Letter Organizer Turned Chalkboard Electronics Corral

So, with three phones, one iPad, one iPod, and three kindles all needing to charge at some point, our counter was starting to look more like an electronics store than part of our kitchen. Well, technically, just four of the devices live on our kitchen counter… But that had become FOUR TOO MANY.

upcycled electronics corral 10

And although I love the very elegant and slightly genius solution of putting all of them in a designated drawer, drilling those cabinetry holes and running the electric felt a little beyond my comfort zone.

upcycled electronics corral 01 before

So when I saw this little old letter organizer at LuLu’s Consignment for about $10, I knew I had a possible device corral on my hands!

And yes, I know it’s not my taste. But the bones were good!

upcycled electronics corral 02

First I painted it the same blue as the china cabinet and then sanded it back. [But I changed the color again before I called it done, so please ignore the color if it switches back and forth a time or two through this post.]

upcycled electronics corral 03

And I found a power strip that would both provide the needed outlet for our chargers and would fit in the drawer width.

I started cutting holes in the bottom of the holder (hidden by the base) and the drawer just large enough for the plug to fit through. My initial holes weren’t quite right, making it tough to tuck the cord out of the way while pushing in the drawer. And I quickly realized that the best way to easily fit the power strip, all the plugs, and their accompanying cords out of sight was to cut out the entire bottom of the drawer and the base of the organizer. [And by “quickly,” I mean like by the, um, third or fourth time I’d cut openings in the bottom of the drawer and/or organizer. I’m swift like that.]

upcycled electronics corral 05

Anyhoo, once I finally made the call to hack the thing to bits, I proceeded the same way as pictured above: I drilled holes at the corners big enough to get my jig saw tip in, then cut out corner to corner until I’d removed the bases of the drawer and the organizer.

upcycled electronics corral 08

So now the base of the drawer and under the drawer are open. Bottomless.

upcycled electronics corral 09

Next I needed to open up the two spots to feed through the charger cords. But this wasn’t as simple because I couldn’t fit my jig saw down in there. So my less elegant solution was to drill several holes where I needed one bigger hole. [A 1″ paddle drill bit would have made this simpler and prettier, but as these two holes are in a hidden spot, I have not gone back and prettied up the openings.]

upcycled electronics corral 12

So, all that was left was to plug in all the charger cords into the power strip, thread the charger ends through the appropriate holes (phone/ipod in front and kindles in back), and tuck the the whole mess or strip and cords under the organizer out of sight. I love that the myriad cords are tucked out of sight.

upcycled electronics corral 11

So just the power strip cord sneaks out, unlike the multiple cords we had snaking all over the place before.

upcycled electronics corral 02

And it has lived in our kitchen quite happily since December. The boys know to always plug in their devices here, and I have an easy central place to keep them.

upcycled electronics corral 20

I was never quite sold on the blue for it, though, so this weekend, it got a coat of black chalkboard paint.


upcycled electronics corral 19

I’m not sure why you’re supposed to color all over chalkboard paint with the side of chalk to finish it, but I was sure to do that step too.

upcycled electronics corral 15

And now it’s great for notes, too.

upcycled electronics corral 16

Hmm… maybe a little “don’t even ask me to play until this is done” prompt…

upcycled electronics corral 17

Or, with a chalk marker, you can add the kids’ names, then check off each box with chalk to count down either the time let to play, or check off each box when game time is earned.

upcycled electronics corral 18

Also in the “don’t even ask” category would be this schedule, so kids know exactly when they can play on their devices.

upcycled electronics corral 14

It’s so much easier to maintain the mayhem when things have a place, non? Wheeee!


I love to read your comments... Do tell!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s