Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Before and After ~ Menu Board from a Thrift Store Frame for $6

I am thrilled to have this project done!!  I've been picturing it for weeks and it's finally on the wall and I love it!  Read on to see how we created this.......

I say "we" because my husband has suddenly gotten all kinds of crafty with me, which is surprising because he normally hasn't shown much interest in my creative ventures (or talk of venturing)......but now he's got spray paint in hand and is kicking butt and taking names!  ;) 
I'm wondering if it really just makes him crazy to see my half completed projects laying around and wants to just get them done already, but whatever the reason, I'll take it!  He motivates me and encourages me to just take a risk even if it's not perfect and I love it and love him!  ;)

I first saw some inspiration for a "Blessing Board" from Julie at Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss and Kirsten at The Crafting Chicks and it was such a great idea to have a reminder of the wonderful blessings in our life.  It's so very easy to focus on the bad news and rough parts of our day and forget too many of the great things God's given us  - and I *love* the idea of having the kids involved in choosing what to write on the board and helping them cultivate gratefulness!
(Ooh, I just found another one here where she made a blessing board and menu boards!)

So I started looking for a suitable frame when I was out and about at thrift stores and for weeks came up with nothing.  But then I found this picture for $3.99 and grabbed it - don't be jealous, I know she's a beauty!  ;)  When first seeing it my husband and sister both thought I was a little coo-coo for spending that much on an ugly picture (my apologies if you like it!), but I could see the potential and couldn't wait to start.

I was not as long as I'd had in mind for the blessing board (we have a lot of blessings!), so I decided to keep looking for another frame, and use this one for a menu board.  I've been trying to come up with a way to jot down ideas when they come to me for meal planning - an area I really need to work on!  Being able to know what we're having for dinner and plan ahead on a more regular basis would be so helpful.....saving time, stress and money!

I began by taking the back off and removing the picture and glass.  Since it's not quite warm enough outside yet, I took the frame to the basement and set up my "spray painting station" (plastic over the washing machine).

Then I got out the lovely Rustoleum Oil-Rubbed Bronze spray paint and got to painting.

Once it dried, I ended up having a couple areas where I'd sprayed the paint a little too thick and it wasn't a smooth coat.

So I grabbed a piece of fine grit sand paper from the tool room and sanded the thicker parts away and gave it another thin coat to finish it up.

I went to Hobby Lobby and JoAnn's to look for burlap for the background.  I found some for $3.99/yd, but I also discovered some scrapbook paper that was printed to look just like burlap and I thought it would be much easier to work with.  It was regularly .44¢ each, but was on sale 50% off - sold!  I bought two pieces of the 8.5" x 11" size.

My husband was also not too fond of the doodads on the outside of the frames, like the burlap/fabric flowers on Julie's and Kerstin's boards - which I think are darling!, so I had an idea that would add some color and personality that we'd both be happy with.  I grabbed some beautiful scrapbook paper with blues, greens and browns that would go with our decor, along with an assortment of ribbon because I just couldn't decide in the store.
*I'm hoping I can secretly make up some amazing burlap/fabric flowers of my own and *maybe* once he sees them looking perfect on the frame he won't be able to resist.  ;)   shh!

We folded the edges of the paper over to fit in the frame (you know, because cutting it would've been too much work, lol!) and then taped the seam in the back to keep them in place.
I wanted about an inch of the pretty paper to show on the left side of the board, so my husband cut two strips of paper (to piece together to be long enough to go down the whole side) about an inch and a quarter wide.
*And yes we are cutting right on our dining room table, using the gap where the leaf fits in as a guide for the knife.....cause that's just how the hubzy rolls.

Then we placed the strips of paper on the side of the burlap paper and taped it in place.  We found that the seams were showing too much, so we used a glue stick to help it lay flatter.

After much ribbon debate, we decided on the plain brown one.  I had found a skinnier green roll of ribbon in my stash and were originally planning on layering the two, but when we saw it together with the paper we thought the brown looked better alone.  We cut a piece of the ribbon the length of the paper and attached with a bead of super glue.

We then placed the whole thing back into the frame and put the back on.  And then...........viola!

And now it's living on the wall between my kitchen and pantry......near my "new" ORB knife block.  Now, if I can keep the hubs from listing pizza and tacos every single night, it will be even more helpful!  =)

thrift store frame: $3.99
scrapbook paper: .74¢
ribbon: $1
paint, sandpaper, glue, etc, on hand: $0
= $5.73

Obviously the cost would vary if I didn't have the paint, or I did have the right scrapbook paper or ribbon - but as it is I made it for under $6!

I'm loving it!!  I had still been debating about whether to use it as a menu board or a blessing board, so I didn't commit to any stickers or vinyl to label it yet, but I will probably add that later.
For now we're using a regular dry-erase marker we had on hand, but you can get Bistro Chalk Markers at Hobby Lobby or Michaels for $12ish.  I'm planning on getting some when the next 40% coupon comes out.

What do you think?

Linking up to these fun parties.............






Thrifty Decor Chick's Before and After Party


Nothing But Country


Julie said...

Gorgeous, Mara!! You're going to love it!

Mara said...

Thank you for the beautiful inspiration Julie! =) said...

It turned out fabulous! I love the paper and ribbon touches.

PS-I used to do a deals blog but couldn't keep up when I had a baby. Love deals though!

Mara @ Super Savings said...

Thanks Kerstin! =) I'm still working on winning my husband over to the beautiful burlap flowers like yours. ;)

I'm finding it's very tough to keep up the deal blog with the little ones....just trying to post the best things I come across and finding a's a work in progress. =)

Rebecca said...

Fabulous! Love that your husband was involved too. And that's a good tip using the space between the table leaf to cut.

Just Jaime said...

Looks awesome!

Mara @ Super Savings said...

Thanks Jaime, I'm loving it! Thanks for stopping by! =)

Mara @ Super Savings said...

Thank you Rebecca! =) I was surprised when he wanted to help me with it, because he's not normally into crafty things, but I'm slowly winning him over. ;) I wasn't sure about his method of cutting, but "fortunately" the table isn't too fancy, lol.
Thanks for stopping by my blog! I enjoyed checking out yours and am now a follower - your daughter is an absolute doll! =)

Anonymous said...

Oh I love it... I just did oe, I might redo mine after seeing yours. Thank you for the inspiration. Go check out mine and leave a comment on what you think?

Mara @ Super Savings said...

Awesome Nancy! I'll head right over and check it out.
Happy to have you here! =)

~ Mara