DIY Meal Planners

ChristieMealCraft3KellieMealCraft3Earlier this week we wrote about meal planning as a way to help clarify chaos in the kitchen.  After writing that post, Kellie and I had the idea that we could make meal planning more enjoyable if we had a fun way to write and display our weekly menus.  We each crafted a simple meal planner for our homes and today we are sharing our creations with you!

Christie’s Picture Frame Meal Planner

I found the inspiration for my craft on the blog My Sister’s Suitcase.  The main thing I wanted for my menu board was to have it to be dry erase.  My kids have always been obsessed with writing on dry erase boards so I figured this gave me the best odds of having the chore of writing out the plan done by someone other than me :).

Supplies:ChristieMealCraft1

  • Picture frame (any one will work as long as it has glass)
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Twine or string
  • Tape or glue
  • Scissors
  • Letter stickers

Directions:

  1. Cut a piece of paper to serve as the background for your craft.  I sized and cut mine using the glass of the frame as a stencil.
  2. Hang a piece of twine or string around the upper right-hand edge of your background paper.  Cut the piece the size you will use for your flag.  Be sure to leave just a bit extra on each end so you will be able to secure it to the backside of the paper.
  3. Take your scrapbook paper and cut the small triangles you will use for your flag.
  4. Tape or glue these triangles to your twine or string.  I used tape but I think either would work fine.ChristieMealCraft2
  5. Once your flag is complete, secure it to your background paper.  To do this, simply bend the ends of the twine or string from your flag around the edge of the scrapbook paper and secure it to the backside of the paper with tape.  If the flag is not laying exactly the way you want it too, use additional tape or glue under some of the triangles to help with the placement.
  6. Use stickers to spell out menu across the top of the paper and the days of the week down the left side of the paper.
  7. Put the scrapbook paper inside the frame, replace the glass and there you have it…your very own dry erase meal planner!!

Kellie’s Picture Frame Meal Planner

After searching images on the web for meal planning display inspiration, I came across a few versions that were made with cookie sheets and magnets.  I loved how that looked so I created my own customized version to match my home decor.  I also really liked that this style of planner would allow my daughters to get involved in the weekly meal plan since they could easily help change the meal options under the magnets each week.

Supplies:

  • Cookie Sheet KellieMealCraft1
  • 12″ by 12″ Scrapbook paper
  • 8.5″ by 11″ paper
  • One 3” by 4” paper bag
  • Lined paper (I used a lined notepad I found for $1 at Michaels)
  • Scissors and/or paper cutter
  • Tape
  • Letter stickers
  • Circular magnets
  • Marker

Directions:

  1. Cut the 12″ by 12″ scrapbook paper to fully cover the back of your baking sheet.  Secure it to the baking sheet with tape.
  2. Tape the 8.5” by 11” paper on top of the background paper.
  3. Next, cut out the triangles to create the flag look for the top of your board. Tape them down across the top of the baking sheet.
  4. Place your letter stickers spelling “MENU” onto the flag shaped paper.
  5. Get the circular magnets and attach your letter stickers for the days of the week right on top of the magnets.KellieMealCraft2
  6. Cut the lined paper to create the small sheets you will write your menu items on (I cut about 40 so I had plenty of blank ones to add menu items on over the coming weeks) and begin writing some of your favorite meals.
  7. Next, display your meals for the week by using the magnets to secure the sheets of paper with meals written on them down the left side of the baking sheet.
  8. Now grab your small envelope and tape it wherever you desire.
  9. Using stickers or marker label the envelope with “Menu Items”.
  10. Load up your menu items envelope with the rest of the cut lined paper.
  11. Use stickers or markers to add any additional personal touches you desire.
  12. Now grab your marker and lay it on the bottom of your pan and congrats!…You are ready to display your handmade menu planning board.  I displayed mine on my kitchen counter using a picture frame stand.

Happy Crafting!

