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Make a Charging Station Drop Box - An Upcycling Bandana Box Project Demo

Updated on September 14, 2014

DIY charging station drop box

Source

Does it drive you nuts to have to hunt for keys, phones, flash drives and the like?

Here's a simple idea for DIY organizational storage. The materials needed are common and most likely already laying around the house.

I was scoping out charging stations at the mall recently. I like the charging mats, but I also like the idea of having all the little electronics I'm becoming too dependent upon in one place with a lid to keep my kitty from "inspecting" everything.

So anyhow, I'm chatting with my friend and come across a darling charging station that was actually a wooden box. It had compartments for various small item storage and was just the cutest thing.

What I thought I loved, I quickly grew to dislike when I glanced at the price. For a decorated box, for really that's all any such type of storage is, they wanted over $50.00. I think not, in a big time kind of way.

Lined upcycled DIY charging station from box, napkins and bandanna
Lined upcycled DIY charging station from box, napkins and bandanna | Source

Ranging from free to less than five dollars is what this project will cost you.

It's all basic stuff.

One of the things I really like about the idea of doing some décor with bandannas and napkins is that for very little or no money, depending on your closet and crafting stash, you can get several coordinated pieces.

Follow along in the picture galleries to see how the charging station with compartments in the introductory image was made.

After that, scope on a few videos showing some other cool bandanna crafts and how to instructional videos. Be it high school, off to college, first apartment or downsizing, there are times décor is required.

It's nice to have some ideas for how to obtain it without putting a dent in the budget.

Materials:

Box, smaller box, cardboard

Paper napkins, bandanna, ribbon

Brushes, scissors, stamps, ink, ruler, marker, box cutter

Hot glue gun and glue or white glue, Mod Podge or white glue and tape

Step by step instructions are in the photo gallery below.

When you click through the photographs, you will see detailed instructions in the captions. This is an easy project that can be whipped up pretty fast.

How to make the charging station drop box:

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The stuff needed. Add to this tape, a ruler and a box cutter.Begin doing any cutting needed on the box. Mine had a fold in lid, so I cut the fold in part off leaving just a simple top.Do any cutting needed to make the tray and on the smaller box. We will use it to make an interior compartment. Tape it shut as needed.The smaller box and a cardboard folded insert will make the compartmental dividers within our charging station.Draw and cut out an opening in the back for electrical cords to go through.This is a pretty thick box, so I used a box cutter rather than fight it with scissors.Use stamps and ink to decorate the napkins. I used about 12 all told.For the tray liner.For the open compartment liner.For the side walls.TRICK - Spray the napkins with hair spray immediately after stamping to seal the ink. Doing this step will ensure your ink doesn't run when glued.Let it dry. Apply a second coat. When it is dry, start lining and gluing down the interior compartments.Be sure to cut and fold over the lining in the back where you cut a hole for the electrical cords.The inside of the station is done for now.
The stuff needed. Add to this tape, a ruler and a box cutter.
The stuff needed. Add to this tape, a ruler and a box cutter. | Source
Begin doing any cutting needed on the box. Mine had a fold in lid, so I cut the fold in part off leaving just a simple top.
Begin doing any cutting needed on the box. Mine had a fold in lid, so I cut the fold in part off leaving just a simple top. | Source
Source
Do any cutting needed to make the tray and on the smaller box. We will use it to make an interior compartment. Tape it shut as needed.
Do any cutting needed to make the tray and on the smaller box. We will use it to make an interior compartment. Tape it shut as needed. | Source
Source
The smaller box and a cardboard folded insert will make the compartmental dividers within our charging station.
The smaller box and a cardboard folded insert will make the compartmental dividers within our charging station. | Source
Draw and cut out an opening in the back for electrical cords to go through.
Draw and cut out an opening in the back for electrical cords to go through. | Source
This is a pretty thick box, so I used a box cutter rather than fight it with scissors.
This is a pretty thick box, so I used a box cutter rather than fight it with scissors. | Source
Source
Use stamps and ink to decorate the napkins. I used about 12 all told.
Use stamps and ink to decorate the napkins. I used about 12 all told. | Source
Source
For the tray liner.
For the tray liner. | Source
For the open compartment liner.
For the open compartment liner. | Source
For the side walls.
For the side walls. | Source
TRICK - Spray the napkins with hair spray immediately after stamping to seal the ink. Doing this step will ensure your ink doesn't run when glued.
TRICK - Spray the napkins with hair spray immediately after stamping to seal the ink. Doing this step will ensure your ink doesn't run when glued. | Source
Let it dry. Apply a second coat. When it is dry, start lining and gluing down the interior compartments.
Let it dry. Apply a second coat. When it is dry, start lining and gluing down the interior compartments. | Source
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Source
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Be sure to cut and fold over the lining in the back where you cut a hole for the electrical cords.
Be sure to cut and fold over the lining in the back where you cut a hole for the electrical cords. | Source
The inside of the station is done for now.
The inside of the station is done for now. | Source

