A Chalkboard Menu Planner

Don’t you hate planning meals and grocery lists for those meals, then think? Why did I buy this? What did I plan for meals? When did I plan to make the meals? A Chalkboard clipboard with a template stenciled in paint (or cut from vinyl) lets you fill in the name of the meal with a chalk pen and then wipe it all away, ready for the next week.

I purchased this clipboard from Dollar Tree and painted it with chalkboard paint. It may have come from Dollar Tree or possibly Dollar General.

I used a cut file I purchased with a commercial license from https://dawnnicole.co so I could legally sell the menu planning clipboards I created.

However, if you want to do this for yourself personally, the template is free for that.

I cut out a stencil on my Silhouette machine for this project and stenciled it with our brand of chalk-style paint “Missouri Limestone Paint Company” in the color January. You can also use permanent vinyl.

The first time before using chalk on it, though you need to prime it with a layer of chalk. Then clean it off. This keeps older messages from showing as a ghost image after it is erased.

I may just start planning some meals and buying some groceries regularly now. 😁

An Ingenious Craft Room Peg Board

I have been doing a lot of crafting lately. I have an area in my basement for crafting and when I first put it together it was good. But, it was closed in on 3 sides and I had nowhere to really organize.

So I have basically taken over my dining room table.

What a mess!

I needed to reclaim my dining room table and stop with the constant mess all around. So I started researching craft room ideas. I noticed many had peg boards.

I mentioned it to Danny about how overwhelmed I was with the clutter and mess. We talked about how to attach one and that several made frames to attach and then framed around them to dress them up.

We first rearranged the area for my crafting area by switching where we had a daybed. It is amazing how much that opened up the area.

He came up with an idea he was sure would work. He wanted to attach the peg board to two bifold doors and make it free standing. So last night we went to Lowe’s and purchased a peg board for around $20. I also bought a box of hardware for $13 and we have more here. We had two nice bifold doors with hinges someone gave us and got to work.

This literally took just about an hour to put together. We started with it on the floor. Danny was afraid he wouldn’t be able to get up once he got on the floor, so with my back that has been giving me trouble with sciatica, I put all of the screws in on one side and enough on the other until we could stand it up and he finished it up. As I was starting to get up off the floor, he provided some sage advice. “Take your time getting up,” he said. I gave him one of those long suffering wife looks and replied. “I don’t think that will be a problem.” 😂

I was a little leery thinking it might fall over but he assured me it won’t. I did make sure my table was up against it but I think he’s right. It probably would be good to add another door in the middle just for stability, but honestly, it is fine the way it is. It just has some movement in the peg board. I can’t wait to start organizing. Right now I am just adding things. I am finding Dollar Tree wire baskets work well.

I can see the TV fine when sitting at the table. I have one of those bright lights next to it. I have a refrigerator in my laundry room and I have a bathroom nearby. Danny may not see me for Hoya on end now.

Hmmmm.

Now I’m thinking there was a reason he was so eager to make this happen. Lol

I will add final pics here. I have several shelving units to go through, too.

Stencil over Burlap – love it!

I was inspired by another crafter to paint and stencil over burlap sooo…

  • Dollar Tree 6”x 6” sign with beaded hanger (Love these – they come in natural wood and black)
  • Christmas tree wood cut out – come in a pkg. of 5, I think)
  • I have a stash of burlap bag so used a piece of one
  • Missouri Limestone Paint Company chalk-style paint “January” (or any brand of white chalk paint will work)
  • Farm cow image printed on card stock

I hot glued the burlap on the back side of the sign. Worked well but next time I think I will use Emer’s adhesive spray. You could turn the sign back around later and have a different sign so I might glue burlap on both sides next time and do a reverse stencil of some kind in the natural burlap for a different look.

Update: I did do the back, too, stenciling a farm cow. I now have 2 signs in one!

I used the natural frame. I dry brushed a bit of white paint over it and the beads for a little different look.

I then used scotch tape and taped the Christmas tree onto the burlap to help hold it and daubed white chalk paint all around the stencil and the burlap.

That’s it! How cute! You can hang on the wall or even on a tree. These would make cute stocking stuffers Zoe Christmas gifts. Great project to do with kids.

