep all of your important pieces of paper together, along with a trendy aesthetic.


1. Pick a color scheme & stick with it



Dream office ?

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Choose two or three colors that work well together, and make sure to find (or DIY!) a few odds and ends that match when dressing up your desk. Pro-tip: pick a metallic accent, like gold or rose gold! 


2. Spray paint your pre-existing accessories

Jill Cimorelli proves that spray painting your accessories can give your desk a more unified look. There’s no need to go out and buy new things, trying to perfectly match your color scheme. Rather, spray paint your favorite odds and ends. It’ll look like you spent hundreds on your desk accessories, when you really upgraded your fave trinkets from the flea market.


3. Revamp a cheap desk with fake marble vinyl

You can definitely find a cheap desk at the local thrift store. Want to make it look like you spent more than $15? Apply fake marble vinyl, as Anneorshine has done in the video above. Your friends will think you spent way too much money on your desk. But don’t worry—we’ll keep your secret!


4. Show off all your best memories

If you have zero wall space, this IHeart Organizing DIY is the ideal solution. Pick out some of your favorite pictures and place them on your desk. Put down a clear acrylic sheet, and you have your own custom memory nook!


5. Hang your calendar


Instead of cluttering up half of your space with a calendar pad, customize your own calendar & hang it up for the easiest way to clear your desk! It makes for a chic wall decoration and organization technique in one!


6. Or, DIY one that’ll last forever

You’ll never forget what day it is again (until you forget to change the date for six days in a row) thanks to Annabode + CO. Why buy a new calendar every year when you can reuse this gorgeous piece? All you need is an old frame, some rub-on letters and patterned paper. In about an hour, you’ll have a calendar to keep for years to come, with the cutest watercolor ombre. 


7. Craft your own gilded trinket tray

We’ve all been known to spend way too much money at Anthropologie, but if you’re trying to jazz up your desk on a budget, make your own! This insanely popular Anthro pencil holder can be recreated for under five dollars – all you need is the metallic spray paint of your choice and a variety of old cannisters! See, you don’t have to break the bank for a nice accessory.


8. Organize your drawers

Organized Classroom offers the perfect solution for all of the loose odds and ends rolling around in your desk drawers. With a variety of jewelry boxes, lined with your favorite Washi tape patterns, your tacks, paper clips, loose change and more will never be mixed up again. 


9. Hang your most-used supplies

Mount a thin towel rack above your desk, and use hooks to hang your scissors and small containers filled with pens, sharpies, and whatever else you want to keep right in front of you.


10. Design the mouse pad of your dreams

If your best friend is your computer mouse, then Think Crafts! is here to give your pal a nice new home. Cut out a piece of cork and accent it however you want, from white stripes to your monogram to lining the exposed edges with gold flakes. How cute!


11. Colorize all of your important documents

Need a way to store your most important papers? Just Destiny Mag has the cutest DIY version of a Kate Spade letter holder that should do the trick. Find some colorful cardstock and attach it to the front of each drawer. Label the drawers as desired, and you’re done!


12. Tape up your photos and art

Frames can get expensive, and nails can severely damage your walls. Why not hang up your art with some washi (or electrical) tape, like Katherine Elizabeth did. These custom frames will not only make your walls really pop, but they’ll come off without a problem.


13. Sew your own fabric buckets

Get your sewing machine ready. Apartment Apothecary proves that you don’t have to spend tons of money at the craft store on fabric containers, so say hello to a warm, inviting and classy set of storage.


14. Build a mobile printer tray

Does your printer take up way too much room on your small desk? Fear no more, because with a little help from Idle Hands Awake, it’s super easy to make this rollable printer tray. Yes, you might need some power tools to accomplish this, but it’ll be well worth it for the extra space!


Desk envy anyone?

Allie Maniglia served as the Campus Correspondent for Her Campus at Penn State from 2017-2018. She majored in public relations with minors in international studies and communication arts and sciences. If she's not busy writing away, you can find her planning her next adventure (probably back to the U.K.), feeding an unhealthy addiction to HGTV or watching dog videos on YouTube.