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DIY Stationery Storage

Here's how I made a DIY stationery unit to hold all of my pens & markers.

Keep scrolling for the instructions, or watch the video here:

For an updated look on my stationery storage, click here:


I have searched ev-er-y-where for a storage unit that would neatly fit/organize all of my drawing supplies. But they were all either too expensive, too small, or too something-else. Apparently, I take my stationery storage very seriously! 😀

This stationery storage unit took me about 2.5 hours to make and cost me less than 10$.


Even though it’s not the most durable material, I used 0.2″ (5mm) foam boards because they’re so quick and easy to cut. You can find these at your craft stores or on Amazon, and they’re pretty inexpensive.

I used up a whole 40×40″ board (1x1m) for this unit, so you could buy 2 boards of 20×30″.

The other supplies you need are probably already in your home: Glue gun OR strong universal glue, cutter or X-acto knife, pencil & a ruler.


I’m providing you with all the measurements that I went with in case you want to follow them yourself. But since this is a DIY project, you can obviously make it any size/shape that you need to fit your supplies.

STEP 1: The first step was to figure out how deep I wanted the unit to be, so I measured my longest pens (they were about 6.4″). Note that the Tombow Dual Brush Pens are about 7.4″ long which would have been too deep for my liking, and since I didn’t want them to stick out either, I decided to store them in their own support.

STEP 2: Next, I categorized my pens into colors, fineliners, pencils, etc. to see how many I have and how much space I’d need for each category. Don’t kid yourself into thinking you won’t be buying more, so do allow space for new additions. If you need some inspo on what categories you could have, scroll down to ‘Organization ideas’.

STEP 3: If you want to use other dimensions than I have, then I strongly suggest you make a quick sketch of the shape & size you want to make it. It’s easier to make sure you have the correct measurements from the start rather than having to cut new pieces. Us lazy people have to work smarter, not harder. 😉

STEP 4: The fun part. Begin measuring and cutting the pieces out of the foam board. I started with the pink and blue pieces (shown below) cuz I wanted to get the more tedious part out of the way.

I chose to cut slits and interlock these pieces because it was much easier than having to cut a bunch of small shelves and glue them. This method is more rigid as well, so I can’t blame the decision on my laziness alone.

The slits in the blue & pink pieces should be the same thickness as your foam board, so measure accordingly.

The slits in the blue & pink pieces should be the same thickness as your foam board, so measure accordingly.

STEP 5: Next, I cut and glued the outer shell of the unit (red, purple and orange pieces). I fit the shelves (pink + blue) inside and then glued the yellow piece at the bottom. Finally, I inserted the little green divider pieces at the bottom. I didn’t bother to glue these because I might want to move them around in the future.


This is an optional part, but I thought it was such a nice way to display my washi tape. Plus, it gives the whole unit a more polished look.

In case you’re wondering, the cute pandas are actually pen pillows that I got from Happie Scrappie.

The washi holder took about 20 minutes to make. Here are the measurements that I used:

The slits in the purple pieces should fit the size of the rod you are using. The height at which it should sit depends on the type of washi you have.

The wooden rod is actually a piece that I cut off from the bottom of a coat hanger. Pretty nifty, right? I didn’t glue it down because I want to be able to take it in/out.


Once you put all the pieces together, you should end up with a stationery storage that looks something like this. I am so in love with how this turned out, and the whole thing just adds such a nice pop of color to my little planning area.

Oh, and by the way! The green support to the left of the unit is actually a napkin holder from the dollar store that I repurposed into a notebook support.


Before making the stationery storage unit, it’s a good idea to think about how you want to organize your pens. This way you’ll have a good idea on how much space you’ll need for each section.

Here are some ideas that I juggled back and forth:

  • Organizing by color : I organized my supplies into 12 color families: red, orange, yellow/tan, light green, dark green, light blue, dark blue, pink, purple, brown, grey, black. This might be a bit excessive, but it works for me.

  • Organizing by type/brand : Making separate sections for each type of stationery (eg. pencils, pens, colored pencils, markers, fineliners, fountain pens, etc.) and thus mixing colors.

  • Organizing by both color & type: In my case, the larger compartments are categorized by color, and the smaller 6 by type. The 3 narrow compartments at the bottom are for storing scissors, rulers, erasers, etc.

Of course, you can play and move things around even after you’ve finished making the unit. And the nice thing about this DIY is that you can always expand and make more units, and it will all look as one piece!

In case you’re curious about my pen collection and where everything’s from, stay tuned because I’m working on a post about it!

That’s pretty much it guys! I promise it’s not as complicated as it might seem, and the result is SO worth your time!

If you decide to make this yourself, please please send me a picture or tag me on Instagram (! And if you have any questions just leave them in the comments below, I’d love to help!

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