I’m a True “Fan” of this Garden Ghost Family

Meet Gus, Gertie, and Georgie, my latest project. They are a happy garden ghost family….not scary at all!

Boooo!!!

Who knew when I bought a small ceiling fan with short blades at a yard sale several years ago, one of the blades would become Georgie. My original intent was to paint the blades for my grandson’s bedroom with a bunk bed, but never got around to doing that. So Georgie and his three friends have been patiently waiting for some action.

Then, along comes our neighbors doing some remodeling, and gifts us with a ceiling fan and a ceiling fan with lights. I’ve already started making lanterns with the light covers, and am now the proud owner of two different sizes of fan blades from this gift. 🤗

So what’s a crafter to do? And then it hit me….. make some spooky? families for the yard. I put them up against a door and Yes! I could see a dad, mom, and kid. Can’t you?

1. Prep – I cleaned them thoroughly with Windex, my go to cleaner.

2. I filled in the holes with KwikWood, my favorite wood repair putty, just so I’d have more of a finished look when finished. After all, who wants a ghost with holes in his head?

3. Once the filler was dry, I sanded it and scuffed up the blades front and back with 220 sandpaper.

4. Then I painted each side with our paint brand Missouri Limestone Paint Company in “January”, a pure white. I used two coats.

Smile for the camera!

5. Next, I free hand drew their faces on a piece of card stock and cut them out to use as stencils. I traced the faces onto the blades with a pencil, then used a black oil-based Sharpie paint pen to color them in.

6. I didn’t want them falling over in the garden and getting hurt so Danny found 3 4×4” blocks about 4” tall and screwed them to the wood blocks. These happened to be left over pieces of treated lumber he had stored away in the shed. He left a bit of the treated lumber showing just so the fan blade would be resting on the ground.

7. My final step is spraying them with Varathane SPAR Urethane to protect them from the weather. Fan blades are a manufactured wood product (MDF). Even though they won’t be out in the weather for a long period, this will help keep them nice for many Halloweens to come.

And here they are again! They seem so happy to be in the garden. I’m a fan! How about you? 🥰

Happy Halloween!

I’m now making two more families. These are for my kids. The first set is complete and has been delivered. We have Dad, Mom, sister, brother, and can’t forget the family dog.

Getting started!

Our granddaughter helped screw each one to a block of wood so they would stand up without falling over. A girl is never too young to learn to use a power tool.

We put mom and dad on a bit of a slant toward the kids. And here they are!

A Fall Dollar Tree Door Mat

I’ve been seeing the Dollar Tree Felt Pumpkins, Leaves, and Acorns used as stencils on the Dollar Tree gray door mats. This morning, I used the leaf one to create this beautiful door mat. You can do it, too!

Yes, I made that cute little fall gnome door hanger, too.

These are the materials I used. I used our paint brand we own and produce, Missouri Limestone Paint Company chalk-style paint: Grannies Lace, Old Tin Barn, Bordeaux, English Ivy, and Possum Grape Jam. However, any brand and type of paint should do fine.

I used the side that was more ribbed. On my next one I will use the flatter side. This mat really soaks up the paint. This is the first coat. I eventually did two coats and then a little more to cover well the area that will be under the leaf stencil. The rest can have a more dry brush look.

I then placed the stencil on the mat and just started pounding the Old Tin Barn color on the spines and all around the leaf. You don’t have to do the whole thing at this point. I just did around the leaf area then removed the leaf stencil.

I then continued pouncing the Old Tin Barn color all around.

Using the same brush, without washing it out, I pounced the Bordeaux color on randomly over the Old Tin Barn, trying to blend it a bit.

Using the same brush again, I pounced on randomly the English Ivy color.

Using the same process, I added a bit of Possum Grape Jam color.

This photo shows all the different colors, much like you would see in nature in the fall.

The last step is to take the mat outside and give it a couple coats of the SPAR Urethane waterbased exterior sealer. It says it is gloss, but doesn’t show up gloss on the mat. I don’t think, once chalk-style paint cures for 30 days, a sealer is really needed, but in the meantime I think it just helps protect it a little.

And there it is! A beautiful Fall door mat. The pumpkin and acorn would also look nice.

