It is amazing how fast technology changes, and how much of our lives seems to revolve around being "plugged in" these days. As a blogger, this is especially true since I never far from my computer, iPad or smartphone in case inspiration strikes, or I want to keep up with what is going on in all my social media channels.
An unforeseen side effect of this 'connectivity' is the fact that my gadgets and gizmos are constantly in need of a charge. I recently asked on facebook where everyone plugs in their phones. The top answers seemed to be either 'next to my bed' or 'in the kitchen.' I fall into that latter category.
In fact, in our house ALL electronics get charged on the kitchen counter. For multiple reasons:
1: They are always handy to plug in when we walk in the door and to grab when are leaving.
2: We often share charging cords and they all need to be in one place.
3: The counter is high enough to keep them out of the baby's reach
4: We always can find them (a common problem with elementary aged kids)
Between myself, my husband and the kids we have A LOT of electronics:
And because I was tired of everyone sucking up ALL my kitchen outlets, we attached a series of splitters to one outlet in order to keep everything gathered in one place. The large converters on all the plugs made it nearly impossible to plug everything in at once. I cringed every time I looked at it..
Yes. It was far from ideal and it was also UGLY. Here is my beautiful "new" kitchen and one area always looked like a Best Buy had exploded.
I knew I needed to do something and when I saw this tool box charging station by The Happy Housie. I loved the idea. I wanted a version that actually disguised the electronics, so they wouldn't seem out of place in a kitchen.
I toyed with lots of ideas. Different kinds of boxes or baskets.. and then I stumbled upon this at a flea market and I knew I had nailed it.
It was a 'vintage' bread box I picked up for $8. I say vintage, since it isn't really old. The Kmart price tags were still on it (originally $39.99) but whatever circular thing-a-ma-bob was on the front was now missing.
Never fear.. spackle is here!! (I ADORE this pink DAP spackling that turns white when it is dry.. it is perfect for projects like this since you don't want to poke it to test it)
After it was dry I sanded the entire surface and then I drilled a 1-inch hole in the back to feed a power cord through. (You can see the back isn't even real wood.. it is cheap particle.. I told you this wasn't an "antique"!)
I inserted a powerstrip into the box and mounted it on the back with two small screws:
Because the backing was only particle board and I knew there would be lots of pulling and pushing on the power strip, I screwed directly through the particle board and into a small piece of wood trim to reinforce it from pulling out.
Having six outlets in a row allows for the large power converters to hang off the sides (and makes all the outlets usable) which is a much better solution than what we were using before.
I then painted the box Manchester Tan which is the color I painted my kitchen cabinets.
I even had an extra door pull that matched the cabinets:
To make it a little more obvious that it was supposed to be a bread box and not a charging station, I used my silhouette to make a vinyl label for the front of the box:
The last thing I did was cover the bottom of the inside with contact paper. I only wanted to cover the bottom since the back and sides were in good shape, but the bottom was pretty ratty.
I just rolled it on, pressed it down and into the corners with a putty knife and used a razor blade to trim the excess:
All the chargers fit wonderfully.. and the depth of the box is even big enough for our iPads and tablets:
And the perfectly matched box blends in with the rest of the kitchen much better than a pile of cords and phones:
A great solution for under $10!