My Sister’s Suitcase has a terrific way to get meals organized with the quick and easy Dry-Erase Menu Planner.

 

They make it even easier by providing a super cute printable to pop in your own frame!

 

We were excited to try out this darling DIY and get dinnertime together!

 

 

Please click here to visit My Sister’s Suitcase and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission: Let’s just say my mealtime planning consists of making sure I have fresh fruit and veggies on-hand at all times. Other than that, I am extremely inconsistent in planning our family meals and could use some help in this department.

It is my mission to not only create a DIY dry erase menu board to help organize our meal time plans, but then put it to use!

Details:

  • I didn’t have any frames at home that would work for this project so when we were at Target (which is A LOT) I found this cute vintage looking yellow frame that I decided would work. And, it was only $10.00, so it wasn’t going to break the bank!
  • I had already downloaded the free printable menu and tried printing it on some engineering paper we had on-hand from our college days. It added a little dimension to the finished product and I liked the added lines and holes punched in the paper. I printed it out on our Epson Laser Printer and it turned out pretty well!
  • My kiddos craft supplies came in handy for this project as I used their black construction paper and Elmer’s Glue Sticks to finish the job.
  • I honestly felt a bit uncreative with this project, so I opted to follow suit of the example and created a little pendant style flare with the construction paper.

The finished menu board is hanging in our kitchen and I have begun using it, but we will see how far this goes. I love to be organized, but sometimes try to do too much. I am hopeful our family mealtime planning will benefit from this!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Add a little simple flair to make this functional piece personal.  Whether it’s a colorful frame, or a little embellishment under the glass; you’ll love it even more that way!

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Pros:

Super easy to put together – just need a printer and some craft supplies!

A fantastic tool to help you plan your meals weekly – could really save you a crazy mind if you put it to good use. And, maybe even a few dollars!

Cons:

Not sure I can think of any. Just hope I actually keep this tool in use!

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

Super easy to create and a cute addition to any kitchen. Could also be a fantastic gift for a friend or family member.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: I have a problem with buying food with all intentions of making meals, but then end up getting lazy and not making them before said food goes sour.

 

Details:

  • Nat and Holly‘s printable was SO cute, although I needed a horizontal situation – mostly because my handwriting is fairly s#!tty and I need all the space I can get.  I used good ol’ Excel to whip up some custom print outs that met my needs.  I also took the opportunity to make a cleaning schedule since I have been wanting to make one in a really long time – Click on my finished photo for a close-up!
  • I finished my Menu Planner with a little Washi Tape and a few buttons that I had in my stash.
  • I found my super cheap frames at the drug store, and stuck them onto the inside of my pantry door with 3M Picture Hanging Strips (they’re like Velcro) – so I can change what is in the frame as often as I like.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Measure twice, cut once.  Yes, this applies to paper, too!  I wasn’t thinking that my piece of printer paper could possibly not fit perfectly into my 8×10 frame.  I not only had to trim my paper, but I also needed to reformat my printable slightly.  Ooopsies.

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Pros:

There isn’t any easier way to get organized out there.  Trust me, I have checked.

Cons:

None!  Love it!

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

Since making this planner, I have found myself sticking to the program!  I think that when you take the guess-work out of mealtime, it really helps to keep on track, whether it’s eating up your groceries, eating healthier, or just avoiding take-out or grazing.  Amazing to me what simply writing our meals down in a place where I became more accountable has done!

Maybe I just needed a little direction, but I love this thing!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Kristy

Mission: Create a fun way to keep track of weekly menu…hoping it helps with healthy eating!

 

Details:

      • Went to Joann for the fun print sheets that  I used for the circle design and the picture frame
      • I had glossy card stock at the office so this is what I printed the menu sheet on.
      • Leftover Mod Podge was used to glue down the decorate circle pattern using a sponge brush. This jar will last me for years!12 Super handy!
      • We had leftover Velcro Stickers and a dry erase marker.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

For the circular pattern, I traced several different objects to get the different sizes.

Remember to cut the paper to fit the frame first THEN add your design if you would like.  I failed to do this thinking that I would have no problem fitting the menu in. I was wrong, I had to end up cutting half of my pattern due to the frame size.

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Pros:

Easy and inexpensive!  Spent only $10 since I had most of the materials!

Cons:

Mod Podge was a bit sticky, but you can sew or use a glue stick if it is a mess.

