Take Your Workspace From Drab to Fab With These 10 DIY Office Refresh Ideas

Feeling uninspired at work? Boost creativity by giving your boring office a chic update.
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Did you know that redecorating can help generate new ideas and boost creativity? This is especially true in the places you spend the most time, like at work. Unfortunately, redecorating takes time and money that many of us just can't spare. But good news! There are tons of ways to make over your drab workspace by simply upcycling things you already have. Try a few of these chic DIY office supply refreshes to brighten your space and spark some much needed inspiration on a budget.

DIY Suede + Gold Leaf Mousepad

Photo by: Chelsea Costa Foy

Chelsea Costa Foy

Chelsea at the Lovely Indeed blog gave her old, worn-out mousepad a refresh with chic suede fabric and gold leaf polka dots. 

Bar Cart Office Organizer

Use a Bar Cart as a Home Office Catch-All

Use a Bar Cart as a Home Office Catch-All

It has multiple levels, it rolls, it might even fit under your desk – and who cares if it’s made for cocktails? A cute bar cart like this can be a great solution for your office supplies other essentials. You could even make the top into a coffee station.

Photo by: Danielle Moss

Danielle Moss

Complete with multiple levels and wheels, a cute bar cart is the perfect workspace storage solution. Roll it under your desk to maximize space or turn the top into a portable coffee station.

Get Inspired: Small Home Office Ideas

Easy Upcycled Quote Art

Upcyled old Painting

Upcyled old Painting

Learn how to customize a discarded painting from HGTV Magazine

Photo by: Lara Robby/Studio D

Lara Robby/Studio D

Surrounding yourself with motivational words or phrases keeps the creative juices flowing long after the coffee has worn off. Take a cue from the crafting experts at HGTV Magazine and turn an old, tired painting into fun, inspirational word art for your desk or home office.

Make This: Upcycled Quote Art

DIY Stamped Notebooks

Photo by: Image Courtesy of Darby Smart

Image Courtesy of Darby Smart

Perfect for brainstorming, keeping appointments and remembering important points, a good notebook is an office essential. Give your plain notebooks a chic update with this fun DIY stamp and paint project from Darby Smart. Bonus: You get to make your own stamps!

Copper + Wood Magazine Rack

Photo by: Image Courtesy of Darby Smart

Image Courtesy of Darby Smart

Another genius DIY idea from Darby Smart, this wood and copper magazine rack is super simple to make and can be customized with your fabric of choice.

Make This: DIY Magazine Rack

DIY Desk Accessories

Original_Chelsea-Costa-Desk-Organizers-Beauty1_v

Original_Chelsea-Costa-Desk-Organizers-Beauty1_v

Put mismatched containers to good use by transforming them into a single desk accessory set that corrals all your miscellaneous office supplies.

Vintage Book Planter

Vintage Book Planter

Vintage Book Planter

Book crafts aren't for your rare or treasured tomes, but there are plenty of ways to repurpose damaged or unwanted volumes. Turn a book into an unexpected planter by cutting open the inside of an old book and adding a small succulent.

Bring some plant life to your drab workspace and display your love of literature with this work-appropriate book planter.

DIY Sawhorse Desk

Repurposed Door Makes Chic Desk

Repurposed Door Makes Chic Desk

A simple trip to a salvage yard or antique store is all it takes to discover an interesting door that can easily be turned into a gorgeous desk. The desk is not only creative and functional, but a budget-friendly way to recycle an item that might have otherwise ended up in the trash.

Photo by: Photo courtesy of Meredith Perdue

Photo courtesy of Meredith Perdue

Looking for a chic, new desk that won’t break your budget? Make your own with two sawhorses, an old door and a piece of glass. 

Glam Shelving

Office Supply DIY

Office Supply DIY

The crafty editors at HGTV Magazine transformed a bookshelf

Photo by: Susan Pittard/Studio D (styled by Matthew Gleason)

Susan Pittard/Studio D (styled by Matthew Gleason)

Sometimes all you need is a can of paint to give your space an update. But if you can't paint your office's walls, paint the furniture instead. This metal bookshelf went from utilitarian to super chic with just a few coats of metallic gold acrylic paint.

DIY Message Board

Memos at Hand

Memos at Hand

Paint an old picture frame to add a colorful outline to a ho-hum cork board. Or, consider removing the corkboard and attaching chicken wire to the back of the frame and clipping memos or favorite photos to it, like Ashley Campbell. This simple project requires paint, chicken wire, a staple gun and a bit of creativity.

