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How to Make a Rustic DIY Command Center

How to Make a Rustic DIY Command Center

Creating a rustic DIY command center is a simple project that anyone can do. The best part about it is that when you make it yourself you can customize it to fit the colors and style of your home, and add the features that your family needs.

DIY Command Center
Here’s the finished product hung on the wall. You can see our keys fit nicely and the hooks can hold a scarf, hat, dog leash, or even a coat. I probably won’t hang anything on them because they are so pretty… #obsessed


  • Reclaimed pallet wood
    • For frame (just for reference)
      • (2)  20 1/2″L  x 3″ W
      • (1) 20″ L x 3 1/2″ W
      • (1) 20″ L x 5 1/2″ W — the piece on the bottom I used a wider piece to hold the letter box and hooks
    • For letter box (just for reference – this will hold legal sized letters)
      • (2) 12 1/4″ L x 3 3/8″ W
      • (2) 3 ” W x 3 3/8″ W
  • Nice piece of plywood (mine is 20″ x 12″)
  • Thin 1 1/2″ wide strips of pine or poplar (any wood), or a larger piece veneer or MDF
  • 2 key hooks
  • 2 knobs
  • Primer
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Stain or Paint (optional)
  • Polyurethane sealer (recommended)
  • Trim Molding – whatever floats your boat (optional)
  • Picture hanging kit (wire & fasteners)
  • Chop Saw (or Hand Saw) to cut the wood
  • Drill / Kreg Jig / Finish Nail gun
  • Wood glue

Sand and paint plywood with chalkboard paint

Sand your 20×12″ piece of plywood so it’s nice and smooth. Wipe it down, and prime the surface. After it dries, paint a coat of chalkboard paint. Let it dry, and sand lightly with a fine grit sandpaper. Do this 3 times to get the best coverage.

paint the plywood with chalkboard paint
This is just the wood framing out my nice piece of plywood.  It’s easier to paint the plywood with chalkboard paint before you assemble the command center. This way you can be as sloppy as you want! Learn more about chalkboard paint.

Assemble the letter box

While you’re waiting for the paint to dry, let’s work on assembling the letter box / mail holder for the command center. I used wood glue and a finish nail gun to assemble the letter box. Take the two 20″ length pieces, and glue them together so they are perpendicular to each other. Nail in place. Then, take the two small blocks and flank the sides of your L with them. The back (open side) should be completely flush so that you can later connect to to your command center.

closeup of the letterbox to hold the mail on your command center
The letterbox holds the mail on your command center. Here is a closeup of mine. Just make a box without a top or a back — it won’t have a top and the back attaches to your command center. Easy peasy!

Assemble the Frame

Secure the wood for the frame. Make sure that it is nicely framing your new chalkboard. I assembled my command center from the back, so turn everything over (chalkboard painted side facing down). There are a lot of different ways you can connect this.

The frame of the command center is officially assembled around the chalkboard
There are two ways to assemble the frame to the chalkboard command center. The easiest way is to use backing the covers the whole length and width of your command center (version 1). If you don’t have that on hand, version 2 shows how to use random scraps you have laying around to make this work. 

Frame Version 1:

The easiest way is to get a piece of thin veneer or MDF and just cut it to the size of your entire message center. After it’s cut, you can use a finish nailer or screws to connect all 4 pieces of reclaimed wood and the chalkboard to one another.

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Frame Version 2:

The second way involves using 1 1/2″ wide strips of thin wood. Usually the wood is pine or poplar at the hardware store, but whatever you have on hand should work fine as long as it’s thin and you can drill or nail through it without destroying it. This way is a little more tricky/involved. Think of it as 2 steps. First, we assemble the frame that goes around the chalkboard. Then we will secure our new frame to the chalkboard.

Secure the 4 pieces of reclaimed wood to each other using a kreg jig and screws. Don’t have a kreg jig? Just use the thin 1 1/2″ wood strips. Put some wood glue on the back, and span the strip across two pieces of wood. Use a finish nailer or screws to secure the wood strip to both pieces you are connecting. If you are screwing it in, make sure you pre-drill if you do this so the thin strips of wood don’t split. Repeat 4 times to connect each piece of wood, making sure you are framing your chalkboard nice and tight.

Secure the frame to the chalkboard. Use the 1 1/2″ wood strips to build a frame in between the chalkboard plywood and your reclaimed wood. Glue the wood down, and use the finish nailer or screws to connect it. Make sure you screw and nail both pieces — the reclaimed wood AND the chalkboard. Repeat all the way around the frame (4 times).

