Teacher Toolbox Tutorial

How to Make a Teacher Toolbox

Are you thinking about making your own teacher toolbox? Maybe you’re like me and you’ve been thinking about it for years.

Perhaps some of the following sound familiar:


  • They look really BIG! I don’t have enough space for one on my desk.
  • I’m already pretty organized so I don’t need one.
  • The drawers look too small to hold my stuff.
  • Waaaay too many drawers. I wouldn’t have enough to fill them.
  • Who has time for that?! It looks like a lot of work!

The Truth About Teacher Toolboxes

Let’s start with my biggest concern (literally) – the size.

When the toolbox arrived, I was relieved to see that it was smaller than I’d anticipated.

How to Make a Teacher Toolbox for the Classroom

The toolbox is compact and doesn’t take up too much precious desk space. WIN!

This 26 Drawer toolbox from Akro-Mils easily fits on a desk or shelf. They have a variety of sizes so you can find one that best meets your needs.

Once I started brainstorming items for the labels, I realized how much time I’ve spent searching for these items over the years.

Teacher Toolbox Editable Labels with Rainbows

How much precious time have you spent searching for these items?!

Even when you try your best to keep an organized classroom, things get hectic and items get misplaced.

The toolbox makes it easy since so many items are in one spot. No more searching through desk drawers and baskets!

Another bonus: substitute teachers will love you for having this on your desk!

My original concern that I wouldn’t have enough to fill the drawers was immediately put to rest once I realized how many little bits and bobs I use on a daily basis. Who knew?!

Highlighters in Teacher Toolbox Drawer

Highlighters, pens and markers fit in the large drawers.

The drawers are 6deep so most pens, highlighters and markers will fit on an angle.

Choose Your Toolbox

There are LOTS of options out there when it comes to choosing your teacher toolbox.

The size you choose depends on what you want to store in it and how much space you have available.

Think about where you’ll keep your box…on your desk, a shelf, counter, etc.

I’ve designed my labels to fit the Akro-Mils toolboxes. Here are a few of the most popular options. You can click the photos to see them on Amazon.


The 16 Drawer toolbox is the most compact

16 Drawer Akro-Mils Toolbox

This option has 24 large drawers 

 Akro-Mils 24 Drawer Toolbox

The 26 drawer unit was my pick! 

26 Drawer Toolbox from Akro-Mils

This 44 Drawer unit is the ultimate organizer!

44 Drawer Toolbox from Akro-Mils

Putting It Together!

Once you’ve selected your toolbox, it’s time to choose your labels. This is the fun part as there are unlimited possibilities!

Print Teacher Toolbox Labels on 65 lb card stock

Print labels on card stock. You can find the link to the specific paper I use on the Amazon Classroom Finds page.

The labels above are from my Boho Rainbow Teacher Toolbox resource. It has a variety of editable styles so you can mix & match to customize your toolbox!

Empty That Junk Drawer!

TIP: Gather items that you’ll be placing in your toolbox FIRST!

Check your desk drawers (especially the junk drawer) so you’ll be sure to create homes for everything.

You’ll be amazed at just how many odds & ends you have lying around once you start looking for them!

Things like remotes and classroom doorbells can also find a new home in your toolbox.

Once you know what’s going in your toolbox, you can use the editable option to customize your labels.

Organize As You Go

Organize drawer labels as you add items to toolbox

Tip: Place labels in drawers as you go!

If you’ve chosen labels that create a pattern (like the rainbow above), place the labels in the drawers as you cut them.

This will save you from having to put the ‘puzzle’ together later!

 Place Labels Inside Drawers as You Fill Them

Organizing as you go saves time later. Trust me on this one!

Attaching Your Labels

You may wish to laminate your labels before attaching them.

I chose not to since my kiddos won’t be handling the toolbox and the labels won’t be facing much wear and tear.

Many people use double sided tape to attach their labels.

Double-Sided Tape for Teacher Toolbox 

For most of these Akro-Mils toolboxes you’ll be attaching the labels to the outside of the drawers because there is a ridge inside the large drawers.

You’ll also be able to see the labels better this way.

I tried the double sided tape but ultimately pulled out my trusty hot glue gun. Just a couple of dabs in the corners and we’re good to go!

Attach Teacher Toolbox Labels with Hot Glue

TIP: line up the label with the BOTTOM of the drawers.

My best piece of advice for attaching the labels is to line them up with the bottom of the drawer.

The top part is hidden behind the drawer pull so it’s okay if it doesn’t quite reach all the way to the top.

Getting the bottom lined up straight is the most important for a beautiful toolbox!

Boho Rainbow Teacher Toolbox


Let The Organization Begin!

Once you’ve attached the labels, your toolbox is ready to become your organizational BFF! Grab all those bits & bobs and put them in their new homes!

I like to keep pens in the top drawer for quick access!

Pens in Top Drawer of Teacher Toolbox

Keep it in a location that is easily accessible so you won’t be tempted to toss items in a more convenient spot.

You’ve made the effort to create your toolbox so you want to make sure you make the most of it!

If you’re looking for a BOHO RAINBOW theme for your toolbox, all of the labels above are included in my Boho Rainbow Teacher Toolbox Editable Labels resource!

Click the photo below to get started on your own teacher toolbox!

Boho Rainbow Editable Teacher Toolbox Labels


You can also see the entire collection of Teacher Toolbox Labels to find the perfect design for your classroom!

Happy Organizing!