Decorate a Desk Set for a Father's Day Gift

Give Dad a hand-decorated desk set that includes storage boxes, a pencil holder, letter holder, and memo board. He'll think of this gift each time he reaches for a pen or pins something on the board. 

Give dad a practical and homemade gift this Father’s Day. A decorated desk set is the perfect gift for dad—plus it’s easy to personalize with a print or pattern you know he’ll love. He’ll love remembering this gift each time he sits down at his desk.

What You'll Need

  • Two octagonal papier-mache boxes
  • Pencil holder
  • Small letter holder
  • Scissors
  • Brown suede scrapbook paper
  • Map scrapbook paper
  • Wallpaper or scrapbook paper in tan and burgundy
  • Spray adhesive
  • Tan grosgrain ribbon
  • Fabric glue
  • 16 wooden ball feet
  • Copper paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Crafts glue
  • Drill
  • Four antique-finish brass knobs
  • One washer to fit brass knob
  • Two copper nameplate brackets
  • Paper scraps
  • Letter stickers in black or brown

How to make the desk accessories:

Step 1: Cover boxes in paper

Find a papier-mache box, letter holder, and pencil cup that are just the right size for dad’s desk. You can also make this project from plain wood desk accessories. Pick out a few sheets of craft paper in a pattern dad will love—you’ll need several sheets of the same pattern for each box you want to make. Use spray adhesive to adhere the paper to each side of the box; use the box as a guide to cut and trace the papers before gluing.

Step 2: Embellish with accessories

To give your boxes a sophisticated feel, add embellishments to the boxes once the paper and glue is dry. We love the way neutral grosgrain ribbon looks around the lid. Use fabric glue to attach the ribbon directly to the paper or papier-mache surface, and line the ribbon up on a corner before trimming. To add a handle to the top of the boxes, drill a hole in the center of the box lid and screw a brass knob in place;  use a washer on the inside of the lid to keep the knob in place.

Step 3: Add feet

Use copper paint to coat four wood balls; if you’re spray painting the wood, do a light coat on one side, let dry, and repeat on the other side. You may need a few coats of paint to get the right look. When the painted balls are completely dry, use hot glue to attach them to the bottom corners of the box.

How to make the memo board:

Step 1: Cover board

Start with a plain cork board—look for a board with a plain wood border around the edge. Use adhesive spray and wrapping paper, wallpaper or scrapbook paper to cover the wood border. We used a paper that compliments the desk accessories, and added corner accents of the same map paper on the corners to tie the set together.

Step 2: Embellish

Use grosgrain ribbon and fabric glue to give the paper border an added embellishment. To add knobs or hooks to the bottom of the board, use a drill to place three evenly-spaced holes along the wooden frame on the bottom edge of the board and screw the knobs or hooks into the holes. We also used graft glue to attach a copper name plate to the top of the memo board, but you can use stickers, markers or other accessories to finish the memo board.


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