DIY charging station

I’ve been thinking a great deal about do-it-yourself projects lately (the economy has that effect on me), and wanted to share a favorite find. Blogger Zakka Life posted directions on her site for creating a cell phone charging station out of an old lotion bottle:

Simple, recycled, and space saving — a trifecta of uncluttering!

Thanks to reader Adora for the initial link.

37 Comments for “DIY charging station”

  1. posted by Amanda on

    So awesome and creative.

  2. posted by Bill on

    Be careful with this. The plug isn’t meant to hold a cell phone (or iPod, etc) and it probably isn’t the best idea to straddle anything, even non-conducting, across the live prongs.

  3. posted by FrightenedByPenguins on

    Looks like a pretty neat little solution, I was expecting this to be one of those conplex ikea type hacks but its a nice simple thing that you could use on any gadget.

    Taking into account Bill previous comment though it could maybe do with a little tweaking. :?

  4. posted by Lose That Girl on

    I think it’s a bit ugly. Something more attractive would be more ideal.

  5. posted by L. on

    I agree: it’s really ugly. Also most of us are charging more than one electronic item at a time, so we need a charging station with multiple jacks.

  6. posted by Michele on

    Clever! As long as the cats leave it alone, I’m golden.

  7. posted by Peter (a different one) on

    I think it’s a nice solution. If you are worried about the weight of the phone, I’d suggest drilling a hole in the holder to line line up with the screw that holds the outlet plate on and use that screw to secure the holder.

  8. posted by T on

    Usually I think these suggestions are kind of dumb, but I rather like this one! I agree with the poster above that if you’re actually worried about the weight issue, you could just as easily screw it on…

  9. posted by Bill on

    @ Different Peter; I like that idea. Might need to use something sturdier than a lotion bottle for material though.

  10. posted by Carmen on

    That is awesome. I cannot wait to try it…

  11. posted by Shalin on

    Clever, clever. Ready to send to “Ready Made” :)

  12. posted by Darci on

    Brilliant! Thanks for the clever project! DIY *and* recycling make my heart squee!

  13. posted by Sergejs on

    I don’t want to sound offensive but I think that this little project doesn’t do anything good besides add more clutter. Isn’t it more simple just to have the phone or other device lay down on the floor besides the outlet? Yeah, I know that it isn’t the best method etc. but it doesn’t create any clutter. Atleast I do that all the time with no problems and no clutter.

  14. posted by DIY Charging Station Charges and Stores Your Small Electronics [Clutter] | project-elite.net on

    […] Over at the craft blog Zakka Life they’ve put together a simple tutorial for making a simple cradle you can hang right on the outlet. The project is similar to previously reviewed Socket Pocket with a big difference in price tag. The Socket Pocket is $15, the DIY project pictured here is made from a bottle of lotion. Assuming you have a similar empty bottle from your own bathroom the only cost is the few minutes you’ll spend making it. The tutorial at Zakka Life has step by step pictures and more information about the project. Cellphone Holder for Charging [via Unclutterer] […]

  15. posted by bmk on

    Here’s an idea that’s perhaps not beautiful, but certainly easy!

    http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=np1942&s=5

    My charger has a little beveled edge where the cord goes over without touching any live electric components.

  16. posted by Mark on

    I’m going to try it.

    It’s not pretty, but it’s no more unsightly than a charger with the wire running to the device on the floor. You could always decorate the outside of the lotion bottle.

    The plastic would not have to rest on across the prongs of the plug and how much does a cell phone + 1/2 lotion bottle weigh? The plug would be supporting the weight of the charger anyway.

    I will make mine slightly deeper to hold two devices and so the charger can be oriented with the cord pointing downward.

  17. posted by Java Monster on

    That’s a nice idea. If only I had an outlet like that, with no other powerchargers nearby. :-(

    I just let my cell phone or PDA rest on the counter next to the wall phone to charge up after everyone else has left the house and my husband can’t complain about the cords.

  18. posted by Karyn on

    I just sit my phone on a shelf next to the power strip. It looks fine, no worse than the old-school phone-on-a-desk, but a lot more compact. ;-)

  19. posted by Outlet-Hanging Charge Station For Your Small Gadgets [DIY] - 794th Edition | Technology Revealed on

    […] Craft blog Zakka Life put together a simple tutorial for making a cradle that’s perfect for single, regularly-charged items—the kinds of things you dump out of your pockets upon returning home. The project is similar to previously reviewed Socket Pocket, with a big difference in price tag. The Socket Pocket is $15; the DIY project pictured here is made from a bottle of lotion. Assuming you have a similar empty bottle from your own bathroom, the only cost is the few minutes you’ll spend making it. The tutorial at Zakka Life has step-by-step pictures and more information about how to make it work for your wall. Cellphone Holder for Charging [via Unclutterer] […]

  20. posted by Outlet-Hanging Charge Station For Your Small Gadgets - Softsaurus.org on

    […] Craft blog Zakka Life put together a simple tutorial for making a cradle that’s perfect for single, regularly-charged items—the kinds of things you dump out of your pockets upon returning home. The project is similar to previously reviewed Socket Pocket, with a big difference in price tag. The Socket Pocket is $15; the DIY project pictured here is made from a bottle of lotion. Assuming you have a similar empty bottle from your own bathroom, the only cost is the few minutes you’ll spend making it. The tutorial at Zakka Life has step-by-step pictures and more information about how to make it work for your wall. Cellphone Holder for Charging [via Unclutterer] […]

  21. posted by Chris on

    Seconding Bill. It seems really dangerous to bridge anything across the prongs. I could see it being safer if it was somehow mounted to the plug itself.

