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  • Writer's pictureMade by Laina H.

Upcycled Desk Organizer

Updated: Jun 25, 2021

Meant for your school-aged child, this fun project provides both a creative activity and a chance to work on organization! Using mostly recycled materials, this craft demonstrates additional ways to reuse items you may simply want to throw away. Using hands-on building strategies, children have the chance to work on fine and gross motor skills while inventing their own crafty style. Get started with this awesome project today!


- Toilet paper roll(s)

- Paper towel roll(s)

- Empty can(s)

- Empty medicine bottle(s)

- Paint

- Paintbrushes

- Tissue paper

- Empty tissue box

- Wrapping paper scraps

- Hot glue gun

- Mod podge (if you don’t have this you can mix 1 cup of white glue with ⅓ cup of water)

- Scissors

- Ribbon (optional)

- Stickers (optional)


Step 1: Let’s start by gathering up our materials. Feel free to use whatever you have available in your house in place of cans, bottles, or paper towel rolls!

Helpful tip: It will be best to use a sturdy base like a can for the center of your organizer and attach your other pieces around it!

Step 2: Time to get started! Let’s begin with the task that may take the longest to dry, painting! Grab a can, paintbrush, and any colors you hope to use.

Step 3: Now, using as many colors as you would like, paint a light layer of paint onto your can. Feel free to add stripes, polka dots, or any other designs!

Helpful tip: Go ahead and paint as many of the containers as you would like, you don’t have to limit it to just one!

Step 4: While you let your painted containers dry, let’s move on to the next step. Time to get creative! Using a paper towel roll, cut it down to be the height that you would like.

Step 5: Now we can wrap it up! Using wrapping paper or colorful construction paper, hot glue or paint mod podge onto the paper to glue it around the whole roll!

Helpful tip: Lay your container on the paper to measure how much you will need to fully wrap it up. Again, you can do this on as many containers as you would like and use any color or pattern of paper!

Step 6: Time to use our tissue paper! For this step, gather up a container of any size, mod podge, a paintbrush, and any colors of tissue paper.

Step 7: Using your hands, tear up the tissue paper into small pieces. It is okay for them to be any shape or size!

Step 8: Now, using your paintbrush, paint a thin layer of mod podge onto your container. Be sure to paint it everywhere that you would like to stick your tissue paper!

Step 9: Quickly place on your pieces of tissue paper, layering them on until your container is completely covered! The layering will help to make sure there are no gaps. Once it is entirely filled, use your paintbrush again to paint a thin layer of mod podge on top of your tissue paper. This will help to keep it all together. Now let it dry!

Step 10: By this point, you should have some awesome containers! You can be creative and make other styles as well using markers, stickers, or any other supplies! We do have one problem with our paper towel and toilet paper roll containers though… they don’t have bottoms!

Step 11: In this step, we will create the bottoms for our roll containers using cardboard from a tissue box. In order to properly size our containers, we will begin by painting the bottom of your container with a thin layer of paint.

Step 12: Now, gently stamp the painted circle onto your tissue box cardboard to create your bottom outline! Now you have the perfect size to cut out and, using hot glue, glue to the bottom of your roll. Yay, all of your containers are ready to go!

Step 13: Time for finishing touches, this is a great chance to add ribbon or bows around the top of any containers or even add some stickers! With these finished containers, hot glue them together to create a circle or line-shaped organizer. You are done!! Time to add your school supplies and get organized!

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