This DIY office wall organizer will help you keep your desk clutter free. It includes a built-in dry erase board, four wall file organizers, cork board and large shelf for binders or office decor. What better way to create more usable home office space than to use the wall?
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Two weeks ago, I was feeling very uninspired as I sat at my desk buried in educational material for the blog and inspirational brain dumps on paper. Somehow, over the past several months, my home office had once again become disorganized.
I’m not sure how other creator’s work, but I can’t think or create my best work when I feel unorganized and overwhelmed. This project was born out of my own need for better organizational solutions.
The best part is it came in just under $100 for the materials. If you’re willing to sand your own boards (using common pine) I think you could build this even cheaper.
- (2) 2 X 4 MDF 1/4″ THICK
- (4) 1X3X8 PRIMED MDF TRIM BOARDS
- (1) 1X8X6 POPLAR BOARD
- THRIFTY WHITE PANEL BOARD
- 1X2X8 PRIMED TRIM BOARD
- CORBEL (CUT THE DECORATIVE ENDS SQUARE)
- WOOD GLUE
- BRAD NAILS
- 2″ TRIM HEAD SCREWS
- FOAM BOARD – DOLLAR TREE
- POSTER BOARD – DOLLAR TREE
- CORK ROLL
- QUART OF PAINT & PRIMER – HOME DEPOT
- WOOD FILLER
- GREEN FROG TAPE
- SPRAY ADHESIVE
- LIBRARY TAG HOLDERS
- MITER SAW
- BRAD NAILER
- STUD FINDER
- TAPE MEASURE
- CAULK GUN
- PUTTY KNIFE
- PAINT BRUSH
- X-ACTO KNIFE
- SELF-HEALING MAT
OFFICE WALL ORGANIZER: LAYOUT AND CUT LENGTHS
The main part of this organizer is put together very similar to board and batten. The boards are all 1 X 3 primed MDF trim. The back left and back right squares are 1/4″ MDF. The center square, which is the dry erase board, is cut to size from a large Thrifty White Panel board. I layered two of these so the depth matched the 1/4″ MDF.
To keep things simple, the Thrifty White Board and 1/4″ MDF were cut to the exact dimensions at Home Depot. I’m so thankful they provide this service as I don’t enjoy making rip cuts. It’s best to measure and plan out your project in detail before you go to the store. It will save you time and headache throughout the project.
All of the cross cuts were made at home on my miter saw.
As a general guide, the length of my desk is 63 13/16 inches long and 25.5 inches deep. The left and right squares of the back wall are 21″ wide and 24″ tall. The middle square is 21 13/16 inches wide and 24 inches tall.
The cork board on the side wall is 24.75 wide (after subtracting the 3/4″ thickness of the back wall board) and 24″ tall.
ASSEMBLE AND SECURE THE BOARDS TO THE WALL
If you plan to keep the organizer forever, you can use liquid nails to secure the 1/4″ MDF and Thrifty White Board to the wall. I chose to let them rest on my desk and attached the boards over them with 2″ brad nails. If I decide to change things later, my drywall won’t be ruined.
It’s important to mark the location of your wall studs with a stud finder. Then secure the top and bottom horizontal boards with 2″ trim screws. This will provide structure and support for your shelf.
Be sure to use a level and square to position the boards properly.
I always pre-drill the hole with a smaller drill bit. This ensures that I actually hit the wall stud and keeps the wood from splitting when the screw is driven in. I love these trim screws (pictured below). They enter in smooth and the head of the screw countersinks nicely into the wood. Once you fill the hole with wood filler and lightly sand and paint, it disappears nicely.
When the back boards were completely installed, I added the side boards. These were applied directly to the wall. The cork board will be cut to size and inserted later.
Once all of your boards are installed, rest your shelf on top. Line up your corbel on the top right side and make a pencil mark for the proper location. Remove the shelf. Then measure the location for your hardware (usually comes with the corbel) and attach it to the boards.
