Make heading back to school (and work) less doldrum and more fun with a beautiful DIY home office. Sprucing up your workspace with details large and small–from a chic desk chair to prettier pencils–will make hitting the books a bit easier to bear. Whatever your crafting level or age group, there’s a doable DIY here to ease the autumn transition.
A simple paint and re-upholstery job can transform an everyday desk chair into something chic and stylish, like this hounds tooth version. This is high school and college chic.
Stack up some cork trivets, drill holes in the top, and you’ve got the perfect accessory to keep your pencils prettily organized. Since it’s made of cork, it doubles as a memo board. Perfect for middle school and up.
Modernize an old lamp using spray paint and gold foil paint. This is a great way to re-purpose an old item and personalize your space a the same time. Fun for all grades!
Create this contemporary mouse pad using painter’s tape, spray paint and a layer of Mod Podge to seal it off. You’ll be web surfing in style in no time. Perfect for middle school and up.
This metallic desk organizer–inspired by the $48 Anthropologie version but costing only $3 to make–was crafted from leftover cylindrical containers (think tea jars and various tins). A coat of gold spray paint gives it a polished look. Fun for all grades!
A simple paint job transforms a glass tumbler into cheerful desk decor. The little gold feet are made out of polymer clay to finish it off. This can be used for pencils or other school items. Fun for all grades!
Turn paper mache boxes into desktop organizers by gluing magnets inside and giving them a color blocked paint job. This is a practical and pretty way to keep all those little desktop knickknacks in order. Perfect for middle school and up.
Talk about multitasking. Turn an old screen into half-memo board, half-chalkboard-and-magnetic-calendar! You’ll have no excuse not to stay organized, and the calendar easily transitions from month to month. Fun for all grades!
Keep your desk area clutter-free with these simple but effective cord organizers. All you need are toilet paper rolls and Washi tape. Perfect for middle school and up.
A basic mesh file sorter gets a textured upgrade with a touch of embroidery. You can DIY this cross-stitched decor with bits of yarn to jazz up your work space. Perfect for middle school and up.
These adorable paper weights by Assemble A Well-Crafted Life are made out of old wooden door knobs. You can make your own ombre of chalkboard version- or one of each. This is high school and college chic.
The only thing you need to prettify your pencils is a Sharpie. Just use it to draw little dots all over to make it a bit more fun to scribble notes. Fun for all grades!
Jazz up your office with fun-yet-functional confetti tape dispensers.This DIY home office item is more about adding color to your space. Fun for all grades!
Before you shop: Head back to work or school doesn’t have to be a drag with spruced up desk decor. Simple supplies, from paint to permanent markers, can go a long way toward making seemingly drab or outdated items new and noteworthy.
Pippa is a quilt maker and designer with a fondness for bold geometric designs and bright, colorful solid fabrics. This extends to the broader DIY realm and crafty endeavors of all sorts, particularly in home decor. She lives and works in Boston with her husband, twin sons and tiny teacup poodle. She blogs at Pippa Quilts and sells her quilts online on Etsy.