Introduction: How to Transform an IKEA Vase Into a Charging Station for Your Gadgets.

…a simple idea with an even simpler approach…

 

~THE STORY~

I live in a small apartment and I own several small devices that are energy-greedy. I tried in the past to dedicate some space near a wall plug, to charge them all, but it always looked bad and cluttered. I searched for a professional solution to buy, but they are either expensive or ... really expensive! And usually not future upgradable...

 

So I decided to build one, and the result was a BULKY IKEA box that laid on the floor for quite some time behind a rocking chair. After furniture rearrangement (chic!), I used that space and I was left with no-money. So I had to improvise and find a solution for the only available place ... my living room, and it had to blend in.

 

THEN it struck me!! Why not transform this beautiful black IKEA vase into a stealth charging station??


(The eagle-eyed viewers already noticed that the photo couldn't be taken in my living room but i have a great excuse ... IT'S A MESS!  :p )

Step 1: Parts You Will Need...

Mouth blown glass vase from IKEA,

Pot stand from cork,

Knife,

Power cord with a switch,

Female adapter,

Screwdriver,  

...and the rest you see in the following picture :)   {It's all plugs to me :p , so any help is appreciated...)

Step 2: Drilling

I intentionally left out the tool that you can use to open a hole in that curvy vase. I've been told that I can use my Dremel but I should firstly immobilize it so that vibrations won't crack the vase. There is a "Dremel workstation" for precise drillings and if you own one of these you should only have a friend keeping the vase steady. But I don't. So I followed the next suggestion (aka easy way).

 

I went on a small store that sells large pieces of glass, for windows/doors/DIY projects, and they have a portable Glass Drilling Machine like this one (it's even the same color! :p ). They were kind enough to help me at no cost and my job was done in under a minute. They will inform you that they take no responsibility if it breaks, because it's curvy as I said, but don't mind, the glass is thick enough to handle the hole.

 

Ah, the hole should be 0.5cm or larger so that a cord can pass through it. ;)

Step 3: Cord Management and a Base From Cork

I passed the power cord through the hole and I connected the free cables with a female adaptor. [if it’s your first time doing this: open the adapter with the screwdriver, connect one cable in each brass thing and close the adapter] On this you can connect as many as five of these "T" like plugs and ideally connect 10 chargers, but this won't happen because of the size of them. Realistically you can connect 4 "T"‘s, and 6-8 chargers. I'm using right now 5 chargers but have space for at least 2 more. Not bad! (No pictures because it's easy ;)  )

 

Then I took the pot stand that was standing in my kitchen. You can find in IKEA too, but they are larger than mine and you should cut peripherally 1-1.5cm (approximate estimation) to decrease the diameter 2-3cm and fit better. Keep in mind that it should be a bit larger than the neck of the vase so that it won't fall inside it, and thick enough to keep the weight of the devises you are going to charge (larger than 0.5 cm is good enough). With the knife I cut out 2cm long and few mm wide (according to the thickness of the cable each time) pieces of cork, and widened in the inner end a bit, so that the cable can go up & down freely.

 

To give it a bit of class, I heated the knife on a candle and engrave the type of devices I'm going to connect. It took some time but worth it after all. From time to time you should use a wet cloth to remove from the knife tip the extra black "powder" that accumulates so that it will not spread between the letters and make the names unrecognizable. (I didn't in the second "S" in Samsung as you can see)

Step 4: The ...Touch!

When I managed to put the chargers I needed inside the vase (it takes some time to find the best way), I used tie straps to arrange cables in order (each cable alone, tied like a bowtie). Put your cables in place and your done.

 

I didn’t want someone to look at an empty vase so I used some plastic flowers. It’s a pretty wide vase so if you need to cover it all with flowers you‘ll need at least 8 large, like mine. But I wanted to have space to check my devices without lilies get in the middle, and …cough!-keep the cost low, so I used only four.

I bound their stems together as in the picture.

 

That’s all folks! I hope you enjoyed, I know I did. See you around…



P.S. Excuse any errors, it's my first how-to. I welcome any comments :)

Comments

author
enoted made it!(author)2011-04-05

This is really creative .. Good Job :D

author
eggspanther made it!(author)2010-06-29

glass cracks more easily when heated. you can run water over it as you drill. slow and steady.

author
Retirement1 made it!(author)2010-03-04

This is such a great idea, I may make one for each pile of mess in my house.  Keys, pens, paper clips - those containers should all be topped with flowers.  thank-you for the inspiration.

author
simplebeep made it!(author)2009-12-29

This is great. Thanks for sharing this excellent idea.
I would like to have seen more pictures on how the cork, adapters, splitters, vase, etc. all fit together (but I'm sure I can figure it out).
:D

author
jellvi made it!(author)2009-12-27

Such an   elegant elegant solution   to such an ugly but necessary problem !!!!!!    Thank you so very much for your instructable.  Have found the IKEA Stockholm vase in stock @ my local IKEA.  Will make several for family, friends and myself !!!!

author
inkstainedheart made it!(author)2009-12-27

This is a really cool holder! I hope this inspires other people to create their own charging stations. I would love to see what else people can come up with.

author
XOIIO made it!(author)2009-12-21

Nice, you just need a holder to keep each device steady.

author
mbudde made it!(author)2009-12-20

Are you in England or somewhere other than the US? Because I've never seen those plugs here. This is really cool too.

author
MichaelPap made it!(author)2009-12-20

No, I'm from Greece, as i highlighted on the globe ;)
So it's a European kind of plug (except UK of course)
Glad you liked it! 

author
robots199 made it!(author)2009-12-20

Great Job!

Glad to see a new method to hide my ugly charging devices!

Looking forwards to seeing more of your 'ibles!

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