Learn how to make a really cute DIY desk organizer out of mason jars and some chalk. This makes a perfect gift for teachers too! Make sure to add this project to your must-make list.
Y’all, organization in mason jars is my favorite type of organizing. But- you are not surprised, right?
Well, you’ll love this DIY project!
This mason jar desk organizer will make a perfect ‘back to school’ teacher gift or a way for you to decorate your desk at home with some cute accessories.
How To Make A DIY Desk Organizer
Today, I’m going to show you how to make some really cute desk accessories out of mason jars and a serving tray. The supplies and tools that you need are all super affordable so here’s how to make it.
Tip: Be sure to pick the colors that will coordinate with your home decor if you are keeping this one.
Mason Jar Desk Organizer Supplies
All of the tools, supplies, and step-by-step instructions are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. First, here is some extra information about what you need and a few extra tips, too!
- Pine Wood Serving Tray (the smallest one out of this set of three fits two pint mason jars perfectly)
- Pint mason jar or recycled jars (you need ones with at least one side that is smooth)
- Americana Multi Surface in your choice of colors ( I used Shrimp and Peach Silk)
- Americana Gloss Enamels Chalkboard Paint (this is formulated for glass)
- DecoArt Clear Chalkboard Coating
- FrogTape Multi-Surface Painting Tape
- Bistro Chalk Marker, White
- Regular chalk
- Paint brush
How To Make A Cute DIY Desk Organizer
As you make this organizer, here are some step-by-step photos and tips that I learned along the way. All of these instructions are included in the printable craft card at to bottom of this post, too.
Paint The Tray
The very first thing you will do is paint the wood tray. Make sure to do this first so that it can dry while you paint the mason jars.
For my tray, I used the color “Shrimp” and painted two coats on all surfaces. Please wait for the paint to fully dry before adding any additional coats.
While you wait for the tray to dry, move on and paint your jars.
Add Painter’s Tape To The Jars
Mask off a little over half of your jars for painting. Keep your line straight at the top for this step.
To get the location of the line, be sure there will be plenty of chalk above your line when the jars are located in the tray.
As you can see below, my jars have one smooth side with no writing. This is important for this project. I dug around in my wide collection of jars until I found two this way.
Clean The Jars Before Painting
After you add the painter’s tape, clean your jars well with rubbing alcohol before painting. Do not touch the surface after cleaning as your fingerprints can cause the paint to lift.
Paint The Mason Jars
Paint the jars with a few coats of Americana Multi-Surface paint. I am using Peach Silk for the jars. It took around four coats before I was happy with the coverage on my jars!
Note: Leave the painter’s tape in place until you are finished painting this area. Be sure each coat dries completely before you add another coat.
Once the tops of your jars have been painted, remove the painter’s tape.
Repeat The Same Process For The Bottom Half Of The Jars
Allow the area to cure completely then add the painter’s tape so you can paint the bottom of the jar.
Again, be sure the surface is clean by using rubbing alcohol. Add two coats of Americana Glass Chalkboard Paint to the jars.
Allow to dry in between coats as well. Remove the painter’s tape at the end of this step. Touch up the line in between colors if you need to.
Use Clear Chalkboard Coating On The Tray
In the meantime, you can also be working on the front of your tray. I wanted it to have a chalkboard surface as well but not in black. The Americana Clear Chalkboard coating is the answer.
Add two coats of it to the front and back of the tray.
This product is clear and you will not be able to tell it is on the surface once it is dry. Painting the front and back assures you do not get the surfaces mixed up!
Let It All Cure!
Once everything is dry, be sure to let all of the products cure according to the package directions. You will need to condition all chalkboard surfaces by rubbing them with the side of a piece of chalk and then erasing.
Decorate The Desk Organizers With Chalk Marker
You can then write anything you wish with a chalk marker. These markers will erase later with something wet but will not rub off if little hands touch the writing.
The teacher will love this mason jar desk organizer to kick off back to school! Throw in some pens, pencils, markers, and more for a back to school gift the teacher will actually use this year.
- FrogTape Multi-Surface Painting Tape
- Regular chalk
- Paint the wood tray with a couple of coats of the Americana Multi Surface paint of your choice. Wait for the paint to fully dry before adding any additional coats.
- Mask off a little over half of your jars for painting. Keep your line straight at the top for this step.
- Clean your jars well with rubbing alcohol before painting.
- Paint the jars with a few coats of Americana Multi Surface paint.
- Once the tops of your jars have been painted, remove the painter’s tape. Allow the area to cure completely then add the painter’s tape so you can paint the bottom of the jar.
- Add two coats of Americana Glass Chalkboard Paint to the jars.
- Be sure you paint one vertical and one horizontal. Allow to dry in between coats as well.
- Remove the painter’s tape at the end of this step. Touch up the line in between colors if you need to.
- Add two coats of Americana Clear Chalkboard coating to the front of your tray.
- Again paint one vertical and one horizontal and allow to dry in between coats.
- Once everything is dry, be sure to let all of the products cure according to the package directions. You will need to condition all chalkboard surfaces by rubbing them with the side of a piece of chalk and then erasing.
More Home Organization Help
Do images on Pinterest stress you out because they seem more like a fairy tale than something you can actually achieve?
Don’t fall into that pretty and perfect trap. You can get clutter-free and organized without living a fairy tale life.
No one knows this better than my friend Hilary! She has an entire course for sale that is dedicated to real-life organization ideas. I love that her approach works for any family with any budget.
My favorite part of this course is that Hilary strives to make your home easier to clean-up, so that it takes only minutes, instead of hours. Who couldn’t use more time and less cleaning?
Plus the system can make your house look fairly put together most times of the day. See for yourself with this course!