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

Love, love! Can’t wait to use this board!! You could do this for a number of items around the office or household!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Amanda

Mission: Get organized and have a quick reference for my kids.

 

 

Details:

      • This project is great because it requires minimal prep and supplies. I purchased an 8×10 white frame from Target (all of $3.99 was spent).
      • Printed off a page using this lovely digital paper kit called Brown Basics from Lori Whitlock on jessicasprague.com. I just love these prints! I used a pretty decent card stock to print on so the colors and shapes were a little crisper. After creating my background I put the paper back in the printer and used it to print my Menu template on. Easy peasy! I decided to keep it simple and did not add any embellishments since my background has a pattern.
      • Using the glass out of my frame and a rotary blade, I cut my page down to size and put it together.
      • Affixed a dry erase maker in a cheerful teal to the top of my frame using the same Velcro Stickers used in the original post over at My Sister’s Suitcase.  Those little dots come in so handy.

Viola! You have the perfect little menu planner with tons of planning potential.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Don’t over think this. A project this simple really is SIMPLE! Just choose a basic frame and look for your paper and go with it.

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Pros:

Quick, useful and cheap. All things I love!

Cons:

The dry erase marker is a little faint so I may need to switch to a deeper color.

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

I think I will use this idea to create a chore list too. My kids need to get more organized now that school has started and what a simple way to do it.

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #5  – Alicia

Mission: I am always looking to make my life a little more organized when it comes to cooking for the family each week. This project was perfect for me in every way!

 

Details:

      • The original post had such a cute menu option but I really wanted one that included some sort of grocery list so I could jot down items/notes. I found mine at delish-blog.com
      • Plain 8×10 black frame at Target for $3.99 (I wanted something simple)
      • Mini dry erase markers at the dollar section at Target
      • Cute cardstock and embellishments for decorating as well as some old magnets
      • Velcro Stickers

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I used a combination of cutting and pasting 2 menu formats to give my final menu some pizzazz. I would also recommend using strong magnets and hot glue them to the back of the frame so it can stick to the fridge. If you stick this baby at eye level you will tend to actually use it.

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Pros:

Love- this thing gets used- ALL THE TIME

Cons:

None!

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

Why have I not thought of this before?! What a simple, yet creative idea!

I have purchased a fridge menu planner in the past for about $15 bucks and the thing was garbage!  The dry erase marker ink was permanently stained onto the board and it would not erase. Because you will be writing on glass, kiss those ugly stains goodbye.

This total project cost about $5 bucks for me. You could probably make this for less $$ if you use a frame that you already have. Now- GO AND MAKE DINNER ALREADY!

 

 

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab


The lovely
Dry-Erase Menu Planner and it’s photo by My Sister’s Suitcase


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Looking for some special trimmings for your terrace?  Wit & Whistle‘s darling DIY Garden Markers are the perfect way to add some spice to your sunny space!

 

Always looking to add those special touches to our homes, as well as find ideas for great gifts, we couldn’t wait to give this project a try!

 

Please click here to visit Wit & Whistle and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 – Alicia

Mission:  I didn’t really need markers for my herbs but thought these little ditties were so cute.

 

Details:

  • I found oven bake polymer clay at Wally-World.
  • I already had rubber alphabet stamps at home.

Working with this clay is incredibly easy and soft. It felt like play-dough. Easy to shape, roll and stamp.

The directions said to bake your clay at 275 degrees at 15 minutes per ¼” of thickness and do not OVERBAKE.  I totally freaked out over this stage and took mine out too soon, as I have zero patience!  I should have baked them a little longer, as my makers were not as stiff as would have liked. Oh well-lesson learned.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be sure to follow the baking instructions. I took mine out too soon.

Also, measure each maker so they are the same in length and width.

Alicia - Garden Markers 1

Pros:

I can now tell my herbs apart with these beautiful markers-although it is not hard to tell the difference between each – LOL

Cons:

None. Letter stamps can be expensive. Good thing I already had some!

Alicia - Garden Markers 2

Conclusion:

What an inexpensive and quick project. I loved how they turned out and it took my less than an hour to create-including baking times.

The shapes of my markers were not exactly uniform and my stamps were a little hard to read (OCD much), I am okay with that. Cilantro and Basil, here we come…….

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Janet

Mission:  Make herb markers as a gift.

 

 

Details:

I loved this craft as soon as I saw it on Pinterest!

