So you just finished your midterms. No more all nighters till finals and maybe a little more time to relax and kick back in the dorm. But unfortunately due to a mixture of stress, sleep depravation, frantic studying, and a roommate of course your dorm is pretty trashed especially your desk. The last time your parents took you to the store you forgot to get a desk organizer and now you are facing a black hole of highlighters, sticky notes, and coupon books that is approaching infinite mass. With no car, no money, and no hope your only choice to save your cluttered desk is to make an organizer from your limited resources and that... that is what you are going to do.
In this instructable you will learn how to build a desk organizer out of a pizza box using only basic tools and methods. This is for all those who love the planet and are crazy about recycling or are just poor college students that need a desk organizer for basically nothing.
Step 1: Materials
The first and most important material for this project is a large Pizza box. You only need an cardboard surface of about 14x14 inches which is pretty much a standard sized box. On a college campus there is an abundance of these and you can find them pretty easily if you do not eat pizza that often. The best places to find them include in the trash room in your the dorm, sitting on top of recycling cans, and all around campus events since they usually give out lots of free pizza. You only need the top portion of the box so don't worry if bottom is all grease covered. In addition to the box all you need is a pair of scissors, a ruler, clear tape, and a marker/pen. (You can also use a razor instead of scissors but since I am on a college campus there are a lot of regulations regarding knives so I stick to scissors.)
Step 2: The Planning
The organizer is built out of flat sheets of cardboard folded and cut so that it can be formed into the desired shape and taped into place. In the diagrams above the scale is in inches and I did my best to provide all the measurements that are needed. The first picture is the main body and the second is the drawer that slides into it. The dotted lines on the diagram represent where the cardboard needs to be folded while the solid lines show what needs to be cut.
First based off of the diagram I carefully replicated it onto the top of the box starting at the lower corner. I used the marker and the ruler to measure and place a dot where each corner should be. Then I went back and drew lines between them so I would know exactly where to cut and where to fold.
Step 3: Cutting and Folding
Once all the lines have been finalized it is time to cut and fold. Starting from the outside cut around each piece before making interior cuts. The interior can be a little tricky especially with scissors. For the tabs use the tip of the scissors and for the two middle portions start the cut by slicing with one of the blades. If you use a utility knife this is the perfect place to use it. The second picture shows all the pieces fully cut out.
After each piece is completely cut out it is time to use the ruler to press along the dotted lines that needed to be folded. By pressing lightly with the edge of the ruler a neat crease can be made in the cardboard without having to score it. The finished main piece cut and folded should look like the last picture.
Step 4: Tape It Up
Now that everything is cut and folded it is time to start finalizing the form.
First take the main piece, find the two tabs in the center of each side, and pull the flaps towards each other till they touch. Tape the flaps together with a long strip of tape along where they meet.
On each side of the main piece there are tabs at the ends. The front has a longer one with three bends in it while the rear tab only has one bend. To finish the sides pull the front tab towards the one in the back and overlap it on the outside. Secure the end with a piece of tape and do this for both sides. Each side should have a slight bend and under it there will be a piece of board sticking out. Cut the board to match the curve of the side and with that the main portion is assembled.
With the main piece finished it is time to build the drawer. Start with the back of the drawer and fold the back end of the drawer along the creases taping the two rear tabs together along the back. For the front of the drawer I modified the two 90 degree ends into a miter joint so that the joint would tape easier. Tape the front together and test it out to see how it fits in its slot. And with that the drawer for the organizer is finished.
Remember those extra squares we cut from the box in the planning stage. If you want some extra dividers you can install them along side the interior of the box. Feel free to get creative and customize dividers to make different sized sections and separators for what ever you might need.
Step 5: Its Done!
And with that you have successfully build an organizer that is pretty nifty and easy on your empty pocket book. I was really happy with the result and it was a lot of fun to make. This little organizer helped me clean up my desk and I know it is going to come in handy when Finals come around. The best thing was it cost me nothing!!! I hope you liked the project and if you have any questions or comments feel free to let me know. Have fun building!
Participated in the
DIY University Contest