How to Turn a Desk Organizer into a Charging StationHow to Turn a Desk Organizer into a Charging Station

Do you have multiple devices that need charging every day, but they are cluttering up your counter or table? Luckily I have the answer to that problem and it involves this simple desk organizer.

Would you believe that wooden organizer is now a stylish charging station!

Here’s what a typical desk organizer holds. Functional? Maybe, but by thinking outside the box I came up with an even more useful option for our home.

Materials:

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Optional:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions:

Follow this simple video tutorial (or read below for the step-by-step instructions.)


Start by giving your organizer a good cleaning. Make sure there is no dust or dirt.

Wipe out Desk Organizer

Place all your devices into the organizer to determine where you want them to rest when charging. Next, plan where you want the USB charger to go.

Test fit devices

Mark the spot where the charger cord will need to come through the back of the organizer by tracing around the plug end.

draw around plug end of cord

Determine the size of bit you need to create the holes for the plug. You want it to be about the same size as the width of the plug. (Depending on the shape and size of your plug, you may need to drill two holes next to one another.)

Choose drill bit the width of one of the plug holes.

Put on your safety glasses. Drill the plug hole. Be careful not to let the bit sink too deep into the organizer to prevent damage to the other sections.

Drill through back of organizer for plug

Insert your USB charger cord into the hole to make sure it fits. Wipe off any sawdust and sand any rough edges.

Test fit plug in newly drilled hole.

Paint your organizer any color you desire. I highly recommend using at least two coats of paint.

paint organizer if desired

After the first coat of paint dries, lightly sand it before applying the second coat.

Lightly sand between coats

Optional: You may wish to use a vinyl cutter to create some fun lettering for your charging station.

Add vinyl lettering "in charge"

Place your USB charger into the organizer. Insert the cord through the back and plug it into the charger.  Use adhesive velcro to attach the charger to the inside of the organizer.

Slide charger into slot and adhere with double sided velcro.

Time to plug in all your devices and get them powered up!

Now you have a beautiful and stylish charging station to organize your devices and keep them from cluttering your kitchen counters.

I hope you love this charging station as much as I do.

I’m curious where you charge your devices? Is the kitchen where they all get deposited or have I been doing this all wrong?

If you like this tutorial, you might also like this Industrial Charging Station & Lock Box.

Industrial Charging Station and Lock Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Or these creative paint brush or pencil holder using scrap 2×4’s:

Create Art Utensil and Pencil holders

 

The reality is...it's not real | Pretty Handy Girl

The reality is that what you see on TV and magazines isn’t real life. We all know this, but do we tend to forget after a while?

I was watching one of those popular HGTV reality shows the other day. This one happened to be filmed in our neighborhood, so I was very familiar with the home that was being renovated. I drove by the house several times while the work was being done and I only saw the show hosts there three times. Those were the few days that filming was being done. The rest of the time (many months of renovating) I never saw the hosts. But, I’m sure you probably already realized this fact. It’s understandable, the celebrity hosts have to record other shows. And there’s no reason for them to stick around and watch joint compound or paint dry.

As you can imagine, I couldn’t wait to see the episode. Before the show aired I ran into the homeowners while walking our dogs. We chatted for a while and I thought they were a super delightful couple. Both polite, kind and fun to talk to. They both shared my love for our neighborhood. When the show finally aired last month, I was dismayed to see this young couple turned into picky, hard-to-please homeowners that fit into the “script” of the show. But, what surprised me most was the final reveal of the “new” value of the improved house. The home was valued above homes almost 1,000 sq feet larger in similar condition in our neighborhood. I shouldn’t have cared much. But, I did.

I’m not sure why I was feeling anger. I’ve known for a long time that reality tv isn’t really reality. Maybe I was angry because I see too many photos and TV shows that portray “real” people living in perfect homes. I think I was angered because the more we watch, the more we read and the more we pin — we begin to forget that what we see isn’t reality. I think we all need a reminder about how unreal “reality” is. Read more

DIY Chalkboard Memo Board (4th grade project) | Pretty Handy Girl

Before the end of the school year a REALLY GOOD friend of mine asked if I would give a talk in her daughter’s class about what I do for a living. I hemmed and hawed because I rarely have the free time. But, the main reason I was hesitant was because I didn’t know how to talk to 4th graders about what I do. Saying I’m a blogger is something that is hard for me to vocalize. “I write a blog” sounds simple and easy. But, in actuality, I do so many other things to make this blog a reality. Just a few of my job descriptions are: writer, photographer, builder, crafter, teacher, photo editor, business woman, manager, social media coordinator, graphic designer, web designer and all around handy girl! How could I explain all of that to the students?