I couldn’t make this for myself as I am not growing any herbs, but decided to make it as a gift for my fiance’s mom.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

The clay is very forgiving. If you mess up, just roll it back into a ball and start again!

The stamps I bought were circular, making it difficult to get my letters straight. Before you press the stamp, press it very lightly on the clay to make a slight indent to get your letter straight and spaced how you want it.

Make the clay balls in any size you want, depending on how skinny or fat you want the marker to be.

The clay package didn’t give me much insight on how long to bake these for. I don’t think I baked them long enough as they were still a little flexible after they cooled. I’d suggest baking for a little bit longer than you think to make sure they are done.

Janet - Garden Markers 1

Pros:

Easy and cheap! You couldn’t buy something unique like this in the store for less than $10.

Cons:

The clay package just didn’t give enough direction on how long to bake.

Janet - Garden Markers 2

Conclusion:

I really liked this project, but think I am going to have to make it again to get it right.  I bought a different brand of clay to try for next time.  My markers turned out a little fatter than what was shown on the blog and I want to make them skinnier next time.

Also, since I don’t have herb plants so I might put other words on the markers and use as decoration in my potted plants. Overall, the project was easy, quick and cheap!

A great DIY project for all skill levels!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission: I cannot get herbs planted soon enough!  We just got the final grade in at our new house, so I am chomping at the bit to get gardening!  This project was the perfect way to distract me long enough to get through the sod-laying process!

I am still learning about plants and gardening so having markers will probably be great for me.  I can’t even remember how old I am most of the time!

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

IMG_3557Knead that dough like crazy!  My clay was hard as a rock when I got it, so I needed to knead the living daylights out of it before I could even attempt to roll into little balls.  Once I did though, it was like buttah!  Super easy to work with and really smooth.

My OCD couldn’t handle the rounded edge of each marker, so I used my butcher knife to whack off the edges into a clean line.  Worked like a charm.

I also used my rolling-pin to gently taper the edges of the markers so that they come to more of a point.

I am not sure that I really baked them long enough…  and I did bake them quite a bit longer than the package recommended.  Mine are definitely set, they aren’t going anywhere, but you can sort of bend them a little.  Normal?  No clue.

Maren - Garden Markers 1

Maren - Garden Markers 1.5

Pros:

Amanda from Wit & Whistle was right!  These markers are really cute, and super easy to make.

I loved the end result so much that I quickly cranked out 2 more sets to give as gifts!  Tah Dah!

Cons:

As much as I really enjoyed this project, I think that to do it again, I would need to use a different kind of clay.

While really easy to work with and lovely in the end, the polymer clay left my oven smelling like some kind of chemical drug baking operation that I have been smelling ever since I baked these things.  It makes me fear that if we eat any more frozen pizza this summer, that I could wake up one day with an extra eyeball on my head.

Maren - Garden Markers 3

Conclusion:

This project was so easy, I loved it.  I don’t know what it is about working with clay, but it really is fun!  I love the idea of pairing a set of these with a cute potted herb plant for a housewarming gift to give a friend a start on their own garden.

I can think of quite a few ways to personalize these too, whether it be with color, font, embellishments or even using sassy words or phrases – like “No Gnomes Allowed!”  Haaha!

This is a fun one, and I will certainly give it another shot.  Maybe in Alicia’s oven…  Haaha! Kidding!

 

 Garden Marker Conclusion


The darling
DIY Garden Markers and photo by Wit & Whistle


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If you have been searching for the perfect place for your beloved mason jars, look no further than Not Just A Housewife and her darling Mason Jar Wall Planter.  Not just for your indoor herb garden, this pretty piece can be used for storing all kinds of stuff!

 

Round up the jars and a drill; we could hardly wait to dive into this project!

 

Please click here to visit Not Just A Housewife and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sheri

Mission: This just looks awesome, and I have wanted to try it for a while. What a fabulous and unique way to brighten up my kitchen.

 

Details:

As far as directions go, I didn’t find them to be very clear. The final pictures were great, but I would have loved to have seen more of a step by step. Lucky for me, my husband was there to help.

  • My first step was taking care of the drainage. I added rocks to the bottom of the jar, but after reading comments and suggestions on the blog post, I put a straw in for some extra air. I then planted my plants into the mason jars. To be honest, what a pain in the behind. I managed to squeeze them in there, but getting the soil snug around the roots was difficult and I missed a few spots. I’m hoping they survive.
  • I found a great board and cut it to size.
  • Now getting the pipe clamps screwed to the board…I had to call in the big guns, Mr. Hubs…and we broke one or two drill bits trying to do so.  His extra set of hands were also helpful in tightening the mason jars into the clamps and screwing the board to the wall.

