What Day Is It?, a.k.a., I Share a Project with You

04 11 2014 what day is it 1

Even when I had a full-time job, I would often get confused as to what day it was. The first thing that kept me really, really anchored were the very strict task repetition of my job based on what day it was. The other one was my planner. Luckily, I only have one of those anymore. The downside is than I occasionally I forget things like that it’s might be Wednesday and time to post my One Shot. Oops. So since it’s Friday and wonderfully sunny and inspiring, I want to share my most recent project with you.

Between my husband and myself, we have three phones. Not so unusual. But our daughter was also given an old iPod recently which comes in really handy for things like sitting through a refinancing meeting. But that means four devices to charge, and I hated having them just wherever they landed. Because sometimes that would mean a random phone on top of my library books or balanced on the couch or god knows where. Add to that the fun of hunting down chargers and then a spot to plug them in. And I know I am not the first person to have this issue because the internet is littered with tutorials on turning a multitude of things into pretty, functional charging stations. Bread boxes, photo boxes, even a small milk jug for the single phone folks. So instead of getting mad, I got to sewing.

A few weeks before, I had seen a fun post at Alisa Burke’s blog about some canvas toy bags she made for her house. Her spin on a really simple and commonplace bag got me to thinking. If it works for large clutter, it will probably work for small. A friend had given me a few rolls of canvas before she moved away, so I pulled out one a set to work. I have sewn enough bags before to know about what size and dimension would work without measuring, so I grabbed this l-shaped scrap and got to work. If you are new to sewing bags or buckets of any kind, I recommend not doing that. It would super suck to create a canvas that was the perfect color or pattern, but the wrong size. I am not going to re-write a tutorial that is posted aaalllll over the internet, so check out Alisa’s original post for the actual how-to. Here I am just going to share a few process shots and the few things I did different to make this functional charging station.

Here is the finished canvas just after I cut it. Now I have one more awesome scrap for something else.

Here is the finished canvas just after I cut it. Now I have one more awesome scrap for something else.

I found these aluminum clips at a garage sale for $1. They work really well for odd sewing items like this that are too heavy for pins.

I found these aluminum clips at a garage sale for $1. They work really well for odd sewing items like this that are too heavy for pins.

My daughter is always begging to paint, so this was a perfect project for the two of us. To keep it from getting too messy, I told her she could only pick three colors for the first layer. No big shock, she chose pink and red. She added blue because “it’s Mommy’s favorite color”. She is such a sweetie! After that, we just dove in. I more or less let her do her thing with the occasional reminder that part of collaboration is making sure both of our work shows. She is finally old enough to understand working side by side without stomping each other out is really fun. The next day, we came back through with the metallic of her choice, copper. These colors are so far from what I would’ve chosen, but I love how they turned out. And she was so proud of herself, and that’s way more important than me being a control freak. After the painting was done, I trimmed it into a rectangle, folded and clipped. We both got to sew it up together.

Gotta love hearts and dots.

Gotta love hearts and dots.

The less good side. I won't say it's bad, just not my favorite.

The less good side. I won’t say it’s bad, just not my favorite.

So close to done!

So close to done!

Flipping it inside out was a beast because the canvas with paint was so stiff. But that’s what you really want in a free-standing basket. After it was all sewn up, there was a definite good side and less good side. You can see in the third picture below that I left the inside unpainted. None of that would be visible anyway, so why waste the paint?

I opted for diamond holes so they were large enough for the charging end of the cord, but the cords get hung up in the corner and don't slide.

I opted for diamond holes so they were large enough for the charging end of the cord, but the cords get hung up in the corner and don’t slide.

Cardboard meets canvas for a supercheap charger.

Cardboard meets canvas for a super cheap charger.

To make it a functional charging station, the basket needs a power strip. I cut a slit about three inches long at the bottom back corner. Next, I took a glossy black piece of cardboard that happened to be the perfect size (lucky), folded it and cut out four diamond holes for all the charger cords to run through. I also left it nice and tall so the cords aren’t crammed against the strip…it feels like that would be a hazard. So power strip in basket, cord through hole, chargers into power strip, charger cords through cardboard and cardboard into canvas basket. Then I plugged it in and put it on a shelf I got four years ago and had never even hung up. I am glad that shelf is finally getting used. It was $7 with a mirror. Super deal! From the picture just above, you can see where I folded the top edges of the basket inward. I feel like that makes it look a bit more finished. Because clearly a high-class, expensive charging station was the look I was going for.

With a charging station, I now feel like I have something resembling an adult entryway.

With a charging station, I now feel like I have something resembling an adult entryway.

With a kid helping, this took a bit longer than it would’ve on my own. But I am really happy my daughter helped. She has so much fun, and I know it’s good for her confidence and skills. Plus, when I work on a project with someone else, I do a better job of focusing on the best parts of it rather than what I would change. So overall, a win. For us, for organization and for my sanity.

Happy Friday all!

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