Modern Extension Cord With USB




Here's how I made a modern extension cord for my desk with built in USB ports.

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Step 1: Tools and Materials

I used these parts for my outlet, but you don't have to use these exact parts. This is just a general guideline

High Speed USB Charger Receptacle

Single Gang Rectangular Box (I used the linked one but this one is cheaper just a different color, same here, you can also find these at your local Home Depot for under $5)
Cord with Plug (2 Pack) (just cut off the female socket)

Other Cord Options:
Red Cord with Plug

Bare Cloth Cord Options (Amazon version)

3 Prong Plug (Amazon version)

You'll also need:

Wine Cork
Drill bit (6mm or 1/4" or whatever the diameter of your cord is)
Wire Strippers
Electrical Tape
Screw Driver
Exacto Knife

Step 2: Prep the Electrical Cord

Remove the cover plates from the USB Receptacle. From there take your power cord and figure out how much of the jacket you need to strip. Use electrical tape to wrap where you're going to strip the electrical cord otherwise your cloth cord will fray. Then strip about 1-1.5" of the inner wires.

If your cord didn't come with a grounded plug pre installed. Install that part too.

Step 3: Feed Cord Into the Box

Now take your wine cork. Cut it in half with your knife and drill it out to the diameter of your electrical cord (I just hand drilled it with a 1/4" drill bit, but a cordless drill will work just fine). Make sure the cork fits snugly around the cord, as this acts as your strain relief. Feed that around the power cable and feed all that through one of the the gang box openings

Step 4: Wire the Outlet Receptacle

This will change if you use a different outlet receptacle, just consult the documentation that comes with your outlet. But on the wiring Black is Hot, White is Neutral and Green is ground.

This is also a great time to test the outlets before closing everything up.

Step 5: Close It Up.

Screw the receptacle into the gang box and add the top plate back on and you're done. You can get super creative with your color combos ands its very easy to paint the covers and box different colors. Just make sure you do that before you assemble.


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8 Discussions


3 years ago

What an elegant project. Something everyone needs and good looking too. I think these would make really nice Christmas presents. Would it be OK if I made some and gave them as gifts? I'm a big believer in intelectual property, that's why I ask.

1 reply

Reply 3 years ago

I'm not the project owner, but I think it will be fibe; he/she put it on Instructables so that other people can build it


3 years ago

simple but awesome project!


3 years ago

I'm not trying to be super negative or anything but electricity is not to be toyed with by people without the proper knowledge & training. This is not code compliant and if it were to result in fire or anything you'd void your insurance. research and use proper materials (NOT a cork as a strain relief connector). There are proper connectors for this application that cost $5 at most.

Now that having been said, I love the idea!

1 reply

Reply 3 years ago

I've gotta say, while I agree with you, cork is not a bad choice. It repels liquid and like most wood is quite a good insulator.


3 years ago

Good project, everyone can learn, in fact it the simplest project at least most people can work on. i love it. :)


3 years ago

Nicely done, this is a great idea and well presented!