Step 1: Cut and sand SPF and white wood

Begin by cutting the length of the two-by-four down to 10". Then, cut the one-by-three into a 10” piece and three 2” pieces. (Make sure your 2” pieces are exactly the same size or you’ll have a hard time fitting everything together.) The bottom of the organizer can be made from a doorskin or some ¼” plywood. When you've made all your cuts, sand the surfaces and edges so they're smooth.

sanding wood

Step 2: Cut plywood and doorskin

The ¼” plywood will need to be cut with a handsaw or circular saw, but for the doorskin you can use a utility knife to cut it down to size. It will need to be approximately 10” by 4 ¼”, but you should do a dry fit with your other pieces and adjust accordingly.

Step 3: Make the pencil holder

Now it's time to make the pencil holder part of this beauty. Along the edge of the two-by-four, measure and mark every 1 ¼”. To prevent drilling all the way through the two-by-four, tape off your drill to the desired length. Drill the holes using a 3/8” bit.

pencil holder diy

drilling pencil holder

drilling pencil holders

Step 4: Sand holes

Now, go over where you've drilled and sand out the holes.

sand pencil holders

Step 5: Glue

Take your three 2” pieces and place them at the desired distance. You can make them the openings whatever width works best for you. Then position the sides and glue them together. Clamp in place for at least 30 minutes. Wipe off any excess glue with a damp cloth.

glueing desktop organizer

wood glue

Step 6: Nail

Next, nail the doorskin to the bottom using finish nails.

nail doorskin

Step 7: Stain

After the glue has dried, it's time to stain it. We used Varathane wood stain in the color Provincial. To get inside the holes on the top of the two-by-four, load up your brush with a lot of stain and press it into the holes, letting the stain drip down the inside. Continue to do this until all the visible parts of the hole are stained. Wipe off the stain from the top.

stain desktop organizer

staining desktop organizer

Step 8: Apply decorative paper

When the stain is dry, cut out a piece of your paper to decorate the front. Brush Mod Podge onto the surface of the wood and place the paper on top. Wait a few minutes to let it dry before brushing a coat of Mod Podge over the paper to seal it.

decorate desktop organizer

desktop decoration

Step 9: Get organized!

diy desktop organizer

make your own desktop organizer

If you're in the mood for more organizational inspiration, check out our sideboard desk and our desktop succulent planter