Introduction: Corrugated Cardboard Pencil Organizer

About: Husband. Father. Artist. Musician. Teacher.

Avid colourer? Professional artist? Pencil collector? If your pencil drawer resembles a bowl of pretzel sticks, organize it with this quick and simple method! With the surplus of corrugated cardboard currently inundating our home, I’ve been forcing myself not to overlook its potential, as it’s an incredibly versatile material. Let’s exploit the corrugations of corrugated cardboard to create an effective pencil organization solution for my overflowing desk drawer!


  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • Metal Ruler
  • Craft or Utility Knife
  • Pencil
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Self-healing Cutting Mat

Step 1: Empty and Measure the Drawer

After gathering the necessary materials, empty the desk drawer you wish to organize. Then, use a ruler to take interior measurements of the drawer. The interior measurements of my drawer opening were 60 cm wide by 26.5 cm deep. Next, measure the overall length and diameter of the pencils you will be organizing. I’ll be organizing my favourite pencils which measure roughly 20 cm in length by 0.75 cm in diameter. The pencils that I’ll be organizing also have a ferrule that I’ll be taking into consideration.

To circumnavigate anything resembling math, group pencils in sets of a specific number, such as 12. Then, line up the pencils side by side to make up a set. Next, measure the set’s overall width (to keep the pencil set together, you can use a couple pieces of masking tape ). This gave me a rough measurement of 12 cm, but your dimensions will vary accordingly.

Step 2: Layout the Cardboard Organizer

Next, let’s layout the pencil trays on a piece of corrugated cardboard using a pencil and a ruler. Be sure to ''read the grain'' of the cardboard so that the corrugations will end up holding the pencils. Start by marking out the overall length of the pencils by the combined widths of the sets. Use a craft or utility knife to cut out this piece and put it aside.

Step 3: Cut Out the Pieces

Then, on an additional piece of cardboard, mark out the overall length of the pencils minus roughly 2 cm, then mark out the determined width of the sets. Cut out these pieces and put them aside. I decided to have 3 sets of 12 to allow a designated space for fresh notebooks.

Step 4: Peel Apart the Corrugated Cardboard

Next, let’s prepare these pieces to receive some pencils! Start by carefully peeling back one of the top layers of the corrugated cardboard. The goal is to peel this layer back carefully enough to not damage the internal corrugations of the cardboard. If there are any small paper remnants that remain on the corrugations, simply peel them off as well.

Step 5: Glue the Pieces Together

Next, glue the exposed corrugations to the solid backer piece. I chose to use hot glue, as introducing a water-based glue such as PVA, would warp the cardboard.

Step 6: Notebook Divider

To make a space to house a short stack of fresh notebooks, I made a last minute design change and decided to make a divider out of one of the cardboard off-cuts. I started by finding the center of the piece of cardboard and then cut a slit through the top piece of paper. This will allow the piece to be easily folded in half.

Step 7: Notebook Divider (Continued)

Next, glue the fold closed with hot glue before gluing it to the backer piece of cardboard. Use a generous amount of hot glue and use a small scrap of cardboard to scrape away the excess squeeze out before it solidifies.

Step 8: Installation and Use

Last thing to do is place the corrugated cardboard pencil organizer in the empty drawer and fill it with your pencils and notebooks! This was a simple solution that took less than a half hour to make! This would be a great way to organize coloured pencils as well.

I hope this Instructable will help you to declutter your space!


Mr. Ham

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