DIY Meal/Menu Board.

This is about two weeks in the making but I’ve been unusually busy lately.
[It’s a good thing!] Enjoy! ~Ori

Now, a heads up. This is my first instructional DIY. I didn’t realize until after the fact that I should have taken more photos. I’m going to write instructions for the entire process but I apologize on steps without photos. Here we go!

Inspiration:
Pinterest of course! I don’t really have a solid color theme in my kitchen right now due to the bland white walls of apartment living so I wanted to think for the long run. I love the idea of bright bold colors for my future kitchen. So that’s what I went with.

Purpose:
As you know, I’ve been trying for my entire life to get healthy and more recently I’ve noticed that I can do just fine [food wise] during the day. Breakfast, snack, lunch. It’s when I get home that I overindulge. I often forget to take out meat from the freezer the night before or we don’t have enough groceries. Or we are just plain too lazy to cook so we go out to eat. I’m hoping this will be the solution.

What You Need:
16 x 20 painting canvas
1/2 yard of fabric
4 – 5 pieces of colored paper (to correspond with your fabric.)
2 spools of ribbon (1 wider than the other, you’ll layer them.)
8-10 clothespins
Stickers (For the days of the week. I found letters for this one but you can use actual weekdays.)
Hot glue gun and glue
Glue stick or glue pen
Notepad (About 5 1/2″ long)
X-Acto Knife (I used my boyfriends Kobalt utility knife)
Small folded box (Mini-light boxes from Christmas work perfect!)

PicMonkey Collage

1. You’ll start by placing the fabric face down on the surface you’re working on. Center the canvas [also upside down] on the fabric. Cut the fabric leaving about 1.5″ to 2″ of fabric around the entire perimeter of the canvas.

IMG_52722. Taking the hot glue gun, first glue down each corner. Then glue down the top and bottom. Once you have the top and bottom glued, you can glue each side. This is where I would recommend to pull the fabric a little bit so that it is snug around the entire canvas.

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3. A.Flipping the now fabric covered canvas over, cut and position the first row of ribbon about 3 inches from the side and place it vertically. [Use the thicker ribbon first.] You’ll flip over the canvas and hot glue it to the back. Just be sure that you keep your line straight.

3. B. Once that is finished, do the exact same process with the thinner strip of ribbon. Make sure that this thinner ribbon is centered within the thicker ribbon.

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4. Cut out seven circles. These will be used for the days of the week. You might need to adjust the size and shape depending on what kind of stickers you bought.

5. Put the stickers on the the circles [or whatever shape you decided on]. Using the hot glue gun again, center the shapes with stickers on the clothespins.

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6. Leaving about 5″ open at the top of the board. Glue the the clothes pins onto the strip of ribbon that you previously attached to the board. Make sure to lay them out on the board prior to gluing to ensure that you space them evenly.

7. A. Make a menu sign! I cheated and used fancy lettering in Microsoft Word, printed, and cut out the letters. But if you’re feeling extra creative you can definitely write or draw your own menu sign.IMG_5317

7. B. Your menu sign should be about 7″ to 8″ long and 3″ or so high. Get crafty with this! I cut out the letters, glued them onto yellow paper and then glued that onto the orange paper. [Don’t glue this to the board yet.]

IMG_53188. You’ll also make a “Meal Choices” sign and a “Grocery List” sign. I won’t go into much detail with this because it will vary on what you like. I would recommend that these each take up about a 4″ long and 2″ wide space. [Don’t glue this to the board yet.]

9. A. Remember those mini-lights that you used for Christmas and you NEVER put them back in the box? Now they can come in handy! Using a ruler, measure a 2.5″ depth all the way around the box and mark with a pen.

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9. B. Using your X-Acto knife, carefully cut around the entire box so that you have a nice little cutout square. You will then take some of the thick ribbon that you used previously and cover the box. This part is a little tricky and unfortunately I don’t have an picture for it but you can check out the end result to see what it’ll look like. I lined both the inside and outside with this ribbon.

**A few things that I do not have individual pictures on can be seen below in the final product. As always, you can alter as you see fit and per your individual style and design.**

10. A. I glued two more clothes pins kitty corner on the top left hand side of the board and snapped in the menu sign.

10. B. On the right hand side of the board, I would recommend positioning out your remaining pieces which would include two signs, your note pad, and ribbon covered box. I left a space in-between the grocery list and the box and put another clothespin with a handmade ribbon glued to the top. Change it up or do the same, whichever you like.