This project is definitely a two person job. We had a much needed beer together afterwards.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Duct tape a straw for extra drainage. Just make sure you put it in the back when you clamp the jar. Make sure you have good quality drill bit to put a hole through the metal clamp. Screw the hole first and then screw the clamp to the board

Sheri - Planter 1

Pros:

It looks remarkable.

Cons:

Getting those plants into the small mouth of the jar is difficult. Oh, and the broken drill bits. I’ll be replacing those for my husband.

Sheri - Planter 2

Conclusion:

We absolutely LOVE the final outcome. It came out great. I find myself just staring at it while waiting for my coffee to brew. I hope the plants survive. I would love to do one with herbs.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Kristy

Mission: I love the idea of growing fresh herbs and making a lovely piece of wall décor!

 

Details:

Maren and I got together for this project as I felt it was a bit intimidating and a great excuse to get together!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

5Stain or Paint your board if you want to. Maren and I decided to go bare finish as you can always change it later.

Be sure to measure where your planters will need to be hung, then predrill your holes on the board.  Be sure to also drill holes for hanging!

Ok, here was the tough part, drilling through the metal holders. Just picture Maren with the drill and me fearful of this gal drilling into my fingers as I had to hold metal holders in place.  (Fear left with each cocktail we had…be careful!  Ha!!) Maren was having issues getting the drill through the metal so plan B, she grabbed her pink hammer to nail through it.  Bad idea did not work, just bent the nail.  We went back to the drill and replaced with a new battery then bam…worked perfectly. Well…a couple of broken drill bits later!

Once the holes are drilled, fasten the metal hangers onto boards then you are ready to fasten your awesome jars!

Best tip, when working with the metal hangers loop the tail end to the screw end then just start turning to the right to tighten. It is a simple as that, but we had to learn this.

Maren had a bright idea, to place rocks at the bottom of the mason jars…not only is it cute but I would assume it is also supposed to help with the plant’s survival.

M + K Planter 1

Pros:

Super cute wall décor and a great way to cook healthy with fresh herbs on hand!  There are such a wide variety of fresh herbs so the options are endless!  As for the board, you could be so creative with jars or painted boards!

Cons:

Holy cow, the metal hangers…you need some muscle action and a full battery to break through those, but well worth it!

Kristy - Planter

Conclusion:

Love, love, love! Get your favorite herbs and get busy!  I hope to make these for a few of my real estate clients that love gardening!  I know they will love this gift as much as I do!  My plants are thriving indoors…now Maren has a different story!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission:  I was so excited to try this project out, I love to have fresh herbs.  This is the perfect way to get a start on some gardening as well, since we don’t have a yard quite yet at our new home.  Kristy and I did this project while our husbands cooked burgers on the grill!

Details:

I didn’t have time to hit the store for all of my supplies so I hit up Amazon instead.

Then, I had no idea how big they were or what size of clamp to order, until I found the All American Canner site after a quick Google and got the dimensions of my jars!

Kristy‘s honey grabbed a few of our items at the Home Depot:

  • The dimensions of my oak board were 5″ x 22″ x 3/4″
  • Our screws were 3/4″ long with a flat, Phillips head.
  • For my plants, I chose Moroccan Mint, Italian Flat Leaf Parsley and Cilantro.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Don’t drink and drill.  You heard me.  This was probably my biggest take-away of the night.  Kristy and I took a dinner break and when I came back to finish the project, I wasn’t um, quite as qualified for the job.  I almost amputated my finger trying to push a screw in, when after [what felt like] 15 minutes we realized that the drill was set on “reverse”.  Nice.

Use the Phillips-type drill bit to make the holes in your clamp.  We tried drilling and nailing and both were total failures.  The only thing that worked was pushing the Phillips bit into the clamp while running the drill.  I needed Kristy‘s fingers to keep the clamp open while I pushed and drilled.

Don’t cry if you break a drill bit.  I broke two.  I think that it didn’t help that I had my board sitting on a towel instead of a solid, flat surface.  That of course, and the booze.

The clamp closes by a screw mechanism running along a little track.  Having said that, tightening the clamp by hand could take a while.  Save yourself some time and use your drill – just be sure to go slowly so you don’t take off and break your jar.