And here’s my acorn one. I’m keeping this one. It’s pretty appropriate since we have a ton of oak trees (not to mention leaves) in our yard.

How to Create Two Small Pumpkins In Minutes with a Dollar Tree Sock

I am always up for quick and easy projects especially when they involve Dollar Tree materials. I saw a great idea for making a pumpkin using a sock so just had to go with it and put my own spin on it. I quickly realized I could get two pumpkins out of one sock.

One sock = 2 pumpkins

And now I get to show you how easy it is. No sewing is involved in the making of these pumpkins. Just some glue gun and a bit of wire. That’s it!

You will need:

• A Dollar Tree sock – cut in half at the heel

• Two flat rocks

• Fiber fill

• Dollar Tree Thin Wire

• Dollar Tree Twine

• Glue gun

First, we will make a pumpkin with the top half of the sock.

I turned the sock inside out and as close to the edge as possible, I hot glued the bottom part shut.

Then I gathered that part up and hot glued the edges in place, again as close as possible to the edge.

Next I added the rock and glued the flattest part to edge of the gathers. This is to help keep it in place.

I then turned the sock right side out again and stuffed it with fiber fill.

I gathered up the top, twisted it and wired it closed.

It was now ready for the stem and the sections. I tied the end of the twine around the wire and added a drop of hot glue to secure it. Then wrapped the twine around a couple of times. I secured it in place with glue.

I then pulled the twine around the bottom of the pumpkin and up the other side, pulling it very tight. I secured it with glue to the other twine and wrapped around and did another section the same way. I ended up with 6 sections.

I wrapped the twine all the way up the top of the twisted top and and end, securing with a bit of glue every so often, then wrapped it back down again. Cut the twine and glued the end down.

And there it is… a perfect little pumpkin.

Then for the second pumpkin, I didn’t need to glue the bottom of the tube because I would be using the toe as the bottom of the pumpkin.

It was worked the same as the first one until I got to the stem. I trimmed the twisted part of the sock at an angle and when I glued it at the top I was able to use the glue to help mold it into a point.

And since I had a pair of socks, I made 4 pumpkins!

I hope you try this with socks or maybe make them with fabric tubes or maybe sweater sleeves. Please share your creations with us if you do. We’d love to see them!

Vintage Ironing Board Repurposed as a “Home” Sign

This project was so much fun to do. I often write tutorials for my projects, so be sure to follow my blog with you can be notified when I post a new project! Thanks!

One day Danny mentioned we should paint the vintage ironing board we had. I researched some painted boards and was inspired to paint it like a HOME sign. And that was just the beginning.

I had a brainstorm…. and now I’ve been obsessed with it. I decided I would make 7 different “O” wreaths. The buyer of this awesome creation would only have to change out the decoration and wreath I created for them every season or holiday.

  1. Fall/Thanksgiving
  2. Halloween
  3. Christmas/Valentine’s Day
  4. Winter
  5. St. Patrick’s Day
  6. Spring/Easter/Summer
  7. 4th of July/All Flag Holidays

I have gone a bit overboard, I know, especially since I want to sell my creation and will never be able to charge for all the hours I will have into it, but I am enjoying the challenge, so there is that.

After cleaning the board thoroughly, I did a heavy dry brush of our Missouri Limestone Paint Company “January” to give it a nice distressed looking base for the words “HOME”.

I found 8 inch letters (H, M, and E) at Walmart and traced them on the board with a pencil. I left a space for a wreath to represent the “O”.

The beginning of the sign showing the H letter I painted black and my first idea for an “O” wreath using clothespins.

Looking good, but realized right away it would be too time consuming to make 8 of these wreaths.

To get the 8” size I needed, I had to make my own form with wire. With this one I stained the clothespins with a solution of vinegar, used coffee grounds, and steel wool, then glued the clothespins to it with hot glue and E6000. So….scratch that idea.

All is not lost, though. I added a different decoration and sold this one in my booth. But now, I had to think of an easier wreath to make.

My next idea was to use a big mouth canning jar lid. It was the perfect size! So, this time I took the clothespins apart and glued them with hot glue and E6000 as a sample. That made the perfect size. But…..I only had 2 wide mouth lids. Would you believe this whole town must be canning food for the next 10 years? There were no canning jar lids in the 4 different stores I tried.

