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How to Make a Desk Organizer Gift for Dad

By: Kathleen George for STYROFOAM Brand Foam
Updated May 12, 2021

Learn how to build a desk organizer in just a few easy steps. You can help Dad get organized with a mail station and pen and business card holders. This is a quick project that makes a great Father's Day gift Dad will love.


  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam:
    • 3" Ball
    • 12" x 6" x 1" Block
  • Acrylic paint, color of choice
  • Recycled compact discs, three or four
  • Recycled marker cap
  • Coordinating print fabric "fat quarter" (from quilting department)
  • Serrated knife
  • Paintbrushes: medium flat; stiff-bristled round
  • Disposable palette
  • Water basin
  • Paper towels
  • Scissors
  • Low-temp glue gun and glue sticks
  • White craft glue, thick
  • Candle stub or paraffin
  • Pencil
  • Ruler



  1. Wax serrated knife with candle stub or paraffin; cut foam ball in half. Use knife to cut 9" x 5" x 1" base from foam block.
  2. Use pencil to poke hole into center top of one half-ball. Glue and press marker cap into hole to create pen holder. Glue holder to one end of foam base.
  3. For card holder, carefully cut slit across center top of remaining half-ball; do not cut completely through foam. Glue holder to opposite end of base as shown; slit should be parallel to front of organizer. Note: Card holder works for photos, too.
  4. To make inserting discs easier, first cut 3/8"-deep, equally-spaced parallel grooves into top of foam base between half-ball holders. Cut straight down, not at an angle.
  5. Use stiff brush to scrub paint onto top of foam base; let dry. Cut two 1-1/2" x 15" strips from fabric. Glue fabric strips around edge of base, overlapping as needed. Clip corners and fold excess fabric to bottom; glue to secure.
  6. Cut three or four 5-1/2" squares from fabric. For each CD, spread thin layer of white glue over label side and smooth a fabric square over glue; let dry and trim excess.
  7. Apply thin line of white glue along each CD slit cut in Step 4 and press discs 1/2" to 3/4" deep into slit.
  8. Insert pen and photo into holders.


Note: Adults only should handle the serrated knife.

®™ Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company ("Dow") or an affiliated company of Dow. For more project ideas, please see


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I cannot make this if there is no picture!! sounds cool though

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instead of using cd's, I went to the dollar store and got some plastic bins the size of letter envelopes, attached some heavy duty magnets to the back and placed them alongside of my frig wall. Now they handy for priortizing bill payments, holding cheques and other incoming mail. I also have one at the door for outgoing mail too.


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