Is it a planter? A charging station? It's both!

Charging Station
Charging Station

This is the cutest charger I have ever seen. I have yet to figure out how they did it or I'd be making one of these!

 

Charging stations really help keep things organized, uncluttered and functioning. Modern life has us so dependent on electronics.

Such devices can be highly useful and great fun, but only until the charge is gone then you're just out of luck.

Everything needs to charge these days.

Be sure you can meet your charging needs in various environments from the car to the classroom, the beach to the bedroom or anywhere in between.

Keeping the lid closed keeps the kitty from playing with my phone.

Closed drop boxes are impervious to kitties!
Closed drop boxes are impervious to kitties! | Source

Closed, all my stuff is safe from being a kitty toy. Seriously, smaller items like flash drives and voice recorders are irresistible to Sammie Cat. She will have it on the floor in a second and three seconds after that it's lost under the couch.

Hair spray seals
Hair spray seals | Source

Crafting tip -

Hair spray is for more than your do.

I love stamping but I hate how the inks or marker bleed out when glue is applied, unless I'm going for a tie dye or "drippy" look.

Spraying the freshly stamped papers with a liberal amount of hair spray seals the ink preventing bleed out later.

This works for pastels, marker, ink, and chalk. I don't really understand how it works on ink, since hair spray will also remove ink stains from clothing, but it does.

Should things be used for purposes other than that which they were designed?

