DIY Vintage Book iPhone Charger for $2.17!

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I’ve had an alarm clock/radio on my nightstand FOREVER!  I had one as a kid and as I’ve grown up, I’ve always continued to keep one next to my bed.  At first, I actually used it as an alarm but as technology changed, I started using my phone as my alarm.  So of course, I then upgraded my clock/radio to include an iPhone charging station.  Recently, though, the charging portion broke and I was then left with just a clock/radio.  What?  When was the last time I even used it as a clock/radio?  Really, all I need is a spot to charge my iPhone and since it will be on my nightstand, it might as well look good, right?  I was then on the hunt for the perfect charger!

I came across these vintage book chargers on Anthropologie’s website.  Love these but don’t love the $68 price tag!

anthropologie vintage book iPhone charger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instead, I decided to make my own.  Here’s what I did:

Materials Needed:

  • 2 Hardcover Books
  • iPhone charging cord
  • Craft knife
  • Glue

Instructions:

1. Find a Book: I bought a used hardcover book on sale for $2.17.  I could have used a book I already had, but since I’d be destroying the book and because I wanted it to match the decor of my bedroom, I decided it was better to buy a used book.  Remember that the color of the dust jacket doesn’t matter since you’ll be removing this to expose the hardcover below.

used book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Measure: Please the head of the plug on the book and trace around it.  This is a bit tricky because of the cord, which doesn’t allow you to place it flat on the book’s surface.  I choose to put the metal side of the plug on the book and then eyeball the dimensions of the plastic part.  My advise is to not place your plug too close to the edge of the book; otherwise, as you’re cutting (especially for the cord channel), you’ll wind up ripping some of the pages and exposing the cord through the side of the book.

3.  Cut the Cover:  Once you have your plug outlined, it’s time to cut through the cover of the book.  I used a craft knife  (X-Acto knife) to make my cuts.  I used several small, smooth cuts until I finally made it through the thickness of the book’s cover.  Once the hole is made, push your plug through from the back to the front to ensure that the hole is big enough and that you have a snug fit.

4.  Cut the Pages:  Once you have your hole in the cover, start to cut through the pages below.  You’ll need to cut down far enough to accommodate the entire depth of the plug head plus the bend in the cord.  If you don’t cut down far enough, your plug will sit up high on your book and won’t look as clean as it otherwise could.  Also, I would advise that you cut at a slight angle so that they plug can sit angled slightly back for a better fit on the charger.

5. Cut a Cord Channel:  Once you have cut a space for the plug, you’ll then need to cut out a channel for the cord to run to the back of the book (so that you can plug into the wall).  Again, make sure it’s deep enough into the book so that the cord doesn’t keep the book from closing all the way.

6.  Put in Place and Glue:  When all of your channels and cuts are made, feed the plug through the book up through the cover.  You’ll need just a bit of the white plastic head to protrude from the book’s cover in order to ensure a full connection between your phone and the plug.  Once in place and you’ve tested to ensure that it works, glue the plug in place.  For this, I chose to use my hot glue gun because it’s what I had readily available, although any glue appropriate for plastic should work.  This step is important, though, otherwise, when you try to remove your phone from the charger, you’ll pull the plug out through the cover.

 

Ta-da!  You’re done!  I chose to put the charger on the bottom book I was using so that I could use the top book for added stability of the phone.  Also, my top book isn’t actually a book at all but rather a book box that I always keep on my nightstand to hold the little mementos my kids bring my (i.e. magic rocks, flowers, gemstones).

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Make Your Accessories Work for YOU

I love rearranging decorative accessories in my home to keep it feeling fresh and new!  And as much as I would love to buy new things ever time I had a whim to redecorate, it’s just not possible.  Not only would I go over budget, but I’d run out of room to store everything!  (And let’s be honest, my “extra” decor has already spilled out into a cabinet in the garage…)  Instead, I like to find new ways to use old accessories so that they do double duty.  Never be hindered by what the item was intended to be used for!

