Desk Bling Accessory Set

Submitted by JoanneS on Fri, 08/30/2013 - 10:07
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Add some “bling” to your desk with the Desk Bling Accessory Set!

Build a 5-piece desk accessory set – mini desktop crate, pencil cup, paper clip tray, business card holder, and 3-drawer desktop cube storage. All these pieces can be made from a few pieces of 3/8” craft board, some ¼” plywood, and a piece of square dowel. The inspiration pieces for this set were made from scrap wood, which included some 3/8” plywood cut down to standard craft board sizes. The set in the picture gets its “bling” with a multi-step finish and added sea glass pebbles on the front of the pulls.

You’ll need a miter saw, jigsaw or circular saw, nailgun or brad nailer, and palm sander for this plan. No angles required -- it’s all straight cuts. A full set takes about an afternoon to build. Finishing cost and time will depend on the type of finish desired. For the set pictured, I used what finishes I already had on hand, except for purchasing some sea glass pebbles from Michael’s, and some super glue to attach them.

Building this set is what inspired me to do the plan for the 1-board Cedar Desktop Accessories set. The pulls in this plan are made from the square dowel, but you could substitute regular knobs or pulls if you like.

The plan is based on these boards:

3/8” x 3 ½”:…

3/8” x 1 ½”:…

½” square dowel:…

¼” plywood:…

The wood for this plan comes in at less than $20. Since the crate plan uses slats made from plywood, it kept the cost low for the wood. You’ll have some left overs too, for other projects or more accessories. For less than $5 more, you can save yourself some sanding and cutting by substituting a piece of 1 1/8” lattice for the slats, like this one:…

Use 5/8” brad nails for this project. I tried the 1” nails first, but when shooting nails into the ends in this thin wood I ended up with a lot of “blowouts” where the nail bent and poked out the side. The shorter nails will help prevent this. You can pull a blowout nail quickly with a set of needle nosed pliers on hand.

A .pdf copy of the full plan is attached, and is located just below the general instructions section.



Shopping List

Shopping List: 
2 pc 3/8” x 3 ½” x 36” craft board
3 pc 3/8” x 1 ½” x 36” craft board
1 pc ¼” plywood, 2’ x 2’
1 pc ½” square dowel, 36”
5/8" finish nails
Finishing materials for desired finish
Knobs/pulls (optional)
Optional: 1 8’ stick ¼” x 1 1/8” lattice (for slats, if you want to substitute lattice instead of cutting & sanding plywood strips)

measuring tape
safety glasses
Hearing protection
compound miter saw
Drill (if using regular knobs)
Screwdriver (for attaching knobs)
Needle nosed pliers

Common Materials
Cut List

Pencil Cup:
3/8” x 3 ½” craft board: 2 pc @ 3 ½” (sides)
3/8” x 1 ½” craft board: 2 pc @ 3 ½” (ends)
¼” plywood: 1 pc @ 2 ¼” x 3 ½” (bottom)

Business Card Holder:
3/8” x 1 ½” craft board: 2 pc @ 4” (back & bottom)
½” x ½” dowel: 1 pc @ 4” (front)

Mini Desktop Crate:
3/8” x 3 ½” craft board: 2 pc @ 3 ½” (front/back)
3/8” x 3 ½” craft board, 1 pc @ 2 ¾” (bottom)
¼” plywood: 6 pc @ 1” x 3 ½” (if you substitute 1 1/8” lattice, increase height of front/back to 3 ¾”)

Paper Clip Tray:
3/8” x 1 ½” craft board: 2 pc @ 3 ½”
3/8” x 1 ½” craft board: 2 pc @ 2 ¾”
¼” plywood: 1 pc @ 3 ½” x 3 ½”

3-Drawer Desktop Cube:
3/8” x 3 ½” craft board: 2 pc @ 5 ¼” (top & bottom)
3/8” x 3 ½” craft board: 2 pc @ 6 3/8” (sides)
3/8” x 3 ½” craft board: 2 pc @ 4 ½” (shelves)
3/8” x 1 ½” craft board: 6 pc @ 4 ¼” (drawer front/back)
3/8” x 1 ½” craft board: 6 pc @ 2 ¾” (drawer sides)
¼” plywood: 1 pc @ 5 ½” x 7 1/8” (back)
¼: plywood: 3 pc @ 4 ¼” x 3 ½” (drawer bottoms)
½” x ½” dowel: 3 pc @ 1 ¼” (pulls)

Cutting Instructions

Cutting tips:

Here’s how I cut the plywood strips for crate slats without a table saw:

1. Cut a manageable piece (about 4 ½” should do) off one end of your 2’ square of plywood (first time I used a jig saw and straightedge for this step, you can also do this with the sliding miter saw – cut half-way across, flip, then cut the other half across). Do this before any other cuts, so you have a straight edge to work from.

2. Keeping the straight edge against the fence of your miter saw, cut off an end to make a sharp square corner to measure from.

3. Mark 1” from the end and then cut the strip.

4. Repeat this step for a total of 6 strips.

5. Cut each strip down to 3 ½” length.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Miter Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Instructions for Pencil Cup

Step 2

Instructions for Paper Clip Tray

Step 3

Instructions for Mini Desktop Crate

Step 4

Instructions for Business Card Holder

Step 5

Step 6

Desktop Cube instructions, Page 2

Step 7

Desktop Cube Instructions, Page 3

Step 8

Desktop Cube Instructions, Page 4

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.

Finishing tips:

Sand pieces before assembly.

If using the ¼” plywood for the slats, make sure all the edges of the slat are sanded smooth before attaching – these would be very difficult to sand otherwise.

If you are staining, make sure to use stainable wood filler.
Finish Used
This finish starts with 2 coats of Clark & Kensington flat paint tinted to Sherman Williams’ Blue Echo color, lightly sanding between coats. Then a glaze of Minwax Express Color in Walnut, brushed and wiped with a rag to get the desired effect. For the larger piece (cube) I added just a dab of clear mixing glaze, so there would be enough time to get the glaze into all the nooks & crannies and larger surfaces before it could dry. The pulls received a gray color wash, then a walnut glaze. Green sea glass pebbles were glued to the pulls with some gorilla super glue.
Project Type



Fri, 08/30/2013 - 17:46

Thank you for posting multiple options for the desk accessories plans! =D I always wonder what I can substitute when I don't have a certain amount of dimensional lumber on hand, so knowing other measurements and dimensions using alternate material is golden information! I do like the "bling" of the sea glass pulls, too! :)


Fri, 08/30/2013 - 18:34

Thank you! I've had so much fun building and planning these! Planning the "bling" part was the most fun! I started to use green, blue, and purple pebbles on these pulls, but changed my mind at the last minute and made them match. Recently I found out the majority of the sea glass found on our local beaches is green, and I wanted to make it look like "found" sea glass. :)


Fri, 08/30/2013 - 20:53

Ive been looking for desk accessories plans. Was even going to make my own up but now I dont have to. Thank you :)


Sat, 08/31/2013 - 06:01

SoCaliforniaMel, Thanks for the nice comment! I like to personalize my accessories and doing it yourself makes it fun. On my own set I have glass knobs with cream color paint distressed over dark stain.

If you like to work with cedar (or 1/2" craft board), I recently posted 2 other plans too:…

I hope you post pics of your desk accessories. I'd love to see them! :)

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