Happy Thursday! Today, I’m excited to share my diy office desk organizer with you! I have been looking for the perfect way to corral all of the little things on my desk and couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, so I just decided to make it myself! Using premade and precut pieces at the craft store, and a little bit of modifying, you’ll be able to make your perfect organizer too!
Ever since this diy, I’ve been obsessed with covering a photo with some type of sealer inside of a tray. I’ve learned a few tips and tricks along the way, so this one turned out way better than my last three, especially since I made those cute little cubbies! Ready to make yours? Let’s start.
- 4 4×6 art photo prints
- a tray with high edges
- balsa wood strips
- paint or wood stain (optional)
- permanent glue
- a box cutter
- 150 grit sandpaper or sanding block
- Mod Podge Dimensional Magic
Before we begin anything you’ll need to paint or stain all of your wood, if that’s something you wish to do. I applied a light stain on mine just to help bring out the grain of the wood a little more.
We’re going to start by fitting your photo prints into your tray. Cut them down so that there’s no overlapping edges. I ended up cutting off about 3/16″ from each side of my photos.
Now it’s time to glue them down to the bottom of your tray. Here are the tips that I’ve learned from doing this 4 times. Use either white school glue or E6000. (Super glue won’t work well because the wood is too porous, and hot glue leaves bumps in your photos. I prefer E6000 because it’s permanent and has a stronger hold, but it also takes longer to dry, so if you’re impatient you can try school glue.) When you glue the photo down, you need to make solid lines of glue all the way around the photo. You need to create a strong seal under your photo so none of the sealer gets under your photo.
Set something hard and heavy down on your photos, focusing on the corners, and let the glue dry completely (very important!). If the glue doesn’t dry completely, you won’t get a great seal under your photo, and the sealer can still get underneath it.
While your glue is drying, cut down the balsa wood to fit your tray. First measure the height of the sides of your tray. You’ll want to cut down each of your strips to this height. Then, measure the long length of your tray. Cut your first piece to these dimensions (mine was about 1.5″x11.25″). Now, measure the smaller length of your tray (7.25″) and subtract the width of your balsa strip (1/8″) that you just cut out (now 7 1/8″), then divide that measurement by 2 (3 9/16″). That is the measurement you need for each of your small balsa wood pieces. My final measurements were 1.5″x3 9/16″. Whoo! The hard part is over.
Sand the rough edges of the balsa wood and dry fit each piece where it’s supposed to go. You may need to sand the edges to make it fit a little better. Just keep dry fitting and sanding until you’re happy with how it fits. Then, put a solid line of glue on the cut side of your balsa wood (so the clean/nice side is up) and press it down on top of your photos to cover the seams between them. Start with your long piece first, then fit your smaller pieces in.
Let that glue dry completely, and then you’re ready to put the sealer on. I love using the Mod Podge Dimensional Magic (polycrylic yellowed a bit in my experience) but you can also try something like this. Coat each photo with a thin layer of sealer to cover the entire photo and let it dry completely!
So while this diy is a little more involved and tests your patience with the drying time, you are going to feel so accomplished when you finish this! I LOVE the way this guy turned out and I’m so excited to put it to use on my desk! So what are your thoughts? Would you attempt this diy? Let me know in the comments below.