10. C. With some left over paper, go ahead and make menu entries. Make as many as you’d like. You can make them long or short, specific or not specific. I have listed some simple ideas below. The more specific you are the more you’ll have but than it will be easy to double or triple up. Any entries that you’re not using for that week can easily be stored in your handy box. [See bottom right.]


Menu Entry Ideas: Out To Eat. Something Easy. Shake N’ Bake Pork Chops. Peas. Corn On The Cob. New Recipe. Grilled Potatoes. Spaghetti and Garlic Toast. Potato Salad. Cantaloupe. Bananas. Tuna Melts. Tomato Soup. Soup and Sandwich. Pasta Night! Grill Out. Chicken Breasts. Mashed Potatoes. Honey Ham.

Hope you enjoyed reading through and creating your first DIY menu board! The same concept can be easily used and manipulated to make a children’s chore chart or summertime activity board. I’d love to see your finished product photos. Thanks!!

$1378.

Before I begin, I’d like to address the 20-something (I’m assuming college) kids in our apartment building. I hope for your sake that you don’t die of hypothermia tonight and rather get a harsh reality check of frost bite. Running outside practically naked in near 50 below zero weather isn’t only immature but pure idiotic. Get a life.

End rant. Begin post.

We all wish that we had a fool proof way to save our precious copper pennies. Sure, we have many different means to do so but I will be the first to admit that it’s easier said than done. Savings accounts, piggy banks, hidden safes, the list goes on but it’s pretty rare when one of those are full enough to turn in for some crisp dollar bills. At least in my household it always has been, I don’t know about yours.

So even though this is a shot in the dark, my mom saw something on the internet (Pinterest, I believe) that sounded like a great and hopefully fool proof way to save money. Our initial plan replicated the photo she had seen. A glass mason jar, 52 weeks of the year, and all we do is contribute the dollar amount corresponding with that specific week. For example, on week 1 we put in $1. Week two, $2, week three, $3, and so on.

I was totally game for this. I mean, not only did it sound like a pretty slick plan but it was something fun to do. Each week, given that you contribute the required amount, you’d be able to see your total contributions. We’d cash out at the end of the year with a mean green handful of cash!

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I first made the spreadsheets noting each of the 52 weeks, the contribution amount, and the grand total. I bought a couple jars and some super glue to get started. Please note that the super glue is to prevent both ourselves and anyone around us from tampering with the goods. This all was looking promising until I was ready to assemble. Turns out my spreadsheet was too big for the jars.

IMG_4232 I fully intended on buying bigger jars but my mom and I made a pit stop at Target because they had their annual 70% clearance on Christmas going on. Something that a person JUST CANNOT pass up. Along the way we found two red and polka dot boxes. Perfect!

These were way more fun than a jar and to be honest a lot more safe. The original plan was to break open the jars at the end of the year because we had superglued them but I guess that wasn’t such a bright idea. Someone might get cut and who wants to clean up glass? No one. To sum up this unusually long story, we bought the boxes, I updated the spreadsheets to correspond with the box color, (Of course, I had to do this!) and I got started.

If you’d like to make one of your own, it’s really simple. All you’ll need are a few quick things, some of which you might have in your house:

  1. A Container. (Box or Jar)
  2. A List Of The Weeks/Contributions/Totals. (I used Microsoft Excel to create this but if you’re handier than me, you can definitely write it on paper and cut it out)
  3. Superglue. (To prevent greedy lil’ fingers from getting in)
  4. Scissors/Knife. (To cut your papers and if needed, make a slot for your money)
  5. The only other thing that I added aside from this was some ribbon but you can make it your own with puff paint, stickers, or even yarn!

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The best thing about this project was that there is no right way or wrong way to assemble it given that you know the general function of a piggy bank, homemade style! Go ahead, have some fun. I made these for my mom and I because like I said; in the beginning it’s nice to think that we can save money but it’s way harder than either of us could even imagine.

I expect that this won’t start getting difficult until we get to about the 20th week because parting with a $20 dollar bill is unthinkable! But even so, just imagine the reward we will have when we get to the end of the year. I guarantee you that we’ll have the most hard earned, thoughtful gifts under the tree in 20-14! The best part? They’ll be gifts to ourselves, the best kind.

So go ahead, try it! Join us in the 52 week money box (or jar) challenge! Lets see how many of us will be opening gifts worth $1378 come December 31st!

Peace, love, harmony, and good fortune to one, to all!