Sunday, January 15, 2017

From Free Scraps To a Nifty Checklist Board

I really get a great deal of satisfaction out of using scraps and recycled materials for my projects. This nifty memo board scores on all counts.

You'll need these supplies:

  • Scrap of ½" thick MDF or wood that is at least ¾" wider than your roll of paper and as long as you want it 
  • One wire coat hanger
  • Cutting strip from a box of kitchen wrap
  • Roll of adding machine tape
  • 4" length of ball chain
  • 2 ball chain crimps
  • 2 tiny eye screws
  • 2 finishing nail about ¾" long
  • Strong adhesive
  • Acrylic paints, napkin, Mod Podge for decorating

You'll need these tools:

The first step is to cut the base piece to your desired dimensions using the Proxxon Table Saw FET. I just happen to have a piece of ½" MDF the right size that I had previously cut. The dimensions of mine are 8"x½"x2¾". You'll also need to cut a small length for the cutting bar. It should be the width of your base piece, and about ½" high and ¼" thick. The dimensions of mine are 2¾"x½"x¼".

Next, cut the coat hanger into two U shapes. One leg will be as long as your paper roll is wide (mine is 2¼"). The bottom of the U needs to be as wide as the combined thickness of the radius of the paper roll plus the thickness of the base board plus ¼" or so of wiggle room (mine measures 2"). Leave the second leg for now; we'll measure and cut it later.

Now, measure and mark the placement of the holes on each side of the base board where the wire hangers will go. Mine are 1" from the top of the base board and centered at ¼".

Drill these holes as deep as your bit will allow, using a bit just slightly larger than the coat hanger wire.

Measure and mark a point centered on the cutting bar and about 3/8" from each side. Now, position the cutting bar on the base board, and clamp the two pieces together. Mine is about 1" from the bottom of the base board. Using a fine drill bit in the Proxxon Professional Rotary Tool, drill pilot holes for the nails that will hold these two pieces together.

Now, you're ready to measure and cut the second leg of the coat hanger. Put this leg into the holes that you drilled near the top of the base board. Mark how far they go in, and measure this length from the base of the U and cut off the excess. You should end up with wire hangers that are about this size.

Now it's time to decorate your memo board. I started with a coat of gesso, but white acrylic paint would work, too. You want to seal the MDF, and the white color allows the true color of your selected paint to show. Don't forget to seal and paint the small cutting bar. 

How you decorate and embellish your board is totally up to you. I chose to napkin collage the top surface of mine and paint the other sides a complementary color.

While the napkin collage is drying, cut a piece of cutting strip from a kitchen wrap box the same length as your cutting bar piece, and glue is to the bottom of the cutting bar with a strong adhesive.

This cutting strip should be thick enough to allow the paper from the roll to slide under the cutting bar. If not, add a couple pieces of cardstock cut to size under the cutting bar. Using the pilot holes that you previously drilled, nail the cutting bar to the base board. Be sure that the cutting strip faces toward the bottom of the board.

I added two tiny eye screws and a length of ball chain secured with crimps to the top of my memo board for hanging. Add the paper roll by inserting the longer leg into the center of the roll, and the shorter leg into the holes that you drilled to hold the wire hanger. Repeat on the opposite side with the remaining wire hanger. Thread the end of the paper under the cutting bar.

Now you're ready to put your memo board into use. I've got my grocery list on mine :)


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