Secure the Letterbox to the Frame

To secure the box you made in the steps above, mark the spot you want to position it, and then apply a little bit of wood glue to the back. From the back of the frame, use the finish nailer to secure it. You can also drill in from the back (slowly and carefully — after predrilling)… or even from below the letter box at an angle up and toward the back of the frame.

Add Hook & Knob Hardware

I chose 2 [awesome] globe knobs and 2 ornate key hooks and positioned them on either side of the letter box. The hooks can hold keys, and the knobs can hold a dog leash, a scarf, a hat… whatever. They both have an antique brass finish to make it look cohesive. I spent about $13 on the hardware.

To attach, just drill a pilot hole into your frame where you want them, and attach them through the back. I used a hacksaw to cut off the excess knob threads on the back side of the command center.

Decorative Brass Key Holder for the command Center

Brass globe map decorative knobs match the finish of the key hooks

Frame the Chalkboard with Molding

This is an optional step. Because reclaimed wood is not always straight, I had some gaps between the chalkboard plywood and the frame of the command center. I remedied this by adding some thin molding. I measured the distance within the frame to get the right dimensions (because the reclaimed wood was a little crooked it wasn’t exactly 20×12″). I cut the molding at 45 degree angles with a hacksaw (the chop saw was too powerful to do this and it snapped my first piece of molding).

Once the molding was cut, I sanded it a bit and painted it a nice blue to bring out the color from the knobs. .You could use wall paint, spray paint, acrylics, or even just stain and/or seal it with polyurethane. The moldings are small so just use whatever you have handy. I sanded the paint a little bit to give it a more distressed look, then added a dark furniture wax on top.

Once dry use some wood glue to secure the molding onto the chalkboard plywood. Corners not quite perfect? That’s ok! Put some paintable wood filler in the gaps, let it dry, then sand and repaint. Or leave it as-is. One of the benefits of making something look “rustic”.

Add Molding to the Command Center
You’ll notice that my molding is far from perfect (lol). That’s ok. All you have to do is fill the gaps in with a paintable or stainable wood putty and no one will ever know how bad you suck at cutting 45 degree angles 🙂

Hang Up Your New Command Center!

I used picture hanging wire that was strong enough to hold such a heavy piece.

DIY Command Center

Wrapping Up

This command center is a fun project that is really easy to customize. Choose your colors and hardware to match the style you like. Want to paint the reclaimed wood white or a nice black and white contrast? Go for it? Do you need additional hooks for keys or coats? Add some more! Want the letter box to be smaller, or not have it at all? You can customize all the details of this project to make it something truly unique and extremely functional.

If you like this post, check out my chalkboard refrigerator.

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DIY Command Center Pinterest Collage Image
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Moving Day Tips for an Organized Moving Day

Moving Day Tips for an Organized Moving Day

Imagine: Trying to relax in your new home with boxes cluttering every, single room. Sound familiar?  It shouldn’t be! Moving into a new home should be a fun and rewarding experience. After all of the stress and anxiety that comes with buying a new home, the last thing you need is to stress out about packing, moving, and unpacking. Of course, “getting settled” is number one on the priority list. But how can you be settled when things look like this?

moving and packing mess

Thinking back on my moving day experiences,  I can recall some  great moving tips to get you unpacked in an efficient, stress-free manner. Lets go over some of the best packing and moving day tip that I’ve learned over the years.

Organize Before the Move

Whether you have movers or just friends and family helping you out, the best thing you can do is organize before you move.

  • Clearly mark all your box contents and the room they need to go in ahead of time so when it’s time for the moving truck to arrive, they can quickly and easily get your items to your new home.
  • Remember to label the SIDES of the boxes, not the tops. This way, you’ll be able to identify them even if they’re stacked.  
  • It’s also a good idea to number your boxes, and make a corresponding list of what’s in each box by number. This makes it easier to make sure you didn’t forget any boxes. And, if there’s anything valuable or private in there, you won’t be broadcasting it to the world by writing it down right there on the box.
  • Making layout decisions ahead of time is also a great way to stay organized during your move. If you know where everything is going to be in your new home, you won’t have to struggle on moving day when piles of boxes and furniture are being hauled in.
  • Pick a color code for each room and label that room’s boxes accordingly. Label the door of each room with the corresponding sticker/tape so that movers know where to place the boxes.

