Recycled Desk Organizer

I recently learned my workplace will be moving to a new building, one that is far nicer than the little brick eyesore I work in now. As a bonus, employees were given a chance to vote on the colour scheme of the new location. The core colour will still be grey-on-grey, but the most voted for accent colours were green with light yellow polka dots and deep red. It seems like a random combination but they actually look pretty great.

Finished Office Organizer

Now, our office will not be relocating for some time but I wanted to start making some décor to suit the new office space and brighten my current one. My first project is this recycled office organizer made from a shoe box and toilet paper rolls. If you the idea and want to make your own, follow along below!

Materials for Office Organizer


  • A Shoebox (any size)
  • Toilet Paper Rolls (enough to fill your shoebox)
  • Paint (I used acrylic craft paint)
  • Paint Brushes
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue and Glue Gun




First decide how you want your finished organizer to look. I wanted two rows of sloped “pencil holders” with an open area at the back for larger items (hole punch or paper). Measure where you will need to glue and cut your toilet paper rolls. I found it very useful to cut one toilet paper roll into the sloped shape I wanted and use it as a guide for all the other rolls: fitting it like a jacket around a roll and cutting along the guide’s sloped edge.

Staging the Office Organizer

Making a guide

Once all your toilet paper rolls are cut, it is time to paint. I chose to paint the inside and outside different colours to correspond to the two accent colours of the new office space. I ended up really liking the effect too! Just make sure you let each layer dry, it will take quite a few layer and you do not want to soften any of the cardboard.

Painting the organizerFinishing the paint

Once dry it is time to glue your toilet paper rolls inside the shoebox in your desired pattern. Just make sure you have everything lined up before gluing. As you can see below, some of my inner pieces do not quite line up, and that is because I turned the rolls the wrong direction while gluing and caused the slopes to no longer line up. Insert sad face here…

Gluing the rolls

Then just add in your pencils, pens, highlighters, scissors, et cetera!

Office Organizer FrontBack of Office Organizer

After I finished my organizer I decided it was a bit plain. At first I was going to do some light yellow polka dots on the outside but it didn’t look quite right. So I added a touch of lace and I think it was a great addition, so don’t be afraid to accessorize your organizer!

Adding Accessories


So what do you think of this recycled office organizer? Did you create a similar item? Sound off in the comment section or on social media and let me know what you think of this Make It Monday project!

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