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Updated Desk Set for the Guys

Written by: | Published: May 07, 2013 | Updated: June 05, 2017

A couple years ago I made a desk set for my husband by upcycling cans and boxes we already had. I used some fantastic paper from Graphics 45 to make this handsome accessory set and it’s come in really handy. I don’t tend to make a lot of masculine styled projects, so this one was lucky to be kept so long. Today I’m participating in a blog hop as part the Buttons Galore and More design team and have joined forces with the Glue Dots folks to feature more great gift ideas for the guys in our lives. The official blog hop will run May 7-9th.

I decided to go with what I already love and update the desk set to show you how even guys can get gifts with buttons. When I went hunting on Pinterest to see what had already been done, I found a ton of dress shirts cards and wall decor with buttons… but that’s about it. So, this should give you at least 2 more ideas.

Men's DIY desk set with recycled material
Men’s DIY desk set with recycled material

Cover cans, boxes and notebooks with your favorite patterned paper. You can also line the containers on the inside with paper for a more complete look. Then add some dimension by adhering buttons to the pieces.

Glue dot on a button
Glue dot on a button

The glue dots stick really well to the buttons and hold them in place nicely.

Buttons on the side of an upcycled can
Buttons on the side of an upcycled can

Tie twine through each button and tie it off before adhering to your project. This will give a more complete and “finished” look to your project.

Upcycled notebook
Upcycled notebook


I used the same papers to spruce up the notebook as I did the original desk set and then added yummy brown buttons. I also added some twine that can be wrapped around the buttons to keep the note book closed.


Use buttons to make a pen holder
Use buttons to make a pen holder

I used buttons and twine to create a pen holder on the inside flap of the notebook. Simply string the buttons together using twine, making sure to leave a bit of a gap between each button. Then adhere each button in place. The extra twine will then be available to hold pens and pencils in place. Finally I added a little pocket on the inside of the notebook for business cards.

What kind of gift ideas are you planning for the guys in your life? Father’s day, birthday days and graduation… all good occasions for a little gifty DIYing. Find more great project ideas check out what others are making today to feature Gifts for Guys.

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Jen is Passionate about Creativity. She is the owner and "doodle in charge" of JGoode Designs, a Denver based design studio. She is an illustrator, mixed media artist and creative lifestyle blogger. Jen has been a creative professional since 1998 but says she's been an artist since she was old enough to eat glue.

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18 thoughts on “Updated Desk Set for the Guys”

  1. I love how you made the pen holder for the notebook! I make a lot of notebooks, but always struggle with figuring out a good way to include a pen.

  2. I love how we think a like with up-cycling them cans! Brilliant idea on how to keep the pen secured inside…may scrap lift that idea. BTW- your manicure looks FAB too, love the sparkle..teehee.. Holly ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I love the way you use the buttons to create spots to hold the pens. Brilliant. The whole package is very attractive!


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