The Color Coding Option

A great way to do manage your movers is with color coating. Choose a different color for each room of the house (there’s lots of colored duct tape and washi tape out there). Put that color on every box, item, and furniture piece that belongs in that room. In the new house, put a big swatch of this color on the wall or floor where you want the contents of that room to be placed. Using color coating is very simple and makes it very easy for your help to know where to put your stuff. And, the best part is that it’s something you can do before you move and while you pack. After all, furniture and other items can still be used in your current abode with tape marks on it.

The All in One Room Option

Too late to color code, or simply don’t have the time? What you can do is choose a single space in your home to move all boxes to. This can be a spare bedroom or even the garage. The best option is somewhere you can close off so you don’t have to look at the overwhelming mess.

Have your moving crew  position any of the large furniture in the respective rooms. You may need to be at your new home so you can direct them as they bring items in. Have them place any and all boxes in the spare room you picked out. Using this method allows you to set up your new home on your own schedule, without having to trip over boxes and have the clutter and stress constantly staring you in the face. Make a strong effort to unpack at least one box per day. Before you know it, you’ll be moved in!

Move, Clean and Paint Before Moving Day

If you can, show up to your new home before the move and clean the bathroom and kitchen. Every time you visit your new home, bring some boxes with you. This cuts down on the amount of time it will take on your actual moving day.

Another great moving day tip is to have a painting party BEFORE you actually move in.  Invite any of your  friends who are busy the day of the big move (haha, guilty for this one). Turn on some tunes, get some pizza, and have all your friends help you paint. It’s so much easier to do this before all of your stuff is in the way.

More Great Moving Day Tips

  • Pack an overnight bag.  Chances are, you’ll be too tired to unpack your things. You’ll want your essentials (toiletries, change of clothes, medication, etc.) within easy access.
  • Set up your bedroom first. Mark the box with your bedding, pillows, and anything else you need and use every day/night. You need a place to sleep after such and exhausting day, and having your bedroom all set up will be a much needed and appreciated spot where you can crash comfortably.
  • Pack the items you will need first in a clear plastic bin. A plastic bin will let you easily see what’s inside.  My recommendations: a box cutter, paper towels, trash bags, eating utensils, some cookware, power strips, phone chargers, toilet paper, and tools.
  • Personally move anything that is precious or fragile. This is the only way to ensure it arrives to your new home safely. Laptops, electronics, and jewelry can easily get stolen.
  • Take a photo of how your electronics are connected so you can remember how and where all the wires go.
  • If you have enough friends, split them up into shifts — one set to help you move in the morning, and another to help you move when you get to your new home.
  • Have beverages and snacks on hand, and send out for food if the moving encroaches on lunch or dinner.  Your helpers deserve it.
  • Hire  a babysitter and pet sitter the day of the move. The last thing you need is to be worrying about losing track of your kids or pets on this stressful day.
  • Consider parking for the moving truck. Make sure that there is a space available at both locations and that it’s easily accessible so your movers to get your possessions in and out of the truck safely and easily.

Wrapping Up

Use these moving day tips to get settled quickly and stress free. The biggest thing about moving is that it’s not just “a day” –the more you prepare ahead of time, the easier it will be to move, unpack, and move on with your life in your brand new home. If you are moving soon, congratulations to you! Please feel free to share any of your awesome moving day tips in the comments. When it comes to packing and moving, we can all use a little help, creativity, and inspiration!

Nervous about “after” the move? Read about my first night in my new home.

Pretty Purple Door
Awesome Tips for Packing & Moving Day Organization
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Shed Shelving Using Bins For Organization

Shed Shelving Using Bins For Organization

My latest project was to use build a wooden unit for shed shelving using bins for organization. We actually found the perfect bins FIRST, then built the shelves to accommodate the size of the bins. This worked out perfectly and now all my stuff is neatly tucked away in clear plastic containers where I can find it. Hopefully the rest of my shed will look this good soon, too!

Shelving Using Bins

I actually found the idea to build shelving using bins on Pinterest, so I’m not going to repost all the carpentry plans. We found great instructions already online over at diydesignfanatic, so check those out if you want to build this yourself.

My Shelving Using Bins Dimensions

shelving using bins

The dimensions for my shelving using bins were simple: 8ft long and 2ft spacing between (a total of 8ft high). This left me a 2ft space on the floor and a shelf on the top to put some items (the ceiling of my shed slants so I didn’t buy any bins for the top shelf).

What Bins Did I Use?


I thought you’d never ask! The bins I purchased were Sterilite 17571706 66-Quart ClearView Latch Box Pack of 6*.

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