Turns out, that didn’t matter. The clothespins weren’t adhering well to the canning jar lid anyway. So, scratch that idea.

Building the wreath

And then I remembered the small wood slices I bought on Amazon. They were perfect. The clothespins would adhere well to wood, I thought, and they did! So, I am now immersed in “O” wreath making. I am painting these according to the season/holiday.

All the wreaths have a recessed area drilled into the back. We put a screw in the board, but left a bit out so the wreaths could pop on and off. They are a tight fit and take a little work getting them on and off, but they are secure.

This huge project was completed in time and sold the day of the big sale event at Half-Crocked Antiques in Bourbon, MO on Saturday, September 18, 2020. Our booth #25 is inside and downstairs.

It was a lot of work but a lot of fun coming up with decoration ideas for the wreaths.

As a bonus, I decided on the color of paint I’m going to use on my next project, a custom desk.

So….. are you ready! Drum roll. Introducing the one of a kind Vintage Ironing Board Sign with 11 (yes, eleven) interchangeable decorations on wreaths for various seasons and holidays:

Fall
Thanksgiving
Halloween
Christmas
Winter
Valentine’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day
Spring
Summer
Memorial Day
4th of July/Flag Days
Here it is in its new home!

Day of the Dead Dollar Tree Wreath

I made a Day of the Dead wreath from Dollar Tree materials, including the mesh tubing. I love how it turned out but it was a big one and took literally all day to make the wreath and paint the skull. See pic of it at the end. I used this tutorial to make the big one: https://gracemonroehome.com/how-to-make-a-deco-mesh-loop-wreath/

I had a pile of left over pieces of mesh tubing so instead of throwing it away, I used it to create a smaller version. I think it turned out pretty darn cute!

I had a small Dollar Tree Day of the Dead skull painting kit I used for this one. It is approximately 3 1/2” x 5”. It comes with several craft paints, but I chose to use our Missouri Limestone Paint Company chalk-style paint colors instead. I love how vibrant they are, but many chalk paints would work, too, as well as the paints that came with it.

I also made about a 9” wreath form out of 18 gauge wire we had here.

But, if you were going to use new pkgs of the DT mesh tubing, I would get maybe 3 pkgs (1 of each color). DT also may have a heavy wire that you can mold as shown below, and you will need the 3 1/2”x5” Day of the Skull paint kit. You will also need a pkg of pipe cleaners. I chose to use black.

I cut a piece of wire about 22” long.

I formed it into a circle about 9” round, then wove another row around in and out to make it a bit more sturdyand cut off any excess. I crimped the ends so they wouldn’t be sharp.

I wanted to make sure my skull would fit inside. I had already started painting it here. I also ended up removing the little stand as I didn’t need it.

I then cut the black pipe cleaner as needed into 4 equal pieces.

I cut the wire mesh pieces into about 6” lengths. I didn’t have enough purple, so I only did 3 of them to spread out. But if I would have had enough, this is the pattern I would use.

I put 3 colors together and then made 3 loops. I used the pipe cleaner piece and put it around and twisted them tightly together.

I then started attaching them to the wire form. I alternated the cut edges so they weren’t all going on the same direction.

I stopped adding when I got to a point where the skull would fit on the side with no wire showing.

I then painted the skull with colors that would go well with the mesh tubing. I used the black already on it as an outline, painting the face and teeth white, and painted colors inside the black lines. I also painted the back black.

I sealed it front and back with Mod Podge acrylic spray and Mod Podge Pearlized spray to give it a little shimmer.

Danny drilled tiny holes, big enough for the pipe cleaner to to through on the top and bottom and I used the pipe cleaner from the last pieces of attached mesh to hold the skull in place.

And there you have it. A mini Day of the Dead wreath next to the big one I made earlier.

Sharpie Paint Pen Coffee Mugs: It does work…..but….

This has been an experiment on how to decorate Dollar Tree mugs.

I’ve decorated mugs in a couple of ways. For example, I used Dollar Tree mugs and permanent adhesive vinyl. That works great. I have washed these By Hand numerous times and they are still going strong.

