Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Landing Pad

One of the things I have been seeing a lot lately on Pinterest are Command Centers.  (My husband thinks the name is hilarious, I think it brings to his mind some Star Trek episode, he's geeky like that.) 

I like the idea of the command center, especially with 2 kids in school full time this year. I have the bulletin board near the front door. (Seen in this post.) And there are handy built in shelves right below it where I've put a basket for hats, sunglasses, gloves (we use those a lot in Arizona, let me tell you!) and various other little bits and pieces that get left in the backpacks and pockets. As well as some wire "in boxes" for the homework, artwork and other papers that come home daily from school. But, with all of that there is no more space on the wall or next to the shelf.

And I'm left without the really important thing that is most critical to me. A place for the lunchboxes, backpacks, water bottles, coats and shoes to go that is not blocking any door or walkway! A special place to drop all the stuff when the kids come home from school.

So, I built what I call the Landing Pad. You know, the place where all your stuff lands as soon as you walk in the door. And, seriously, who has more stuff than the kids?



I didn't do a step by step tutorial with photos for this one, because it's really simple to put together. Basically, you're making a rectangular box. I did have some fun with Google SketchUp and made a plan drawing for the cubby.


My dimensions are 32 inches long, 18 inches tall, and 12 inches deep (the plan says 12 5/32, but I chose to keep my numbers simple and just use 12 inches.) So, I bought a piece of 1X12 lumber that was 10 feet long to make the whole thing. 

My cut list was as follows:
2 pieces @ 32" long for the top and bottom
2 pieces @ 18" tall for the outer sides
1 piece @ 16 1/2" tall for the center
I did all my cutting with a chop saw and a radial arm saw.

When assembling, I put the two outer sides onto the bottom using glue and wood screws. I would highly recommend drilling pilot holes in your wood before you add the screws as the wood can split very easily.  Once the sides are on, add the top piece, again using glue and screws and pre-drilling your holes. And easy as that, you have made a rectangle. Next, mark the center on the top and bottom pieces and add the center board. I put glue on both edges of the board, then slid it into place. It should fit snugly, but not so tight you have to force it in place. If you have any excess glue, just wipe it off with a damp towel. I used a brad nailer to secure the center board since it makes much smaller holes than screws. And then, just for fun I added some simple molding around the front edges.



And then it's ready for paint! I painted mine a light turquoise blue that I got for free on one of Ace Hardware's free quart of paint Saturdays a few weeks ago. Then, I added a reddish-brown glaze on top, brushing on, then wiping most of it off, to give it an antiqued look. (It also "pre-dirties it, so the rest of the dirt will just blend in.)



The top is part of a bi-fold closet door that I bought at our local used building material store. I cut the door in half (I have a project in mind for the other half), painted it and added hooks to the front and hanging hardware to the back.


And there it is! The Landing Pad. This is one of those things that was so simple, I wonder what took me so long. The kids took to it immediately, so they come home, hang up their stuff, put their shoes in the cubby, and everything is right there when they need it. Like that red button on the top that my daughter is taking to school tomorrow to add to the color wheel her class made. Perfection!


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