Introduction: How to DIY Shoe Box Charging Station for Your Devices
While charger cables are not nearly as annoying as headphone wires, especially when they're in your pocket and get tangled AF...
However, they're pretty frustrating as well, especially when you have lots of devices at home and end up with a different charger for your Samsung phone, your iPhone, your SO's non-smart phone, the tablet, the laptop, the camera, the whatever gadget you've accumulated over time. In the end you might have as much as ten different chargers, with ten different cables.
So, yeah, it's pretty damn tedious to find the right one, or keep wires from tangling, etc. So, I'm going to teach you in a quickie how to make a charger organizer in as little as 30 minutes.
Now, there are a lot of different ways you can make an organizer for your chargers, largely depending on the amount of time and effort you want to spend making it.
The most complicated one is probably the recharge drawer with independent switches for each charger.
The easiest is to use a shoe box.
Step 1: Materials
- A power coupler
- A cardboard box
- Office knife
- Glue / Duct tape
- Pencil / Pen
- Paper Clippers
- Decorative hole frames / Washers / Spacers
- Other decorative elements
The power coupler obviously needs to be big enough to house all your chargers. But also, it's best to use one that has a central switch that on/off's the entire coupler. That will allow you to be a bit safer using the recharge station.
The cardboard box needs to be big enough to house the coupler and charger. The easiest one to use is a show box, but any of decent size, which has a lid will work. Plastic boxes and containers also work, but are a bit harder to drill into.
Decorative elements represent:presents wrap, ribbons, beads, small figurines, generally any design element you might want to add to your recharge box.
Step 2: Decorate First
If you're going to be decorating the box, do that first. 90% of the time put into this project will be for this step alone. If you're not a designer or simply don't care, just skip this step as it is for aesthetic purposes ONLY.
In this example, we're going to glue the zig-zag textured wrapping paper to the outside of the shoe box.
Using Wrapping Paper
The process is really simple:
Clear some working space and layout the wrapping paper, inside up.
1. Put the box front side down and align it with the wrapping paper sheet.
2. Using your pencil or pen, make a mark on the paper about two inches from the front and side edges of the shoe box. Then, put the ruler down and make a line over the front mark, parallel to the edge of the paper sheet. Now, another two marking the sides, lines should be perpendicular to the first one.
3. With the pencil put a line behind the box, tracing along the back edge.
4. Turn the box on it's bottom and align the front edge with the line you drew on the back.
5. Repeat step 3 and trace the back edge again.
6. Turn the box on it's back and repeat the last few steps. Remember to leave the same margin off the back edge this time as you did in step 2.
7. Do the same thing for the sides, each time starting with the box on it's bottom and in the location you marked it. For the sides, you want to leave margins on all three sides.
Note: You need to adjust the margins so the texture of your wrapping paper has a smooth seamless transitions. However, the margins should be at least an inch. Anything less might make problems later on when you need to wrap and glue.
In the end you should be left with a cross shaped trace on the wrapping paper.
Now make cut out the stencil, along the outer lines. When you put the box, bottom down, on it's place and wrap the paper along the walls using just your fingers, you should see how the margins we left while measuring now form overlapping flaps.
Start from one side an carefully glue the paper along the walls of the box. Depending on how good you are at this you might be able to do it on one try.
If you haven't done a lot of crafts before, it might be easier to work by using small strips of duct tape to hold the paper in place along the entire box, before going on and using something as permanent as glue. Essentially, the equivalent of using safety pins on a blueprint for a dress to see it it works, before actually sewing it.
Repeat this same process for the lid as well.
Using Spray Paints
The less design-ish, but far easier and quicker method to put some customization into this project is to just pain the shoe box.
Okay, so depending on the box you have, you might experience some difficulty getting it the colour you want. The hardest case possible is you having a black and glossy box.
So, go get a car spay paint the colour you want. Take a shot and spay over the box and see if the colour catches one. If it does, simply leave it dry and repeat the process until the colour is as vibrant and saturated as you want.
If it doesn't catch, go get a can of white and use this first. One coat of white, should enable whatever other colour you've chosen to catch easier after. Repeat with colour layers, until you're seeing the result.
If you want to draw over, either use the tape and spray method, or get some nail polish or oil paints and use those.
Other surface elements like beads, ribbons, figurines, etc can be superglued on the painted or wrapped box.
Step 3: Make the Holes
This step is quicker, I promise.
So, we need to make the holes, from which the charging cables are going to be sticking out. If you have some metal rings, decorative covers, washers or whatever spacers you've found take them out.
Using your ruler, make little marks over where the holes are going to be.
Remember to keep the ruler aligned with the edges of the box, so the line is parallel. Also, measure and space out the distance between the holes evenly.
Test if the plug of the charger goes through the washer. Self explanatory, but you need to put it through, or the whole box won't work.
Now take you frame or washer and put it over the mark.
Using the pencil, trace the inside of it. Repeat that for each hole.
Now take your office while, x-acto, or razor (Or whatever sharp blade you have. A really, really sharp kitchen knife works as well, I guess.) and cut just a millimeter outside the line you've traced.
When you're done with all holes, glue the frames or washers over their respective positions.
Also make a hole in the back for the coupler plug, which will go into the power socket.
Step 4: Assemble Your Box
Well, the most essential step is the shortest.
Put the coupler in, and take it's plug outside the hole you make for it.
Plug all the chargers in the coupler in a logical order and take each cable out it's respective hole.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
At this point your box is fully functioning and can start producing the fruits of your labour.
A few finishing touches you can add are labels for each respective charger, so you can easily recognize what is what. It will take you only a few minutes, and is a good addition, so you can use your new product better.
The other is to take a paper clipper and make an easy holder for each cable, so they won't wiggle around.
Take a clipper and bend it over the cable in question. Then, just clip it over it's respective hole. It should hold the cable in place, so it doesn't slip inside the box, wiggle around, or just annoy you by moving.
Remember to kill the switch of the coupler when nobody is using any charger. You probably won't ever have any problem whatsoever, but the extra step just makes sure you wont.
Article courtesy of Friendly Tenancy Helpers - your end of tenancy cleaning solution in London !
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