I see that it has been two years since my homemaking tip of the year. Did I have nothing to share in 2010? Apparently, not. But I came up with something right at the end of 2011, and I do not intend to disappoint.
For years I’ve toyed with different ways to menu plan. It never failed to surprise me when I’d find myself, once again, sitting down for 2+ hours at a time planning meals and making shopping lists for a new week. I knew I had done this a million times, and that it was ridiculous to keep reinventing the meal… I mean wheel.
For the past couple of months I have been pinning different menu boards on Pinterest. I admired all of these-
After much deliberation, I decided to take what I loved about each one (ie what I thought would work for me) and combine those aspects into a menu board that would serve my needs perfectly. So now, I introduce the Ultimate Menu Board (for me)—
What I love about this particular design—
1) It’s weekly. I shop weekly and plan my calendar weekly. I can adjust for company, evenings out, leftovers, etc.
2) Meal cards have ingredients listed on the back, so I just gather my cards for the week, flip them over, and jot down the ingredients I need on my shopping list.
3) Using the two pockets I can store all of my meal cards right on the board. With a rotating system, I start with all the cards in the lower box and then after we have that meal, I place the card into the upper box until we go through the majority of the cards. Then, I start over choosing from all of them again.
4) It uses clothespins so no slipping and no holes. I was afraid that after I laminated my meal cards that they would get too thick/heavy for magnets.
5) The base is a picture frame—easy to hang and by using two nails I can keep it from tilting under the lopsided weight.
HOW TO MAKE THE ULTIMATE MENU BOARD
You will need-
11×14 picture frame
2 sheets of decorative 12 x 12 scrapbook paper
2-3 additional coordinating decorative papers
several sheets of solid colored card stock (for meal cards and pockets)
the boxes from two 16 ct crayon packs
Hot glue gun and glue
letter stickers (for title)
Preparatory to using your board, gather several meal ideas (I have about 35) and their recipes. Make a 2 column word document- typing your menu on one side of the page and the ingredients in the column next to it. You should have room to print about 5 menus/ingredients per piece of printer paper. After printing, cut the meals/ingredients out into strips and fold each strip in half, giving you a front and back. Laminate the cards. I used self-laminating paper which worked okay but not perfectly. (Because I didn’t leave much empty space around each card, some of my cards did not seal well all the way around. If I did it again, I would have them done professionally or with the use of a heated laminator.) My cards measure 1 ½ inches tall and then half of the width of an average size paper (4.25 inches) across.
update- My cards didn’t stay sealed well and I found them to be a little heavy and bulky all together. Now i use just one thickness of scrapbook cardstock and no laminating. I have also found it easier to handwrite the meals on one side and the ingredients on the other.
Trim the decorative scrapbook paper to fill your frame. You will use one full sheet and just need a couple of inches of a second piece of paper in order to fill the entire frame. Where the two sheets overlap, place a thin piece of coordinating paper across the width to hide the seams. Put the title above that line using scrapbooking letter stickers. Place in the frame. Secure the background into the frame. Everything else will be done on top of the glass.
Trim strips of paper to fit on top of your clothespins. Using a mixture of 1 part elmers glue to one part water (homemade mod podge,) brush the glue onto the clothespin, place the paper on top and add more of the glue mixture. I think I did about 3 layers of the glue. When the clothespins are dry, you may add the days of the week to each pin if you choose. I punched out little circles and just used the letters m, t, w, etc to designate the day of the week. Space your clothespins evenly along the left hand border of your frame and hot glue them into place.
I used 16 count crayon boxes as the base for my pockets. Turning the box horizontally, cut out one long side- this will be the opening of your pocket. Lay the box out flat onto a piece of card stock and trace it. Cut the card stock out and glue it on top of the crayon box—making folds to match the boxes folds as you go. Reassemble the box, gluing or taping together the open sides. I left just about a half inch extra along the long sides so I could wrap my paper over the top edges of the box for a smoother look. After assembling your boxes, cut a strip of coordinating paper to use as an accent and glue around the pocket. Hot glue the pockets directly onto the glass of your frame.
(update: My pockets fell off the glass after awhile. To remedy that I put a velcro sticky dot on each corner of the pocket and corresponding dots on the glass.)
And that does it!
Who knows, maybe I will solve the laundry dilemma in 2015…