DIY Tray using cardboard - How to create a beautiful organizer using cardboard.

Ok! It’s official that I am a cardboard craft obsessed. Or maybe I have several cardboards lying around in my home( because we just moved in?)

But whatever may it be, the great news is after multiple attempts of trying to give some time to my DIY obsession and failing miserably, I was finally able to make a beautiful tray organizer from cardboard yesterday.



DIY Tray Organizer from cardboard

Cardboard trays are great as an organizer which you can use in the bedroom, kitchen, your dressing, or even your wardrobe. 

You can even use it in the bottom tier of your coffee table(that is if you have a two-tier coffee table) to keep miscellaneous stuff in one place. 

However, I don’t recommend using trays made out of cardboard as your coffee table tray substitute, because according to me it just doesn’t fit accordingly. But I’ve also seen many DIY blogs talking about using these cardboard trays on a coffee table. 

So you do you.


So let’s begin this best out of the waste project.


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What supplies you’ll need?

  • Utility knife or scissors

  • Glue gun

  • Self-adhesive wallpapers

  • Some magazines(or any kind of thick papers)

  • Paint(any paint, but I prefer poster or acrylic for stuff like these)

  • And some cardboard or cardboard box of course!

Here’s how you get started

So the first step is to make a box out of cardboard. 

I’ve cut out a 20 by 30 cms(w*h) base from cardboard.


And then glued two 20 by 7 cms cut-outs to top and bottom of the base cut out like this.


Then for the sides, I cut out two 7 by 30 cms pieces and glued these to either side of the base.

Then for the aesthetics, I wrapped it up with self-adhesive vinyl wallpaper. It’s cheap but functional. But keep in mind to check the quality of the paper, as some get torn easily.

You can even use a waste shoebox or shirt box or any kind of box that would repurpose as a tray.


The second step is to paint the inside of the base cardboard. I used black poster color from Faber castell.

You can use the color of your choice. Or you could just use another self-adhesive wallpaper with a different design like marble or stone to give it a glam look.

I didn’t intend to use it in an area like a coffee table. My intention was to use it as an organizer in my kitchen so I didn’t pay hed to the inner look of the tray. But if you want to spice it up with a design, you can use something like that instead of a coat of paint.


Now for decorating the exterior of the tray, I took some magazine sheets and rolled them up like this


And painted them with brown poster color so that I may get a rough rustic look. 


And painted them with brown poster color so that I may get a rough rustic look. 

Initially, I glued the magazine sticks to the tray in a perfect alignment like this.

[P.S: My apologies for not having enough pictures of this design because I just didn't intend to share this design with you guys, as of yesterday.
but right now when I am typing this, I think why not? So here's the behind the scene picture( in an abstract way, lol).

Ok now! enough of the story. Onto the further steps now.]


opt-in freebie form

But then I wasn’t satisfied with the look, and decided to give it a funky look, Something that looks unusual. So I decided to cut those sticks in three different sizes and attached them in a non-symmetrical manner. Take a look

And our tray organizer is ready!



Simple and fun and of course stylish.




  1. I love how simple and fun this is to make. It really takes a lot of trial and error to come up with a beautiful DIY project. Good thing I have a few cardboard boxes here too that I haven’t disposed of. Looks like I know what to do with it now �� Originally planned to make a dollhouse out of it but this one’s much easier and functional.

    1. Glad you liked it Aleeza! would love to see how your tray turns out. Thanks for stopping by!