Introduction: $3 Charging Station! (Dollar Tree, + Power Strip)
Cheap, rewarding and modular. Hang some Dollar Tree bins off the front for phones or whatever, could add a Qi charger, etc.
- Dollar Tree - Locker Bin
- Dollar Tree - Wire Storage Shelf
- Contact paper
- Medium thickness cardboard, you just want it to last. Anything from online chopping, cereal box might work, but I chose a diaper box.
- Power Strip
- Knife or something to punch holes in the cardboard, could use scissors also (optional)
Step 1: Measure and Cut Your Carboard.
- Flip the Bin over and trace the outline for the top.
- Add about 6 inches to each handle side. This will serve to cover up the holes where the handles are.
- Taper the sides to match the shape of the Bin.
- Test fit the Shelf and cardboard.
- NOTE that the shelf legs need to be bent in slightly to accommodate the Bin's taper.
- You could also cut the ends of the legs to make this sit lower in the Bin, but it is extra work. :)
Step 2: Plan the Charging Cable Locations and Dividers
- Determine what devices you'll be charging and what charger types they use.
- Note that if you need to change something down the road... it's cardboard! No problem! :)
- Consider the size of each device. You'll probably want larger items in the back so it's easy to grab exactly what you're looking for.
- Consider putting the same type of chargers on one side, others on the other. I chose Non-Apple on one side, Apple on the other.
- Consider using some kind of dividers for larger items, like tablets. I had some brackets laying around to use.
- Determine the locations for dividers
- Cut holes and poke them through
- TEST FIT where you've put them. I moved mine a couple times.
- I put all of my charging cables to the outer edge of the top, but you can put yours anywhere. Go nuts.
- Also consider fast charging cables, longer/shorter ones, etc. All this can be changed later, too, so skip this if you dare!
- Once you decide on a layout, mark everything out on the cardboard, or start punching or cutting holes. You can't screw this up, and if you do, get a new piece of cardboard and start over, or don't use that hole!.
Step 3: Test Fit EVERYTHING (most Tedious Step)
- Punch or cut holes for all your cables and dividers. I cut an X for each location and this worked best.
- Carefully (but firmly) push all the cables through where you're going to want them in the end.
- These holes will be covered later with the contact paper, so don't worry about what they look like right now.
- Be careful not to damage your adapters.
- Make sure the adapters move fairly smoothly through the hole, since you'll need remove them, then push them back through again later.
- HOOK EVERYTHING UP AND MAKE SURE IT WORKS. Again, we are test fitting everything.
Step 4: Cut the Hole for the Power Strip
- This doesn't need to be pretty, just make sure it fits and that the hole can later be covered up with some contact paper. Contact paper becomes magical for this step.
Step 5: Go Crazy With Contact Paper!
- REMOVE the cables from the cardboard
- Cover the TOP ONLY of the cardboard. You want to see where the holes are on the bottom, remember.
- Be sure to cover your dividers with the contact paper!
- Cover the Bin with contact paper.
- Note that once the station is assembled you may need to add more Contact Paper to the hole where the power strip protrudes.
Step 6: Assemble
- Poke holes through the contact paper
- Assemble, plug in and enjoy!