How to do the outside of the drop box charging station.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
I cut my bandanna in half vertically.  You will need to play around with it in relation to your box before cutting to get the coverage needed.Line it up on the lid the way you like and glue it down.Be sure to fold over any cut lines for a cleaner looking line.  Here, I started on the front wall.  Each side was a separate cut piece.When cutting, try to save as much intact pattern as you can for use on the side walls.Glue down the little edges and overlap for complete coverage.Be sure to do the inside flaps on the lid.I tried to get this boarder perfectly lined up on the sides but, NOT!  It slid in the back corners.  No worries.  A ribbon border will fix it.To line the lid, cover it with note cards, construction paper or cardstock, otherwise the pink of the bandanna will show through.Go over the note cards with overlapping, stamped, sprayed napkins and glue down everything.Make a slit and trim the bandanna to keep the hole in the back accessible.Apply Mod Podge liberally to the inside and outside of the box.  I did three coats.  The smaller brush worked  well for me inside.The large brush makes the outside go faster.  Allow plenty of dry time.  Crank up the jams and grab a cookie.
I cut my bandanna in half vertically.  You will need to play around with it in relation to your box before cutting to get the coverage needed.
I cut my bandanna in half vertically. You will need to play around with it in relation to your box before cutting to get the coverage needed. | Source
Line it up on the lid the way you like and glue it down.
Line it up on the lid the way you like and glue it down. | Source
Be sure to fold over any cut lines for a cleaner looking line.  Here, I started on the front wall.  Each side was a separate cut piece.
Be sure to fold over any cut lines for a cleaner looking line. Here, I started on the front wall. Each side was a separate cut piece. | Source
Source
When cutting, try to save as much intact pattern as you can for use on the side walls.
When cutting, try to save as much intact pattern as you can for use on the side walls. | Source
Source
Glue down the little edges and overlap for complete coverage.
Glue down the little edges and overlap for complete coverage. | Source
Source
Be sure to do the inside flaps on the lid.
Be sure to do the inside flaps on the lid. | Source
I tried to get this boarder perfectly lined up on the sides but, NOT!  It slid in the back corners.  No worries.  A ribbon border will fix it.
I tried to get this boarder perfectly lined up on the sides but, NOT! It slid in the back corners. No worries. A ribbon border will fix it. | Source
To line the lid, cover it with note cards, construction paper or cardstock, otherwise the pink of the bandanna will show through.
To line the lid, cover it with note cards, construction paper or cardstock, otherwise the pink of the bandanna will show through. | Source
Go over the note cards with overlapping, stamped, sprayed napkins and glue down everything.
Go over the note cards with overlapping, stamped, sprayed napkins and glue down everything. | Source
Make a slit and trim the bandanna to keep the hole in the back accessible.
Make a slit and trim the bandanna to keep the hole in the back accessible. | Source
Apply Mod Podge liberally to the inside and outside of the box.  I did three coats.  The smaller brush worked  well for me inside.
Apply Mod Podge liberally to the inside and outside of the box. I did three coats. The smaller brush worked well for me inside. | Source
The large brush makes the outside go faster.  Allow plenty of dry time.  Crank up the jams and grab a cookie.
The large brush makes the outside go faster. Allow plenty of dry time. Crank up the jams and grab a cookie. | Source
Source

Empty walls are boring and depressing.

Traditional art can get pricey.

Check this out for a quick, cheap but good looking alternative to what normally passes as art.

How to Make a DIY Framed Bandanna by Teen Vogue

Dirt cheap bandanna décor ideas.

This is a great way to decorate any room on a shoestring budget. Lampshades and a bulletin board would be super easy to pull off. Bringing the same bandanna pattern into a few places within the space ties it all together.

Bountiful Bandanna Ideas - Four Fun Projects You Can Make created by CountrySamplerMag.

Non "Fine" Art

What's your favorite non-traditional art form?

See results

Whatever your decorating desires, keep DIY crafting as an option.

It's fun, easy, and cost friendly. Grab some gal pals and give some bandanna chic projects a whirl to tunes and munchies.

You will have an entire room full of cool stuff before you know it and have a blast in the process.

© 2013 Rhonda Lytle

What are your thoughts on upcycled storage?

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    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
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      Rhonda Lytle 3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @Lynda Makara: Thank you! I do too but in all honesty there is one member of the family that just hates it, Sammie. She can't get to stuff :). Poor kitty.

    • Lynda Makara profile image

      Lynda Makara 3 years ago from California

      This is a very clever idea. I like how the contents are organized and concealed at the same time.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @Lynn Klobuchar: :) Thanks. I want to try another one, not so girly. I wonder if I could simulate the look of leather with brown napkins and sealant? Food for future project :)

    • Lynn Klobuchar profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 3 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      Like this!

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @ecogranny: Thank you. I really like the idea of doing a bandanna room. I keep threatening it. God bless and happy squidding!

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @Corrinna-Johnson: Ah, my nemesis... clutter! Thanks bunches for taking the time to read and comment. God bless.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @Diana Wenzel: Thank you so much. God bless and most happiest of squidding!

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @JennAshton: Thank you :). God bless.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Terrific idea! Thanks for the step-by-step, and for the additional decorating ideas.

    • Corrinna-Johnson profile image

      Corrinna Johnson 4 years ago from BC, Canada

      Awesome idea! I am always looking for ways to discreetly charge all our electronics without cluttering up our counters.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      Love your creativity. Worth way more than $50. Congrats on your feature!

    • JennAshton profile image

      Jenn Ashton 4 years ago from Canada

      Super clever - I love it!