DIY Family Command Center: Simple, Functional & Stylish

I love DIY projects that feed my creative side as well as humor my crazy side that wants to be organized and on top of everything all the time (which rarely happens…but it’s a dream)!  It’s a bonus if the project can also blend in with my home décor.  At my house, we are working on getting back to our normal routine now that the holidays are over.  This is the perfect time to get organized and a great excuse to start out the year with a simple DIY project!

My children are 1 and 3 and I already feel like it’s hard to keep track of appointments, show-and-tell days at MDO, parties and family functions.  I’m nervous about how much harder it may be once they’re actually in school every day and participate in extra curricular activities.

My husband’s solution to this is to synchronize the calendars on our phones.  I’m a little more visual than that and like to see everything laid out in front of me.  I started thinking about how to incorporate a command center in my home.

DIY Command Center
DIY Command Center – perfect for any busy mom

I stumbled across a huge frame for $8 in the as-is room at Mathis Brothers one day.  When I saw it I knew it would be perfect for this project…plus I couldn’t beat the price!  The frame was originally a huge mirror attached to a dresser.  However, when I found it the mirror glass was broken and the wood was scratched up.  I snatched it up anyway!

To get the project started, I took it apart and gave it a light sanding. I didn’t worry about sanding it too much, just enough to rough up the wood a bit.  After that, I wiped it down with a rag to get all the dust off and then painted on a light coat of primer.  I use Zinsser primer on everything I paint.  It sticks to almost anything and holds up really well (it’s been kid-tested on a lot of pieces in my home).

I wanted to keep this project inexpensive so I used a dark gray paint that I had leftover from another project.  You could also go to the home improvement store and buy a sample size of paint for a few bucks, which would be more than enough for this project.  I painted two light coats on the frame letting it dry between coats.  Once dry, I finished it off with a coat of poly.  I like to use Polycrylic for this step.  It has a nice clear finish and doesn’t yellow over time like Polyurethane.

Finishing supplies.
Finishing supplies.

Once it was painted and dry, it was time to add the fun stuff!  I bought a huge whiteboard panel from the home improvement store (it’s in the aisle with the wall paneling) and had them cut it down to size for me.  I also bought a corkboard from the craft store.  Since my frame is curved at the top I had to trace the opening of the frame on the corkboard and use my jig saw to cut the curve.  After that I secured the white board to the back with some finishing nails.  Then I used E6000 glue to attach the corkboard over half of the whiteboard.  I finished the project off by attaching two D-rings to the back of the frame so I could hang it up securely.

That’s all you need to create a functional command center!  I use the whiteboard side for my calendar and notes each month.  The corkboard side is for other things I might need to have out as reminders.  My son also loves to see his artwork up there.  If he’s particularly proud of something he requests to have it hung up there.

If you’re looking for a way to add a little bit of organizational flair to your home, this would be a great project to tackle.  There are so many ways to customize this project to your own needs.  A chore chart could be incorporated into the design. Small baskets could be added to hold various items.  The possibilities are endless!

How do you stay organized and keep track of all your family activities?


IMG_6696 (200 x 280)More about Krista Carpenter::

My husband Jason and I met at church after we had already graduated from college and started on our own career paths.  We were married in 2009 and settled down in Edmond, OK.  I am mommy to our son Gavin and daughter Greta.  They are crazy toddlers that keep me on my toes all the time!  By day, I am an Oil & Gas accountant.  By night, I’m a self-proclaimed DIY-er and am constantly changing things at my house.  My husband and kids are good sports about this and usually roll with it when I up and change something without warning.  I am excited to share some projects with you as well as share ideas and inspiration.

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