My sweet dad made me a class set of name tag holders for my students' name tags that I put on the tables (in first grade, I put them on desks). I really wanted my tables to be clear of stuff and I decided not to use them. But, I did not want to hurt his feelings, so I use them as holders for the letter cards when making words. It is great for this because it separates the cards they are using from the rest of the cards not in use. It is just a ready made piece of vinyl trim in 8 foot sections from Lowe's. He used a jigsaw to make the indention to hold the cards.
When I taught first grade, we had desks and the pencil section at the top did not contain the pencils very well. They would drop on the floor all the time. So I made a pencil holder using Velcro. I cut a strip and attached fabric to the top piece, then stuck the bottom piece in the pencil holder part of the desk. It makes a little slit and the pencils slip in and out. I let them "rip" the Velcro off one time to see how it worked and then they had to leave it alone.
And the last tip is one my mom insists on! She likes to put tape on top of the staples for journals and books (wraps around to the back). It protects their fingers from getting cut from the staples on the backside.