DIYdiy projects

DIY Giant Spool Desk Organizer

by Grace Bonney

As a crafter and avid sewer, I have a lot of tools in my work area. I have scissors for different materials, tons of rulers, paintbrushes, bone folders…they can take up a lot of real estate. I already have a desktop pencil holder, but it’s on the smaller side and can get pretty crowded with some of the bigger tools.

Enter today’s project: an oversized papier-mâché spool. The base is a large apple juice can, so it’s perfect for holding your bulkier tools. You could even make a smaller one out of a soup can to go with it. —Kathleen Ballos


-Large empty can (apple juice can)
-Mod Podge
-Thin cardboard (cereal box or similar)
-Hot glue gun


Step 1: Trace the apple juice can onto the cardboard and trace a larger circle outside of that – the apple juice can diameter is 3 7/8” and the outer circle is 5 3/8”.


Step 2: Repeat step one and cut out both cardboard circles, removing the center circle of only one like a donut, as shown.


Step 3: Trace an even bigger circle onto cardboard – this one had a diameter of about 6 ½” – and cut out. Mark the center point and make a cut from the edge to that center point.


Step 4: Roll this new circle into a shallow cone so that the new diameter is the same as the first two circles. Secure the cone using tape.


Step 5: Place the donut circle on top of the cone and center it as best you can. Use a pencil to trace where the donut hole sits on the cone.


Step 6: Cut the top of the cone off at the pencil line you just traced and use more tape to secure the cone if necessary.


Step 7: Repeat steps 3 to 6 to make an identical cone piece.


Step 8: To assemble the spool, hot glue the plain circle onto the bottom of the can, then slide one cone onto the can wide end first. Then slide the second cone onto the can so that the wide end is up, and hot glue the donut onto the top open edge of the can. Use tape to secure the pieces together and in place.


Step 9: Rip newspaper into strips and soak in a bowl of water. Use these strips and Mod Podge to papier-mâché the spool, focusing on covering the cardboard – you don’t need to cover the can, just where it meets the cardboard. Let the papier-mâché dry.


Step 10: Paint the papier-mâché areas of the can – you’ll have to do a few coats to cover the newspaper. Let dry.


Step 11: Hot glue one end of the rope to the top of the spool, right where the cardboard starts to angle out. Wrap the rope around the can, keeping it tight so that the can doesn’t show through any gaps.


Step 12: When you reach the bottom of the can, cut the rope and hot glue in place.



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