Monday, February 7, 2011

Inklings DIY: Wipe-off Memo / Menu Board


One of the goals I've had with this little blog is to share some DIY ideas on using paper to organize, inspire, and beautify the everyday.

Let me preface this by saying that I am not a meal planner. I'd like to say that I shop and cook as they do in Europe: buy ingredients the day of, finding inspiration in what looks freshest and in season. But most often, my "European Market" translates to which take-out restaurant is first on my speed dial. While other mothers were proudly sharing recipes on what home-made baby food their youngsters were benefiting from, I was racking my brain for what chef Gerber had in store for my little guy during the drive home from work. Which leads to my first official Inklings D.I.Y which, though it is somewhat self-serving, I hope will spark an idea in you as well.

White boards? They belong in an office, plain and simple. Chalk boards? Charming, but messy. Here's a great little wipe-off memo board that you can make out of any picture frame:


What you'll need:

• Picture frame (any size will do – mine fits an 11 x 14" frame)
• Whiteboard marker (available at any office store)
• Patterned or plain paper for the background (or print out the picture above; click on the image to expand)
• Sold-colored paper to write out days on left (optional)

Option 1: Use a printer
For the insert above, I designed it on my Mac and printed it on my Epson large format printer. Don't have a large format printer? No problem. Print the above template at a smaller size, or design a similar one yourself in a size that will fit your frame. I designed this one so it wouldn't a toner guzzler because I'm shamelessly practical. Most of the time. If you want a darker background, go with Option 2.

Option 2: Use scrapbook paper
Choose a background paper, and write your days directly on the paper. You can use any paper you want in the frame, but keep in mind that you want your whiteboard marker to show up against it. Large patterns with high contrast are not recommended. To get the look above, choose two coordinating papers. One will become your background, and one will be for your days. Tape loops will hold everything in place until you've sandwiched them behind the glass. Voila!

What I love about this is that it's easy to change up the look if you get tired of it. Just find (or print) a new piece of paper, stick it in the frame, and you've created a whole new look.

This is one menu board that I don't mind hanging in my kitchen, and it's found its home next to my fridge. So I have no excuses. Unless, of course, I have a particularly rough week. In which case, It will read, "order in; order in; take out; date night..."


  1. I LOVE this (surprise, surprise). I especially love the idea to use scrapbook paper - not that I have any.

    You and food planning = me and craft doing.

  2. awesome idea...i like the order in, take out week that ends in shopping for shoes! sounds like a perfect week :)

  3. Lindsay! I love it! Your ideas are so wonderful and I'm so excited that we get to tap into them every day!! Thanks for sharing sweetie!! :)

  4. Thanks for your comments! @Sandi: What about using fabric instead of paper? Something tells me you have that on hand, you closet crafter, you! @Erin: We must be sole sisters!! @Third Person: I can't see who you are, but from your endearing words, you MUST be related to me. Thanks for the encouragement!

  5. Oh golly, I wish I had subscribed to the comments on this post...fabric is a MUCH better idea than the $0.50 scrapbooking paper I got at the dollar store.

    That's why YOU'RE the designer.