Setting up a craft-stall in a fair in Dubai.

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Hello friends !

I am back from a long haitus with a bag full of creative posts !!

My creative plate has been full of ideas and events.

We visited Saudi Arabia on our Hajj pilgrimage and It was an absolutely amazing experience. Returning from the trip, I participated at the Al Tamimi stables family fun day on 17th and 18th of October.

I was rekindling my love affair with ‘fairs’ after 2 years and totally loved the experience.  It turned out so good, that I hope to join a couple more of fairs in the near future. Inshallah.

There was a steady flow of students, happy to learn a new activity and it was all the encouragement, I needed.

The fair lasted for 2 days over the weekend, and we were much more prepared on the second day. As always, the entire family helped out, from carrying/transporting cartons of supplies to managing the stalls, the boys did it all and more. Mashallah.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Colorful pails hosting scissors, paint brushes, colors, popsicle sticks etc.

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My fantastic assistants. Son # 1 Bilal  and Son # 3 Eman ~ catering to the needs of the creative enthusiasts. Son # 2 was helping me out with the projects.

These are three amazing boys, without whose help, I don’t think, I could ever follow my dreams.

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Their creative enthusiasm is infectious !

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Boys and girls ~ figuring out, which activity, they would like to go in for, first !

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craft table set up

Our workstation on Day 1 was a little petite and I felt, I could have made it more organized (which we corrected, the following day :)

DONT participate in any fair unless you are carrying the following “tools of the trade” in your bag  :-

Masking tape, scotch tape, double sided tape, ribbon, cord, scissors,

rubber bands, stapler and stapler pins, Markers, pen,

calculator, clothespin, paper pins,

BUSINESS CARDS, panadols, a packet of battery cells.

Some Pointers :-

  • I always carry extra folding tables for all my supplies ( The work station should always remain appealing and not cluttered with jars of embellishments and other stationery and supplies.
  • I prefer to keep the embellishment racks slightly away from main work station for various reasons, one of which is security as well.
  • I also carry spare folding chairs too.
  • Carrying display risers is always an excellent idea.
  • Inorder to save on space, I kept a wire rack stand to carry all my paint tubes on. When in doubt with space ~ GO VERTICLE !!! (my mantra)
  • Baskets always add an appeal of its own and they are so handy and functional too.
  • A banner or bunting is excellent advertising as well as adds color to your stall and makes it look, more professional.
  • If your going to have activities, make sure, you have a plastic covering for your table, lest the paint runs on the table cloth. (you’ll need masking tape to adhere it)
  • One of the things to discuss beforehand with the organizers is the availability of a wash room and an electric connection.  Why ?
  • Your going to need to wash off the excess paint and your going to need an electric connection for the glue gun.
  • Tissue boxes don’t help much (they would for a regular craft table )but carrying the kitchen tissue roll is a better suggestion for activities table.
  • If any of the activities involve beads, its best to provide children with plastic bowls or plates or ELSE expect, the beads to be scattered all over the place !
  • Keep a few price tag stickers at hand for those misplaced while being transported.
  • I like to keep, a neutral color to the set up while providing enough pops of color with pails, baskets, jars and plates.
  • However, a bright (non-designed) table spread is a ideal is your going to sell stuff.
  • Investing in a solid trolley cart is really a good idea.
  • Short change is always in high demand in fairs ~ so carry lots of short change.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of the humble “camera”. You want to cherish all the memories and whats more, you want to learn from your mistakes !!
  • Last but not least,  I cannot emphasis enough, the importance of displaying your business cards upfront !

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Plenty of embellishments and beads to play around with !

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Although carrying so many embellishments can be such a bother, but it is very gratifying when children go thru heaps of embellishments, just to pick one of their best ones. The jars are from Ikea.

Day 2.

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I always carry my wire racks with plenty of additional embellishments for children to buy and add to their creative projects. The white board is very helpful in indicating the various activities and rates. (also from Ikea)

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The above colorful plates are from Ikea. They add a pop of color to an otherwise very white setup.

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You can buy the above baskets from Daiso for dhs 7.