Photo by: Photo courtesy of Ashley Campbell

Photo courtesy of Ashley Campbell

Are you drowning in a sea of sticky notes? Clean up the clutter with a personalized DIY bulletin board that keeps all of your memos in one spot. Using a staple gun, attach chicken wire to the back of a large picture frame, then clip on all your imporant reminders with small clothespins. It's also a stylish way to display your favorite photos!

Clever Uses for Everyday Items in the Home Office

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Unscrambled Office Items

Get your desk drawer organized by putting an old egg carton to use, like Michele Pacey did here. This project is an eco-friendly solution for eliminating clutter and keeping all of your smallest office supplies in one place. Paint the carton a cheerful hue and make it an attractive addition to your desk space.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Michele Pacey

No More Tangled Cords

It's frustrating enough to have to dig through drawers and find a cord, let alone to discover it's a member of an intertwined mess. Keep unruly cords organized by using media boxes that are divided into "cubbies" with scraps of cardboard, like Jennifer Jones did for her home office. Label each section, so you'll never confuse the camera cord for the phone charger again, and give the boxes a bit of color by decorating the cardboard with scrapbook paper.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Jennifer Jones

From Cookies to Cards

Use colorful cookie tins to store larger desk items, like business cards, print cartridges and labels. Label each tin and choose colors that will put a smile on your face while working. Like Serena Thompson said of her project, "I love feeling happy, so my office nook needs to look that way and be organized at the same time."

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Serena Thompson

No More Laundry

Trade your dull garbage can for an easy, upcycled hamper-turned-wastebasket project. Sarah Ives added a splash of color to her office by painting an old hamper bright red, then giving it a fun touch by adding graphic letters to the lid. Who would have thought throwing away "rubbish" could be so fun?

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Sarah Ives

Office in a Closet

Turn an unused closet into a clever office area with these tips from Jennifer Jones. Using wallpaper, shelving, paint and even a shoe shelf, Jennifer transformed her master bedroom closet into a beautiful, compact office where she can get work done once her kids are asleep. She concealed the office area with budget-friendly tension rods and a curtain, but can immediately pull the curtain back with twine and a hook when she's ready to get to work.

Desk With a (Welcoming) History

A simple trip to a salvage yard or antique store is all it takes to discover an interesting door that can easily be turned into a gorgeous desk. Photographer Meredith Perdue used three items to create the centerpiece of her home office: a door, glass for the desk surface and two sawhorses. Her desk is not only creative and functional, but a budget-friendly way to recycle an item that might have otherwise ended up in the trash.

Call Off the Search

No one likes to rummage through a desk drawer in search of something as tiny as a paper clip. Organize your smallest office items, like rubber bands, staple refills and thumbtacks in clear jam jars, like Lindsey Cheney. This makes the contents of the jars easy to identify and keeps them neatly separated for reach-and-go simplicity.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Lindsey Cheney

Memos at Hand

Paint an old picture frame to add a colorful outline to a ho-hum cork board. Or, consider removing the corkboard and attaching chicken wire to the back of the frame and clipping memos or favorite photos to it, like Ashley Campbell. This simple project requires paint, chicken wire, a staple gun and a bit of creativity, and you'll have an interesting way of keeping up with important meetings and appointments in no time flat.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Ashley Campbell

Coffee Alternatives

Use old mugs or garage sale finds as containers for holding office items, like pens and pencils, and even eye glasses, like Sherry and John Petersik. This option gives mugs with small cracks — no longer usable for liquids — new life and is a fun way to store everyday office supplies. Consider also potting a small plant to bring a bit of green oxygen to your work environment. Just add a little gravel to the bottom, and be careful not to overwater since there are no drainage holes.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Sherry and John Petersik

Office on the Ceiling

A tin ceiling tile makes for a beautiful and one-of-a-kind magnetic board to post ideas, reminders and even a few of your favorite photos. Place the tile on a picture frame holder, and then use magnetic clips to pin items to the surface. Learn how to make your own fabric-covered magnetic clips with this tutorial from Little Birdie Secrets, as featured on Make and Takes. Photo courtesy of Little Birdie Secrets

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Little Birdie Secrets

More Than a Step Stool

The official purpose of a ladder might be to help you reach high things, but it turns out it can also make a rather nifty decorative shelf. Melissa Michaels spotted this old ladder at an antique shop and decided to hang it on her wall as a place to display a few of her favorite items. Consider using this idea in your home office and add accents that inspire you, like framed quotes or family photos.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Melissa Michaels

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