Be sure to add little rocks on the bottom for drainage!

Put your plants in before you tighten the clamps around the jars.  Duh.

Do not over-water your cilantro or leave it outside in cooler temps unless you want it to die in 3 days.

Be sure to also have a trusty Quality Assurance Supervisor nearby.  See if you can find ours in the photo below!

Maren - Planter 1

Pros:

This project was easy to do and cute as heck.

Cons:

“Don’t drink and drill.”

Maren - Planter 2

Conclusion:

Since my initial review, I have painted my board aqua and now love my planter even more!  I did give my Cilantro the ax after a few days, but have high hopes for the plant that takes it’s place!

I have also already started on a second planter to use to store my paint brushes – the long ones that don’t really fit anywhere else.

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Sarah

Mission: Any project that uses Mason jars is a project I’m instantly going to try! I love them to pieces!!

 

Details:

I love the idea of this project so much, but honestly am not a good houseplant owner, as they always seem to die on me at some point. So I instead opted to create this project to store my jewelry tools for my Sarah Vonne creations.

  • Mason jars can always be found in my house, so I searched through my supply and found two of the three, wide mouth, quart size Mason jars. The lovely Maren loaned me the third and also had extra clamps for me to use!
  • We still have lots of extra barn wood from my grandfather’s barn that was torn down late last year – this is the same wood I used in the Knob Organizer review. I just love it as it is a constant reminder of my grandfather and anywhere I can sprinkle it into a project, I just have to! My husband helped me pick out the right board for this project and did all the hard carpentry work for me.
  • The barn wood needed to be cut down to size for use on this project, so my husband took care of that with the table saw. We opted to leave the height of the board as it was and just cut it down to 22” in length. I wanted to maintain as much of the character of the board as we could.
  • Once the board was cut, we drilled holes into the metal brackets and then screwed them into place on the board. After this, I slid each of the Mason jars into place and tightened the brackets with a screwdriver until the jars were secure.

I have yet to secure it to the wall above my crafting table, but I have placed all of my jewelry tools within the jars so I’m ready to set up shop.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Find your handsome hubby and put him to work! Just kidding, this isn’t a mandatory, but I always love  when mine is willing to help.

Sarah - Planter 1

Pros:

Purposeful – which is a factor I absolutely love! And, this project has an array of uses for each individual out there; a planter, a tool holder, a utensil holder, etc.

Cons:

In my case, I needed a handy man, so it would have been a bit difficult for me to finish this one on my own.

Sarah - Planter 2

Conclusion:

Love it and can’t wait to get it secured onto the wall.

 

Planter Conclusion


The darling
Mason Jar Wall Planter and it’s photo by Not Just A Housewife


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Eat. Sleep. Decorate. has the perfect solution to the towel clutter in your bathroom with DIY Knob Organization.  In fact, this project can be used to tackle messes all over your home and look good doing it!

 

Eager to tidy up and add beauty to our homes, we wanted in on this DIY Knob Organization action, pronto!

 

Please click here to visit Eat. Sleep. Decorate. and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 – Alicia

Mission: I have always loved the idea of creating a handmade and unique towel rack for the bathroom out of a few materials and there is nothing more empowering than a lady using a power saw, although I did not need to use one. Boohoo!

Details:

  • Tools needed: Wooden board at any length, knobs or pulls, spray paint, painters tape if you are creating any type of pattern and power tools for cutting, drilling, hanging, etc.
  • My Dad is an amazing wood crafter, although I wanted to tackle this project on my own. I found a scrap board in his workshop about 18” long and 7″ wide. Perfect!
  • I also used my Dad’s power drill to make 4 holes. Now we are rolling!
  • In the original project she used door knobs that were super long and needed to be cut. I was a little frightened by this. Sawing/cutting any type of metal is not my idea of fun. I found some beautiful (and short) drawer pulls at Menards that did the trick.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I originally painted my board white and thought it was a little boring for my taste and my spare bathroom with white walls. So then I added blue stripes and that looked terrible. I finally repainted over the white and blue with a soft gray. Still boring!!!

I finally decided on keeping the gray and adding a white chevron pattern.

Alicia - Hanger 1

Pros:

Fun project!!!

Cons:

PAINT! I had a heck of a time spray painting. If you do not use slow smooth strokes, the paint can look thick and goopy.

I used about 8 coats of paint all together, but I am nuts! When using painters tape, make sure you really push it down securely.  With my first go around with the paint I was positive the painters tape was secure. When I peeled the tape back, the paint has bled in spots. Hence it took me 8 coats. LOL!

