10 Cheap DIY Desk Accessories That Look Pricier Than They Are


So you just landed a new job and you’re super excited, but along with your new position comes a bare desk. What can you do to make it look better? What can you do to make it look more you?

And more importantly, how can you do it without breaking the bank? This roundup of 10 of the cutest office desk accessory tutorials from around the web will only cost you a few bucks and look like you got them from your nearest Pier 1 or Anthropologie.

Happy decorating!

1. Doily Pencil Cup


You’ll need a clear pencil cup, vinyl doily runner, adhesive felt, an x-acto knife, and spray adhesive. Cut the doily to the circumference of the pencil cup, cite a piece of felt to fit the inside of the cup (on the bottom circular part to keep pencils in place), and spray an even coat of adhesive onto the doily and wrap it around the cup. Let dry and voila!

Follow the tutorial on Nicabella.

2. Silver Sprayed Vases

I Do It Yourself

Run into your nearest Goodwill or other thrift store, pick up some vases for a quarter each, and then spray them with silver spray paint. You can also take flat vases without any patterns and paint your own patterns on them with bubble paint first, then spray paint them silver.

For the step-by-step, head over to 'I Do' It Myself.

3. Clay Paper Clip Dishes


Though these can be used to hold pairs of earrings and other small pieces of jewelry, you can also make them to hold paper clips, magnets, or pushpins on your desk. You just need some oven-bake clay, a rolling pin, circle cookie cutter, small glass bowl, parchment paper, paint brush, handful of pepper (or glitter, if you want a sparkly effect), and golden polymer varnish with gloss.

For the intructions, head to Sarah Goldschadt’s pretty little tutorial on Etsy.

4. Porcelain Pen Design Mug


With a white mug and a porcelain pen, and a little bit of creativity, you can create something truly one of a kind. Draw your own pattern or design with your porcelain pen, and then place it in the oven to “bake on” the design, according to the amount of time the pen you bought says on its packaging. Voila!

Tutorial can be found at Lilaliv.

5. Gold Foil Plant Potters

Nest of Posies

Purchase some small potters from the dollar store or at your local home improvement store, and then give them each two coats of acrylic white paint. This blogger used printable gold foil to print out her designs and then stick ‘em on the pots, but if you don't want to go through all that trouble, you can take a gold metallic sharpie, paint pen, or calligraphy pen and write your own sayings. Perhaps choose your favorite quote!

For more, head over to Nest of Posies.

6. Gold Marbled Pencil Holder

Lovely Indeed

Are you the king or queen of writing instruments? Love collecting BIC pens when they’re on sale for $1 per pack after the start of the school year (or is that just me)? If you answered yes, then you’ll love this marbled gold pen cup. You’ll need a glass or metal cup, a small bowl filled with water, toothpicks, paper towels, and liquid gilding (for the gold effect!). Rolling the cup in a tub of water mixed with liquid gilding is what gives the uneven “marbled texture”—so classy!

Here’s how to do it step-by- step (with pictures!) at Lovely Indeed.

7. Floating Confetti Tumbler

Studio DIY

Are you the gal who strolls into work late every day with a Starbucks in her hand? Are you the one known for all her cute accessories, like Lolita sunglasses and her “better late than ugly” mug sitting on her desk? You’ll love this floating water tumbler to go along with your late-to-work stroll. You’ll be sure to brighten up the room.

With just some water or mineral oil, confetti, and clear photo tumbler, you can make this adorable, magical looking tumbler to sip on water all throughout the day.

Find out how to make it at Studio DIY.

8. DIY Ombre Desk Calendar


No need for one of those huge desk calendars eating up your whole desk. Don’t worry about having to frantically rummage through your purse for your phone to know what day it is, or flip through your already-overflowing agenda. With these easy-to-read, easy-to-make daily calendar that you just flip, you’ll always be ahead of schedule.

For materials and how-to, visit the tutorial at Annabode.

9. Colorful Painted Bottles

Home Oh My!

Do you love flowers on your desk just as much as I do? Flowers add a sense of cheer and brightness to any workspace, and positivity is known to help boost productivity. For the cutest vases, you’ll need glass bottles, rubber bands, painters table, aluminum foil, and scissors. By covering the bottles with the table, rubber bands, and aluminum, you can create designs with the colored paint. For a shiny touch, try silver or gold spray paint.

To learn how to make it step-by-step, head over to The Pottery Barn Blog.

10. Tiny Lightbulb Terrariums

Clad & Cloth

These can either be paperweights, pre decoration, or bookends. To make them, you’ll need lightbulb vases, air plants, green moss, little rocks, and white string (if you want to hang them). The directions are pretty easy: open the vase and arrange the natural contents in the way you want it to look, and then close up. Voila!

If you need a little help, head to Clad & Cloth.

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