10.31.2012

DIY Docking Station

Mwah ha ha…..Happy Halloween!!!!
{Image courtesy VintageHolidayCrafts.com}

I'm pretty sure Mother Nature is a witch, don't you think???  Now that Hurricane Sandy is behind us, I hope if you were in Sandy's path that you stayed safe from her winds and rain. We were saddened to see so many get flooded out and incur terrible damage to their homes.  The Boston area didn't get hit that badly by comparison.  We finally have power fully restored and school is back in session today, just in time for Halloween!

Speaking of Halloween….it's  downright scary how easy this DIY docking station is to make!  (oh, that was lame, even for me!)

With two parents and three kids with electronic devices, I can't even begin to describe to you how our house has been overrun by chargers and cords.  This year,  I decided to crack down on texting availability after realizing that it is virtually impossible for my 12 and 14 year olds to not look at an incoming text, no matter what they are in the middle of.  At the beginning of the school year I started a new rule requiring them to leave their electronics in the kitchen during homework and overnight.

The area that we charged our phones at was this little counter next to the fridge that has four outlets.  I sometimes use this space as a bar when we entertain, but day to day it holds our absolutely-hideous-but-essential toaster oven.  The "real life" photo below does not do justice to the amount of mail, school papers and junk that the toaster oven counter attracts over the course of the week (however it does represent those sa-weet bologna countertops nicely! My bologna has a first name….lets all sing together)

The rest of my kitchen is usually fairly tidy, but then ----> there is the giant mountain of embarrassment over there.  To use the toaster oven one would have to move all the junk over to another counter, where it would all live until the toaster oven cooled enough to place the junk pile back on top of it and let it grow a few more inches.

Add all of our cell phones, ipods and chargers to the mix and it was just complete chaos.  Finally, after living with that little area for the last year or so, I finally gave some thought to where in my house I could charge electronics.  I desperately needed an area that would be easier to keep organized,  a place where the electronics could charge under my eagle eye and the kids wouldn't be tempted to check their texts every 5 minutes.  I'm on a mission to make my house work for me.

Cue this empty wooden box on the etagere in my dining room.
First I thought of using my cigar box for this project, but it was just too small to hold all the electronics in this crazy house.  This wine box, however, is nice and deep.

I've had this wooden wine box for so long I can't even remember where it came from, but I don't think the wine, or this box it came in, is very valuable.  I just like the fonts and design on the box.
So I got a mouse to chew a hole in it*….
…and now it can charge up to 5 devices with the power strip that hides in there.
 *okay, so a mouse didn't chew a hole for me, but I discovered the hole attachment for the drill was too big for the box, so I just used my biggest drill bit until I had a hole big enough for the plug of the power strip to feed through.  It's not pretty but the hole is completely hidden from view unless the box is open.  I also bundled the charger cords so they wouldn't be all tangled inside the box.

The box sits on the side table in our dining room.  {More on how I'm making our dining room the hardest-working room in the house in the near future.}

This "docking station" is working out great for us!  The kids (and my husband) are less likely to look at their phones 50,000 times an evening because the devices are not on their person, plus the cords are hidden from view, and I like the look of the box itself - it's a bit rustic and unique in our dining room.

This would be an easy project to replicate with any wooden box with a hinged lid (unfinished boxes can be found at Michaels or AC Moore).  The power strip was key for all our devices, but if you only have one or two devices to charge you could feed the charger cords out of the back of the box to a wall outlet.  You could also create a platform for the electronics to sit on, but this simple version works for me!

Now my wine box has form AND function.  Do you have any interesting boxes around your house could you repurpose?

Wishing you a happy Halloween filled with cute little ghosts and goblins and fairies and bumblebees…..and maybe a mini Snickers bar or two…..or three!
{Image courtesy VintageHolidayCrafts.com}

12 comments:

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

LOVE this idea! i need something like this in my bedroom.... i always plug my phone into the wall and i hate how it looks.

pam {simple details} said...

You are a genius! Have you seen how expensive those are at PB? And, yours looks much more stylish!



Dana Frieling said...

Super clever! It's awesome when design marries function for the perfect union. Glad you were spared from the nastiness of the storm!

Kelly @ View Along the Way said...

Pinning this! I need something pretty like this on my nightstand!

Jennifer @ Dimples and Tangles said...

Very smart! I've got a counter in the kitchen that looks much worse than yours most times...why is it such a magnet? Haven't found a way to keep that spot clear yet...

Jessica @ Stay at Home-ista said...

So smart and the bundling really helps. My husband charges his phone in the bathroom, which means for eery middle of the night bathroom break, she stops to look at his emails!

Ada (new york) said...

Hysterical "in theory" and "real life" photo ..hahahaha! GREAT idea w/the power surge concealer ... and the little mouse did a GREAT job after all :)

Privet and Holly said...

Awesome idea, Lisa!
My kids charge up in
their own rooms, so
we aren't too overrun
on the first floor. That
said, I like this idea for
my own desk, which is
kind of a maze of cords....

Happy Halloween!

xo Suzanne

Jenny said...

What a smart idea - and a way more attractive charging station than many that I see on the market today! That's the one thing about extended power outages - you realize how tethered you are to your mobile devices!! Kind of scary in and of itself!

Dornbuschhexe said...

Cool idea! B.t.w.: I can't say anything about the box but the wine was in there is one of the world's best wines: http://www.bpdr.com/gb/default.asp Branded Wines :)

Maury @ Life on Mars said...

Seriously brilliant! I love function and pretty decor! Great job Lisa!

Urban Orchard Interiors said...

Love this idea Lisa! We really need something to help us tame all the cords in our house. So clever!

-Lane