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Al Tamimi stables fair was well organized, well advertised and a large crowd turned up, inspite the relentless weather. There were dozens of activities to keep the young ones busy and amused, plenty of food outlets ~ not to mention the beautiful animals on the property, making the entire experience, wholesome, for the visitor.

I am linking this post to the following parties, here.

Make it pretty Monday

Wow us Wednesdays

Thank you for visiting me today. I hope the photographs could give you a glimpse of the fun and frolic had at the fair.

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Face Qibla.

Hello friends.

It feels wonderful being back after my Ramadhan break.  I am grateful to be alive, in good health and happy to be able to fill you up with my creative endeavors.

Today I am sharing a simple plaque.  The message is the focus, and the message is deep ~ hence I did not want to add any fancy embellishments to distract the essence of this quote.

The definition of Qiblah is the direction of the Kaaba (the sacred building at Mecca), to which Muslims turn to, at prayer.

Muslims all over the world, pray towards the Kaaba, five times a day.  However the meaning of this quote is far deeper than that.

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QIBLAH PLAQUE

I am linking this plaque at the following fantastic parties.

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Thank you for visiting me today.

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Upcycled Pizza Box into Mixed Media Canvas

Hello friends ! Becoz my sons’ summer holidays as well as the holy month of Ramadhan begins by the end of this month, my posts might be far and few in between from now on.

Today I am sharing with you a mixed media project. I love mixed media (mm) becoz it allows me to experiment without any inhibitions and rules ! I explore with colors, textures and patterns and somehow, it just ties in together.

I, rarely work on a canvas for any of my mm projects ~ being an eco-friendly person, there is always, some effort placed on upcycling or repurposing objects (which can be). Here I have upcycled a pizza box for the mm canvas. I use the back of a pizza box and I love the texture it gives. Two coats of gesso to begin with, and the texture is just so good.

Techniques used are :-

  • Sponging acrylics
  • Decoupage
  • Paper piecing
  • Recycled Pizza box

The quote is dear to my heart. Coz any place in the world is acceptable and bearable, just so long as I am with my husband.  ‘He’ is the best gift Allah swt blessed me with.

I hope you like this attempt.

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Upcycle pizza box to canvas for mixed media

I am linking my mixed media pizza box at the following fantastic parties.

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Thank you for visiting me today.

Naush

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Wooden Crate Makeover ~ Tutorial.

This wooden crate is from ELC had been a resident in Eman’s room (the youngest son)  till last year,  where a couple of Action Men has established their headquarters in it.  As Eman grew older so did his collection. I made him a more suitable place as the headquarters of his Action Men. (that’s another later post)

You already know that very few storage items find their way to my trash can, hence that also meant that the little box was again at the mercy of yours truly.  I decided to work on its appearance before qualifying it to enter the “girl” domain (my craft studio)

Naturally (darlings as they are)  my boys always come to my rescue  (or should I just say, I have my ways of persuading them !!) We got all those hideous stickers out, alittle sanding, 2 coats of matt pink paint, some stencils on the longer edges and some chalk paint on the shorter edge and we have a pleasant looking crate !

 

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crate makeover 1 Crate makeover 2 CRATE MAKEOVER

I think, all the pictures are in the way of a self-explanatory pictorial. I hope you like the new look of the charming little crate. It has been housing several tiny buckets of paint brushes, copic markers, and stationery.

I am sharing this crate transformation with the following link parties here.

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Until we meet again in the virtual world,

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Upcycle Cans to 8 Tealight designs.

Upcycling cans is such creative fun. However alittle caution while cutting the cans is necessary.

I have made 8 different designs out of the cans. Ofcourse, there are many more designs which can be created but for now, I am pleased with these designs.

