Introduction: 30 Second Projects to Improve Your Room With Stuff You Already Have

About: I am a teenager, building since I was 4 (and soldering since I was 7). I enjoy building things and inventing all kinds of little projects, some of which I share here!

Everybody wants to make their life better and easier, right? This Instructable aims to do that with these quick-and-easy mini projects that you can do with stuff you already have at home, like making a coat-hanger trash can, a wall mounted paper/picture holder, and even an Exacto knife and cutting board!

Step 1: 30 Second Trash Can for Your Desk

As I am sure every mother out there knows, the room of a teenage male is filled with clutter, and I am no different. (If you are a teenage guy with a neat and orderly room, that's just not healthy. Stop it.) As a result, I thought I should share with you all my solution for getting rid of wrappers and papers around my room with as little effort as possible.
As you can  see, what i have here is the hook piece of two plastic coat hangers taped to my desk. These hooks were snapped off of the coat hangers, and are now being used to hold up a plastic bag (Like the ones you get from the grocery store). This makes for a trash bag that is small enough to be convenient, big enough to be practical, and all you have to do to throw it out is take it off of the hooks and walk the excruciating 20 feet to the trash barrel.

Step 2: Wall-mounted Paper Holder

Whenever I am working on something big, I usually take up the entire desk. However, sometimes there's those few critical papers that you just need to be able to glance at. Perhaps you also need an easy way to post reminders to yourself, store important papers, or hang up cute photos of you dog. Either way, this is my solution to the problem.

Step 3: Wall-mounted Paper Holder

I took a metal coat hanger and through a combination of unfolding, folding, cutting, and being glad that I wore safety glasses, I managed to the wire hanger straightened to my satisfaction. Now, I already had a bracket in my wall to hang this from, but if you don't, tape will work just fine here.
With a coat hanger hanging from my wall, all it took were some magnets and I was all set to hang up some papers!

Step 4: Exacto Knife Out of a Pen!

No room is complete without a desk filled with stationary like pens, pencils, and, in my own opinion, sharp objects. Well, an Exacto knife is just the thing for this job, but why buy one when I can make one in 30 seconds?

Step 5: Exacto Knife Out of a Pen!

Here is how I solved this problem that comes up so often in our lives:
I took an everyday, ordinary pen, and removed the bit with the ink. (If you are like me, you are familiar with doing this during a particularly boring lesson, such as "The Early Life of William Shakespeare," or something equally thrilling.) I then took a blade out of a pencil sharpener, and it happened to fit snugly into the open end of the pen.

Step 6: Exacto Knife From a Pen! Part 2! Exclamation Marks!

Just to stick on the safe side, however, I decided to squirt a bit of hot glue in there.
Now we have an Exacto knife on the cheap! Be careful, because although it may not look it, this blade is sharp. It was enough to easily glide through a sheet or two of paper, but it did have a small amount of difficulty with cardboard. It took a bit of wiggling to get it to cut through a chunk of dried hot glue. With this, you can cut through your papers with precision (Or anger from hearing the repetitive jingles of Christmas commercials on the Twenty-second of November).

Step 7: Cutting Board

Of course, when you are cutting with your new knife, or, (God forbid) using one you bought, you can always cut through the paper and scratch up your lovely desk. Of course, this is no good: Not only do you have gaps that make it harder to write, but you dull the blade a lot. If only there was a solution...

Step 8: Cutting Board

Actually, there is a solution! Not only is it cheap, it is quick and easy. The ones you could go ahead and buy are called cutting boards, but we can also just go and build one of our own.
I did this by cutting a piece of a cardboard cereal box into as big and flat a piece as possible. Then the heavy stuff was added...

Step 9: Cutting Board

The heavy stuff I am referring to in particular is sheet metal. Now, you don't have to do this, but I feel that in the end, it's worth it. (Also, if you don't add the sheet metal, you really should add another layer of cardboard.) We will add the sheet metal in order to act as an emergency safety measure: In case the knife goes through both paper and cardboard, you will feel it hit the metal and back off a little.

Step 10: Cutting Board

So as it happened, I did not have a piece of sheet metal that was large enough. This forced me to measure and cut two separate pieces and glue them to the back one at a time. The metal did still need a bit of cleaning up, however, so I did that right away.
*Warning! When you cut thin sheet metal with tin snips, it can be really sharp! Be careful, and be sure to file it if necessary! 

Step 11: TaDa!

So there you have it! I hope this, my first Instructable, was helpful/informative to you in some way. This will be entered into the "Improve your Room" contest, so your vote is most appreciated! (Also, as a little favor, if you can think of any ways I could improve my Instructables for next time, I would really appreciate that!)
Have a nice day!

Improve Your Room Youth Design Challenge

Participated in the
Improve Your Room Youth Design Challenge