There’s a good chance you only recently remembered that area in your house you designated as the office. Formerly a burial ground for unopened mail and boxes of junk, this space has probably become vital to your productivity of late—especially with the whole family home 24/7.
But maybe it’s not doing quite the job it could, as stylishly as it could.
Which is why we came up with this list of easy home office DIY projects you can tackle while social distancing. Forget about dropping loads of cash for all-new office decor—instead, try one of these fun projects to spruce up your home workspace on the cheap.
1. Hang a chic wall organizer
Leather isn’t just for office chairs. Using a few leftover scraps of the stuff (plus a bit of wood), you can actually make an amazing wall organizer.
“A wall organizer can help you keep your mail and other important documents in order,” says home decor blogger Jeneva Aaron of TheHouseWire. “This leather and wood organizer is very easy to make, yet adds a chic, professional look to any space. It’ll look perfect leaned up against the wall on your desk.”
2. Build a pallet desk
If you’ve been using a suitcase or even a pile of pillows for a desk, then this one’s for you. Far from needing hundreds or even thousands of dollars to get your dream desk, you can actually build your own from a few wood pallets.
“No matter where you live, pallet wood is easy to find,” says Aaron. “And you can use it to make all kinds of furniture for your office.”
This DIY pallet desk design is one of Aaron’s favorites. It takes a little bit of know-how to build, but as long as you have the tools, the only thing you’ll need to buy is lacquer to seal the wood, she says.
3. Make a picture-perfect dry-erase board
With all those Zoom meetings to keep track of, wouldn’t it be nice to write them down on a desktop dry-erase board? Fortunately, you can make one quickly and easily with this DIY guide.
“I love the framed dry-erase board for home offices because it’s much more subtle and stylish than your typical office whiteboard,” says Sandra Moreno, designer and founder of Studio No. 8. “You have so much flexibility with size, color, and finish to make it fit your decor and size of your desk.”
4. Glam up your office chair
Have an ugly home office chair? Join the club! Consider making yours over with this easy and fun DIY project. All you’ll need is a bit of your favorite fabric to turn your office chair from soulless to statement piece in no time.
“Nothing spruces up a home office more than an updated chair,” says designer Doreen Amico-Sorell of Sorrell Interiors. “By just recovering it with a fun fabric or painting the legs and arms a different color, it will feel like a new space and make working more enjoyable.”
5. Build a custom desktop shelf
Trying to fit all of your usual office tech into a small space can feel like a hassle, especially if that list of things includes a bulky monitor. Fortunately, this fun and funky homemade desktop shelf should help you keep things organized.
“Having a desktop shelf is much healthier for your neck and back, especially if you sit for long hours at a time,” says Aaron. “This design takes the idea one step further by incorporating drawers, so you’ll have more storage space. Plus, you can customize it however you’d like to suit your decor.”
6. Sew some stylish bookends
Piles of books might have been acceptable before you were spending a lot of time in the home office, but now? It might be a good time to get those bookshelves back in check. Enter these easy (and snazzy) homemade fabric bookends.
“These DIY bookends are a great way to add visual interest and dress up the shelving in your home office,” says Moreno. “The sky’s the limit in terms of fabric choices, so you can get as exciting and experimental as you’d like without risking too much since it’s so economical.”
7. Make a minimalist memo board
One of the best ways to save space on memos and to-do lists is by tacking them on the wall. But rather than going hodgepodge with the sticky notes, make this minimalist memo board instead.
“A DIY memo board is a Pinterest-worthy project that’s easy to make and even easier to use,” says Aaron. “Just hang a wire grid on your office wall and use magnets and hooks to organize your stuff. You can use it to organize documents, mail, office supplies, or even just photos of your friends and family to keep you company while you’re working.”
Larissa Runkle is a writer living on the road. She specializes in finance, real estate, and branded content creation.