{I recently guest posted at the lovely blog Brown Paper Packages and shared this project as part of her Back to Basics month.}

At the beginning of the school year I’m always in “organization mode!” I feel like it’s a fresh start and it motivates me to try and tackle some of the mountains of clutter. 😉 Today I am sharing with you a sweet and simple way to get a little bit organized for the new school year–a beadboard caddy for school supplies! I am using this on the desk in our kitchen, but you could use it in your kids’ rooms or even make it as a useful (and adorable) gift for a favorite teacher. It was a quick and simple project, using mostly items I already had on hand, and I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Supplies I used for my school supplies caddy:

  • pre-made beadboard box—you can use anything you want for this project: any small box, thrift store finds, inexpensive spice racks, etc. I found this unfinished beadboard box at a local Utah wood shop that sells all sorts of awesome unfinished wood projects: The Wood Connection (on Facebook–I’m not affiliated with them in any way but I like their stuff!)
  • Spray Paint—I used KILZ spray primer first, then I used Krylon Blue Ocean Breeze
  • Sanding block
  • containers to hold your supplies—I had some empty spaghetti jars I’d been saving to use for something like this! 🙂
  • decorative paper or wrapping paper—to make the jars cuter
  • supplies you want to organize (pens, pencils, crayons, glue, etc.)
  • Banner—string and patterned paper, scissors

First I sanded and cleaned the unfinished box and gave it several light coats of the KILZ primer. Once completely dry I sanded it again, then followed with several light coats of the Blue Ocean Breeze spray paint.

I lightly sanded inside the beadboard grooves to add character after the paint was dry, even thought it’s tough to see in the photos.

Meanwhile, I took the clean, empty spaghetti jars and wrapped them with a strip of polka dot wrapping paper that I love.

There, much cuter. 🙂

The jars fit perfectly! I loaded up the jars and the caddy with a bunch of supplies we use a lot at our house—including pens, pencils, glue, crayons, tape, even a hole puncher. It’s all corralled in one cute place now! No more searching in bottomless junk drawers!! 🙂

Now, this part is merely for decorative purposes only—the pennant banner! I adore banners of any kind and especially love making mini ones. 🙂 I created this mini pennant banner to add a touch of whimsy and more color to the caddy. I used old book pages and some patterned scrapbook paper.

I cut a basic triangle from some old book pages and used it as a template. Then I folded the patterned paper into about a 1.5 inch fold and cut out some folded triangles.

I hung the folded paper triangles on some string and hung the whole thing onto the caddy.

So there you have it—my beadboard school supply caddy! It has already come in handy at our house. I like that it is a very functional project but I also LOVE the pop of color and design it adds to the kitchen desk. Now maybe I’ll be inspired to get the rest of that desk organized. 😉


On a separate note, Kirsten and I are doing a segment this afternoon on Fresh Living! We’ll be sharing ideas on job charts and creating incentives for your kids. We’d love you to tune in (and we’ll have the link for you later on)!

Fresh Living: Channel 2 (Utah’s local CBS affiliate) at 1:00 pm MST

Kirsten’s Kid Incentives

Jamie’s Treasure Charts

Brooke’s Job Charts


  1. This is so cute! Every time I visit The Wood Connection store I see these wooden boxes and I want one, but I can never think of what to do with it. Well, looky here! Such a great idea and a great paint color, too. I may just pick one up this week after all. Great job! 🙂

  2. This is adorable but can you tell me where you got the red/white polka dot wrapping paper? I have cushions on my banquette that match that perfectly and I’d love to make some kid friendly laminated placemats using the wrapping paper.

  3. Too cute! I LOVE the ocean breeze color you chose and the red and white polka dot paper really pops against the blue!

  4. Very very cute Brooke! I love the color! I miss you cute girl! xoxoxo

  5. Lorena Brown Says: September 25, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Love the idea and love the Wood Connection…..sad that they don’t ship. I’m in Florida and would love to order some of there items :(.

  6. I love this idea too, but don’t live in utah either. Has anyone had luck find something similar elsewhere?

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