Now add a line of wood glue all along the top edge, where your shelf will be positioned. Add your shelf and brad nail it all along the top wall edges and into the corbel.
Here’s another picture that shows the corbel on the right side. I built the wall organizer so it falls just below the cupboard door on the right.
I wanted to add the below picture to show you the right edge of the wall organizer. Since the 1/4″ MDF is behind the boards, there is 1/4″ gap between the wall and the board. This side of my organizer faces the back wall of our office, so it will not be seen. I ran a piece of green frog tape down the edge, caulked and painted it. I just wanted you to be aware of it. If your organizer is positioned so this edge will show, you can add a piece of cove molding or shoe molding to cover it.
BUILDING THE WALL FILE ORGANIZERS
Use the leftover 1/4″ MDF for the front portion of you file holders. Mine were cut 15″ wide by 7″ tall. I built them to hold my work binders. For the side supports, I used the leftover poplar and pine board pieces. It’s important to use material with a 3/4″ thickness for the sides. This will give you a larger work area to nail or add screws.
Using a square piece of wood, mark a line at 2 5/8″ and cut it on the 22.5 degree angle on your miter saw. See images below. For the four file holders you’ll need eight triangles.
Run wood glue along the end that attaches to the MDF.
Secure them into place with a brad nailer.
ATTACH THE FILE ORGANIZERS TO THE WALL
Mark the placement of your organizers with a pencil on the wall. I marked a center line on the square (on wall) and a center line on the file bin. Tear off a few pieces of green frog tape. Add wood glue to the back ends of the file organizers and press them to the wall.
Work on one bin at a time. I found it easier to start with the bottom bin, since it rested on the bottom board. Once it is lined up, tape it tightly to the wall. Then secure them with your brad nailer. I also added one 2″ trim screw to each side of the bin for extra support.
ADD WOOD FILLER TO THE HOLES, SAND, CAULK THE BOARDS AND PAINT
I painted everything before it was installed. But honestly, I ended up painting the whole unit again once it was done. You can choose how to go about this step.
Fill all of the holes with wood filler and caulk all around the gaps. I keep a damp paper towel with me and go over all of the caulk with my finger. Once the wood filler is dry, use a light grit sandpaper to smooth it out. Wipe off any dust and you can paint. For this project I used Behr Ultra Stain Blocking paint and primer in one. I used a Purdy paint brush to apply it.
I color matched my Ikea Sektion cabinets. The formula is in the image below.
MEASURE AND INSTALL THE FILE LABEL HOLDERS
For an added detail, I add library card holders to the front of the file organizers. To ensure proper placement, I made a template out of poster board. I measured and cut the poster board on a self healing cutting mat with an X-acto knife.
Then I marked the center with both a vertical and horizontal line. I placed one of the library card holders on the lines and traced it.
Then I used frog tape to line up and hold my template in place. Next, I drilled the small pilot holes and removed the template. Then I used a small Phillips screwdriver to secure the library tag holders to the front of the bins. The screws that came with the holders were the perfect size for the 1/4″ MDF.
HOW TO MAKE AND INSTALL A CUSTOM CORK BOARD
To add the cork board, I first made a template out of poster board. Take your time and get the template perfect.
Then lay your template on top of the foam board and trace it. Using a self healing cut mat and ruler, cut out the square from the foam board with an X-acto knife. Test your foam board in the square to ensure the proper fit. Then trace and cut a second foam board square. Lastly, trace and cut out your thin layer of cork.
Take the foam board squares and cork to a well ventilated area and cover one side of each of them with spray adhesive. Wait until the adhesive is tacky to the touch. Then line up your panels and press them together. You can get the idea from the image below.
Lastly, line up your cork board to the square and press it into place. I’ll have a tutorial for adding the Mandala to the cork on the blog soon. If you’d like to have a copy of the Mandala cut file, it’s is available in the library along with over 60 other files I’ve designed.
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What are some ways you’ve found to organize your office space? Hopefully this office wall organizer gave you some inspiration.