DIY Kitchen Message Centre

Hi friends – Our kitchen revamp left a big blank wall open beside the spot where (eventually) a dishwasher will go. It had once been home to a little DIY Menu Board I’d made last year, but we wanted something a little more substantial going forward. Recently, I saw something I liked at Target. (sorry, I think it’s only in Canada, so I couldn’t find the dang picture of it online!!) It was a cork board/ chalk board combo, and featured a horizontal plank with a small cup mounted for pens/chalk and a hook for keys or an apron. All of the elements were joined by two vertical, rustic wood slats. It was priced at $35 plus tax. It was love at first sight but I knew I could essentially make the same thing for much less. Here’s how it turned out!Kitchen Command Centre 11 Here’s what you need to make one for yourself!

  • One 8′ length of 1″x3″ strapping (found in the lumber department for about $2)
  • hand saw
  • drill & screw driver
  • medium grit sand paper
  • wood stain in finish of your choice
  • No More Nails adhesive (this stuff is super handy!)
  • chalk board paint and a paint brush
  • piece of high density plywood
  • piece of cork board
  • pencil
  • level
  • 1 decorative hook
  • a half dozen wood screws
  • Two 3″ pipe clamps
  • Two small mending brackets
  • a pair of mason jars
  • one set of D-ring picture hangers

First things first: you need to measure all your pieces. I had a piece of plywood leftover from another kitchen project. It was only a couple of inches wider than the cork board, which I’d bought on-sale at Target for $7.  I decided the extra width was fine, which saved me the finicky task of slicing off 2″. Measure the total height of the cork board and plywood and add in about 2″ for the space you’ll leave between them. Then add another 4-5 inches to that. This will make sure you have enough space to screw in your horizontal slat for your jars and hook. My height measurements came to 32″, so using my hand saw I cut two lengths from my strapping to that size. Then I cut a third 14.5″ length to serve as the bottom slat, which I wanted to be as long as the width of my plywood piece. At this point you can lay out your pieces to get a sense of the scale of the final piece. (Oh and this is an inadvertent sneak peek at a new corner of my craft room!)Kitchen Command Centre 1 Use your chalk board paint on the plywood piece. Two coats usually does it. Just remember it takes a full 24 hours to really dry and cure before you can write anything on it. And you’ll need to rub white chalk all over it once before actually writing on it to prevent scarring. Sand and stain your vertical wood pieces and your horizontal slat. This stuff will dry to the touch much faster. Probably in about 30 minutes. But to be safe, don’t handle it too aggressively for about 8 hours. (Truth: I started this project and let it sit for a week before I found time to finish it. It was one of *those* weeks.)Kitchen Command Centre 2 In my case, the cork board already had two little hangers on the back, so I simply measured them out, put two screws partly into my vertical slats and hung the cork board from them. Next, I lined up my horizontal slat – but don’t attach it yet. Use a pencil to mark roughly where you want your jars and your hook to go. Then attach the clamps using your mending brackets. Make sure to drill small pilot holes in your wood first. Kitchen Command Centre 3 Now – use wood screws to attach the horizontal slat to the vertical slats, using the same method of drilling pilot holes and then following up with a wood screw. Now you can add your decorative hook beside the clamps. I then lined up my now-chalkboard and used my No More Nails adhesive to attach it to the vertical slats. (A strong carpenter’s glue would also suffice, but I love working with this particular product)Kitchen Command Centre 4 Make sure it’s level as you position it to dry! I added washi tape around the edges of mine to give it a bit of colour. Kitchen Command Centre 5Once dry, flip it over. Add your D-ring picture hangers and use the accompanying wire to create a wall hanger. Kitchen Command Centre 6 Finally, slide your mason jars into your pipe clamps and use a slot screwdriver to tighten the clamp until it holds the jars without wiggling. Kitchen Command Centre 8 You’re done! In all, this project cost $18. It probably would have been even less had I chosen to buy basic cork board. Kitchen Command Centre 10I can’t wait to see it against the newly painted walls in the kitchen!  (Though, I might be waiting a while for that…!)Kitchen Command Centre 9 For now, it’s the perfect thing for our space. Be sure to come back later this week. We’ll tell you about a new acquisition for the Man Room and Dan shares one of his most famous recipes for the grill! Chat soon, Erin

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