Thursday, May 6, 2010

My thrifty message center

I have been getting my craft on. Perhaps it is all the days inside because of the fickle Utah weather. Seriously, I don't even want to talk about the 45 degree weather out today- MAY 6!! Are the Jensen's happy about moving here after I said that?? Ha. JK. Not my fault guys. I prayed for warm weather and have been trying to channel the global warming guys by wearing flip flops and shorts to no avail.

ANYWAY...OK. So I have been trying to revamp my builder's white filled house (by that I mean that my walls are the white the builders used in every. single. house. in my neighborhood.) I really DO NOT want to paint the walls because I don't have those skills. And...I CANNOT afford to pay someone to do it. walls will be the ooogly builder's white.

So to make lemonade out of the lemons I've been handed, I decided to put color everywhere else instead of the walls. I have also decluttered the dreaded drawer that everything is stuffed in. And voila....a cute, toile message board, erasable calendar and mail sorter thingy.

The message board I had (it was a gift given to me in high school). I just recovered it with red toile fabric. Oh yes...before I recovered it, I covered a square piece of cork board I got at Hobby Lobby (I think it was $3 for 4 pieces of cork board). I also covered a rectangular piece that went along the right side and another rectangular piece that went along the bottom. I had a plan for this but I did it so long ago (which is why I can't show you a step by step) I can't remember why. But its pretty simple. Cut enough fabric to cover the board and hot glue around the sides. I didn't like the edges showing so I hot glued some green ribbon on the sides.
For the push pins I used those flat glass beads you put as a filler in flower vases, thumb tacks, scrapbook paper scraps, modgepodge and hot glue.
1. Spread modge podge on flat side of bead and place that side on the right side of the paper. 2. Let dry (cue jeapordy musique)
3. Cut around paper.
4. Put hot glue of top of thumb tack and quickly place on the back side of the bead. The pic shows me putting it on the paper but don't do it this way. Let my mistakes teach you! The tack fell off this one only, while the other ones (put glue on tack first) stayed. Coincidence??
5. Repeat step 2.
6. Voila! Cute thumb tacks to brighten up the oh so awesome pieces of paper tacked on the message board.

Erasable/Rewritable Calendar
Ok I have this thing about scribble marks. Well....I HATE them. It's like nails on a chalkboard. The only scribblies I like are when I purposely scribble things off my to-do list. I write things I've already done just to scribble them out....I am giddy just thinking about it. Anyway, my family's plans change often and I hate wasting paper (except post-it notes where my glorious to-do lists are printed on). I saw this at the house where my husband home teaches and STOLE (muhahah) the idea. I"m pretty sure there are tutorials out there....but here is my version sans pics (again- I made this a while ago)

1. Choose a pretty frame with the glass still intact (spraypaint it if you don't like the color.)
2. Optional: Modgepodge cute paper to the cardboard paper that comes with it so that is what shows through instead of the wall of back of frame. I chose to skip this step because the pretty paper made it hard to read what I wrote.
3. Measure height and width. Now this all depends on what you want. If you only want the days then divide the width by 7. I divided it by 9 (the extra two were for an extra column detailing my cleaning sched.). I divided the height by 6 (5 weeks and one for the header).
4. Now make your lines using a marker and ruler. I used a dry erase marker and just flipped the glass around so I wouldn't smudge the lines when writing on the calendar.
5. Fill that bad boy in (days, numbers, month, etc.). Remember to schedule in my 10 months.
Whoa ok. long post. Last ditty.

Supplies Holders (Pens, Mail, etc.)
It is the end of the month which can only mean one thing.....not a lot of money left to spend. Don't get me wrong, I like to spend but I love more to be thrifty and creative when I am poor. or rich. whatevs. So I put my noggin to use after watching 3 episodes of Bear in the Big Blue House. I had some empty food boxes I could use. I originally wanted to use mason jars but that would not be kid friendly and might be too heavy for the bitty nails I had leftover. So off to my empty granola bars box and sample cereal box.
1. Pick sweet paper..or fabric.
2. Cut flaps off.
3. Measure box on paper. I just traced each side of the box on the paper and cut them all out.
4. Spread glue or whatever adhesive you wish. I used watered down modge podge to stick it on as I am running loooow on mine. Make sure to really get it in the corners.
5. Slap on the paper and smooooth it out making sure to get the corners, again.
6. Let dry.
7. I made labels using left over scraps and stamped "OUT," "PENS," and my personal favorite "BILLS." I glued those on.
8. Using a hole punch, I made 2 holes on the each side of the back of the box.
9. I threaded some ribbon through the holes and tied a knot.
10. Hang 'em up and admire how cute those colorful papers look on your boring white walls. :)
11. Add the necessary items to their respective boxes...I must say even my "bills" look pretty now.

Sorry about the crooked papers on the message board. I was in a hurry as this was done during A's naptime. Anyway, my less than $5 message center totally beats Pottery Barn's chic and sophisticated one ;) This is a just a fun version and an idea for all of y'all with a tight budget.


Kate Bailey said...

nice work, brenda! isn't it so rewarding to make things?? it looks great!

Kacey said...

I love the calender. What a fun idea. Thanks for sharing!