Thursday, June 7, 2012

Kitchen Addition: Menu Board

The past few post have been kitchen related - you can see where my mind has been lately!

As I've attempted to get in a regular schedule of posting on weekly menu - even though I have failed lately - I needed to find a Menu Board solution. At first, I was just writing it on a piece of paper and using a magnet to keep it on the front of the fridge. Then I started adding it straight on our calendar. This worked fine - but if we had a lot of appointments, our calendar blocks weren't large enough to handle it.

Enter the wonderful internet. I searched Etsy, Pinterest and some other great blogs for some inspiration.

The first one I fell in love with was from The Creative Mama:

What I love about her design: the little cards list the ingredients on the back - genius! This would make menu planning and grocery shopping easier since you would have all your ingredients at your finger tips. You can click on the picture to be taken to her blog post explaining how she created this masterpiece!

The second one I ran across and loved was from

What I love about Tara's design: It's simple. I love simple. I also love that it's reusable because it's a dry erase board. I also like that she used her Cricut to decorate it because I have one and I love any excuse to use it :). To learn more about her process feel free to click on the picture and hop over to her blog. 

The third board I ran across was on Etsy and being sold by Pixbyemily:

What I love about her design: It's simple but creative. I love the burlap and the colors. I love that it's dry erase and can be reused. I also like the fact that she used a photo frame, so if in the future you change your mind completely you can also reuse the base. Everyone has a use for a extra photo frame.

So armed with these great ideas, I knew I wanted the following:

(1) A dry erase system - we try a lot of new recipes, so I wanted something easily adjusted.
(2) Simple - we are always busy and I wouldn't be able to find time to sit down and type out all of our recipes any time soon. Maybe in the future I will but I wanted something now - I know, I'm impatient.
(3) I wanted something cheap.
(4) I wanted something I could make myself and/or print.

I stumbled across Smitten Blog Designs and her wonderful free printable. They are awesome and she has three great weekly menu printables {that are free} which look like this:

I think they are totally awesome but they weren't available in the colors I wanted. I was looking for something with a gray background. Since I recently found my love for Microsoft Publisher I decided to try and create one for my kitchen. I loved Smitten's design so much I copied it, which I normally never do, but I loved how simple it was.

From all the inspiration and great layout from Smitten Blog Designs, I came up with this:

I made this using a free background I downloaded from Sprik Space. I stumbled across Sprik Space a few months back and instantly added her to my favorites. Not only is she generous enough to share a ton of free printable's, but she is an amazingly strong woman. To learn more about her and check out some of her wonderful free printable's, hope over to her blog!

In Microsoft Publisher I just added text boxes and used free font's that were on my computer (either standard or free downloads). I picked the background color of light gray. The title is yellow with blue dashes outlining the box and the font is in brown and black. 

I picked Sunday through Saturday because I always go grocery shopping on Sunday (start of my menu week) and I only shop one week at a time. It works for us. I added it to a 8x10 frame from target and it became the newest kitchen addition.

Sorry about the horrible night time pictures! I just use a dry erase marker to write on the glass and use a damp cloth to wipe it off. This is the current weeks menu, so far I love it. If I ever want to change it out with another printable or if I decide on a totally different system it will be an easy switch. Plus, I only have $4.00 invested in it (the cost of the Target frame). 

I keep it next to the stove and pantry (you can't see the pantry door but it's to the left). Makes coming home a breeze and now the hubby knows where to look when he is wondering "What's for dinner". If you want a copy of the my menu printable feel free to download it by clicking here! I just ask if you use it and post about it to link back to me :)

Slowly I am getting some more color into the kitchen. I can't wait to change out the hardware, paint the cabinets, get new counter tops, install a back splash, and get new appliances. Of course all that is down the road - it's a very very very long road :)

How do you plan out your dinner's each night? Do you stick to a budget and write out a menu? Or do you wing it every night? Make sure to check out some of the other blogs as well, they all have some great ideas! 


  1. hi! I love your ideas and am inspired to do the same! I actually posted recently about the using a frame for a dry erase board! I love that idea! Do you think I need to get a Cricut? Since I am a teacher, blogger, and love to be creative, maybe I do??? Thanks for the great post! I will be adding you to the blogs I follow as well as my list of Meaningful Blogs on my blog, Meaningful Nest. :)

    1. Hey there!! I love using frames for dry erase boards and they normally look a lot better than the regular dry erase boards (in my opinion).

      I know a lot of my teacher friends have a Cricut and they use it a lot for there classroom. I really do like mine. I also scrapbook and make cards. It cuts vinyl too so the ideas are endless.

      Even though I love my Cricut, I am thinking about selling it along with all of my cartridges because I want a Silhouette. The biggest different between the two is that for the Cricut you have to by cartridges which have a group of images on it, which run between $25.99 and $89.99 depending if you find them on sale. But, with the Silhouette you can by individual images, which would work better for me. I know people who have both machines and love them both. If you decide to get one just research both options to see what fits your needs better. If you have any questions about the Cricut just let me know!

      Thanks for adding me to your list, I have been following your blog for few weeks. I love all of your ideas as well!!