  22. posted by infmom on

    Our “charging station” is a small wooden crate originally designed to hold CDs. It sits on a shelf in the office next to a switched power bar. The chargers are stored in the crate until the time comes to use them, at which point we turn on the power bar and plug in the charger.

    Keeps all those wall warts neatly corralled, and we don’t use power unless we need it.

  23. posted by RoaringSilence on

    The idea of screwing it into the wall is wonderful for several reasons:

    – it keeps the weight off the plug

    – you won’t have to put the station somewhere when it’s not in use

    – Of course you don’t leave the charger plugged in when not in use (saving energy), so you can just put it in the station as well.

    And to everyone who said this is ugly: get a little creative people! Paint it or glue rhinestones to it, or a Boba Fett mask or something! lol

  24. posted by Annie Pazoo on

    This is genius – recycling/upcycling, and functional. And since the hole could be positioned so that the plastic doesn’t rest against the prongs, it seems pretty safe to me (a cell phone doesn’t weight THAT much). Great idea.

  25. posted by Dave on

    As for leaving the charger plugged in all the time, I had mine plugged into a Kill-A-Watt for sometime, if the phone was not conected it did not use any mesurable power, less then 1 watt,

  26. posted by Splomo on

    For safety, to keep the plastic from possibly touching metal plug parts, make the hole a little larger and hang the whole rig on a childproof cap placed in the vacant outlet adjacent.

    And for those who think it’s ugly, one could stow it behind a curtain or a piece of furniture where it will be handy, yet out of sight. I like it … gotta make one!

    It has me thinking … the maple syrup jug has an interesting shape. And the kids’ shampoo comes in fun colored bottles. Looks like I’ll be raiding the recycling bin, especially for the plastics not picked up by my community’s curbside service.

  27. posted by Ted on

    Looks like a fire hazard to me.

  28. posted by Wes on

    I have to agree with an earlier poster. It does seem that this is a unitasker. It holds a cell phone, but so could a desk or a table that’s already there. Or the floor if you have to I guess. If the holder isn’t mounted to the wall then you have to find a place to put it when your cell phone is unplugged creating clutter. If it is mounted to the wall, if you decide to go to another room, you’re left without it and need to install it on other outlets.

  29. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Wes and others — If an item has utility, it’s not a “unitasker” in the way we use the term. Toilets, fire extinguishers, and clothes hangers are perfect examples of useful, single-use items. It’s when an object only has one use AND doesn’t get used that it qualifies as a “unitasker.” If someone used this charging station on a daily basis, it wouldn’t be a unitasker.

  30. posted by chaotic kitten on

    I love this idea. And maybe a plain white one isn’t pretty, but a lot of cosmetics bottles come in all sorts of colours and designs now, so I’m sure there’d be a way forward.

    Thank you :)

  31. posted by Carol on

    This concept is wonderful. If you like it, check out a wonderful handy product made just for this purpose at http://www.cpdocks.com. The EZ Mount (includes a handy key hook) and the Plug-in Shelf are both UL approved, so no plastic touches prongs of live electricity. It’s all one piece with a handy shelf for your cellphone or PDA and a cleat for your cord. My neighbor has one and loves it!

  32. posted by DYI Charging Station « brazoscowgirl.com on

    […] Unclutterer has a great way for you to use a lotion bottle. Zakka Life had the original idea, but took it down after comments. I wish I could tell you what the problem is, but the comments are gone. […]

  33. posted by Outlet-Hanging Charge Station For Your Small Gadgets | ???? on

    […] and more information about how to make it work for your wall. Cellphone Holder for Charging via UncluttererShare/SaveFirst Look at Ubuntu 9.04 "Jaunty Jackalope" BetaOpera 10.0 Build 1413 […]

  34. posted by chaotic kitten on

    I loved this idea so much I linked to it from my blog. I’m waiting to finish my prettiest bottle of bath bubbles to give it a go :)

  35. posted by Jo on

    FYI, the blogger with the original instructions removed them from her site a year ago, citing numerous comments on the safety issue.

    However, I think that the suggestion above from Splomo is probably adequate, and I like it the best: make the hanger hole large enough to slip over a childproof plug in the top outlet.

    If you have a counter or shelf nearby, by all means – use it! If not, this is a neat and inexpensive holder, IMO.

  36. posted by Malcolm on

    Good idea, although it does add to the clutter of the cords and chargers. There cannot be any safety issue – the power supply itself is encased in plastic – that is because plastic does not conduct electricity, at least not at the sort of voltages we use in domestic dwellings.

    My Nokia charger has a flat upper edge plenty big enough to simply rest the mobile phone on when it is charging – in other words the charger itself is a small shelf. Perfect solution. Next time you buy a phone, make sure its charger can be used like that!

  37. posted by Nicky H on

    This is brilliant. I can also see it hanging in my car, holding my phone so I have the cup holder back to put my Frappaccino in!

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