Dress Your Desk: A DIY Attempt

Hello fellow working folk! Working in an office isn’t that bad (but we can agree it’d be even better if it was filled with kittens like the picture above!) It’s actually pretty great if you ask me.

First of all, you’re not on your feet all day and get a sweet spin-y chair

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Secondly, sometimes people are super cool and bring snacks for everyone to eat in the break room and you’re just like!!!!!

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And third, you get paid for showing up! (Like any other job, I guess)

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8 hours a day, five days a week at a ‘home away from home’; that’s what your desk space, cubicle, or office is to you. You spend more time there than you do at your house– bummer — so why not make it an enjoyable space rather than a drab square of sadness? I decorated my desk for under $100 with small DIY projects (and I like to think that LC would be proud!)

My office was an awkward one to decorate. As you can see from the picture, it’s a corner desk with a ton of space and a serious affinity for a strange greyish beige color. I wanted to fill it up without it feeling cramped and pep it up without being overwhelmingly bright, so here’s my best shot! I love it, think it’s super cute, and have a genuinely happier time at my desk because of the cute pops of color. Check out my before and after pictures!

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To start, I consulted Pinterest on ‘ways to make my cubicle suck less’ and found a TON of different ideas on how to style your space. I knew I wanted something girly and simple so I decided to go with small pops of color, pink being the most frequent. I may not wear pink, usually ever, but I love the color. It’s like cotton candy, and that makes everyone happy! Plus it looks elegant with everything, gold especially.

_Pink and Gold Wall Prints

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{You’ll need: white card stock, cardboard (or regular) frames– maybe a gold foil pen}

I wish I could say that I designed the framed prints on the wall myself, but I’m a writer, not an artist and I found them for free on Pinterest. (Yes, fo FREE!) I chose four 8×10 prints, two pink and two gold, downloaded them, and then simply printed them on white card stock. I taped each print to the back of the cardboard frames and voilà, done! I bought the cardboard frames at Hobby Lobby for $3 a piece along with the gold foil pen I used to trace over the gold letters on my “coffee makes everything possible” print and the confetti dots on my “throw kindness around like confetti” print. Now they shimmer in the light, making my wall all the more eye-catching and bright 🙂 The site I downloaded the prints from had so many options, but I chose four that I feel like really represent me and my interests– plus the bunny one is so damn cute! [Find the prints at chicfetti.com/free-printables]

_Lilly Pulitzer Binder Covers

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{You’ll need: plain paper or card stock (your preference)}

As for the binders to the left of my magazine holder, I opted out of buying anything for them as they aren’t my binders, and therefore wouldn’t be mine to take if/when I move offices or get a promotion one day and I didn’t want to waste my money on them. So instead of buying new binders with clear, plastic slips on the front, back, and sides to add decorative paper to, I simply printed Lilly Pulitzer prints offline (once again, thanks to Pinterest) and taped them on the outside of the binders in a collage style. I rarely use the binders so they’ll remain mostly untouched. Had I not mentioned they were wrapped in printed paper, you would never know! [Find the binder covers here!]

_Iridescent Glitter Pencil/Paperclip Jars

{You’ll need: a mason jar, glossy Mod Podge, & extra fine glitter}

This was supposed to be pretty simple, so after trying and kind of failing once, round two ended up much better. I bought all of my materials at Hobby Lobby, but you can get it all at Michael’s too. They didn’t have regular glitter, you know, the tiny little hexagon kind, so I bought the extra fine, which honestly worked better in my opinion when it came to coating the glass* (which is really very vibrant in person– the combo of light on the glass and the fact that the glitter only glints purple-green in certain light, it’s hard to photograph just how awesome they look)

*The first time I tried this I bought the hexagon type of glitter in gold and black and my mistake was putting waaaaaay too much mod podge in my jar, and it consequently took THREE WEEKS FOR IT TO BE KIND OF DRY, which is why I tried again with the extra fine iridescent. The hexagon type glitter seemed to lump up more rather than coat the insides of the jar like the extra fine did.

So anyway, to make these jars all you need to do is pour about an inch of mod podge in the bottom of the jar, then add two tablespoons of glitter on top. Roll the jar around in a circular motion, letting the glittery-glue mixture slather along the sides, coating the inside entirely. Add more glue or more glitter as you see fit once you start working. There CAN be too much glue, but there can’t be too much glitter. Once you think it’s got a good coating, set it upside down on a plate to allow the excess glue to run out. After a day or two of letting the glue run out, I flipped them right side up to let them breathe, and dry faster. The dry time varies on how much glue you put in, but I’d say give it at least four days, maybe a week if you used a lot of glue. Mod podge is way thicker than Elmer’s glue so don’t expect to be using your jars a day or two after making them like I did.

_Phone Holder

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{You’ll need: mini display easels, white acrylic paint, paintbrush, & patterned washi tape}

This was an easy, yet time consuming task, but was so worth it because now my phone has adorable, designated space that will allow me to easily see if someone texts me, and it won’t get lost in the shuffle of papers on my desk anymore! I covered my mini easel in a very light coat of white acrylic paint to make the washi tape stick better I think (you could probably skip the painting step, honestly.) It’ll only take a few minutes to dry, and then you begin to place your washi tape directly on to the easel. And ta-da! You have an adorable phone holder no one else does. So cute and convenient.

Beyond my DIY projects, I “Brooked” up the space by creating book shelves– no pun intended– using some of my favorite novels. It added some nice height to the space, while also showcasing my obsession with reading. I bought some fake flowers and a tiny vase at Hobby Lobby (as I cannot be trusted to keep real flowers alive for more than a day), brought an adorable elephant figurine from home, a book of short stories signed by the author, I bought a pink Harry Potter mousepad from Etsy (that I’m sadly still waiting to arrive from the UK), and downloaded some awesome wallpapers to make my desktops into ‘art’. I also lifted my laptop with a ream of paper (that I put another Lilly Pulitzer binder cover around, call me Cheap McGee!), a book, and two rubber doorstops to allow for ventilation! The only things left to buy are a new candle and a candle warmer so my office will smell great without the risk of torching the building! Everything on my desk represents me, who I am, and what I like. It couldn’t be more perfect for me. I hope you take a stab at my DIY projects to dress your desk too! Happy crafting!

 

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