Ahoy! Organization

A couple of weeks ago, I complained about how hard it is to find cute, non-boring pencil cups and my plan to DIY this desk organizer from Anthropologie. Well, my version of that basic desk boat is finished–plus a few bonus details!

I’m worried that the semi fores (which spell out Boyfriend’s name, as this was originally for him) are a little too cute and thus add a touch more femininity or childishness to the boat than I had originally planned, but I also love the detail they provide, as well as the fact that such a clearly nautical addition makes it extra obvious that this is supposed to be a boat. Double edged swords pop up so much more often than would be convenient, and it turns out miniature semi fores fall into that category. What I love without question is the wave memo board–it completes the theme perfectly. Additionally, it was the easiest part of the project: just draw a wave pattern onto a cork tile, cut out two, and hot glue together. Two notched rectangles of double-layered cork keep the memo board standing upright and stable.  Full instructions for making the desk boat can be found at the end of this post.

Since I love nautical motifs and they seem to be quite popular these days, I decided to share a few more boat-themed items that are on my wishlist. Believe me, I had a lot more favorites than appear in this post, but I made a conscious decision not to go overboard (excuse the easy pun).

1. Ships Bucket by Jenna Rose
2. Original Textile Art Hanging “Red Sky at Night” by Fog and Swell
3. Deep by Laura Amiss
4. Wooden Boat by Oyma
5. 2012 Weekly Planner by Nico Papergoods

Desk Boat Details

1/4 yard 3mm wool felt
2 large flat metal washers
Yellow, white, red, and blue fabric scraps, double-sided iron-on interfacing, and a thin cord or string (for semi fores)
Matching thread

I’ll do my best to explain the process in words, but I recommend following the pictures of you encounter confusion of any sort.

Pattern details: 11″ wide; 18″ lengthwise
Left diamond cut-out: 3 1/4″ x 3 1/2″–5″ paper to the left of this diamond
Right diamond: 3 1/4″ x 2 3/4″ –7″ paper to the right of this diamond

Fold your cut felt in half lengthwise; the diamonds you cut out of the middle should form two notches at the straight edge, with a middle portion separating the notches (see images below). Using matching thread, sew all the cut edges of felt, including the exposed edges of the diamond shapes you cut out so that there is no opening along the folded edge. Fold the pointed ends of your felt upward so that the edges of the notches now meet the middle portion, forming a straight line and a bowl-shape. This creates a base for your boat. Sew the two notch-edges to the middle portion, then tack the two “sails” that have formed together along the inside edge. There will be space for pencils, etc. in the sails; notice that the sails are also open to the front edge of the boat. Using this opening, slide two flat weights (I used large washers from the hardware store) into the front edge. These weights will prevent your boat from “capsizing” once you put pencils, binder clips, and other supplies in it.

You will now need a separate strip of felt approximately 1″ wide and approximately 2″ longer than the back of your boat. Sew this piece to the back of your boat so that the front edge of the bottom of the boat is level with the bottom edge of this new piece of felt–this forms a flat base for your boat.

To make each semi fore, I cut out a 1″ x 1″ square (plus a little extra on one edge, for folding over) of the main color for each flag and attached the accent pieces using a double-sided iron-on interfacing. Using the same interfacing, I folded the extra portion of the square  over a thin cord and ironed the flap onto the back of the semi fore. After I completed each flag, I simply sewed the ends of the cord onto my boat. Look here for a semi fore “alphabet.”

2 Responses to “Ahoy! Organization”
  1. I love nautical themed things! Great post!

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