Alicia - Hanger 2

Conclusion:

This was such a fun project for me! I am super happy with the end result and very pleased with how my chevron pattern turned out. I scoured the web to find “creating chevron for dummies” and then determined THAT was too complicated, so I created my own pattern.  Not bad, if I do say so myself.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: With a new home, I have been anxious to add little things here and there to help give this place a personal touch.  I know that a home’s character grows with time, but I wanted to kick that plan into high gear.  This project had perfect timing, as we had yet to have a place to hang our coats!

Details:

  • We picked up a 56″ long 5″ x 1″ board from Home Depot to fit into our “Owner Entry” as our builder calls it!  We lightly sanded the cut end and were ready to go!
  • My husband and I painted the board with three light coats of White Dove by Benjamin Moore, which is the same color as our trim in the home.  We have plenty left over!
  • I then sprayed a coat of Krylon Satin Finish over the painted board to keep the paint from getting worn down as easily by repetitively hanging up coats over time.
  • We had some left over knobs from our build that I got at Lowe’s.  I really love how chunky these knobs are and couldn’t help but think that they would be perfect for hanging our coats on!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Maren - Hanger 1Here’s a secret you may not know, Home Depot will make wood cuts for you!  I learned this in college when I needed to get Masonite to paint on.  That stuff only comes in huge panels, so they would always kindly cut them up for me.

Measure twice, pound the nail in once.  Learned this the hard way hanging the overhead shelf just prior to this coat rack.

Remember to use a wall anchor that suits the weight of the item that you’re hanging.  We went heavy-duty since this piece will get a lot of use.

 

Pros:

I absolutely love this!

The project was easy enough to do on my own, but also a great project to do with my honey… that is until we tried to hang it.

Cons:

Hanging it.  Apparently just because your home is new, doesn’t mean that the walls are perfectly flat.

I will also admit that my husband and I don’t always excel at doing home projects together.  For example, we have outlawed assembling any furniture together.  But hey – you’ve gotta know what works for your own relationship!  We eventually got this mother on the wall and it looks terrific!

 Maren - Hanger 2

Conclusion:

I am so happy with this piece!  It instantly added character to our home and gives it a loved and lived-in feel.  I think that I’ll whip up a smaller version for my closet, and even one for my grocery totes right inside the door to the garage!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Kristy

Mission: Its multi-functional, keeps my jewelry organized and is a fun piece of art!

 

Details:

  • I chose a fresh-cut of Poplar wood which cost me about 4 bucks.
  • I went to Michaels and bought each variety they had.  I got 4 for 5 bucks.  Perfect!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Break out the ruler or a smaller measuring tape to mark your screw holes! My handy-dandy husband drilled the holes. Be mindful of this as each one of my knobs had a different screw width.

My poplar board was unfinished so I painted with the black spray paint I had on hand!  I will admit I was lazy I just decided to spray without priming and hope for the best! Well it needed two coats, I may prime next time.  Priming would probably help with a better finish, too.

Screws were too long on a few of the knobs preventing me from hanging the board so my husband had to assist again with bolt cutters.

Pros:

Looks great, definitely multi-functional and can be used to display and view your jewelry, handbags or scarves!

Also inexpensive – even less if you can find scrap wood and knobs from old furniture.

Cons:

Measuring! It seems no matter how much time I spend trying to get the screw holes straight, they end up not being exactly right!

Kristy - Hanger 2

Conclusion:

Very cute, needed help from the hubby on this project! It was easier to have him help hang, drill and cut the screws!

A client once told me, “Everything in your home should be beautiful and functional OR don’t buy it!”  I love this motto and I am trying to live by it. This is a perfect example of one of those beautiful pieces!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Sarah

Mission: To create a proper place for ourselves and our house guests to hang their coats!

 

Details:

Though this project was specifically purposed for a towel hanger, we just weren’t in need of that in any of our bathrooms. Instead, we needed a coat rack within our mudroom. This project was just the inspiration we needed to get that checked-off our house project to-do list.

I grew up on a farm in Iowa and recently, we had to tear down one of my grandpa’s barns as it was soon to fall over on its own. My dad and my husband gathered as much of the barn wood as they could so we could create a new life with it in new projects. This was the first project we got to use it for!

