Do you guys ever feel like there’s a bit of a shortage when it comes to chic office supplies? Of course, there are the classic lucite options, but if I’m going to spend eight (or nine, or ten…) hours a day at my desk, I wouldn’t mind the company of some interesting and pretty organizational accessories. Since Lisa Frank is no longer deemed stylish, I set out to fix this problem DIY style, and discovered a new appreciation for standard steel mesh office supplies. Turns out the mesh makes the perfect canvas for cross-stitching, and since these supplies are super cheap, it’s a quick and fun way to give your workspace an instant facelift. I had so much fun working on this project that I had to share the step-by-step with all of you, after the jump!

I absolutely love the color selection offered by Lily Sugar ‘n Cream yarn. I picked up five favorites at the local craft store: pink, orange, light blue, royal blue and white.

Stitching takes time. For me, this activity was perfect for relaxing on the couch and catching up on hours of HBO.

  1. Spray paint office supplies and allow to dry.
  2. Cut a 2-foot long piece of yarn.
  3. String through the eye of a yarn needle.
  4. Determine where you would like your first ‘X’ to go. Coming from behind the mesh, thread the needle all the way through the bottom-left corner of the ‘X,’ leaving a 1-inch tail in back.
  5. Weave over and through the top-right corner of the ‘X’ to create your first stitch.
  6. From behind the mesh, thread the needle through the top-left corner, and over to the bottom-right corner.
  7. Drop down one hole and start your next ‘X’ there, repeating steps 3 and 4.
  8. Repeat step 5 to create a third ‘X’.
  9. To angle your diagonal upward, move up two holes from your last stitch, and mark that as the top-left corner of your ‘X’. Repeat once, and then begin angling downward according to steps 3 and 4.
  10. Once you’ve competed one zig-zag row, snip the yarn at the end. No need to glue or not — the stitches with stay in place.
  11. To begin the next row down, return to your starting point and repeat, moved down one hole.

*photos by Camille

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Comments (69)
  1. 1
    Melinda July 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    So adorable! I am definitely going to do this for my office. Definitely girly and chic, well done!!!

  2. 2
    Amanda July 18, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I love this idea!! I’ve been dying to amp up my desk space with something pretty, but didn’t want to spend money on something as simple as a pencil holder. I will definitely be trying this!


  3. 3
    Courtney July 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    SUPER cute!

  4. 4
    Andi July 18, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Such a cute idea! Love it. I have just the basket to do this with, can’t wait!

  5. 5
    Sheri Ann {Sprinkles and Style} July 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    I am OBSESSED with this DIY! A great idea that I will be tackling soon!

  6. 6
    Clara July 18, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    This is utterly brilliant! It’s so true, it’s hard to find chic office supplies and ones that are chic and affordable. I have that exact basket (which probably everyone does!). Can’t wait to give mine a makeover!

  7. 7
    Amy July 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    This is so adorable! I think they would make really cute gifts for teachers too. I’m pinning for the fall 🙂

  8. 8
    Camie July 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Love it! That would be such a fun gift to give to girfriends or my mom. Might need to do one for myself!

  9. 9
    chandra ~ oh lovely day July 18, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Chanel, you’re a genius! I love this and am totally doing it.

    • Chanel Dror July 18, 2012 at 8:20 pm

      Woohoo!! Thanks 🙂 Let me know how it goes!!

  10. 10
    celine {starbies and sangrias} July 18, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    So cute!!! Great idea!

  11. 11
    cassie {hi sugarplum} July 18, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    absolutely genius — i’m so doing this! I recently stitched a herringbone pattern in my straw fedora, and I’m obsessed with the technique now! thanks as always for sharing your talents!

  12. 12
    Richelle July 18, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    This is just fantastic. I have one of these already. Time for a makeover to my office supplies.

  13. 13
    Judy Werner July 19, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Love this! Very chic. Can’t wait to try this.

  14. 14
    Pixie July 19, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Love this! So cute and colorful…plus I love that it can be customized to match any decor.

  15. 15
    Ana Maria July 19, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Brilliant! I have one of those staring at me right now and I’ve never thought of customizing it. Gracias!

  16. 16
    [email protected] July 24, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Awesome, love this DIY! Would you be interested in writing about his project as a guest post over at my blog Stardust? I host a guest blogger every Friday and I’d be happy if you did. Just let me know.
    Love, Olga

  17. 17
    My Pretty Office July 25, 2012 at 10:30 am

    We love this idea! Just shared it on our facebook page too!

  18. 18
    Jess August 5, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Hi there! I love this project–I found it via Just wondering–do you have any special tips or tricks for getting your metallic spray paint so smooth? I follow the directions on the can, but it ALWAYS comes out looking gritty and terrible! Thanks and love your blog!!

  19. 19
    Jess August 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    I love the idea of adding a little fun to the mundane. Great work!

  20. 20
    lisatilselisa :: the red thread January 16, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Gosh I did a tutorial for desk accessories embroidered with a chevron pattern so very similar to this a couple of months ago.

  21. 21
    saraccino March 23, 2013 at 5:10 am

    That is just so cute! 🙂

  22. 22
    samantha July 27, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Doing this right now! So cute!

  23. 24
    whitneymakes May 12, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    I absolutely love this idea!

  24. 25
    Kristan June 2, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    How would you suggest to do it if they are already painted? Mine is painted orange currently.

    • Chanel Dror June 2, 2014 at 7:31 pm

      You could re-spray paint them a different color, or leave them orange and stitch with complementary colors!

  25. 26
    fishy123 March 14, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    yes it is looking too nice i will try this

  26. 27
    Glenda Moore March 5, 2016 at 10:49 am

    This is so clever! Thanks so much!

  27. 28
    handcrafts September 27, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    So beautiful ! I can also decorate my chair with yarn .Thanks for your diy tutorial.



Chanel Dror