The Office Supply Caddy

Now that I have a desk job, I have a new space to decorate, limited only by what my boss likes, as we share a double wide cubicle.  Ha!  That always seems like a trailer park phrase to me.

The time had come to create some repurposed decor that has a function.  Enter the Office Caddy.  You know, something that will hold my paperclips, pencil, pencils, calculator, straightedge, protractor and compass set that my friend Ann gave me.  (I know, you’re wondering who actually keeps those in their office caddy?  I do.)

I perused the web far and wide searching for repurposed stuff that matches my personality.  A little geek, a little homespun, a splash of color, and something just a bit unusual.  The following pictures were inspiration for the project.

First, I fell in love with this one, because of the color and the unified theme.  Containers on a board seemed better than loose containers.  This is all sleek, shiny, bright and happy. It appeals to me on many levels.  I figured PVC pipe would work well for this, maybe with Fusion paint.  I was fresh outta PVC scraps and I have one color of Fusion paint in my stash.  It’s kelly green.  I definitely liked that little flat tuna-ish can for rubber bands.

I decided tin cans are a cylinder that I have easy access to.  I saved tin cans for a week or two, even encouraging The Gardening Stud to buy some smoked oysters which come in a great rectangular tin.  And Spam.  Do you see the depths to which I’m willing to fall for the sake of recycled crafts?  I liked this idea with scrapbooking paper or cardstock and figured I could come up with some.  Wasn’t sure what they used on the rim, looks like electrical tape or some plastic trimming.  This covered the ridges in the can, but wasn’t quite as sleek as the teal option.

Then I found this one, where the crafter wasn’t concerned about the ridges in the cans, just decoupaged into them and I think it works wonderfully.  See my progression…from sleek and stylized to homespun.  Try as I might to be sophisticated, I always return back home.

The question was:  Could I somehow meld all three of these ideas into something that is uniquely me?   So with nary a plan in mind, just random visions floating around in my head I set to work. And by “set to work” I mean “spent a month or two gathering supplies, working on it in the evenings, and redoing all the stuff I tried that failed.”   I don’t want to mislead you into thinking I actually know what I’m doing.

Here is the final Office Caddy.  Cost out of pocket: 0 dollars.  YES!  Redeeming myself from the whitewashed strawberry bed that cost me over 20 bucks.  That post is coming soon.  office caddy 1

Materials used:

  • 1 big can
  • 2 small cans
  • 1 tin from smoked oysters
  • 1 spam can
  • 1 small spice can
  • Wrapping paper scrap
  • Tissue paper
  • Glue (would have used ModPodge but was out, so used Elmer’s School glue)
  • Scrap board
  • Acrylic paints
  • Used burlap from coffee bag for decorations
  • Felt to line the bottoms of the cans
  • Used ribbon (it’s not in the picture above, I put it on the leftmost can after photographing)
  • Spray on Varathane
  • Assorted screws to mount cans to board
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