  • Sarah - Hanger 1My husband helped pick out the best piece we had for this project – we needed it to be as flat and level as possible and we wanted one with some character. The one we ended up with is perfect in my book!
  • We didn’t do anything else to the piece of wood – just left it like it was on my grandpa’s barn and we didn’t even have to cut it to size – it was perfect.
  • Because the piece of wood we used wasn’t the same width the entire board, we improvised on our hook placements and did our best to eye them centered on the board.
  • My husband did all of the hard work of drilling the holes for the hooks and he helped screw them on the board as well. I was the “eye” for placement and of course picked out the awesome rugged hooks. I found those at Anthropologie and got them for a pretty good deal!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Find hooks/knobs that speak to you – such a fun project to really personalize!

Find a helper and put them to work – my husband was the perfect person to help me with this one! I could not have completed this without him…okay, maybe I could have, but there may have been some swear words in the mix then.

Pros:

Purposeful project!!!

Cons:

A bit labor intensive for the beginner.

Sarah - Hanger 2

Conclusion:

We absolutely love how this turned out and it is one of the best pieces of décor in our house as it has a fantastic purpose and a lovely history. For me, it is a great daily reminder of my grandpa and my family roots back in Iowa.

Next up we’d like to try creating a full-length mirror with some of the barn wood!

 

Knob Conclusion

 

The darling and clever Knob Organization for Towels and it’s photo by Eat. Sleep. Decorate.


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DIY Tray

Prudent Baby has gone and done it!  A totally cute DIY Tray with a million uses and a bajillion ways to customize!

We love great gifts, we love tidying up our homes, and we love totally doable crafts!  Let’s do this!

 

Please click here to visit Prudent Baby and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Maren

Mission: I love to be organized, and  I have wanted to try out a project with Mod Podge – I have never used it before!  By the looks of it, this tray could be personalized in so many ways, I was really excited to dive in!

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I started with a unfinished tray from Michaels.  First, I painted it white with enamel acrylic paint in White.  I then added a coat of acrylic paint in Pearl Finish that I have fallen in love with after our Faux Zinc Letters!  Lastly, I added a coat of my other new favorite thing (discovered when we turned Ugly to Chic!), Martha’s Sprayable Gloss Enamel Finish.  A lot of steps, but I love my shiney, pearly white tray!

One thing that I would do differently, would be to lightly sand the tray before painting.  I did have a few rough spots that would have looked much nicer if I had smoothed them out first.

I have a Fiskars Rotary Cutting Set which is PERFECT for any fabric cutting – not just quilting (which I don’t do).  A quick measurement and I had a perfectly fitting piece of fabric!

I applied the Mod Podge a little at a time, so that I could make sure that I was placing my piece of fabric evenly onto the tray.  I then smoothed out as I went along and it worked out great!  I then added a couple more coats for good measure!  The cool thing about the Mod Podge that I got, is that after letting it “cure” for 21 days, it will be water resistant!  AND the Gloss Enamel Finish is suitable for outdoors!  Perfect for the clumbsy gal who will probably spill the drinks that she’s carrying on it more than a couple of times!

Pros:

Frickin’ LOVE this thing.  There are SO many ways to make this project your own!

Future house guests be warned, there may be one in every room.

Cons:

Nada

Conclusion:

I am a huge fan!  With all of the differnent ways that you can customize this crafty little number, this project would be the perfect homemade gift.  You could add a monogram for a hostess gift, use coordinating colors for a friends new home, or just fill with goodies like Prudent Baby did for a new mom!  I’ll be making more!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Amanda

Mission: Create a lovely little tray my kiddos could enjoy.

 

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

ALWAYS read instructions. I did not read the instructions on the Watermelon Krylon Spray Paint and regretted it immediately. I pulled the little plastic piece out of the nozzle thinking it didn’t belong there only to realize after spraying a coat that it MOST DEFINITELY belonged there. I ended up with this horrible, thick coat of paint that wouldn’t stick which was strange. Thankfully coat two SEEMED to cover that ick up.

Things went horribly wrong when I applied the Spray Mod Podge however. It looked fine at the time but when it dried it became cracked and bubbly. Really disappointed me but my kids thought it looked great.

Pros:

Fairly simple craft with great end results if done correctly.

Cons:

Can get expensive so try to use up old spray paint you have lying around instead of starting from scratch.

