I mentioned the kitchenware Reuse Design Challenge at Earth911 a a while back. Well, I won! My thanks to everyone who voted. This was the challenge:
Upcycle used/old/worn out cookware (pots, pans, utensils…etc) into something completely different, but useful. We are looking for creative AND practical reuse designs, not simply decorative.
Sounds pretty easy, right? Except all I could think of were projects that were decorative. My sketch sheet is almost hilarious. Draw something, realize it’s only purpose is to look pretty, cross it out.
Luckily, my need for a good project and an actual need collided. My husband and I have started exercising regularly and trying to eat healthier. I find we eat better food if I plan it out in advance, so I wanted a menu board for my kitchen. I saw lots of kitchen command centers out there, but I have lots of windows and very little wall and they were all too big. This little cookie sheet fits the spot perfectly.
To make one of these handy boards, you’ll need a cookie sheet, an empty mint container, a flat-sided pen cup (or a small box), clothespins, a shopping list pad, chalkboard paint, acrylic paint, a silver Sharpie, flat magnets or a magnetic sheet, ribbon or cord to hang it, and, of course, chalk to write on it with.
This is probably the cheapest cookie sheet known to man, but in this case that’s an advantage. I felt like I could safely hang it on the wall without having to worry about it. Rough your pan up with some sandpaper to help the paint stick. I did this on the back, because that’s the side I chose to use. Do the same with your mint tin and pencil cup, if it’s metal. Clean everything well.
My cookie sheet didn’t have any holes in the ends, so I used a screwdriver, a hammer and a piece of wood to add a couple. It wasn’t difficult on this thin metal.
Spray all three pieces with two or three coats of chalkboard paint.
After the paint has dried completely, use a pencil to draw a menu block. Trace the pencil lines with a silver Sharpie.
Add the days of the week, if you’d like them to be permanent.
I printed my own shopping list (which you can download here) and secured them together with a piece of cardboard on the back using padding compound. I cut a magnetic calendar down to fit the back (don’t tell my insurance agent!) but any flat, sheet-style magnetic will work. Glue that to the cardboard.
Paint the clothespins with the acrylic paint and glue magnets to the back.
I also added a few details to the mint tin and pencil cup using the Sharpie and paint. Glue magnets to the side of the pencil cup and the bottom of the mint tin.
String the ribbon through the holes in the cookie sheet and tie for hanging.
The day I finished this, I just made up a menu for the photos. My son walked in while it was hanging and excitedly asked “Are we having Pad Thai for dinner?" which is his favorite. Since I didn’t even have the ingredients into the house, that wasn’t happening, and he sadly left the kitchen. I probably owe someone some Pad Thai.
Now that I have this little thing, I don’t know what I did without it. I always know where my shopping list and pens are, and my son could stop coming home and asking me what’s for dinner every night. That’s if I can ever get him to trust it again.