How to Build a Desk with Bookshelves (8 Ideas)


All four of my sons share a room with one brother – so their space is at a premium.  When my 13 year old declared he needed a desk for homework and his hobbies, I knew that the only place it could go was in the spot that currently houses their bookshelf.  So I went looking for how to build a desk with bookshelves


I found some super creative ideas – including tutorials for how to build a desk using cheap store-bought bookshelves or file cabinets – to some genius organizing desks using the Closetmaid Cubeicals, to some really impressive ones like this HUGE and awesome Craft Room desk - big enough for cutting patterns and sewing, etc…

I started AND finished my project this weekend (and I’ll share it on here once I get the pictures uploaded!!) – but for now….

Here are my favorite ideas on how to build a desk with bookshelves:

1) EASY Desk using 2 Bookshelves and Project Board

Anna White made this one and she’s ridiculous – when she says easy, I translate “Requires power tools and my dad”.  But if you didn’t make those bookshelves underneath all by yourself – and bought some instead – this really WOULD be easy!

2) Desk over Shoe storage shelves 

This is kind of genius – what a great way to browse the interwebs AND store all your shoes if you don’t have a large closet!

3) Bob Villa’s SERIOUS Kids’ Storage Desk

It’s Bob Villa – so you know he isn’t kidding around when he sets out to make something useful.  This one is FULL of storage for all kinds of doo-dads and books and art supplies.

4) Ikea Hack Desk under $60  and DIY and Free (to Me) Desk

These projects use those cheap particle board storage cubbies so it keeps the cost LOW.  You probably already have one or two of these in your house (I have one in my laundry room right now)

5) File Cabinet Desk

Looks simple enough – you’ll want to scout out some file cabinets at yard sales or thrift stores and paint them though – because otherwise those can be pretty dang pricey.  And interestingly (Because I’d thought of the same thing and then dismissed it as weird) – she suggests using table leaves as the top!

6) Crazy Crafting Desk

This is huge and drool-worthy.  If you have a craft room and a capable building person – get on with it!

7) LEGO Building platform over Rolling Plastic Storage

I know – that’s not what I set out to find, but Pinterest… ya know.  How cool is this thing?

8) Pallet Desks 

YEP – more things to do with pallets!  There are a bunch in this article, I like the ones where you just stand up two pallets for the sides, and nail one pallet to the top.  Done and done.


Garage Organizing Tip



If your basement or garage is wall-to-wall clutter – here’s a garage organizing tip: Go vertical!   Anytime you can move something from the floor to the wall, you give yourself that much room to work with.   Not only that, but it’s safer and it just looks nicer.  A great way to start your garage organizing project is with a wall-mounted tool holder.

These Mop, Broom, Shove. Rake and general tool holder will help clean up your garage in no time.  Right now it’s on sale for $9.99 with FREE Prime Shipping! (Reg $20)

(This is by far the lowest price we can find it at.)




Or start smaller in the kitchen or laundry room, with the Mop & Broom Wall Organizer - $8.29 + Free Shipping



Or try this highly-rated Evriholder Magic Holder 5-Position Wall Organizer$14.28


But my favorite is this one:



Evriholder Sliding Magic Holder – Reg $25.99

Besides helping with your garage organizing project – this baby will hold all your brooms, mops, swiffers, etc… in that space between your fridge and the walll – and then slide out so you can get to them!  I never knew one of these existed – but now I must have this for my kitchen!!


Please note that Amazon’s prices fluctuate and can change at any time.  Be sure to verify current price before placing your order.  Find more great Amazon Deals in ourAmazon Category!  


If you’re motivated to get organized – check out these posts!

How to Make Boot Trees: 3 Thrifty Options (Posterboard, Magazines, Paper Towel Rolls)

If you have boots you love and you don’t want them to get creased from flopping over in your closet – check out these DIY boot trees.

I love my boots – and I wear them whenever possible.  In cold weather they go great with jeans, leggings or tights – and in summer, I pair them with sundresses.   Although they’re always in rotation, they do spend a lot of time hanging out in my closet.  In order to keep them from sagging (which causes deep creases and eventually cracked leather) or lying on their sides and taking up the whole bottom of the closet – I make boot stands or “trees” to keep them upright.

Here are a few ways to make your own!


Grab a posterboard and cut it in two halves.  Roll each piece into a slightly conical shape, with the widest part the size of the boot opening.  Don’t make the bottom too pointy – you want it about the diameter of your ankle in order to hold the ankle part of the boot upright.  Tape it together and trim off the excess.

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Spring Decorating Ideas on a Budget (Day 2)

I’m so excited about starting a new series on ways to save money – this time it’s a super-fun topic: Spring Decorating Ideas on a Budget!  Each day for the next 12 days, I’ll be sharing or linking to a way to freshen up your home for Spring on the cheap :)  Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments – we may include them in the list!

