Mini-Project #1

One of my (self-assigned) jobs here is to make our home look nice. So, here’s Home Pretty-fication Project Numero Uno: mounting the wired control for the electric drying rack in our yard, without putting any holes in the walls. (Because the landlord said not to drill any holes. :()

Obligatory Before pic

See how the control dangles from the loose cable? It swings sadly in the wind, and I’m always slightly afraid it’s going to snag when the dryer goes up or down.

Why not just use some 3M Command adhesive strips and tack it to the wall, you ask? Well, the control was meant to be mounted on the wall, replacing an existing wall plate, and has little bits of circuit board sticking out behind, so it’s not flat-backed. Boo. So I decided to do some creative jiggery-pokery.

Step 1

First I cut out two pieces of corrugated plastic to act as spacers, with about 1 cm allowance on all sides. You would not believe how hard it was to find foamcore board here. All I could find was luridly-painted Styrofoam boards — yuck. So corrugated plastic it was.

I emptied out the middle with a craft knife, and when that was annoyingly slow, my trusty Swiss army knife sturdily took care of the task. Then… and this part I’m particularly proud of: I cut out a routing groove for the cable. Go me! Craftsmanship, eh? It’s even cut so that the groove doesn’t go all the way through and completely destroy the structural integrity of the board. When the husband saw it later that evening, he said, “Will you come work for me? I could use that kind of forward thinking and attention to detail!”

Now to pull the spacers together. I didn’t want to buy glue just for this, so I used washi tape.
Step 2a
This was me trying to make it even…
Step 2b
Tape, tape… still trying to keep the tape even. Clearly I didn’t do a 100% job.
Step 2c
Done! A little uneven, but at least the pattern lines up on the corners, eh?

Step 3
Now I cover the thing in 3M Command adhesive tabs. 6 is overkill for something so light, with so little load, but you see, the cable routing groove means I can’t put a tab across it. So that meant two tabs on top, and because I’m neurotic like that, I needed two tabs on the bottom too, to balance it out. The smaller tabs are meant to hold the control on the spacer boards.

Step 4a
Here I’ve stuck the control through the hole. The wire will be tucked around the circuit board, ready to be routed up, through the groove in the spacer.

Step 5
Control mounted on the spacer board, and we’re going to stick it to the wall.

Step 5 completed
And done! Doesn’t it look disgustingly girly? I think I’ll be cutting off the excess from the adhesive tabs. You can’t really see them, but I know they’re there.

The After picture
Here’s what the entire contraption looks like now. I like this much better. The only thing left to do is to add a couple of tiny cable hooks to secure the wire to the wall, just to make it all look neat.

Man, uploading the photos and writing this post took waaaaay longer than actually designing and making this mini-project did.

I swear to god I used to have have a brain, and that I used to take on both professional and personal creative projects on a much larger scale. But doing this little thing pleased me today, and I’m hoping it’ll kick my butt into gear so I start on the million and one other projects I’d planned before moving here.


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