For a simple, inspiring homework center, pick up a pegboard (available at hardware stores), and, if needed, have it cut to fit on a door or above a desk (see below for hanging instructions and other how-tos). Stock the board with cool school and craft supplies, and your student will be set to ace everything from division to diorama building.
1. A quick coat of spray paint gives the board, hooks, and containers a bold and unified look.
2. To hold tape rolls, cut a dowel and suspend it on hooks.
3. Perfect for paper clips and pushpins, these plastic jars -- and the scissors holder at left -- come as part of a kit of ready-to-hang pegboard accessories.
4. Frozen-juice cans make ideal homes for writing utensils and paintbrushes.
5. Just about any small container can be modified to hang on the board -- it takes just seconds with a drill and bit. This one is a desk organizer from Ikea.
1. Start with a 2- by 4-foot, 1?4- or 1/8-inch-thick pegboard (about $8 at home supply or hardware stores) or have a 4- by 8-foot sheet (about $18) cut as desired. Our finished board measures 2 by 3 feet. Choose white pegboard if you plan to paint it.
2. Gather the desired pegboard hooks and accessories (kits are available at home supply stores and online for about $12; look for the type with anchors to keep the hooks in place).
3. To add your own container, use a 3/16-inch bit to drill a hole in the back, 1?2 inch below the rim (always wear protective eye gear when drilling).
4. Hang the board using pegboard spacers (often included with the accessory kits) and appropriate hardware. Outfit the board with the hooks, containers, and supplies.
1. Lay a drop cloth outdoors on a sunny, windless day. Center the pegboard on top. Paint as directed on the label (we used Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover 2X Gloss Apple Red).
Crafter's tip: Paint in rows, back and forth, until the board is evenly covered, starting each row just to the side of the board. Let it dry thoroughly, then apply a second coat.
2. Arrange the hooks and containers on cardboard lined with waxed paper, leaving plenty of space around each piece. Paint the pieces, turning as needed. When they're dry to the touch, move them to a clean sheet of waxed paper and let dry overnight. Add a second coat if needed.
Originally published in the September 2013 issue of FamilyFun.