DIY Desk Skirt…aka…How to Hide Ugly Things!

In this house, live five people, with bikes, and army gear, and clothes, and hand-me-downs, and tools, and more tools, and material, and more material, and toys, and books….and more books!!!
……and NO GARAGE!!!
As you can see, storage is a necessity! 
OK, really this spot is at it’s worst here. We were knee deep (um, literally) in 50 zillion basement projects, and I had dumped all sorts of project junk on my husband’s desk space. In his defense, he is usually tidy. However, peek through the disaster area and notice the book case under the desk. 
Now, you may be someone who loves the look of books (like my husband)…
and they can be cool, 
but we have seven bookshelves in our house and seven is just one too many for me! It was looking a little crazy, so here was the solution I came up with.
I purchased a 3/4 in. rod at Home Depot (you could use larger if you wanted). Nevermind the fact that there are two rods here. Just buy one. I was too unmotivated to look for the extra long rod for my extra long desk and ended up screwing these two together. Just buy one….it’s easier!
*Note: I could have just stapled the material to the top of the desk, but I wanted to be able to open it up in the middle and slide the material to the sides, in order to easily find books.

I used these round insert cups (or that’s what they are called on the package) to hold the rod in place on the sides of the desk. There are different sizes of these, depending on the size of rod you use. Don’t use these for big heavy curtains, but a little desk curtain will be fine. 

I cut a small piece off the side of one. ONLY ONE. So that I could slide my rod in on one side of the desk. 
* I had just finished processing my cherries, so disregard the ugly brown stained spots on my fingers. 

I screwed the insert cups into the top area of my desk. If you are using a desk that is not built-in, I would adhere these to the top of the legs. 

Next, I placed the side of my rod in the uncut cup first, then slid it into the cut cup. This way, you can cut your rod to be the right length for your desk, and still get it to sit in these cups.  

Next I took one of these “things” that hold pipes in place. 
I screwed it to the top area of my desk. If you are using a desk that is not built-in, you can screw it to the underneath side of the top of your desk. As long as it has some room for movement vertically (just a little). You need to be concerned about your fabric being able to move back and forth on the rod, and therefore it can’t be sitting too firmly to the top of the desk.
I would sew your fabric loop (for the rod) larger than I did. Mine doesn’t slide as easy as I would like. I tried to use metal loops with clips (like they use for curtains), but they left too big of gaps along the top, and you could see behind the desk…which sort of defeats the purpose!
Now use the material to cover the plastic pieces you used to hold the rod up. 

So there ya have it….ugly books hidden! I made sure to put all the ugly 3-ring binders here too! You could hide all sorts of ugly things behind one of these! 

So despite my husband’s love for displaying books, 
I think the skirt looks much more sophisticated!


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  1. Great idea, I need to create several of those. Hugs, Marty

  2. Now that is one clever and very useful project! I could sure use a few of those!

  3. Katie- It looks great- I am a skirter too. I have even used those spring tension rods like you use on showers to hold the shower curtain. They work great, too. xo Diana

  4. What a great idea – like Katie I usually us a spring tension rod –
    Your skirt looks awesome! Visiting from Redoux!

    • I possibly could have gotten away with a curtain rod, but the desk is so long, I wasn’t sure a spring rod would hold. I probably should have tried it though…would have been much less work than the wooden rod! lol

      Have a great weekend!

  5. Superb. Love the idea. You are a genius! Thanks for linking up at Friday Fun Party. Have a nice weekend. 🙂

  6. Very smart idea. Sometimes hiding is the only answer. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Great idea! Nice to have a step by step, thanks. I found you at Weekend Craft Soiree.

  8. Great job, Katie! I have a skirt on my table (aka desk) in my office (using tension rods). This is an awesome more permanent solution! Love it!

  9. Looks great! I too have an Army husband with an affection for books-love how you spruced the storage up!

  10. Great idea – I have to try that on a bookcase that I need to hide all the excess stuff that’s in it! I love the step by step also – good for me…a particularly bad sewer!

  11. Hi, Katie! I feel your pain…old house and no storage here! Love your solution. 🙂 Affordable too! Visiting from Between Naps on the Porch today. Hope you’ll visit my blog post too! 🙂

  12. Love this idea Katie! Who needs to see all of our stuff right? I think it looks much more sophisticated too! I have never seen those cup thingy’s – great idea!

    • Thanks Heather. Hope all of your unpacking is going as good as possible!
      …I hope you’re going to take lots of before pics too! Something I commonly forget to do!


  13. such a great solution and tutorial!

  14. Great idea — plus you can easily change the skirt to fit your home decor or the seasons!

  15. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  16. Looks great. Thanks for showing us this tutorial. I’m glad you linked up at Romance on a dime!!

  17. Ha, ha. Love it! I need this in many places here. Thanks for sharing at our Pinteresting Party


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