Nothing says success like a matched desk set on a clear desk. A DIY desk set says that the desk belongs to a budget-conscious, artistic individual. The skills required are modest, involving cutting, gluing and recycling of common household waste.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- 2 yards of attractive fabric (can be reclaimed from a dirndl skirt.)
- 4 giant cereal boxes (the kind that simple cereals such as cornflakes come in)
- 1 or 2 smaller dry food boxes (such as the kind breakfast bars come in)
- Tall slender baked bean can
- Large soup can
- Ordinary vegetable can
- Tuna can
- White glue
- 36-by-36-inch piece of construction paper
- 9-by-12-inch piece of construction paper
- Clear shelf paper
- Hot glue
- Hot glue gun
- Strapping tape
- Discarded non-confidential typing or printer paper
- Small loose leaf binder (salvaged from previous years)
- Household tape
- Paper cutter (optional)
Open the (empty) cereal boxes so that they lie flat on a surface. Trim off flaps and odd protuberances so that you now have four rectangular pieces of cardboard of the same size. Place the long edges of two of the pieces of cardboard together on the surface, their edges perfectly aligned and the cereal box information facing down. Tape the two sides together in a few spots with household tape. Turn this larger rectangle over and spread white glue evenly over the entire surface with the cereal box information. Place the other two pieces of cardboard, cereal box information down, onto the glue with the corners and edges aligned with the first two pieces of cardboard. Let dry, and trim any uneven edges. Remove tape.
Cut two 4-inch squares from the smaller boxes. Draw a line from one corner to the opposite corner. Cut along the line, creating two triangles. Repeat with the second square.
Using the cardboard sheet as a pattern, cut a rectangle of fabric 1 inch bigger on all sides than the cardboard. Iron the fabric to remove any wrinkles. With white glue, attach the fabric to one side of the cardboard sheet. Spread the glue evenly over the cardboard, and smooth the fabric over it making sure there are no wrinkles or bubbles. Let dry. Turn the assembly over. Turn the edges of the fabric down over the edges of the cardboard, using white glue to stick them down to the cardboard. Smooth the fabric so that there are no lumps or wrinkles.
Cut clear shelf paper (keeping the backing on for now) to a correct size to cover the unfinished front of the pad. This will probably require cutting two pieces that will overlap when applied. Carefully peel one edge of the protective backing from the shelf paper. Stick it along a corresponding edge of the blotter pad. Peel the rest of the backing slowly from under the clear covering, sticking it down as you go. Make sure there are no bubbles or wrinkles.
Cover the triangles with fabric that matches the fabric used to cover the back. Run a bead of hot glue along the two short sides that form a right angle, and glue to the corners of the blotter. Let dry.
Slide a piece of construction paper (in a complementary colour) under the corner tabs just formed.
Cut one side out of a small box. The kind that hold granola bars are a good size. Tape or glue the open end closed to produce a shallow tray. Cover the tray with scraps of the same colour fabric as the blotter.
Trim the cut-out side to fit snugly into the bottom of the tray.
Cut non-confidential scrap paper into squares using a paper cutter or scissors; or purchase a calendar replacement pack to go into the tray.
Calendar/Scratch Pad Box
Clean the tin cans thoroughly, and put strapping tape or cloth book binding tape over the edges to make sure there are no sharp edges.
Hot glue scraps of the fabric to cover the cans. Then hot glue the cans together in an attractive cluster. Tape around the whole thing with strapping tape for extra strength.
Cut a strip of the fabric three times as wide as the strapping tape. Fold in 1/3 of each edge so that the edges meet in the middle of the back of the strip. Press in place. Hot glue the strip over the strapping tape so that it cannot be seen.
Place the cans on a piece of construction paper. Trace around them with a pencil. Cut out the shape, and hot glue to the bottom of the cans.
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