If you like Ikea’s Hemnes line of furniture, Ikea Hacks, distressed vintage-looking home decor, and the idea of organized electronics, you will LOVE my DIY Electronics Charging Cabinet! I have wanted a charging station for years now and being the couple who loves to make things themselves, I knew we’d be DIYing a solution. After we moved, that idea turned from a small counter-top charging station into a charging CABINET.
There was a wall in our living room that I was convinced needed a tall printers cabinet. As soon as that idea popped into my head, it made complete sense to jump over to a printers cabinet converted into a charging cabinet. And there I was drooling over this:
BUT $478 + shipping was just too steep a cost for us. And I couldn’t see myself tearing apart the back of this beauty for the charging station. So I pinned this image and kept going back to it, waiting for a sale to convince me to grab it. Instead, I had the idea to hack Ikea’s Hemnes 5 drawer dresser and I’m so happy I did!Like #IKEAhacks, vintage decor, & organization? You'll LOVE this #DIY Charging Cabinet! Click To Tweet
IKEA HACK – PART 1
Why did I pick the Hemnes 5 drawer dresser from Ikea? Because I have the other two dressers in my master bedroom, I know for a fact that the Hemnes line is solid wood and not particle board. It’s not heavy or hard wood, but it’s still solid and sandable. So here are the steps I took as soon as I got the unassembled pieces home and unpacked from their boxes.
- Set aside the drawer faces and frames and assemble the rest of the unit according to instructions.
- Take the drawer faces and measure out the faux drawers. For me it was leave the top drawer as-is, divide the second drawer into 3 faux drawers, and the last 3 drawers were divided into halves. I marked my measurements and drew lines with a pencil and straight edge.
- The faux drawers were accomplished by running my Ryobi circular saw along the lines I just drew. But first, make sure you adjust the blade to a shallow depth you would like the grooves to be. And then clamp a guide (I used a long level) to the drawer. Now you’re ready for the first groove. These were fast and easy to get through – clamp, measure, cut, repeat.
- The grooves were now bare wood so I grabbed some dark stain I had on hand (it happened to be Varathane stain in Kona) and darkened the grooves.
- As the drawers dried, I went back to the assembled cabinet frame and used an orbital sander (here’s ours) to sand the edges and some strategically placed spots. Grit will depend on how much you want to take off and how smooth you want it to be. I recommend sticking to the finer grits though. This is where you can get creative and really make the piece your own. Just be careful because as soon as you touch the sander to a section, you’re committed. For spots that needed a more detailed touch (like the inside edge of the legs), I used my Ryobi Multi-tool with a sander attachment.
- I went back to the drawers and did the same thing as in step 5, using the multi-tool sander for the edges of the newly cut grooves.
- Wipe down everything with a damp cloth.
- Pick a favorite stain for the sanded spots on your frame and drawer faces. I chose Varathane stain in Colonial Maple. This is the only step I wish I could do over – I would have been a lot more careful with the stain and probably would have used a small brush for a precise application. Instead, I impatiently used a rag thinking I could completely wipe off the excess. As can be seen in some of the images below, there’s still smudges of dried stain on the cabinet – betrayed by my camera! Overall though, I love the result of my efforts.
- After everything is dried, assemble the drawers and install the sliders. Leave the back off the cabinet and proceed to part 2 for the charging station instructions.
IKEA HACK – PART 2
Now for the fun part – ok, I enjoyed all parts. But this was the part where my plan comes to fruition (YAY). Below is a list of everything we used:
- Nylon Cable Clamps – these come in lots of sizes so make sure you choose ones large enough to fit the cables
- 8 ft Power Cord Cable
- (2) Power Strip Surge Protectors – I wanted both USB ports and a place to plug in other proprietary chargers PLUS these strips have enough power output in the USB ports to charge my tablet. Make sure to confirm that before choosing your power strips.
- Command Strips for the Power Strips
- (2) 4-pack Anker 1 ft micro USB cords
- Desk Sorter
Here we go:
- Attach the power strips to the back of the top two drawers using the command strips.
- We opened the drawers all the way so that we could make sure the cords of the power strips were at the right length for the drawers to fully open. Then we took a cable clamp and attached each cord near the back of the cabinet. Make sure your screws are short enough that they don’t go through the side of the cabinet and the heads of the screws are large enough so that they don’t slip through the holes in the clamps. I added a second clamp lower in each drawer to keep the cord from pulling on the power strip. You’ll have to adjust your configuration for your own situation.
- We let the power strip cords dangle out the back of the drawers while we attached the end of the power cord cable to the underside of the cabinet top. This was a little awkward but it worked. We got a cord clamp around the end of the power cord cable (see images below) and screwed that in. Then we placed more clamps along the power cord cable going all the way down the back of the cabinet.
- Finally, we tied up the excess cable and plugged it into our wall outlet behind the cabinet then plugged the 2 power strips into the power cord cable.
- I added the 1ft micro USB cords to both power strips and placed the desk sorter into the second drawer. I keep an Apple cable in the drawer in case guests with Apple devices come over and need a charge.
Now there’s plenty of room to charge multiple phones, tablets, cameras, wearables and more in the top 2 drawers without cluttering up our kitchen counters and we know exactly where everything is. Added bonus, I’ve designated the bottom 3 drawers as electronics storage so one has batteries and chargers and the other two have remotes and anything else considered an electronic.
I hope you enjoyed seeing my DIY Electronics Charging Cabinet! Does it inspire you to make your own? I would love to see them, so tag me on social media @techmomogy if you share. Good luck!