Oh technology, we love you so, but you require constant maintenance! The cords, the charging, it cannot be escaped. I’ve been so frustrated with all the cords all over the house and I was looking for a sensible way to corral them all in one place. There are many charging stations you can buy online but I was looking for a solution that was cheap and easy.
We needed two in our household, one upstairs in the studio above the garage where our 22 year old now resides, and one downstairs in the family room to charge our devices when not in use. For the first version in the studio, I bought a faux snakeskin box at HomeGoods for $20. There are plenty of similar uses for boxes as charging stations around the web, an internet search will turn up variations on this idea, but here’s how I turned two decorative boxes into charging stations with a few power tools, some scraps of painted wood, and hot glue.
Supplies: decorative box at least 2 ½” deep and long enough to fit your devices, in this case it was 1 tablet plus 2 phones; paint to match interior of box; circular saw; power screwdriver with drill bits; 4 strips of ¾ x ¾” wood cut to width of box; 1½ x ¾” wood cut to length of box; hot glue.
The design is a simple grid inside the box cut with two different sizes of the wood mentioned above. The bottom four pieces are ¾ x ¾” square trim cut to the width of the box to allow for room along the bottom for the charger to comfortably fit beneath the phones and tablets; the top is a piece of 1½ x ¾” poplar board cut to the length of the box to support the front of a tablet and the back of the smartphones.
When painted (I used gloss black spray paint) the grid is less visible inside.
Along the back, drill holes in between the supports large enough for access by the smallest end of the charger. Phones vary, for my iPhone4 and iPad the smallest is the USB end, for Matt’s iPhone5 it’s the new smaller charging end.
Run the cords through the holes and tie them together behind the box. To support more than two chargers it’s smart to install one of these USB wall outlets. I found them at Home Depot for $25 each. For the step by step, Chelsea at Two Twenty One has an excellent tutorial on how to install a USB wall outlet.
With these, you avoid the chunky power strip and have the ability to charge up to four devices with one outlet.
I fabricated a second version for the family room with the same interior grid design in a faux crocodile box purchased at Marshalls for under $10.
That’s how we’re attempting to organize and charge the devices in our household, how do you do it in yours?