Friday, September 11, 2015

20 DIY Wood Study Wall Organizer

I mentioned earlier this week that it was time we turn a little attention to our oldest son's bedroom.  His room is one I have been working on here and there over the years, without any true finish or "reveal" date in sight.  Being a teenage boy, overall he doesn't seem overly concerned with the decor side of things, he just enjoys having the space.  But one day I noticed he was moving his furniture around, just as I did when I was younger.  And after looking at his room closer, we both acknowledged that there were definite areas that could use a little attention, freshening and finishing.  Especially since he started High School this year and should have a room to reflect this important milestone in his life.  

That said, we have a few things planned for the space; closet organization, a new headboard and a good study situation.

We wanted to streamline his desk area and give him a surface that could easily be free of any supplies or clutter come study time.  After spotting this study organizer at PB Teen, I was inspired to create something similar (for much, much less than $170!).  And Preston loved it so we were all in.

Because we always have 101 projects happening at once, we have a lot of scrap wood waiting to be used in our garage.  In fact, we had all of the supplies on hand for this project, with the exception of some pegs and cork.  I always love when it works out that way!  But for those looking to create something similar, here are the wood pieces we ended up using for the project:

To keep it light weight, we used a piece of 1/4" birch plywood for the main surface area and folder pocket.  We also used a few scrap pieces of 3/4" pine to give us something sturdy to nail to.  I found these pegs at Home Depot and this cork tile at Target.  The entire project ended up being about 33" wide by 18" tall.

To get started, we measured and cut all of our boards to the planned sizes.  Then we constructed the pocket portion of the organizer, by gluing and nailing the face and bottom of the pocket to the thicker 3/4" pine sides.

I placed a bunch of stains on a scrap piece of wood and held the options up in Preston's closet for him to select what he liked best.  He picked Early American by Varathane.

So I stained all of the pieces with a brush and wiped them clean with a dry rag.

Once the stain was dry, we used wood glue to affix the pieces of trim around the face of the plywood board.  We held the trim in place with clamps and let everything cure overnight in the garage.

The next day we were ready to attach the pocket and the cork to the face of the plywood board.  This took a lot of careful measuring, as we would be using wood glue on the front and nailing in from the back with our brad nailer.

To attach the pegs, we pre-drilled the pegs and small holes under the pocket on the front side of the board.  You can see we also cut off the notched bottom of the peg since we were not insetting them into the wood.

Then we used small screws from behind which we were able to screw the pegs to.

The final step was to add a coat of polycrylic for protection and to also give the wood a nice finished look (we use Minwax Water Based Poly).

Of course, I couldn't wait to see the new beautiful wood organizer paired with the gray paneled walls.  And the combination definitely didn't disappoint!

I wanted to surprise him, so I loaded it up quick with a few of his belongings, but I am sure he will give it his personal touch over the next couple of days.

The cork will be the perfect place to pin up photos, memos, homework, whatever is clever really.

While the 2" deep pocket can hold supplies and papers with ease, keeping his desk free for spreading out with his laptop and books.

The pegs were a fun little decorative addition but ended up being a great place to hang a pair of headphones, which he uses while he studies.

I love that the wood tone is warm and masculine, yet the entire piece offers a nice place for him to organize his study items.  Not a bad project created out of scrap wood, pegs and cork!  We invested a total of $15 for this piece, which has me wanting to go out for cheer squad!

I am hoping to keep the momentum going over the next few days with some painting and more building.  Heck, maybe Preston and I can learn to be more confident with power tools together.

Cheers to the weekend everyone! 


  1. Jen, this is great! I'm going to keep this project in mind as my son wraps up 8th grade this year and moves onto high school himself next year...sniff! Right now I have an Ikea kitchen cabinet over his desk but it's just not working the way I intended it to when I put it up. This is simple and clean...right up his alley.

    Can't wait to see what other changes I can steal...I mean, Preston makes to his teenage room.


  2. Wow! I like your version a lot better than the PBTeen version. And saving over $150! Double wow!!

  3. That is one beautiful wood organizer indeed. I think my son would like to have something like that in his room. Thanks for the idea!

  4. Love this! It turned out so well and so appropriately masculine.

  5. What an awesome project! Super useful and attractive, I love it! The stain is perfect :) It's so nice you and your son can collaborate to create a pleasing space for him.

    Mackenzie @

  6. This is a fantastic idea. My teenage son isn't particularly interested in decor, either, but he really does need help with organization since everything gets lost in his room. I love your version!

  7. This is such a handy way of using what could have been wasted wood! The end result is finished so well I kinda of don't want to believe you made it haha. Love your blog!!
    Charlotte x

  8. I love the warm tones against the gray background!

  9. love love love

    p/s : do you DIYing that calendar too??

    1. We sure did! He still uses it also:

  10. Oh this is so cool!! i love it!
    XO Ellen from Ask Away

  11. This is such a brilliant idea!! I need one of these in the family area so I can keep everyone organised with (relative) ease

  12. This question is unrelated to this post (sorry, I wasn't sure of the best place to post it!)...but how are you liking your new gray Pottery Barn rug? I am looking at the same one, but find it frustrating that Pottery Barn doesn't allow reviews as that is how I decide my big online purchases! Does it shed much? Is the quality good? Thanks so much for any input you might have.

    1. Hello,
      The rug is beautiful and holding up well. In fact, I have been surprised by how low maintenance the fringe portion of the rug has been. It didn't shed much right away, but then it did for a couple of months pretty regularly, and now it has tapered off. Overall, we are quite happy with it. :) Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions, I am big on reading reviews and recommendations as well.

    2. Thank you so much! I get so many helpful, fun ideas from your site : )

  13. Hello, I really enjoy your blog! Today I was reading when I noticed I had missed a whole week's worth of entries in the first week of September. Of course I caught up on them all, but wondered if you had heard from anyone else of this happening? Thanks for sharing your great ideas and thoughts!

    1. Oh no! That is always frustrating feedback to receive, I will definitely take a look at my email management host and see if there are any red flags. So very sorry that updates haven't been coming in. If you notice that you still are not receiving them in the next few days, please email me directly at so I can troubleshoot it further. Thank you so much for letting me know!

  14. I´ll change the color and it will be great for my office.

  15. Great DIY! I love it and looks like something straight out of PB.

    Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor


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