Upcycled DIY Desk Organizer

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Upcycle a small jewelry chest into a chic DIY desk organizer to keep all of those small office items like paperclips and sticky notes contained!

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The monthly thrift store challenge is back! After taking a break for the holidays the rest of the bloggers and myself are so excited to get back to it! Make sure you check out all of their upcycled creations at the end of this post.

The Rules:

  • Upcycle an item(s) from a thrift store, resale store, or garage sale into a new piece of decor.
  • There’s no monthly theme.
  • There’s no budget to stick to.

Meet the Hosts

Amanda | Domestically Creative  –  Pili | My Sweet Things
Angela | Simply Beautiful by Angela  –  Jeanie | Create and Babble
Molly | Just a Little Creativity  –  Colleen | Life on Kaydeross Creek
Marie | The Inspiration Vault  –  Michelle | Michelle James Designs
Shirley | Intelligent Domestications  –  Dru | Polka Dot Poplars
Pam | P.S. I Love You Crafts  –  Gail | Purple Hues and Me
Jennifer | Cookies Coffee and Crafts  –  Toni | Small Home Soul
Sue | A Purdy Little House  –  Kathleen | Our Hopeful Home
Victoria | Dazzle While Frazzled  –  Marie | DIY Adulation
Michelle | Our Crafty Mom  –  Debra | Shoppe No. 5
Yamilette | The Latina Next Door  –  Denise | My Thrifty House
Florence | Vintage Southern Picks  –  Ann | Duct Tape and Denim
Maureen | Red Cottage Chronicles

Make sure you follow our board on Pinterest for more upcycled decor inspiration!

I have been slowly getting my office/craft room whipped back into shape after the holidays and doing a craft show. I think it probably goes without saying, but my office has been a very scary place for quite sometime!

For this month’s thrift store challenge, I took a small chest that I assume was a jewelry chest and turned it into a DIY desk organizer. It’s the perfect size to hold all of those small office items like paperclips, sticky notes and push pins! I only wish I had a similar one about twice the size to store bits of vinyl, scissors and my weeding tools in, so I’ll have to keep an eye out for one a bit larger.

Upcycled Desk Organizer

Items You’ll Need:

As with any of my thrift store upcycles, I always give my thrifted item a good cleaning. I love using Murphy’s Oil Soap for any wood projects! It cleans up so well, and if I’m leaving the wood as is, Murphy’s Oil Soap helps restore shine to it.

After giving the chest a good cleaning, I roughed up the surface a bit with some sand paper. Usually when I use chalky paint I don’t do any prep work, but I didn’t want to risk the original floral design on the chest popping through as it was a bit raised from the solid paint color.

I painted the whole chest in Americana Decor Chalky Paint in the color Yesteryear . I love this color because it matches my office color scheme so nicely!

I thought the drawers could use a little something extra, and I just so happened to stumble across this beautiful vinyl at Hobby Lobby. I chose a coordinating paper to go with the vinyl and decided to line the drawers inside and out with both.

I seriously love this vinyl! I decided that I would put the vinyl on the outside part of two of the drawers, and on the inside of one. Then I would use the scrapbook paper in the opposite fashion.

It was relatively easy to cut each piece to fit. I simply measured by holding the vinyl or paper up to where it would fit in the drawer, marked it with a pencil and then used my paper trimmer to make straight cuts. You could use scissors too, but a paper cutter is so much more precise!

To adhere the paper to the drawers I used Mod Podge. For the inside of the drawers I recommend gluing down the side pieces first, and finishing with the bottom. Then give the paper a top coat of the Mod Podge to really seal it. The vinyl is obviously sticky on one side so I didn’t use any Mod Podge on that.

Repeat on all three drawers. Make sure to let the Mod Podge dry completely before loading the drawers up and sticking them back in the chest!

I just love the little hints of color on the sides, and when I open up the drawers!

I decided to store my small rubber stamps and ink pads, as well as some page flags and sticky notes in the drawers for now. Who knows I may decide to change it up a bit later one but for now it works perfectly!

More craft room storage ideas:

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And now for more thrifty goodness!

Check out what my fellow upcyclers created below!


  1. Great idea! Definitely a good use for storage for all the little things that can accumulate in a craft room 🙂 I love using the Americana chalky paint too, it always covers well. Great job!

  2. Wow what a transformation! Love the paper you used to line the drawers and sides. It looks like those little drawers actually hold quite a bit!

  3. Oh my gosh! I love this idea and have an unfinished mini wood dresser that you’ve inspired me to makeover. And I’m seriously in love with that watercolour vinyl paper. It’s beautiful.

  4. I just looked at that vinyl a couple days ago at Hobby Lobby and thought it was so pretty. This little drawer is so cute and perfect for your desk. That color is pretty.

  5. Love that drawer paper combo you used! The little chest is such an improvement over what was, that’s for sure. Love the color too. Thanks for putting the Challenge together for us Amanda!

  6. Wowza, that thing was so ugly before. The color you painted it is so much prettier and I love the fun and unexpected paper on the sides of the drawer when you open them. This is perfect for all the small stuff that gets thrown into a drawer and you can never find.

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