A Desktop organiser made with old CD Jewel cases...
I have so many CDs, most of which came with Computer magazines, and used to store them in separate Jewel cases. But most of the data on these CDs are outdated and can no longer be used with the present day computers and operating systems. Use of CDs and DVDs for backup and storing digital images have also been eliminated by large capacity, portable hard disks. So, I have used that surplus CD Jewel cases to make a simple Desktop organiser.
This desktop organiser is very cheap, easy to make and help you make a clutter-free desk area. Students can collect old CD jewel cases from friends around the campus and do it with almost no tools at all.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
To make this simple Desktop organiser, you need about 15 to 20 pieces of old CD jewel cases. The jewel cases I selected do not have the inlays. Rather, the bottom tray itself is shaped to hold the CDs. I have used glue to stick all these pieces together, which are the only items I purchased from the market.
- About 10 pieces of one drop instant adhesive of 500 mg each. A drop of this instant adhesive at the joints helps in creating a solid bond within seconds. You need not to worry about holding the pieces to be joined together for a long time till the normal glue cures. Once you puncture the tubes holding the instant glue, you have to use it within a short span. So I got 500 mg tubes, each costing about 5 Indian rupees.
- 36 Gram pack of Araldite, a standard epoxy adhesive. This pack comes with two tubes, Resin and Hardener. Mix equal parts of resin and hardener together as required and apply on all joints. It takes about six hours of minimum curing time and after 24 hours of curing, the joints become so strong you can not separate them. The cost of this pack is about 100 rupees.
Totally I have spent about 150 rupees for this project which is less than 3 US Dollars.
Tools and Accessories
- A measuring scale
- A marker pen
- A hacksaw blade to cut the jewel cases. There is not much cutting involved here.
If you have access to a Dremel rotary cutter with a circle cutting blade, then you can use it to speed up the work.
Step 2: Collect the CD Trays
The trays of the CD jewel cases are opaque and the top cover is transparent. First collect the trays for making the base. I have used six pieces of the trays for the base as you can see in the second picture. This arrangement measured 15 inches by 10 inches suitable for a small desktop organiser.
Each tray has also two number of projections which acts as hinges for opening and closing the jewel case. Brake them from all the trays by just snapping with your fingers.
Step 3: Make the Base
- Arrange three of the trays along a straight edge and apply a drop of instant adhesive at ends of joints. This will hold all three trays in position.
- Make another one of same type.
- Now lay the two pieces of three trays each together and glue with instant adhesive. You can see the glued pieces in the 5th and 6th pictures here.
I made two of these pieces, one I will use as a base and another I will use to cover the Desktop organiser at times.
Step 4: Apply Epoxy Adhesive at All Joints
- Take equal amounts of Resin and Hardener from the two tubes of Epoxy adhesive in a paper plate or any such material.
- Mix the adhesive well using a small stick. I have used a piece of stick from a coconut leaf.
- Apply the adhesive on all joints thoroughly.
- Allow the joints to cure overnight.
Step 5: Make Vertical Sides
Once the base cures, you can add the vertical sides over the base. For this I have used the transparent top covers of the jewel cases.
- Measure the long side of the base. It is about 15 inches, means each tray is about 5 inches long. If you measure one top cover, it will be more than 5 inches. So we will use two full sized top covers at the ends and cut one to the required size to cover the middle portion. Place these pieces vertically over the long end of the base and apply a drop of instant adhesive at joints to hold the pieces together.
- The short end of the base is about 10 inches. Here we will use a full jewel case with tray and top cover together to form the vertical side. But the total length of the jewel case together with tray and top cover is more than 10 inches. So measure and cut the excess length from the transparent piece. Make two of these and stick with instant adhesive to the base.
- Apply epoxy adhesive on all joints and allow the joints to cure overnight.
Step 6: Make Inside Storage
Now we have completed the verticals on the back and two sides, we can start making inside storage. Here I have used two full sized jewel cases for making the box-shaped inside storage as seen in the above pictures. Place the jewel cases in place and apply instant glue at joints.
Step 7: Make the Front Vertical
Here again we can follow the same procedure we did for the backside vertical.
- Glue two pieces of transparent top covers at edges with instant adhesive.
- Measure the gap between these pieces.
- Cut a suitable piece from one of the transparent top covers and glue between the gap with instant adhesive.
Step 8: Make Partitions
- There is a gap between the two box shaped storage we made at the back. Measure the gap, cut a transparent top cover to the required size and glue it there.
- Divide the front area equally. Measure the gap, cut another piece of transparent top cover to the size and glue between the middle and front verticals.
- We can also divide the gap between the two box shaped space at the back with a small piece. Measure and cut a small transparent piece. I have kept this piece about an inch lower than the other verticals. Apply instant glue to hold this piece in place.
Now all our partitions are complete. Apply epoxy resin to all joints. Allow the joints to cure overnight.
We are done...
Step 9: Make Clutter-Free Desktop
Once the Epoxy resin is completely cured, clean the surface with a piece of cloth. Organise your things which are cluttering your desktop in the compartments of the desktop organiser. Your pen, pencils, keys, cameras, mobile phone, tablet, letters, bills everything can be stored in this.
Earlier I have mentioned that I made two pieces same as we used for the base. One we used for the base. You can use the other one to cover the top of the desktop organiser as shown in the last picture.
Total cost of this organiser is less than 3 US Dollars, which we used for buying glue.