DIYs For Your Desk

Our city has swelled tremendously now that August is in full swing; school is back in session! I took part last week in a huge block party our town throws to welcome all the university students back. It was a blast, and the weather was so beautiful! Since then, I’ve had college on the brain. The school experience has changed and evolved in the last four years since I’ve been out, but one thing remains the same: dorms are bland. Which is great for us creatives! But, it makes it hard to focus on school work if you feel like you’re in a cinderblock prison. That’s one reason I always changed the look of my dorm, especially my desk area. The same goes for tiny apartments that have strict decor rules. Here are two easy DIY projects – a sparkly glass pen holder and a whimsical mini mobile – that I came up with to brighten up your desk!


Don’t worry, these two projects are easy and cheap. You’ll need:

  • a jar (or clear plastic container)
  • craft wire
  • fabric or paper scraps
  • thread or string
  • paint
  • rubbing alcohol
Mini mobiles and metallic pen holder – just what the creative ordered!

Cute, Mini Mobile

To create the mobile, you’ll first want to find something circular (like the lamp in the photo!). Cut a piece of wire and wrap it around your shape to form a circle. Twist the ends together. Now for the fun part: using up those scraps! If you don’t have fabric, you can easily substitute paper. Simply take your fabric and tie ends around your wire circle. If you are using paper, just put a dab of glue on one end and wrap it around the wire. I braided some of the pieces together to create different weights and textures. To finish of your mobile, cut another piece of wire and wrap both ends around your circle. Tie a piece of string around the center wire and boom! You’re done! This took me maybe an hour…Star Trek is so addicting!

Metallic Pen Holder

This project is so easy it’s almost unbelievable. First, clean your jar, cup, plastic container, or whatever clear object you want to use. Once it’s all shiny and pretty, you’re going to dump in your paint. As you can see, I used gold and silver paint, but you can use any colors you want (like black and gold, eh Hornets?). Roll the jar around so the paint starts to spread. Now, you’re going to pour in a bit of rubbing alcohol. Add in around a tablespoon or so; remember, you can always add more, but too much is hard to remove. Swirl the rubbing alcohol and paint mixture around the jar for a couple of minutes or until you’ve achieved the look you’re going for. Let it sit for a minute or so, then gently rinse the excess mixture. I let my jar sit for a day before I dumped all my paintbrushes in.

Now, take dozens of photos of your newly decorated desk and show Mom that, yes, you are in fact loving every second of your new journey!

Now your desk should be just as bright and full of life as your new school year!

I’m curious: what’s your favorite memory from college, or if you’re just starting, what’s the thing you look forward to experiencing the most!?

Here’s to all of who are chasing your dreams in the classroom!



DIY Mixed Material Mobiles

Mobiles are one of my very favorite projects to work on. They can be wonderful, whimsical ways to showcase a collection, a favorite material, or they can represent ideas all on their own. Unfortunately, none of my mobiles survived our big move a couple of months ago. There’s nothing more frustrating than watching your creations fall apart! I was able to save some of the materials, though, so I thought I’d start a new mobile today and bring you along with me!


Thanks to the Listers Gotta List prompts this month which inspired this post!

First, what the heck is a “mixed material” mobile? That’s another term I’ve made up simply to describe what the mobile will require. Beads, gems, paper, wire – all these things have different weights, and depending upon their placement, can tip your mobile. I’ll be sharing some tips and tricks, as well as some drool worthy mobiles for inspiration at the end, so keep reading!

Continue reading “DIY Mixed Material Mobiles”

DIY Embroidery Hoop Mobile

You’re probably already convinced that I somehow have access to a magical supply of embroidery hoops. That, or I’m a hoarder. If so, I’m a hoarder who loves change…that I have control of. For instance, I love rearranging my craft room  furniture, creating new planner inserts, and repurposing things. Like this embroidery hoop. It was already hanging up, but I grew tired of how it was displayed.

While I was tearing it apart, I had the idea to solve two issues at once. First, I now had an empty hoop with nothing to put in it. Second, one of my favorite altered books fell apart, and I needed a way to keep the illustrations/collages/etc. Bam! My embroidery hoop is now a sketchbook mobile!


There’s something very calming about watching a mobile sway back and forth. I’ve made several, but unfortunately, none of them survived our move back in May. This option is not only super easy to make, but it’s also awfully practical. It’s art that displays art!

To make your own, you’ll need:

  • sketch pages/illustrations/etc.
  • single hole punch
  • scissors
  • thread
  • embroidery hoop (both inside and outside rings)

To start, punch a hole at the top of every page or thing you want on the mobile. Feed thread through that hole. I cut thread at different lengths to avoid placing pages too close together. Once you have your thread placed, think about placement for your pages. I mapped out my pages around the hoop like shown in the photo below.

When you’re happy with the arrangement go ahead and start tying your pages to the hoop. For each page, bring up both ends of the thread and tie them around the inside hoop. Before you attach the inside and outside hoops, you’ll need to tie two pieces of thread to the outside hoop (see photo below). I looped wire around the center of the threads; I hung the mobile from that loop. After I tied all the pages, I slipped the outer hoop over the inside hoop and tightened it to ensure all the pages were secure.

It’s such an unconventional “sketchbook,” but I love having my favorite pieces right there. They serve a much better purpose hanging from a mobile than they do stuffed inside a book that’s buried under ten other notebooks.

Craving more mobile ideas? Check out my new Pinterest board!

What’s your favorite way to display your art? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments!

Take it easy, it’s Saturday finally!