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ReadyMade Challenge - Strawberry Basket Pint-O-Pens-and-Pencils Desk Organizer

check out my latest design: New Year's Cards

Official entry #1
ReadyMade Magazine MacGyver Challenge

Issue 12, July/August 2004

If you are like me, you have an overabundance of pens, pencils, markers,
and other assorted desk utensils that either sit (1) scattered on your
desk, (2) stacked horizontally in a small box, or (3) vertically in a cup of
some sort. I find each approach lacking: (1) hard to locate desired utensil,
many lost items, (2) perpetual sifting, lost caps, dried out pens/markers,
(3) disorderly. The Pint-O-Pens-and-Pencils aims to address these
shortcomings.

Here's how to make your very own.

Materials:

Tools

Measuring from the eraser side, cut four pencils 4" in length with
the box cutter.
(pencils can be cut to the length of your choice, but
4" is optimal)

Glue two green plastic baskets together by applying glue along the inside
corners of basket one, then stacking basket two inside basket one.
This will not only provide added stability to the project, but also create
useful and necessary rectangular slits along the top of the baskets (when
they are opening-side down)
.

Glue each pencil as legs (eraser side down) along each of the inside corners
of the basket. For added effect, make sure the writing on the pencil is
visible from a front-on viewing angle. That's it, really. Pretty simple.

The erasers minimize damage to the table surface and at the
same time provide traction. The added height and splayed angle of the legs
provide more stability. The 4" optimal leg length (mentioned earlier) is not
randomly chosen -- it is the perfect height to barely suspend Sharpie markers
(and most pens) from the sides of the basket. And pen clips fit perfectly
(and easily) in the
the top row of rectangular slits.

Too orderly for you? How 'bout this more whimsical approach?

Thread items into this veritable jungle gym of utensils in any direction/angle you please.
The more varied, the merrier. Pretty much anything you throw at this bad boy desk
organizer, it can handle (also note the barrette,
toothbrush, flower, chopsticks, nail clippers,
and meat thermometer) Sky's the limit.


EXTRA TIPS

Have a writing utensil or pair of scissors that doesn't fit in the existing spaces of the
basket? Cut a larger opening.

VARIATIONS

This works well for longer items, but what about rubber bands and paper clips? It shouldn't
take too much time or imagination to fashion something that could attach to the basket
and hold specialty items of smaller sizes.

A small dish of water could be placed under the Pint-o-pencils and fresh cut flowers stuck
through the top.

Accessorize by attaching an old watch face to the front for a poor man's deskclock.

Use it in the kitchen to hold chop sticks (legs could be made from chopsticks), or
in the bathroom as a toothbrush stand (legs from old toothbrush handles).


Another idea for a strawberry basket.
See how I answered the Altoid Tin challenge.
My latest design endeavor: New Year's Cards
Email thoughts, comments, and suggestions to mac_challenge@garrettfam.com