How to Make Concrete Desk Organizers

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Clear your desk of clutter with these impossible to knock over desk organizers! Using LEGOs, you can create custom organizers for all your desktop needs, including a pencil holder, letter holder and a box for miscellaneous items. So, go ahead, grab a tub of LEGOs and have some fun.

(Image: HomeMade Modern)

Things You'll Need

  • LEGOs
  • Quikrete countertop mix (or Quikrete 5000 with the gravel sifted out)
  • Water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Electrical tape
  • Scissors
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • Small piece of wood (the size of a paint stir stick)
(Image: HomeMade Modern)

Step 1

Assemble the LEGOs in the design that best suits your needs. There is no wrong way to do this, but don't forget that you are making the mold upside down.

Below, you'll see how I created the letter holder from the desk organizer set.

The base layer for the letter holder
The base layer for the letter holder (Image: HomeMade Modern)
Adding layers to the mold
Adding layers to the mold (Image: HomeMade Modern)
Adding layers to the mold
Adding layers to the mold (Image: HomeMade Modern)
Adding layers to the mold
Adding layers to the mold (Image: HomeMade Modern)

Step 2

Once you have reached your desired height, begin adding a layer of flat topped pieces to the inner portion of the mold.

Flat topped pieces are to be used wherever the concrete rests
Flat topped pieces are to be used wherever the concrete rests (Image: HomeMade Modern)

Step 3

Add another couple layers to the outside walls. This will give your piece a solid base on which to stand.

(Image: HomeMade Modern)

Step 4

Finish the mold with a layer of flat topped pieces on top.

finished mold
finished mold (Image: HomeMade Modern)

Here's a quick look at rest of the pieces in the series (the pencil holder and box for miscellaneous items):

Building the mold for the box
Building the mold for the box (Image: HomeMade Modern)
The outer walls of the box mold
The outer walls of the box mold (Image: HomeMade Modern)
Building the inner walls of the box mold
Building the inner walls of the box mold (Image: HomeMade Modern)
Attaching the inner walls to the outer walls
Attaching the inner walls to the outer walls (Image: HomeMade Modern)
Building the lid mold for the box
Building the lid mold for the box (Image: HomeMade Modern)

Tip

  • As shown in the video, the only "special" step I took when making the molds was on the lid for the box. I used a couple layers of electrical tape on the part of the lid that fits into the box. This will ensure that the lid fits easily on the box with no arduous sanding needed.

Adding the first layer of electrical tape
Adding the first layer of electrical tape (Image: HomeMade Modern)
Adding the last layer of electrical tape
Adding the last layer of electrical tape (Image: HomeMade Modern)

Step 5

Set aside the molds for the moment and ready the Quikrete, a pitcher of water, a mixing bowl, and mixing spoon.

Start with a couple hearty scoops of concrete and then add a bit more water than is necessary. Mix thoroughly. Add in a little concrete at a time until the mixture is roughly the consistency of oatmeal, or for those of you who know the reference, a good batch of cornstarch and water.

Tip

  • It's hard to gauge exactly how much concrete you will need, but it is better to make too much rather than to make too little. Getting a second batch to match in consistency is difficult and it's not great to have the first batch begin to set while you mix more.

Mixing the concrete
Mixing the concrete (Image: HomeMade Modern)

Tip

  • Unless you don't mind concrete water getting everywhere (it stains!), you might want to lay something between the mold and your work surface. I use the lids off plastic storage bins because they are easy to clean. I have also used plastic trash bags.

Step 6

Put the concrete in the mold a few spoonfuls at a time. After each layer, use the spoon to push the wet concrete into all the corners of the mold and tamp it to release air bubbles.

Tamping the concrete with the spoon
Tamping the concrete with the spoon (Image: HomeMade Modern)

If the spoon you are using is too big to fit in the mold, you could also use a small stick or dowel.

Tamping the concrete with a dowel
Tamping the concrete with a dowel (Image: HomeMade Modern)

Step 7

Once the mold is full, tap on all the sides and gently agitate it to release as many air bubbles as possible.

(Image: HomeMade Modern)

Step 8

Run the small piece of wood across the top of the mold to remove the excess concrete and to smooth what will be the base of your piece.

Removing the excess concrete
Removing the excess concrete (Image: HomeMade Modern)

Step 9

After allowing the concrete to dry for at least 20 hours, remove the LEGOs. It may be easier to upend the entire mold and remove the bricks from the bottom with the aid of a pair of needle-nosed pliers

Removing the bricks
Removing the bricks (Image: HomeMade Modern)
Removing the bricks
Removing the bricks (Image: HomeMade Modern)
The de-molded letter holder
The de-molded letter holder (Image: HomeMade Modern)
The de-molded box
The de-molded box (Image: HomeMade Modern)

And that's it! Your concrete desk organizers are ready for duty.

Letter holder
Letter holder (Image: HomeMade Modern)
Pencil holder
Pencil holder (Image: HomeMade Modern)
Miscellaneous tray
Miscellaneous tray (Image: HomeMade Modern)

Optional Finishing Touches

  • You can use sticky felt pads or cork tape on the underside if you are worried about scratching the surface of your desk.
  • You can paint them if industrial grey isn't your color.

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