I made shiplap command center a few months ago and I wanted to share it with you because it’s been a great organizational piece and it looks so much nicer that any of the store-bough options I was finding. Command center is such a funny term for these little organization spots. But whatever you want to call it, we needed our family’s changing schedules to be a little more organized. But I just couldn’t find anything that worked for our space. Most didn’t have exactly what we needed and others looked like they belonged in an office.
I made my own version so I could customize it for what we needed, at the size that worked for our space. I added a shiplap design to make it look a little nicer too. The bonus was that it was a really easy and inexpensive project.
I decided on a shiplap design because I thought the rustic wood backdrop would help make all my messy papers and schedules look a little nicer. Plus, I have a lot of random pieces of wood hanging around so I wouldn’t have to buy much for this project. I loved that I could customize this piece to the size we needed and with exact elements that would be most purposeful for us. Kids’ sports schedules, a calendar, important papers and lists are the main items we need to keep us on track each day.
So here’s the instructions on how I made my little shiplap command center (which cost me less than $20).
- Scrap pieces of wood. I used 7 pieces which ranged in widths of 2-1/2″ – 5-1/2″ and consisted of pine, layered plywood, and common board.
- Piece of plywood – 1/4″ thick for backing
- Electric sander
- Acrylic based polyurethane (optional)
- Wood glue, super glue and tack nails
- Bulldog clips (2)
- Cork tiles
- Calendar – or make your own
1. You’ll need to figure the size you want your shiplap command center to be. Mine needed to be 22″ wide but the exact height would depend on how my pieces of wood stacked up. Cut all your scrap wood pieces to your determined width. I used my hand saw for all the cutting. Then I stacked seven pieces of wood in varying heights so the final height was 24″. I also cut the plywood to the final overall size (22″ x 24″).
2. Next, sand all your pieces of wood. I used my electric sander to make it go quicker but this is a small enough project that you could also sand the wood by hand. I prefer my wood pieces to have a worn look – like old barn wood. To get this effect, I sand the edges so they’re rounded and I also bang up the wood a bit with a hammer to give it some notches, or character. I was lucky that some of my wood pieces were already very weathered and worn with old nail holes and notches. I lightly sanded only the edges of my plywood and I didn’t need to do anything else with this piece.
3. After sanding and notching the wood pieces, I painted and/or stained each piece of wood. I used a variety of paint colors: dark gray, white, robin’s egg blue, along with a pecan colored water-based stain. I varied the colors and didn’t fully cover each piece with the paint/stain.
After my paint was dry, I sanded the wood again to remove a lot of the paint to make it look weathered and worn.
When all my pieces of wood were to my liking, I added a coat of polyurethane. I used an acrylic based poly and it just sealed all the painting and stain into the wood.
4. Next, I used wood glue to attach the wood pieces onto the plywood backing. Once it’s dry, I added some nails as extra reinforcement for the boards. I nailed the boards in from the back of the piece so you won’t see them when the piece is hung.
5. I needed to attach the bulldog clips on the front of the shiplap command center to hold the monthly calendar pages in place, but I added my hanging hardware to the back first so I didn’t damage the bulldog clips. After I attached my hanging hardware, I used super glue for the 2 clips on the front. I found these pretty gold clips at The Container Store but you could also use nails if your calendar pages have holes for hanging.
6. I added these cork squares along the bottom of my shiplap command center for all those pesky papers. These 6″ x 6″ squares are the perfect size for small papers and notes. Wood glue seemed to be the best solution to attach these cork pieces.
You could also add hooks, baskets, note pads, whatever your family needs to stay organized.
I love these X and O gold thumbtacks. I forget where I got them but these gold owl thumbtacks would look so cute too.
7. For the monthly calendar sheets, I made my own on my computer. My pages were larger than my printer could handle (18″ x 15″) so I had Staples print them for me. You could also buy a calendar and use that instead. I liked the idea of customizing the size of my sheets and adding fun designs.
Now your new shiplap command center is ready to hang and be put to good use!
I’m loving how this shiplap command center looks and it’s helped us stay much more organized. Since then, we’ve filled in all our schedules and added all the important information. It looks a little more cluttered but it’s been super useful.