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DIY Clipboard Frames

Inspirational quotes and sayings make me very happy.  I enjoy reading them, I love to share them with my family and I am very excited to distribute them to our Clarified Chaos readers.   It was this excitement that lead me to select these DIY clipboard frames as our first DIY Saturday post because they are an inexpensive, attractive and simple way to display your favorite inspirations in your own home. I first saw this project on the blog, Love Grows Wild.  The post on these frames is provided here: http://lovegrowswild.com/2013/08/diy-photo-clipboards/.  My slightly simplified version of this craft is explained below. Clipboard3 Supplies:

  • 11.5” x 13.5” piece of wood – Mine was from Home Depot. I bought a larger piece of wood and had it cut it into 3 pieces this size at the store.
  • Sandpaper – I used medium grain
  • Wood stain – I used Miniwax wood finish in Dark Walnut
  • Rag or paintbrush for applying wood stain
  • Small sawtooth hangers
  • Hammer
  • Hinge Clips – I found mine in the clearance section at Michaels, but they are available here: http://www.amazon.com/Idea-ology-Antique-Nickel-Finish-TH92692/dp/B001F6TDEW 
  • Super glue

Directions:

  1. Sand down the corners and edges of your board with sandpaper to give them a slightly rounded appearanceclipboard1
  2.  Wipe off wood to remove all dust
  3.  Stain wood according to directions provided on wood finish container
  4.  Allow stained wood to dry
  5. Once dry, turn wood over and attach one small sawtooth hanger. We used both a tape measure and level to get it straight.
  6. Flip wood back over and place the hinge clips on the frame base. I feel you need to decide your own measurements based on the size of your clips. Mine are spaced approx .5” from the top and 1.75” from the sides of the frame. Use a tape measure to help get the clips spaced correctly.
  7.  Attach the hinge clips with super glue and allow sufficient time to dry
  8. Print out a Wellbeing Wednesday quotation from Clarified Chaos: Weds Quote or you could also use any other inspiration you like or even a photograph that you have printed as an 8×10. Attach to the frame using the hinge clips.

Variation of this project for children: My 10 year old daughter did this craft with me and she wanted to decorate her frame in a way that would match the decor in her room.  All items are the same in this version as the version I did, except you use acrylic paint in place of the wood stain. My daughter chose a bright purple paint and after allowing the paint to dry overnight, she used a hot pink paint pen to decorate all the edges of the frame with pink polka dots. We both love how it turned out and had fun picking a quote together to display in her room. Clipboard2

Happy Fourth of July!!

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY EVERYONE!! It seems so fitting that our very first Friday Favorites post would fall on a holiday. In our family holidays are one of our absolute favorite things.  The main reason Kellie and I enjoy holidays is because they give us a great opportunity to establish family traditions and we enjoy the familiarity of returning to them no matter what else is going on in our busy lives.  Some of our most lasting memories of the people we love stem from our family traditions.  Holidays also provide us with a wonderful opportunity to discuss values with our children, and they often afford us a chance to flex our creative muscles.  Here are handful of our favorite ways to celebrate on the Fourth!!

Quotation Conversation Starter

On the morning of a holiday, I often print out and hang up a quote that I can use to start a conversation about the holiday with my kids. This year I am going to use this one that Kellie made for me: 4th of July Kids Printable

Click here for your own copy to print: 4th of July Kids Printable

Possible conversation starters are:

  • A discussion of what our flag stands for
  • A review of the significance of the stars and stripes
  • Have a dialogue about what it means to be a part of one nation
  • A short brain-storming session on age-appropriate ways your family can contribute to our country. Possible ideas are; writing a letter to a solider, cleaning up a local park or beach or having a family history lesson

Printable Activities

Another thing we often do on holidays is print out a few activity sheets for the kids to do at some point during the day. We typically pull them out at the point that our hands are the most full (often during meal prep time). Kidsactivitiesblog.com is a site that we have found with great options. The link below will take you right to some fun sheets you can use: http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/54263/4th-of-july-free-activity-printables. We also like to find activities that make fun keepsakes. Here is an example of one we created:4th of July Poem-1 And here is a link to a blank version of the above image for you to print: Freedom Worksheet for Kids

Themed Treats

We enjoy celebrating with a themed treat! Scroll down for a post on a festive treat that Kellie made.

Reusable Decorations

We like making a craft with our children each holiday. We are fond of choosing projects that can be re-used year after year as decorations. Below we have posted age-appropriate crafts we did with our children this year that doubled as decorations. Thank you for letting us share this short round-up of our favorite ways to celebrate the Fourth!