Archives for October 2016

DIY Chalkboard Tray from an old frame

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I love re-purposing old items into something new and functional. I used to have this wall art from Hobby Lobby hanging in my old house. It had a plaster fleur di lis cemented to the middle of the wooden frame. Unfortunately it did not survive the move and came unglued. I decided to throw away the fleur di lis as it was not really my style anymore and kept the wooden frame knowing I would eventually figure out what to do with it.

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Inspiration finally struck the other day. I love trays. I own several already but they are all very large and bulky. This one is the perfect size and weight for the kids to carry. I also made it into a chalkboard so I can write a little message if I choose to.

Here is how you can make your own:

One large frame or lightweight piece of wood

Chalkboard paint and foam brush

Painter’s tape

Handles and screws

Sandpaper

I only needed to purchase the handles and screws. Everything else I already had on hand. The total out of pocket cost for me was $8 and I still have a bunch of screws left for other projects.

 

First I took my sanding block and smoothed down the board. I also sanded off the old glue until it was flat with the rest of the wood. It left a stain on the wood where the glue used to be but that’s ok. The chalkboard paint covered it.

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Next I taped off the bottom part of the frame with painter’s tape. If you are a neat painter (which I am not…) you can skip this part. If you are using a piece of wood instead of a frame you can tape off a square or rectangle to paint. The rest of the instructions will be the same.

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Then I painted the bottom using my chalkboard paint. It took two coats for this project. This picture was taken after the first coat. For this project I had a sample size pot of chalkboard paint. It was just enough paint in the little jar. I bought it at the Target Dollar Spot a few years ago and had in my craft stash. I always use a disposable foam brush and disposable bowl for small painting projects. The foam brushes are inexpensive and do not leave brush marks when dry. It’s also a plus for lazy people like myself as there is no cleanup involved.

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After that I put the handles on. I decided where I wanted to place the first one and used my ruler to make sure I had the same exact placement on the other side. I normally try to eyeball things but there was no margin for error on this project. If I messed up it would not be an easy fix.  I found these handles at Hobby Lobby for 50% off. Bargain tip: Never buy knobs and pulls for full price unless you need them right away. Every few weeks they go on sale for half price. Hobby Lobby has a huge selection and I always find what I am looking for there. If they do not have the quantity that you need in stock an employee can order more for you. They will honor the sale price and call you when your order arrives at the store. I had to do that for my son’s dresser that I chalk painted. Unfortunately these handles did not come with hardware so I had to buy screws at Lowe’s to use with them.

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Repeat the same thing on the other side and you are done! Wait for the paint to dry and it’s ready to be used.

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This tray is the perfect size to sit on the bench in my family room. It will be a great coaster for when we have parties or to bring snacks into the family room for the grownups. I’m a mean mom and only my husband and I are allowed to eat in this room unless we have company. White couches + kids with food=giant mess.

My kids told me that they will be delivering me breakfast in bed using my tray on Mother’s Day.  They are very excited to use it.

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Haunted Halloween Family Room Tour

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Now that my kids are older they think anything spooky and scary is awesome. They have been begging me for a “haunted house” so this year I gave in and decorated my family room in all things creepy just for them. I did it while they were at school so they would be surprised when they got home. The boys were so excited when they came home and saw what I had done. My little one, who is 4, came in from the playroom and screamed when he saw the fireplace. Mission accomplished!

I know I am going to regret all of these spider webs come November 1st when I am taking them down! It’s stuck to the brick and the banner too. You can buy these faux cotton webs for $1 in most stores so it really is the cheapest way to decorate for Halloween. Most of my decor was purchased on clearance after Halloween for 50% off or more at Target or Kirlands. I also found a few things like the cat and haunted house at Homegoods. I never pay full price for holiday decorations unless they are in the Target bargain area up front. That stuff sells out fast! You need to buy it when you see it or it’s gone.

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I found this cute pillow for $5 in you guessed it, the Target bargain area. The boo box is another Homegoods find several years back. The other two accessories are old Target finds.

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And this October 31st sign plus the mini pumpkin were in the dollar area too. The green potion bottle was a Target clearance find from last year.

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More Target dollar spot finds: Oh So Spooky sign, mini pumpkins and burlap pumpkins. The garland is from Home Goods.

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I found the crow this year too for $3 in the regular Halloween area at Target. I broke my own rule and paid full price because it was just too cute to leave behind.

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After Halloween I plan to stock up! My kids want me to do not just one room but the whole house next year including outside! Eeek! I will be hitting all of the Targets in my area. 😉

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