Back-to-School Organizer for Desk Supplies

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Now is the time to get organized for the start of school. Organization is fundamental to homework success. Often the simple solutions are the best. This back-to-school organizer for desk supplies works great in organizing school supplies for your student. No more excuses or wasted time when it’s homework time. Getting organized can be frugal and earth-friendly when you use repurposed items and this simple tutorial.

blue and white box with red flower as pencil holder on white wood table with colorful paperclips and pen in front with title text overlay reading Back-to-School Organizer Frugal & Earth-Friendly

As a parent educator and mother of three, I know that having an organized homework location is one of the key factors for children to be successful in completing homework and in overall academic success. A big part of getting organized is organizing desk supplies.  

Why Organize Desk Supplies

  • An organized homework location allows your student to focus on studying rather than feeling overwhelmed by a mess.
  • Organized desk supplies allows your child to efficiently find the tools and supplies they need, so they can get right to work on homework.
  • Organized back-to school supplies prevent wasted time and distractions as your student looks for the supplies they need. 
  • Organized desk supplies saves you time and headaches looking for misplaced supplies your child needs.
  • Organized back-to-school desk supplies saves money because you don’t buy unnecessary duplicates.

This is a simple DIY project that you can make with your child. Involving your child helps build excitement that will lead to academic success. Plus, the time you spend together making your back-to-school organizer allows you to strengthen your parent-child bond.

Back-to-School Organizer for Desk Supplies


tuna box, glue bottle, sponge brush, roll of blue and white paper, scissors on white wood table

Back-to-School Organizer Tutorial

Step 1 – Paint decoupage glue onto the tuna packet box. This makes it easier to add the paper than if you paint the glue onto the paper.

Step 2 – Wrap paper around the box and tuck tabs down into the inside edges of the tuna box.

Step 3 – Smooth all wrinkles out and paper edges down. Allow the box to dry approximately 20 minutes.

collage of steps of decoupaging box and adding cardboard divider

Step 4 – Cut the interior cardboard insert into 2 pieces, each the length of the diagonal length of the box. Cut a notch into each piece so that it can interconnect and make an “X”. 

inside view of blue and white box with x shaped cardboard divider

Place the “X” insert into the box to create different sections to organize office supplies.

blue and white box with red flower holding pens, markers, scissors and ruler on white wood table with pens and paperclips scattered around

Add an embellishment that matches your child’s interests or your decor. Stickers are an easy embellishment and you probably already have tons laying around. I happened to have a flower from a broken hair accessory, so I used for my back-to-school organizer box.

This back-to-school organizer project takes about 15 minutes to make, plus drying time. Frugal and creative organizing is the best, isn’t it? Best of luck for the new school year.

More Simple Back-to-School Ideas

For more back-to-school ideas, printables and recipes check out the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.

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  1. I’ve never heard of decoupage glue. It seems like it works really well. We just use regular glue and the paper comes off eventually. My daughter likes to organize her desk supplies this way. In fact, just last night she was asking me if we had any cans because she wants a place for her white board markers.

    1. Sounds like you’ve got a little crafter-organizer on your hands, Brenda. I’ll add a link to my favorite decoupage glue.

  2. Great project to do with your kids as they are getting ready to start school. Given the low cost of this project, you could make a new organizer each year, with paper that matches the child’s current taste. I’m all about using what you already own!

  3. I agree, working or studying desk should be clean so that one can focus. I too don’t like the messed up thinks on my desk. Nice DIY to organize everything.

    1. Thanks, Sandy. We are desk soulmates. Like you, I prefer a clean and organized desk simply so I can think and then work.

  4. This DIY desk organizer is a great way to keep my kids pens, pencils, etc. all in one place so they can actually find what they need at homework time.

  5. Pingback: 20 Hacks for an Organized Homework Station
  6. This is a great idea! I am hoping to do it online with my granddaughters who live far away.

    1. What a fun way to craft together despite a distance! Have a wonderful time building memories. šŸ™‚

  7. Super good instructions! We made one plus recycled a few soup or veggie cans painted for individuals pens and pencils. Stickers and scrapbook papers work well too as well as brads- used those to attach the cans to the box after drilling a hole or punch a hole with a hammer and nail. Thanks for a fun project!

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