Plug With a Wood Hat

After this procedure, you’ll have total closure.

– “Moving On” Tech

Our built-in cabinets in the living room have three ports for cords and cables. We tried to make these as unobtrusive as possible near the back of the unit.


The two outside ports are dedicated to specific uses (the one behind the TV is certainly pulling its weight). We ran an extension cord down to the middle outlet and left the plug end above the top to power random items. I found this mildly unsightly, and stuck a clock in front of it, but it wasn’t really where the clock belonged.


Plug with silly frog clock

The other issue is that it was easy for the end to slip through the hole, requiring a fishing expedition whenever we wanted to use the cord.

I was reorganizing the electronics the other day and I hit upon a solution to both problems. First, I measured across the hole corner-to-corner to find the longest part of the gap. Next, I cut a piece of thin matching (Douglas Fir) plywood into a square, so that each side was a bit longer than the corner-to-corner measurement to stop it from falling through the hole. I hit the top and sides with gel stain to match the built-in’s finish.


White dots of unknown origin

Safety tangent on this point: I used the miter saw to cut the plywood square. On my first go, I didn’t properly clamp down the piece to be cut. When that miter saw blade hits a loose piece of wood, the wood basically explodes (not with FIRE, but it comes apart in a dramatic and shrapnel-like fashion). Thing one: YAY, safety googles. Thing two: Make sure you clamp or otherwise secure the wood you are cutting with a miter saw (or any other sort of saw, for that matter).

Back on topic: I stapled a length of ribbon to the underside.


Then, I tied the ribbon below the extension cord plug (already threaded through the hole in the top).


Don’t tie too tightly — you don’t want to kink the cord.

We saw Tim’s Vermeer recently (highly recommended — very entertaining), and this photo (of an extension cord plug) reminded me of Girl in a Red Hat. So I pranced around using the plug as a puppet, singing in faux Dutch.

vermeer red hat

Ik ben een stopcontact! Een vrij stopcontact!

Look, it’s winter. I have to keep myself amused.

ANYWAY, the little wood hat drops down on top of the hole and blends in visually. You can pull up the cord by just pulling up on the cover.

plug collage

From a distance, it blends into the background, no silly frog clock required.


Easy and gratifying! Don’t forget to respect your power tools out there.

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