Editor’s Note: I love a pretty office. Something about working in plain boring cubicles for 10 years made me appreciate the importance of a beautiful workspace. Annie, from Organized with Annie, is back today to share a genius idea for pretty office storage. You won’t believe how charming her office paper trays are! Plus, I love how easily you can customize the look of these to your style by changing the color and handle.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am addicted to all kinds of faux drawers (remember the mudroom faux drawers?)…they are awesome!
It all started when I was working on my home office and was dissatisfied with the plastic and metal choices for paper storage. I decided to make my own “paper trays”. To give them the WOW factor I was after, I added a handle to the front. And, that’s how it all began.
I use three faux drawer paper trays on my repurposed hutch in my office to hold bills, folders, and magazines/catalogues. How did I decide on three? It was what my space allowed for and the system has worked great for me. When I get the mail, the bills go in the bill drawer, magazines/catalogues that I actually want to look at go in their drawer. The rest of the mail gets filed, recycled, or shredded immediately. When my magazine/catalogue drawer starts to get a little full, I go through it and purge. The faux drawer limits how many magazines/catalogues I can keep at a given time.
Recently, when I was organizing a clients home office I noticed she had a 1/2 used ream of paper in plain site. It wasn’t in a bad place or unorganized but I really wanted it to live in a faux drawer. I showed her my idea and she like it, so this Antibes Green drawer is going to live in her office for printer paper storage.
Supply list for 1 faux drawer:
- 3/4″ birch plywood (see cut list, I used a scrap from another project)
- 1×6″ – 6 feet long (see cut list)
- 4 – #8 x 1 3/4 wood screws
- finishing nails
- handle of choice (any cabinet pull or knob will work)
- paint of choice
- 1 bottom – 3/4″ birch plywood cut to 12 x 11 1/4
- 2 sides – 1×6″ cut to 11 1/4″
- 2 fronts/backs – 1×6″ cut to 13 1/2″
- finish nailer/hammer
- paint brush
How to Build a Faux Drawer Paper Tray
1. Make a template for consistent screw placement. I made one 11 1/4″ by 3/4″ and made my hole 2 1/2″ from each edge.
2. Get wood and follow cut list.
3. Predrill holes on both the bottoms of the sides and the sides of the bottoms using template to mark holes.
Assemble the Drawers
4. First, secure the sides to the bottom using wood glue, followed by wood screws. Repeat the process on the other side.
5. Put on fronts/backs. Put a small bead of wood glue around the edges of the sides and the bottom. Using a finish nailer (I use a Ryobi Airstrike) to drive a nail every few inches. You could easily do this step with a hammer and finishing nails, as well. Repeat the same process for back.
6. Use a sander (I used my Ryobi Corner Cat) to sand the boxes smooth and soften the corners.
7. Attach the handle. Mark the placement of the screw holes. Drill the holes with a 3/8″ drill bit. Secure the handle with provided screws. (I bought this pull at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore along with a couple dozen more…only $4 for the whole lot).
8. Paint the faux drawer. For this particular one, I decided to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, in Antibes Green, which made the project even easier. Using chalk paint eliminates the need to prime the wood. For this project, I had some special help from my four year old. We gave this two coats of chalk paint, including the handle, and a coat of Annie Sloan clear wax. I roughed it up a little with sandpaper to give it a distressed look and applied another coat of clear wax to protect those areas.
I know it’s just a paper box, but doesn’t it look so nice? In addition to being super functional in any home office, it looks so cute!
If you’d like help in your home office solving your organizational challenges, I’d love to help! If you live in the Twin Cities Eastern Metro, I’d love to help YOU! Connect with me at organizedwithannie.com.
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