Do you ever have one of those weeks where the thought of cooking is about as attractive as getting a pap smear? I’m sure my bathing-suit-in-4-weeks diet plan has something to do with it but seriously, this is the week I’d give my first born (quite willingly actually) for a live-in cook. And driver. And housekeeper. So instead of feeling guilty for not posting a menu plan this week and eating take-out and take-out leftovers, I’m going to post something I actually really like to do … craft! Well craft with wine but it’s still early so I’ll leave the wine part out.
I happened to run across the coolest picture of a menu board on pinterest, my new favorite time-sucker waster website. I swear I could spend hours on that site and feel more overwhelmed from the list of pins I’ve added to my “must try ASAP” list. See, it’s happening already. Back to the menu board. Like every family with kids, as a mom you’re asked about a dozen times EVERY God-forsaken day… “what’s for dinner mom” and regardless of what you say…one will be happy, one will be disappointed, one will ask for substitutions and the other will just plain refuse to eat it. All of these reasons led me to fall madly in love with a menu board that will put an end to pesky questions about what’s being served as well as alleviate any stress caused from racking my brain each week when coming up with a different meal EVERY God-forsaken day. Ahem…without further adieu…
I love this menu board for lots of reasons but mostly because it’s adorable and I made it from things I had laying around the house. Each clothespin holds a piece of paper that lists what we’ll be having for dinner each night of the week (see menu planning 101 for ideas) and on the flip-side lists the source for where I found the recipe (isn’t that clever). The two little compartments on the right hold the menu cards as well as blank cards for when I find a recipe I love, I just jot it down and write down where I found it on the back (seriously clever). Oh and it’s adorable too, did I mention that already?
Here are the step-by-step instructions for making your own adorable menu board.
- 11×14 wooden picture frame
- 7 clothespins
- 2 empty crayon boxes (16 or 24 count size)
- Scrapbook letter stickers to spell “menu”
- 2 pieces of 12×12 scrapbook paper (for back of menu board)
- 1 piece of decorative scrapbook paper (to cover crayon boxes)
- 4 or 5 pieces of white card stock (for menu cards)
- small paper cutter
- acrylic paint – 7 different colors for clothespins
- hot glue and hot glue gun
Step 1: Prep work…
Paint clothespins in whatever colors you like to represent each day of the week. While those are drying, cut 30 – 60 pieces of white card-stock into 3.5″ x 1.5″ pieces using a paper cutter. Begin to write down your family’s favorite meals with the source for the recipe on the backside of each paper. Make sure to write down the menu item far enough to the right of the card so it’s not covered by the clothespin. Leave 20 or so pieces blank so you can fill those out when you find a recipe you’d like to try later.
Step 2: Frame background…
Turn the picture frame over and hot glue a piece of ribbon cut in the appropriate length (for hanging on wall) on both sides at top of frame. Next, using 2 pieces of 12×12 scrapbook paper, trim the paper to fill the inside of your frame. 1 piece won’t be enough so lay 2 pieces of scrapbook paper side by side and cut off excess paper (you’ll just need a few inches). Where the 2 sheets overlap, lay down a piece of ribbon to cover seam and secure with hot glue. Place the adhesive scrapbook stickers above the ribbon to spell out “menu”. Place the paper, decorative side facing front, to inside of frame and secure the frame backing. Everything else will be done on top of the glass.
Step 3: Menu card boxes…
Cut the crayon boxes in half and cover with decorative paper, as if wrapping a present, and secure to box with hot glue. Cut a piece of coordinating ribbon to wrap around sides and front of each box, secure with hot glue. Hot glue the boxes directly to glass on front of frame, making sure to leave enough room to the left for the clothespins and meal cards.
Step 4: Attach clothespins…
Begin hot gluing the clothespins on the left side of frame. Make sure to space them evenly before gluing by clipping a menu card in each clothespin to get an idea for how much room you’ll need. Hold the clothespins firmly in place while they are drying so they don’t move around.
Step 5: Hang and admire!
Viola, that’s it! Now hang where everyone will see how crafty and amazing you are. If nothing else, jot down things like “Chicken Normandy” and “Roast prime rib au poivre” on your menu cards to impress your guests even if you plan on whipping up some Hamburger Helper. It’s our little secret.