Conversation Starter Boards and September Create and Share Challenge
Hi and welcome back!
Last month I didn’t get to participate in the create and share challenge, which was all about fall tablescapes. I was busy building my new dining table and didn’t finish it in time for a tablescape, but I’m excited to be back this month. You can check out everybody’s lovely table’s HERE.
For our challenge this month we had to transform this plain little Amazon tray somehow.
Everyone came up with some great ideas, go and check out all of my friends posts!
A while back I had the idea to make a board for the dining room where I could hang a picture and word of the week. A “conversation starter board” so to speak. I wanted to be able to open up discussion at the dinner table and I thought this would be a great way to do it. When our create and share project for September came through as these little trays, I thought this would be the perfect way to display them.
I had a couple of things I wanted incorporate into this. I wanted it to be easy to change out the picture and word cards. I know if it is hard to change up, I won’t do it. So I decided that either cork or magnetic would be easiest. I also wanted to match my rustic/industrial decor. And lastly I wanted to make sure each card could been seen from the table, so it couldn’t be to small.
So, for this month’s challenge, I did actually cheated a bit. I decided to order 3 trays instead of one, because I knew the three would fit better in the space and that trying to fit both a picture and a card on one tray would make it hard to see from the table. In addition to our home word of the week, my kiddos school has a theme of the week that they discuss and work on all week. I thought the school theme would be perfect for the third tray, and things in threes are pleasing to my eye, so I went with it.
So I started by painting the trays. I did two coats of Minwax Ebony.
Easy so far. Next I had to decide how to do the inside. I really wanted to use magnets, only because I’m kind of obessed with mixing wood and metal right now. Off to Hobby Lobby and I found these. I’ve used magnet sheets before, and to be honest, they weren’t that sturdy. But these sheets were thick and strong. So, I decided to cut them up and glue them to the inside.
Except when I went to cut them up, the fact that they were so strong and sturdy made it hard to cut a smooth, straight line. I actually ended up using garden snips! If I had a metal grinder, it would be no problem, but I don’t, so I had to think of a solutions to cover the edges after I glued them inside the trays.
I had an extra piece of trim lying in the garage that I wasn’t going to use, so I measured it out and cut it up.
After staining, I used wood glue to glue the pieces to the side of the tray and clamped it for a bit. That did the trick!
Next I measured and drilled holes, 2 holes on each side of the frame. I had some leftover chain from my hanging reclaimed wood shelf, which is also in my dining room, so it was the perfect thing to use. I had to touch up a bit after drilling the holes. I probably should have drilled the holes first, but this was a figure-it-out as I went project :).
The chains aren’t actually holding anything up here. They are just for fun. Since it’s neastled in this little corner, I wasn’t too worry about them sticking out to much so I used command strips to attach each frame to the wall. Then I used a little tack on top to hold the chain, and let it fall down through the holes.
I also had soem leftover sticker letters from when I stenciled our family initials on my industrial coffee table (can you tell I like to use my leftover stuff??) so I lucky had just enough to spell out the words and I can’t believe it actually turned out pretty cool. I had a hard time figuring out how I was going to label the different boards.
Then, because it’s magnetic, I got to find fun magnets to use. I liked these clips.
But I love the push pin magnets!
So cute. I also went ahead and printed out a few months worth of pics and word cards, so I would actually change them out. I have to wait for the school words, but even if I just scribble it on a card and clip it up there, it’s still okay. The pretty cardstock is just for fun ;).
I printed some serious pics and some pics of people we admire, random children doing different things and just pics I thought my kids would think was fun for the occasional pic.
That’s it! We now have conversation starter boards to, you know, start conversations ;).
Thanks so much for stopping by and make sure you stop by and check out all my friends trays and how they transformed them!
This is so great that you’re incorporating the school’s “word of the week” at home! As teachers, we love parents like you! 🙂
Thanks so much Heidi!! 😉
This is so creative! I love the dark wood and then the black letters, they all pop so well!
Thanks Emily 🙂
Adorable! I love the word of the day! I need to do more things like that with my daughter! What a creative idea to use your tray(s)!
Thanks so much Ruthie!
This is SO cute and clever! What a great idea for the whole family. Love the look, it’s so you April!!! Great job.
Thank you Sara!!
So creative April. I love it.
April, I love it! So smart and creative. I love all the applications. You can use it to pin homework, important notes, etc. on top of the word and picture of the day. Great idea. Pinned and shared.
Thanks so much Stephanie!
This idea is absolutely amazing! I love the details, and your color choices are just stunning! Thank you so much for linking this up at The Creative Circle Link Party!
Thank you so much!
This is so neat! I love that you used three of trays and it goes with your home style perfectly!