Conclusion:

I will definitely make this again even though my results were a total bomb (and not like “da bomb” either). I would definitely use craft paper next time and would probably not choose to use the Spray Mod Podge either. It really seemed to create more issues than convenience like I had hoped for.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sheri

Mission:  My first thought for this project when we found it on Prudent Baby was that I have the PERFECT tray for this. Our Friday Night Movie Night tray was in dire need of a facelift. My second thought, “What the hell is Mod Podge?” I’m a Mod Podge virgin.

Details:

I already had a tray that needed a little bit of love. All I needed to get was Mod Podge and some pretty paper. I didn’t paint the sides of my tray because they have a good finish and I like the natural wood with the leather handles.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Get an entire piece of paper that fits the tray properly…unless you don’t mind seams. The seams made it harder for me to get all the bubbles out.

Pros:

Easy and cheap little fix. Mod Podge is fabulous!

Cons:

None, unless you count you have to wash a paintbrush.

Conclusion:

Mod Podge has just found a new fan. My wheels are turning on all the other projects I could do with this stuff! This was an easy little upgrade to my tired looking tray. The boys are all excited to have “new” tray for Movie Night. I’m just a little bummed that I couldn’t find paper that fit the size tray I had. I don’t like seeing the seams. I am actually contemplating going right over it all with a piece of wrapping paper. We’ll see.

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Kristy

Mission:  When I saw this tray, I knew I wanted to create one for myself. I also think the trays would make great gifts!

 

Details:

  • I searched Michaels and Joann for an unfinished tray and I didn’t find what I was looking for.  I ended up finding a tray that was already decorated at Joann and making it my own.
  • I had originally planned to paint the tray sea foam green but then I had decided to leave it.  This tray is great in the original wood stain and would go nicely with paper that I chose.
  • When at Michaels, I chose 2 hard stock custom sheets of paper to use for the project.  There were tons to choose from so get creative!
  • Since I had to combine 2 pieces of paper to cover the bottom of the tray, I also purchased a dark contrasting ribbon to cover the lines.
  • Of course, don’t forget the Mod Podge, cutting board, ruler and x-acto knife!
  • Instead of a paint brush, I used a Sponge Brush.  I scored 20 brushes at 5 cents each from Michaels!  Awesome, they are great for all projects!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

The best way to cut the paper is by using a professional cutter with the grid lines, I have one at work because I just wasn’t getting my lines straight and I was impatient.  Go figure!

Follow the directions!  Ha, I am terrible at this.  I was in such a rush to see the final project that I didn’t slowly place the paper on the Mod Podge while pressing the air bubbles out.  Once it’s stuck, it’s pretty much stuck.  I had to lift mine to get it straight and remove air bubbles. By doing this I had to add additional Mod Podge and I was worried the paper would tear from being soft.

Pros:

Simple and cute! It’s is such a multipurpose project!  You can make a tray for so many reasons and in so many creative ways!

Cons:

This project may drive the perfectionist types absolutely crazy, as I even found myself going a little crazy trying to get the paper to fit just perfectly and trying to remove all of those air bubbles.

I wish I had found the unfinished wooden tray from Michaels that was on Prudent Baby.  Instead of $3.99, I paid $14.00.

Conclusion:

Loved it! If I had the need for more trays then I would definitely make more!  Will make a perfect gift… especially to my clients for house warming gifts! I am already thinking of creative ideas to personalize them for the new homeowners.  When I decided not to paint the tray, it’s because it will be perfect to hold one of our upcoming projects!  You absolutely don’t want to miss what we have coming up this Fall!

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Janet

Mission: To make a cute and handy little tray that is as cute as it is functional.

 
 

Details:

Also… I couldn’t help myself after looking at all of Martha’s craft goodies!  I grabbed a few more items to add a little something extra to my tray:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

If I were to do it again, I would use a fine grade sandpaper to smooth out the handles and edges of the wood before painting. One 2 oz bottle of paint is enough, unless you really want to coat that sucker.

Don’t be afraid to slather a lot on the first coat on Mod Podge before laying the paper down, and be sure to smooth out the paper when you do put it down. Put about 3 topcoats on, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next one.

Pros:

Simple project, allows for creativity and added touches, and actually will get some use out of it.

Cons:

If you’re looking for something more fancy or expensive-looking to decorate your home, this isn’t the way to go.

Conclusion:

I really liked this project! I forgot how awesome Mod Podge is…definitely going to be using it on other projects. I can see myself making this as a gift for a friend or family member. Thumbs up!

 

 

 

The lovely DIY Tray and it’s photo by Prudent Baby


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