Years ago,  I purchased a wooden pedestal from Pottery Barn.  The description of the items says that it can be used for “festive presentation of everything from cheese plates to birthday cakes.”  If I limited myself to using it according to the description, I’d only get it out of storage maybe a couple of times a year, and to me, that just isn’t worth the expense.  Instead, I use it year-round as a pedestal for an olive branch display in my dining room!  The vase and olive branches alone just weren’t quite tall enough to be in scale with the mirror I have, but placing them on top of the pedestal gave me just the added height I needed!  I’ve also used the pedestal in my Thanksgiving tablescape to add some interest and height variation to the dishes, as well as to allow for more dishes to fit on the table.  Having a party?  Use the pedestal underneath a beverage dispenser to allow room for cups to fit underneath the spout!

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Similarly, wreaths look great on front doors, mirrors and even windows, but if you’re ready for a change, try using them as a centerpiece on a table to surround a display of candles.

You’ll always get the biggest bang for your buck if you make your decor items do double duty, so never hesitate to think beyond their intended purpose and make them work for you.

 
 
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Staging Your Home for Sale

First off, let’s start by defining the word “staging.”  Staging a home for sale means that you prepare it for sale in a way that will make it appeal to the greatest audience possible, welcoming everyone who sets foot in the door.  The goal is to highlight your property’s best features and to make it appear bigger and brighter.  Basically, like any product, a bit of proper marketing can make all the difference!

There are professional stagers available to can come and help you stage your home if this is something you don’t have time to tackle on your own.  But if you want to give it a try, here are some tips to get you started.

 

1. Your House is No Longer Your Home – when preparing a house for sale, it’s important to realize that once it’s listed, you’re no longer designing a space for you to live in, but rather a space that needs to appeal to every person that walks through the door!  This is often the hardest part of staging because it requires us to break the emotional attachment to our things and look at them from an outsider’s perspective.  A staged home should really look like a blank canvas that highlights the home’s attributes and allows potential buyers to see how their belongings will work within the space.

2.  Declutter – Start by clearing off all surfaces (including the floors!) of any unnecessary items such as mail, personal hygiene products, electronics, small appliances, personal photos, etc.  Examine your belongings to determine whether the items you’ve placed out are 1) really necessary and 2) widely appealing.  Yes, you might keep extra throws in a basket for your kids but the basket is taking up valuable floor space.  Since potential buyers won’t be needing extra throws as they walk through your space, I think it’s safe to put this away for now and free up the floor space and the flow of the room.  Or perhaps you love to collect and display antique dolls throughout the house.  While you might get joy from looking at them, you have to remember that not everyone will, and instead of remembering the house itself, buyers might instead only remember the dolls.  The goal of decluttering a space is to allow buyers to focus more on the home itself rather than the stuff that is within the home.

Master Bedroom Before

Master Bedroom Before Staging

Photo courtesy of Joyce Nuss of Just the Fluff Interiors

Master Bedroom After Staging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.  Create a Flow – This is your chance to review your furniture arrangement and determine whether it’s best for the HOME, not necessarily for you.  How did the architect intend for the furniture to be arranged when designing the space?  Perhaps your furniture is placed all on one side of the room so that you get a better view of the TV, but this might make the room look heavy on one side and thus smaller.  Instead, arrange the furniture in a way that opens up the space and makes the room’s features a focal point.  Also be sure that entryways in particular are open and airy, as these create a buyer’s first impression.  The goal is to allow potential buyers to easily walk from one room to another without any unexpected barriers, which makes the house seems larger and more open.

4.  Accessorize – Once you’ve decluttered and created the proper flow with your furniture, it is time to accessorize.  This might seem counter intuitive since you just spent all that time decluttering, but the purpose of accessorizing isn’t to clutter your home up again but rather to make it feel welcoming.  The accessories you choose to use when selling your house should be things that add a sense of warmth and would appeal to a broad audience.  Consider using a small plant on a side table with a few books to make a seating area look cozy.  Or a decorative container to hold kitchen utensils alongside a cookbook to give the illusion that the kitchen is functional.  No buyer needs to see every small appliance that you normally keep on your counter top but a few, well-placed accessories can help to keep a space from feeling sterile.

 

Once you’re done, it’s time to walk though your house as a buyer would.  What are your first impressions?  What do your eyes focus on as you move from room to room?  How does the home feel?  If you find that anything distracts you or put your attention on an item in the home rather than the home itself, repeat the steps above until you are satisfied that you have marketed your home to highlight its attributes, minimize its flaws and make it appealing to every person who walks through the door.

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Photos courtesy of Joyce Nuss from Just the Fluff Interiors

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