Make Meal Planning a Cinch With This DIY Menu Board
One of the best things I have found on Pinterest is how to make a menu board. Every Sunday night, I had to suffer through weekly meal planning, which took way too long! So when I found this menu board from the Creative Mama blog, I knew I had found something wonderful! This board has made my life so much easier. For a homemaker, this has been the best time-saver to grace my kitchen thus far. Let me show you how to make your own too.
Image: Courtesy of Camp Mommawatch
You will need:
- 1 package (4 strips) Command brand picture hanging strips (it’s like heavy-duty Velcro)
- 2 empty 24-count Crayola boxes
- One 12×12-inch plain wooden frame (mine is for framing scrapbook pages)
- 7 clothespins
- Double-sided tape or scrapbook tape
- 2 paint colors (one for frame, one for clothespins)
- Paint marker (to write days of the week on clothespins)
- One 12×12-inch sheet of scrapbook paper (for your background)
- Multiple sheets of scrapbook paper (to coordinate with your background paper)
- Plain white paper
- Letter stickers or die cuts
- Hot glue gun or tacky glue
- Computer and printer
- Laminator or clear contact paper (optional)
First, cut out one long side of each Crayola box.
Wrap each box in the coordinating scrapbook paper.
I wrapped it all to the back, folded down the creases and taped it. I even added a small strip on the inside of the box to cover up the cardboard.
Put a Command picture hanging strip on the back of each Crayola box. The weight of the menu cards requires a heavy-duty strip like this. I first tried it with duct tape, and it kept pulling away from the scrapbook paper.
Press each box down on your scrapbook paper on the far right side.
Next, paint your wooden frame and allow to dry.
Using scrapbook paper and letter stickers, make a small sign for the word “menu” and adhere to the top of the frame with tape or glue.
Paint the 7 clothespins and allow to dry. Using the paint marker, write the days of the week on each clothespin. Use a hot glue gun to adhere the pins to the left side of the frame.
Now you can put your 12×12-inch paper in the frame.
Here is where it can get a bit tedious…making the menu cards. I went through all of my favorite recipes and cookbooks. I even included meals like Sandwiches in the Car for our nights on the go, Mom’s Choice: New Recipe, Going to Someone’s House, and Restaurant/Takeout. I typed out each meal in Microsoft Publisher (it will also work in Word) and made two columns within the document. On the left column, I put the main dish and side dishes, trying to make balanced meals. On the right column (which will be the back of the card), I listed all the ingredients for that meal. If I could do it over, I would add the name of the cookbook where I found each recipe. I have attached a PDF so you can see my format: menu board.
Once you have all your meals typed out, print it out on plain white paper and trim. Cut your scrapbook paper into rectangles, a little big bigger than the white paper. Tape the white paper (with meal) on the front of the scrapbook paper, the ingredients on the back. Laminate or cover with clear contact paper so the paper will stay nice over the years. Hang the frame in your kitchen. I have noticed that mine has a tendency to be lopsided from the weight of the cards. I’d recommend using something like the Command strips on the back of the frame to keep it steady.
Once you have your cards made, put all of the unused meals in the top box. Once you use them, put them in the bottom box. Now every week you will have a pile of meals to choose from! To make your grocery list, just look at the back of the card--super-easy! Whenever you try out a new recipe, just add the meal with ingredients to your computer file and print it out the next time you have a full page of new meals.
I have to admit that my new system has made me a little lazy at trying new recipes and leafing through my cookbooks, but I do hope this menu board helps you save loads of time--more time to spend with your precious family!
Amber Tincher and Amy Leckrone
Co-founders Camp Mommawatchi