Saturday, September 14, 2013

3-2-1 Contact!

As our oldest daughter gets older, our schedules have become busier and busier. We've noticed she responds better (and behaves better) when she has a good sense of what's coming. She is a kid who hates surprises and is pretty slow to adjust to new environments and routines.

With a lot of new stuff coming up this school year (Jr. Preschool! Swimming! Puggles!), we thought it would be helpful if we put up a big calendar where everyone in the family could see the planned activities for the week.

We have a big pantry cabinet in the kitchen that has a long tall exposed side. Until now, we had some of those 3M command hooks hanging there for coats and backpacks, with a shoe bin below. We moved the hooks over to clear the way for a huge calendar.

After exploring quite a few options, I found some chalkboard ConTact paper at Amazon and decided to write out our own calendar. The reviews were decent and it seemed cheaper and easier than chalkboard paint, so I decided to give it a whirl.

This stuff is great. It comes on a roll like typical contact paper that you would use to line cabinets and drawers. It's as simple as peel and stick. (Although it can be a little unwieldy at times, so having a buddy during the sticking process may be a good idea.) My cabinets are wider than the 18" roll, so I had to piece it together.

I read a couple reviews online that suggested using a nylon pan scraper to help ensure there were no bubbles. I had one lying around from a Pampered Chef party. Worked like a charm.

It was difficult to measure everything so precisely, and the product does stretch/shift a little, so I cut it a little big and planned for some overlap. I used an X-acto knife to clean up the edges where needed.

Once it was all done, I seasoned it like you would a regular chalkboard. Just cover the whole thing in chalk and wipe it off. I have no idea why this works, but it does.

This little project took a little less than two rolls, about 30 minutes and about $16. Although the chalk ink markers are a little expensive, they make everything stand out nice and bright and are harder for a curious 2-year-old to wipe off. (They wipe away easily with a damp rag.) Time to brush up on my hand-lettering skills.

So far, we're having fun with it. Putting the schedule in a place where everyone can see it is helping make sure we're all on the same page. I'm thinking of putting more ConTact paper on the opposite cabinet for a grocery list, and possibly some on the kitchen door for reminder notes. I sense an addiction coming on...

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