But…..put them in the dishwasher and they become a mangled mess. Washing by hand is fine, but one of these days someone is going to forget and put them in the dishwasher and all will be lost.

So, I went back to researching. This time I read and watched videos on what others had done. I finally chose to follow this method on my Dollar Tree mugs.

1. Of course, the first thing to do is always clean well and then wipe down with rubbing alcohol to get rid of any oils.

2. I make stencils from contact paper, which does well as it fits so tightly to the mug and is easy to remove. For this leaf pattern (purchased from the Silhouette store) I made my stencil, put it on the mug and colored it in with a brown Sharpie paint pen. It has to be the oil-based paint pen. The regular Sharpie permanent ink one won’t work.

3. Then I let it dry for 72 hours. Once dry I put it on parchment paper on a cookie sheet in a cold oven. Set the temp. For 250 degrees F turned it on and baked the cup for 20minutes. I then turned the oven off and left it in there untouched for an hour or so, until it was cool to the touch.

My mug turned out great. I experimented with it and washed it with hot soap and water by hand several times. It came out perfect every time! Yay! A success for creating painted mugs to hand wash!

But! What if I forgot or if someone buys a mug from me and they forget I said to hand wash?

So, now it was time to possibly say goodbye to my cute fall coffee mug as it might get ruined in the dishwasher.

I did make sure I put it in the top rack. When it came out, it was still in one piece and looked great. However, a change has taken place.

The leaf was now lighter, the yellow tones looked gray and the mug itself took on a creamier color.

It still looks great! I’m happy it is not ruined…but…I was a little disappointed in the color change.

I did learn that if I do want to sell these, I will need to run them through the dishwasher before I take a photo due to the color change.

Here’s a before and after. It is a noticeable difference.

Now, I’m going to be trying something else. I learned, in my research, that Mod Podge makes a dishwasher safe sealer. I’m going to try that next and will let you know what happens.

Be watching this space. Also, be sure to follow my blog to be notified when I post something new!

The Flowers of Summer Forever in Bloom

Sometimes I will do anything to keep from cleaning the house…..so I went in search of projects on Pinterest.

One that caught my eye was using flowers to create art. I kept reading and knew I had to try this. it involved pounding the flowers with a hammer. 😳

Yes, my vase is a black antique doorknob painted a navy blue and distressed. The flowers are a type of miniature petunia called Millionbells.

I actually saw two different tutorials. One was to use watercolor paper and wax paper. The other was to use a piece of fabric and tape. They used a white paper-like tape. The only thing I had was wax paper and packing tape. And no watercolor paper or fabric that would work.

I started looking around and my eyes fell on some storage boxes I bought at Dollar Tree. Those collapsible fabric type ones. I’m not sure they are exactly fabric, but I figured they would work to practice with. I didn’t have white tape, but I did have some packing tape, so I thought I’d try it, too.

The storage container had two different weights of material, so I thought I would try both.

I have to say straight up, my practice became art. I am so amazed! I wish I had known about this at the beginning of summer. Anyway….on with the tutorial.

I gathered my supplies, including a hammer.

For my first try I used wax paper, the lighter weight material, and a bunch of flowers and stems.

I covered the flowers with the waxed paper and turned it over so I would be pounding on the material itself.

When finished, I removed the wax paper and the flowers and let it dry. It was like a beautiful, muted watercolor.

I then used the heavier material and this time used the packing tape and taped the flowers to material, trying to make sure the flower head was face down as much as possible. I then turned it over and started pounding again. I pounded until it looked like I got most of the flowers and stem.

The photo above shows what it looked like when I turned it back over and started removing the tape. Beautiful!

Shiny tile from Home Depot

So then I had to figure out what to do with them. I cut around the flowers on the first one and decoupaged it to a tile. When dry I sprayed it with a couple of coats of spray matte lacquer. I can display it or use it as a coaster. For the other one, I framed it in a vintage frame I had. It looks like it has always been in that frame. It looks so vintage!

Close up of the framed print
Close up of the tiled print

My house is still not cleaned, but now my curiosity is satisfied, I am ready to tackle it ….. tomorrow.