No Thanks
Let

Keep In Touch With MarthaStewart.com

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.

Inspired Office Accessories

Blueprint, May/June 2007

Designer Stephanie Wenzel turned her no-frills apartment into a inspiring office and home with a little help from her local hardware store.

Here, she shares her favorite DIY projects.

Wall Storage Unit
To organize fabric swatches, Stephanie created this storage unit (left) on the wall by screwing wooden magazine files into a sheet of plywood.

Tools and Materials
18 "Knuff" magazine files from Ikea,  ikea.com
Ruler
Drill
Pencil
Sandpaper
2-by-4-foot piece of 3/4-inch-thick birch plywood (custom cut from a 4-by-8-foot sheet)
One box 100 steel #8 countersunk finish washers
One box 100 flathead 8-by-3/4-inch Phillips sheet metal screws
Howard Citrus Shield Natural Paste Wax, howardproducts.com
Four 4-by-3/16-inch toggle bolts, hardwareandtools.com

 

File Organizer
To tame her folders, invoice binders, and catalogs, Stephanie created custom desktop organizers by screwing U-bolts into blocks of 1/2-inch-thick fiberboard.

Tools and Materials
1/2-inch-thick Homasote fiberboard, cut into a 9-by-18-inch pieces
Ruler
Pencil
Five 5/16-by-2 1/2-by-5 5/8-inch U-bolts, with their accompanying plates and hex nuts, nutty.com
Drill
Ten 5/16-by-1/2-by-17/32-inch nylon acorn nuts, mcmaster.com

File Organizer How-To
1. Lay the fiberboard flat on a worktable, with one of the long sides facing you (like a computer keyboard).

2. Using a ruler and a pencil, measure and mark where the U-bolt rods will pass through the fiberboard: Make the first mark 3 inches down from the top edge and 1 inch from left edge. Then measure 2 13/16 inches down from the first mark and 1 inch in from the left edge, and make another mark.

3. Mark the next pair of holes 4 inches to the right of your first set, and repeat until you have 5 sets of marks.

4. Using a 5/16-inch bit, drill a hole at each marked point and remove any debris.

5. Now take one U-bolt and screw a hex nut onto each of its rods, twisting them up about one inch from the bottom of the rods. Slide a plate onto the pair of rods, then feed the ends of the rods through the first pair of holes in the fiberboard.

6. Attach an acorn nut to the end of each rod (to keep them from scratching your desktop). Adjust the nuts until all pieces feel secure. Repeat for each U-bolt.

File Organizer How-To
1. First, drill two holes in the bottom of each magazine file using a 5/32-inch bit; the holes should be centered, about two inches in from each edge. Lightly sand the holes and the edges of all the magazine files.

2. Sand the plywood, then apply Howard Citrus Shield natural paste wax. Place the plywood on a worktable and position the magazine files as shown (evenly spaced, you'll have about 1 1/4 inches between each pair vertically, and about 1 inch between the horizontal pairs). Mark the plywood where the magazine files' drilled holes rest. Using a 5/32-inch bit, drill holes through the plywood at those points.

3. Attach magazine files to the plywood using #8 x 3/4-inch screws. (Add #8 countersunk washers to the screws before putting them through the wood for a more finished look.)

4. To mount the unit, first use a 3/16-inch bit to drill a hole near each corner of the plywood. Have a friend help you hold the unit where you would like it to hang, and mark the wall through the holes you just drilled. Then, drill a hole in the wall at each of those points, large enough for a contracted toggle bolt to pass through. Insert the screws from four toggle bolts into the holes in the storage unit and attach the toggles to their ends. Once again, have a friend help you hold the unit in position, and insert the toggles through the holes in your wall.

5. When all four toggles are in place, use your drill to tighten the screws.

Comments (17)

  • 25 Mar, 2010

    I imagine one could use shelving to make the desktop organizers. A little more expensive, but it would be finshed on all 4 sides and the entire setup could be moved back onto a wall mounted shelf bracket to get it off the desk when not in use... just keep the U-bolts/acorn nuts away from the shelf mounting hardware location...

  • 18 May, 2009

    The $3.00 ones are made of cardboard, but they are pretty sturdy.

  • 18 May, 2009

    The desk is Ikea

  • 18 May, 2009

    I wish you could click on the photos to get a larger view. The pictures are way too tiny.

  • 18 May, 2009

    FYI - Those cool wooden magazine holders at $4.99 at my closest IKEA - I wish they were only $3.00!

  • 18 May, 2009

    Is that a red toolbox in the picture? What is it being used for? I agree, more and larger pictures really are needed!

  • 18 May, 2009

    I remember seeing and liking this in "Blueprint". Thanks for reminding me.

  • 18 May, 2009

    I agree, larger pictures would be very useful

  • 18 May, 2009

    I am curious about the desk. Where did it come from?

  • 1 May, 2009

    Ditto.... additional illustrations would be wonderful! I personally would like information on the lamp fixture, too.

  • 10 Aug, 2008

    It would be great if there was an option to see a larger picture also.

  • 20 Apr, 2008

    PHOTOS, PHOTOS, PHOTOS!

  • 18 Apr, 2008

    We do truly need more Photos of all of the different details! This one is PROF of
    that!!

  • 15 Apr, 2008

    Agree!!!

  • 3 Apr, 2008

    I agree.

  • 2 Apr, 2008

    The lack of photos on this site is really terrible and we should be able to click on the pictures to see larger versions of them because you can't see all the detail in some of them.

  • 15 Nov, 2007

    I need more illustrating photos