You don’t have to spend mucho-buckos to create a family command centre, in fact, our family command centre came in at a whopping $0! Here’s how you can do it too!
I was futzing in the garage the other day and debating whether to refinish this free coffee table that a friend had dropped off.
The colour was dated and the finish was pretty damaged:
but as I started sanding, a beautiful wood top came shining through. I decided to dismantle this old coffee table and repurpose each part into a new project. FUN!
The bottom of the table consisted of two parts – the base, which is the flat surface that you rest things on, and the edging that held the base off of the ground. I took the two parts apart and repurposed them to create my free family command centre.
I cut the edging on my mitre saw to create a half-frame for storage. I kept the base the same length and just cut up each side at about 5″.
I cut two pieces from the remaining sides of edging to fit inside the half-frame. I did plane mine down to make them thinner, but that was a personal preference and not a necessity. I glued the two pieces to the half-frame to crate a storage caddy on my command centre to hold chalk, papers, mail etc.
Wood glue would have been sufficient to hold these in place, but I tapped in a couple of 1 ¼” finishing nails just for extra strength.
The base of my coffee table became the chalkboard section of my free family command centre. I sanded the surface smooth (although not down to bare wood) and then painted it with 3 coats of chalkboard paint that I had leftover from another project. If you don’t have chalkboard paint in your arsenal (and why would you if you aren’t a DIY blogger) then this Chalkboard paint recipe from Martha Stewart is an easy and inexpensive way to make your own.
I sanded between coats with 320 grit sandpaper to get as smooth a finish as possible and let dry completely before taping off to paint the edges and stencilling on the “Family Command Centre”.
I used a sample pot of textured paint from FolkArt to paint the frame and the command centre caddy. I then pre-drilled and attached the caddy section to the chalkboard using 1 ½” wood screws from the back.
Because the base of the coffee table was fairly heavy, I used wall anchors rated to hold 30 lbs before attaching my free family command centre to our kitchen wall.
Clear Gorilla Glue was used to attach a clip to the upper corner of our command centre to hold things like birthday invitations, field trip notices and or the week’s meal plan. There’s still plenty of room to jot down grocery lists and upcoming events.
I tucked a little styrofoam cup in the corner to hold chalk and the rest of the caddy section keeps the girls’ chore charts and unopened mail within easy reach.
This was such a fun project to make, and took very little time.
Family Command Centre
- free (dilapidated) coffee table – any size any shape
- chalkboard paint
- leftover paint for caddy
- (5) 1 ½” wood screws
- 1 ¼” finishing nails (optional)
- wood glue/gorilla glue clear
- wall anchors
If you want to add a mail sorter / file holder to your command centre – check out my DIY Mail Sorter post.
We also have a command centre on the back of our front door (which has been a total lifesaver) and you can check out the how-to on that on Command Centre Organization.
Pin this for later:
I repurposed/upcycled the rest of the free coffee table into two other projects, so come back to see the candle holders and dry-erase board (coming soon)!
Have a great one!