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DIY Oil-Rubbed Bronze


DIY Oil-Rubbed Bronze

This is one of the oldest DIY tricks in the book, updating brass or gold fixtures to oil-rubbed bronze. You won’t believe how easy it is! Face it, we all have them….ugly brass or gold light fixtures, door handles, bathroom knobs, brass lamps, etc. Most anything could easily be updated to a beautiful oil-rubbed bronze in a matter of minutes.

In my case we have these:


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12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas

Guys – can you believe we are only 10 DAYS away from Christmas?  And only a few short days left until school lets out – that means TEACHER GIFTS need to happen pronto!  If you’re scrambling for something new – here’s a list that might help you out….

Mason Jars are handy little ways to hold all sorts of things – especially giftable goods from your kitchen, or other small treasures.  From sewing kits, to spa supplies, to a chic planter – these Mason Jar gift ideas will give you a few easy options!



1) Mason Jar Gift Card Holder

This Mason Jar Giftcard Holder is an easy way to disguise a gift card for a more festive-looking gift!


2. Brown Sugar Scrub

Skip the pricey department store scrubs – make a frugal and luxurious scrub that they can enjoy over and over!  I recommend our Homemade Brown Sugar Coffee Scrub recipe – or here are a couple more:


3. Hot Chocolate Mix

Layer ingredients in a pretty way with marshmallows and mini chocolate chips – handy and yummy!  Use a smaller mason jar for this recipe or double it for a bigger one.

  • 3 tbsp powdered creamer
  • 3 tbsp powdered milk
  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons cocoa powder


4. Homemade Salsa

This easy summer salsa recipe is my absolute favorite – and it uses *canned* tomatoes – which REALLY cuts down on the work!

5. Homemade Granola

My friend Shawna made this for me last year – and it was sooooo good.  (The recipe had almonds in it and looked a lot like this one) I munched on it for breakfast several times.  A very cool idea for the more “granola” folks on your list!



6. Cookies in a Jar

If you’re giving this to a teacher, a cute note for this would be “Thanks for making me a Smart Cookie!”  And if you’re REALLY pressed for time – check out our Lazy Girl’s Cookies in a Jar

7. Spiced Nuts in a Jar

My father in law always says he’s never met a nut he didn’t like – and that is the kind of person who deserves a jar of awesome nuts.  Get the recipe here for Sweet & Spicy Nuts.


8. DIY Mason Jar Sewing Kit

This one is for the crafty folks in your life – this DIY Mason Jar Sewing Kit is adorable – love that the top doubles as a pincushion!



9. Mani/Pedi in a Jar

Fill with nail clippers, files, polish, and mini lotion or cream!  Sign up for Julep and get a free box of super-high end nail polishes to get you started :)



10. Muddy Buddies

Muddy Buddies are great because you can make a huge batch and fill up several mason jars – and everyone loves them!  Add a note that says thanks for being my “Buddy”!  Here’s the recipes for How to Make Muddy Buddies. (AKA Puppy Chow)


11. Smores Snack Mix

This S’Mores Party Mix is just a fun little snack that looks cute in a jar too :)


12. DIY Herb Garden or Succulents in a Jar

Never ever thought of this – how adorable!  Herbs would take a little while to be ready to gift, but succulents you can purchase and plant and gift right away.  New to succulents?  Check out how to plant a succulent garden!



Mason Jar Giftcard Holder


Jamie here! How cute are these mason jar giftcard holders?   I love making crafty gifts but sometimes the best gift you can give someone is just a giftcard – plain and simple.  Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t make it cutesy!

I stopped at Target this weekend and picked up a 2-pack of these red-lidded jars for $3, and a 6-pack of wood snowflake tags for $1.  I already had the Burlap ribbon at home from a previous project so this was a fairly inexpensive gift to make (about $1.50).  Actual Mason or Ball jars are even less expensive – but I liked the red lid on these :)




What you’ll need:

  • Burlap Ribbon OR Jute, Hemp or some other natural looking rope
  • A Mason jar
  • Empty toilet paper roll
  • Giftcard
  • Printable Labels (optional)


First, slide the giftcard into the empty toilet paper roll.  This will hide it better and also fill up more space in the jar.

Next, Wrap the burlap ribbon loosely around the cardboard and insert into the jar.  You might need to fiddle with it a bit to make it look nice.   I pulled the inside loop of ribbon up towards the top to cover any empty space.  Screw on the lid and add a cute gift tag like the wooden snowflakes.

Makes a super cute gift card holder that will be able to be repurposed for other things :)