Suddenly, an idea hit me! I would waltz into that classroom and use my platform to break down the stereotypes about women and handy people within 30 minutes (or less!) Then I’d empower the 4th grade students by letting them build their own chalkboard memo board AND use a power tool! Lofty goals, but I felt sure I could do it. Little did I know that the students wouldn’t be the only one empowered.

The quiz:

I started out by talking to the kids about what a handy person is. They shared terms that fit the definition of a handy person: fixes things, builder, carpenter, plumber, woodworker, and home improvement specialist. Then I showed them a slide presentation and gave the kids a quiz asking them to tell me which of these people are handy:

DIY Chalkboard Memo Board (4th grade project) | Pretty Handy Girl

I showed them one picture at a time and as expected, they got all of the answers wrong.

The answers: Read more

home_tour

Welcome, welcome! I’m so glad to see you made it. I hope you didn’t get lost.

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Did you just get here from Angie’s house at the Country Chic Cottage? Her home is so cozy and beautiful (so make sure you didn’t miss her stop on the tour!)

front_patio

I’m so glad to have you over for the 2013 Summer Tour of Homes.

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It’s hot outside for sure. These North Carolina summers are hot and humid.

mudroom_tour_door_open

Here’s a glass of sweet tea for you to cool off. Come on in and take a load off in our mudroom.
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mudroom_tour

In fact, feel free to kick off your shoes and relax with me for the next few cyber minutes. I’m not going to talk much, instead I’ll let you soak up the sights. Feel free to ask your questions or leave a comment after you’re done. Read more

perfect_gray_grey_greige_colors

Work is progressing in the kitchen and I finished painting the upper portion of the wall a very light greige (a cross between beige and gray.)

aesthetic_white_upper

Light Greige
Our Kitchen Command Center – Sherwin Williams Aesthetic White

With the abundance of light colors in the kitchen, I was craving a little dark paint for some drama. A small accent wall near the mudroom and pantry seemed like the perfect spot. I knew I wanted a chalkboard wall, but my sister (my interior design consultant) worried that black might be too dark. I filed her feedback in the back of my head as I headed to Lowe’s to buy primer. The paint gal tinted my primer with black to achieve a 50% shade of gray. (It is easier to paint dark colors if your primer isn’t a stark white.)

After applying the primer, I thought, “Hmmm, I kind of like this.” But decided to sleep on it. In the morning, that wall had a message for me: Read more

I’m just curious if I’m the only person who loses sight of her desk every week? I spend Monday mornings clearing the clutter and figuring out my plan of attack for the week. I could really save that 30 minutes each week by corralling my clutter in one place! On a recent excursion to Walmart, I found the perfect storage solution!


I also found lots of other goodies at Walmart. My friend Su and I had a blast shopping together. Su is the stay-at-home mom of five. She has a wonderful vivacious personality and is loads of fun to be around. If you haven’t met Su yet, head over to her blog The Intentional Home.

Being crafty gals, we set out to find some inspiration for a new craft project using the Plaid products that were sent to us.

(The Plaid paint selection is just like the candy aisle for me. Drooool!) In the past I have ordered aprons and canvas tote bags for teacher gifts, but now I know that I can pick them up at Walmart!

Sorry if I digressed a little, but that happens to me in those big super stores. Back to my storage solution. I found the perfect sized file bin at Walmart, but the design wasn’t cute enough for me. While browsing the aisles, I also picked up some cute pillow cases, and soon a plan was hatched to give my storage bin some personality. Here’s how I did it: Read more

Y’all are gonna love today’s guest post! Hammer Like a Girl is in the HOWZZ! Check out that industrial book page topped table that they created.

