Whenever you find yourself running out of steam midway through a busy work day, you should give yourself a five minute break. No, not for coffee, or to take a walk around the block—even though that’s known to help, too—but to do a quick arts and crafts project.

I know—that’s not the tip you were expecting. But, as strange as it sounds, five minutes of creativity can actually boost your productivity—giving you a small burst of energy that’ll help you finish off the day on a strong note.

If doing a quick craft sounds fun, but somewhat impossible, rest assured that you can find almost all the necessary supplies in your office. Just make sure not to take all the supplies—lest someone actually need them for work.


1. Turn K-Cups Into Halloween Decorations

Photo courtesy of The Kim Six Fix


In an office full of coffee drinkers, you’re sure to find a stash of K-cups sitting around, just waiting to be transferred to a trash bin. Rescue a few, rinse them out, and bring them back to your desk for some quick Sharpie jack-o-lanterns. When you’re done adding expressions, stack your cups up, add them to a string of lights (OK, fine, you probably don’t have those in the office)—hello, instant holiday decoration.


2. Turn Strips of Scrap Paper Into Pumpkins

Photo courtesy of The Domestic Heart


Instead of shredding that paperwork that’s been sitting on your desk since last week (er, month), cut it into strips and use your stapler to make a sweet (and super easy) desktop pumpkin.

Bonus points if you pair with a pumpkin spice latte.


3. Use Paper Scraps to Make a Flower

Photo courtesy of What Meegan Makes



If you don’t have the time or energy to keep real greenery in your office, this quick craft will add some charm to your desk—while also saving you a trip to the recycling bin. Make a small bouquet to place in a cup on your desk (or give to someone deserving), or make one large bud that can serve as a desktop statement piece.


4. Make a Desktop Lantern From an Empty Water Bottle

Photo courtesy of A Piece of Rainbow


After you finish drinking from your water bottle, pat yourself on the back for hydrating, and then bring a little zen to your work space by turning it into a simple desktop lantern. All you need is a pair of scissors, a pencil, tape, a single piece of printer paper, and an LED candle for this soothing five-minute upcycle. (Again, I hear ya—you probably don’t have an LED candle handy. But you can order them cheaply here.)


5. Make a Container Using a Box of Pencils

Photo courtesy of Daisy Mae Belle



Did you know that you can turn an old thermos or cup into a unique odds-and-ends holder that’s perfect to store stray office supplies? In just five minutes, a pack of pencils, a rubber band, and an (optional) piece of string or ribbon will give your desk that flair that it so badly needs.


6. Transform an Unused Book Into Art

Photo courtesy of Xena Nierobisz


Want to display an image or inspirational message on your bookshelf or desk? These cool book creations let you create any picture or image you want simply by folding pages along a straightforward pattern—and bonus: The patterns are absolutely free!


7. Turn Extra Tape Into a Plant

Photo courtesy of Mark Montano


Make your own art using nothing but duct tape. You can make flowers, cool abstract arty shapes, or even a pot of charming succulents. Your finished work will be a bit more believable if you have the right colors, so the next time your office manager asks for requests, try to convince him or her to pick up some colored duct tape.