Cardboard Desktop Organizer for IKEA Kallax

Here we go; my first Instructable ever! :) Tips and tricks and other comments very welcome! :D

Over time I have amassed bundles of stationary; paper clips, rulers, a bow compass and an untold number of pens and pencils. But since the last time I moved, I haven't had a desk with drawers to store these kinds of small items. The desk I currently have is the IKEA desk addition for the Kallax shelving unit. This is great, especially for small spaces, but leaves little room for my stationary stuff. And IKEA - believe it or not - doesn't sell a desktop organizing unit that fits into the Kallax. They have otherorganizers, sure, but all just at teeny tiny bit too wide (or waaay too small) for the shelves in the Kallax. So, I set out to make my own from my favorite crafting material; cardboard!

Step 1: What You Need

To make this organizer, you will need the following:

  • A cutting mat
  • A ruler and or straightedge
  • A protractor to make the angles straight
  • A utility knife or exacto
  • Universal glue
  • Pencil - I prefer mechanical so it doesn't go dull
  • A rubber eraser
  • ... and a whole mess of cardboard!

Step 2: Getting Started

First off, you need to get your cardboard ready. Remove any labels and tape and stuff that you don't want on there and make sure to use thick cardboard so your organizer will be sturdy and stand the test of time.

Then, using the drafting utensils, draw the shapes you need. On the picture here are all of the pieces I used with measurements in the annotations. Some pieces are for the drawer in the bottom, others for the surrounding box/organizer itself.

Step 3: Cutting

Using your knife and straightedge, cut out all of the pieces. Measure twice, cut once.

Remember, adjust the width of the connecting tabs and notches to be the same as the thickness of the cardboard you use.

If you have access to a laser cutter or something like it you of course can use that, but you should maybe choose another material.

Step 4: Piecing It All Together

So, once you've cut out all of your pieces I suggest doing a dry fit, making sure all your pieces fit in the grooves you cut and getting an idea of which pieces go where - even though you've made two identical side pieces for both the box and the drawer, they might not be completely identical and might have to go in a specific place. Mark it if necessary.

Step 5: The Drawer

Glue four strips of cardboard, each 1 cm wide together side to side. These will form the sliders on which the drawer will slide. Glue these to the very bottom of the organizer.

Next, assemble the drawer. I glued on the back first and then the sides. And then I screwed up a little. Remember when I said you should mark the pieces that need to go in a specific place in a specific way? I didn't do that with the front of the drawer which caused it to get stuck later when I mounted it in the organizer. After a few adjustments I ended up making it fit.

See the last image for how the sliders on the bottom are meant to work.

Step 6: Final Assembly

Now, start assembling the organizer.

Start by mounting the divider to the platform, following it up with the sides. Then, mount the front and next, the bottom.

This is the time to put in the drawer. Slide it in from the back of the organizer and then glue in the back part of the organizer.

Step 7: Securing the Organizer

So, here we are. The organizer has been assembled, it's looking good and we are almost ready to put it on the shelf.
However, before that, we want to make sure that the organizer doesn't slide out of the shelf every time we go to open the drawer. We do that by glueing on that last piece, the piece of resistance (against pulling that is), to the back of the organizer. Line up the top of the pieces and you should see a small piece of cardboard stick out on the bottom. This needs to be placed over the back of the shelf to hold the organizer in place.

Step 8: That's It!

And there you have it. A desktop organizer that fits snugly into the IKEA Kallax and will help organize your cluttered desk. Fill in the drawer and make or find small containers or bins to put on top to keep paper clips and pencils and enjoy!

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