Today’s guest post is brought to you by THREE handy gals! I’m seriously thinking about moving to Seattle just so I can be one of their friends and share in the DIY project co-ops. Heidi, Monica and Mary Jean make up the power trio at Hammer Like a Girl.

These ladies get together once a week to tackle a DIY project together. They rotate which house they will work in next. Check out some of their transformations like this oval to rectangle table transformation, rustic wood bathtub surround, or tile backsplash.

Read more

Why do we wait to remodel the rooms that we spend the most time in?

Our home office had very humble beginnings. No overhead lights meant we had to use a floor lamp and table top lights to see.

The walls were a deep burnt sienna color that didn’t bounce much of that light around.

I had a big computer armoire that was dark inside. But, worst of all, Pretty Handsome Guy and I worked together in the room with our backs to one another for 3 years!

I dreaded sitting and working in that room. As a graphic and web designer, I had no inspirations, no creative energy. And being the light obsessed person I am, I was depressed by all the darkness in the room. I took frequent breaks just to escape from the office.

I dreamed of a home office with one wall of built-in bookcases and storage and a work surface that jutted out in the middle. I tried to sell the idea to my better half, but Pretty Handsome Guy just couldn’t picture it.

As luck would have it, three months later, Sandra at Sawdust and Paper Scraps just completed my dream office in her home!

Sawdust and Paper Scraps Built-in Dream Office Come to Life

She posted the pictures on Remodelaholic. Hey Sandra, thanks for taking too long to finish it. Just kidding. But, If she had posted her pictures three months ago, our office may have looked very different.

Sometimes fate is a good thing, and in this case I am thrilled with the end result of our home office and it is all thanks to an inspiration I had when I found two of these:

$15 for a pair of solid wood doors with beautiful cherry stain on one side. 
I snatched them up at a church yard sale! You can imagine the look on Pretty Handsome Guy’s face when I came home with these hanging out the back of my car. “Um, don’t we already have doors on all our doorways?”  I answered with one word, “Potential.”
We didn’t do a thing to the doors except to remove the hardware and use the hinges in other rooms of our home. The stain color was a perfect match to our existing furniture. 

If you look back at some of our earlier posts you have been privy to some of the changes we made in the office.

 

Well, we finally put the finishing touches on the room, and I’m ready to show you the results.

New window treatments, and freshly scraped and painted ceilings.

 FIVE! Yes, count them, five ceiling light fixtures.
4 can lights + 1 drum shade pendant = 5 glorious ceiling lights
where there were ZERO, ZIP, NONE before!

A corner bistro table where we can sit and have coffee.
I can meet with graphic design clients. 
But, mostly so the kids can color, work on homework or
someday start a blog called MyMomIsPrettyCrazyGirl.com
Enough about those crazy kids. This is where I blog!
So, do you see my inspiration door?
Here is a hint: There is a layer of custom cut glass on top,
and a keyboard tray mounted underneath.

Plus a hole to run the cords through.

 How about now? Do you see it now? The doors are our desktops.
This is where I blog, design, and work! 
So open and airy.

We simply stacked the two doors on top of one another.

 And bought two pedestal file cabinets from Office Depot.
(I had to cut the legs shorter on this one to accommodate for the
difference in height with the two doors stacked.)
And voila! Two desks in an “L” shape.
No more back-to-back working.
Plus, lots of natural light bouncing around.
 
In the corner under the two doors, is an $8 yard sale bookcase that holds my computer, back up drive, CDs, books, and more supplies. It is hidden underneath, which is a good thing, because it desperately needs a little TLC.

The doors may have been my inspiration then,
but having a view out this window brings me loads of inspiration now!

This room is so special to us. We can sit and work, talk, catch up, and the boys have a great spot in the corner to color or practice reading on Starfall.com

The color paint we used is: Benjamin Moore Aura paint in Hot Spring Stones. It is the perfect warm gray beige color (in my opinion). The rug is from Home Goods. Curtains from Overstock.com. And fabric on chair, bistro table, and bookshelf back is called Fermini Sky. The drum shade pendant was from Amazon.com.

Curious where other bloggers blog? Check out the “Where do you blog? Party”  at Centsational Girl’s site today!

Want to see more amazing Before and After Transformations? Check out the Before & After Competition on the CSI Project today.

Visit thecsiproject.com