Intro: $20 Charging Station
If you're reading this, you probably have enough electronic gadgets around the house to choke a small animal. This isn't the bad part. The bad part is the mess of wires and chargers that are strewn around the house and cluttering up tabletops and desk drawers. You can usually never find the charger you need or you don't use the device because it's never charged.
I've seen these Charger Valets online and at various stores, but they usually cost a small fortune and can't hold all the stuff I need. I've got to charge my cellphone, my wife's cell phone and Zen, the digital camera and my bluetooth headphones at the very least.
Step 1: Supplies
I picked up a $13 leather-like box at Winners, a $2 plush brown face cloth and a couple of extension cords.
Step 2: Pop a Hole and Insert Chargers
A little hole in the back let's the main extension cord into the box and I have it tie-wrapped to the bottom of the box to keep everything locked in place in case the cable gets pulled by the kids.
Step 3: The Cardboard Insert
The face cloth is glued to a cardboard insert which I made high enough to allow all the extension cords and charger boxes to sit evenly. I used a silicon glue that wouldn't soak the face cloth and make it rough. But it's fastened firmly. One hole lets all the cables come through.
Everything sits on the face cloth to protect the devices and keep them from sliding around.
Step 4: Ready for Action
You'll notice that one of the chargers (the camera battery) has this stupid direct-in-the-wall arrangement that doesn't allow it to easily be extended. For this, I ran a little brown extension cord to the surface and plugged the camera charger into it.
With no devices in the box, it's still pretty clean. Two of the devices charge from the USB mini and for now I only have one of them connected.
$20 later ... the mess is solved and the devices are charged! Easy project.