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Very straight forward ~ just cut the cans and snipe the ends to leave a pointed end. I masked the end with a little tape and spray painted the rest. After it dried (which is relatively soon). I peeled the tape and here’s what it looks like.
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I’ve cut thinner stripes here. Once cut and spread on a flat surface. I folded the stripes inwards in half. Its quite simple but has a lovely effect. Then I spray painted it.
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This one is probably the easiest. I cut the stripes wider and then spread it on a flat surface. Then I masked tape at two random measurements and spray painted it. when dried, I had the tapes removed to leave me with this lovely effect.
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This probably looks abit complicated but its really quite easy. Like the rest, I cut thinner stripes and instead of folding it inward, I had them fold inward horizontally and hide behind the alternate stripe. kept continuing till all of them were folded and then spray painted it.
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This one is slightly tricky. Cut 1/3 of the can ~ all except two stripes on the sides. Attach those stripes on the top with a stapler and spray paint the can.
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Here I have just curled the stripes slightly down wards to give it a spider effect.
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Using the end of a paint brush, roll the stripes inward and voila ! Spray paint.
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Around 1 cm from the bottom of the can, make straight cuts toward the top. continue to do so. Once you have cut enough stripes, just squeeze the can gently to form the lantern shape. Give a gentle pull to help get the stripes out. Spray paint.
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The tab of the drink can be used to hang it from a branch or a stand.

8 upcycled cans tealight holder designs          

I’m sharing these tealight holders with my  favorite parties here.

Do you like to recycle ? Have you made any lanterns or tealight holders lately ?

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I’m so glad your visiting me today.  Please remember to subscribe to my blog !

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Easy Spring Wreath from recycled material ~ Tutorial.

Making a wreath does not and cannot get easier than this !!!

This simple wreath is made from cardboard from cartons, magazine paper, some ribbon and a few handmade flowers from paper, a can of spray paint and some hot glue !! This is again one project that is all about RECYCLE, REUSE, REPURPOSE !!

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Cut a cardboard using a bucket rim as stencil and the inside using a large plate. Using a blade make the cut. Apply a thick layer of wood glue and adhere thick stripes of magazine paper rolled up to form a loop. Place the outer circle first followed by the inner circle.
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Once they are all adhered to the wreath, spray paint some color of your desire on it. I have not covered the entire space coz I wanted parts of the print peeping thru the green. Let it dry.
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I made a bunting with some leftover pieces of design paper and ribbon. Adhereing it to the bunting randomly with some hot glue.
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I rolled up some scrap paper and made some flowers and attached them using some hot glue.

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spring wreath 1 spring wreath

If you liked this spring wreath, kindly follow me at any one of these media platforms for all my future projects :-

I’m linking this wreath at my favorite hangouts  here.

Thank you for visiting me today. I leave you with one of my favorite quotes today :-

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Repurposed Bedside table to a CAT TREE / Tower.

Hello friends. My last post was about the cat tree that I built with some left over wood.

You already know, there  is no dearth of cats in my home as well as outside my home. Hence, ‘ONE’ cat tree/scratching post is not going to suffice all our needs.  I’m always on the look out  for stuff that can be improvised/repurposed/upcycled and used as a cat home or shelter.

Summers in Dubai can be rather cruel. The stray cats around the house, find protection from the scorching heat under cars or the few trees in our area.

I knew that this summer, I wanted to provide Charlie and Oreo, the kittens outside our yard, a safe space to hide in the afternoon.  The first cat tree had been quite a hit with all my fur babies and it was time to try out something different and better !  God helps those who help themselves couldn’t be far from reality in this case. I found this red bed side table and knew instantly, this was my answered prayer.

That afternoon, I got to work on it ~ ofcourse with my super helpful sons (those lovely boys who are constantly lending a hand to their madly creative mom :(  )

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So this is how we found it. We removed the leftover drawer and the steel rails too.
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The table was sturdy but missing two drawers. My base had to be very strong so that when the cats jumped on the higher levels, it shouldn’t knock the base and this easily qualified it.

 

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Ofcourse, I dived into my pile of wood and pallets and came up with some pallet wood which was then cut to equal size and glued and nailed to a large piece of thin cork wood. (the kind that forms the back of Ikea Billy bookcases )

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After gluing and nailing all four wood supports, I cut an MDF wood similar in size to the one already used with the same dimensions.
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We then drilled 2/3 screws into the MDF and adhered it the four supports. My son is hammering some nails on the corners for extra strength, This guy is my wing man :)
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……..and its already turned night :( We nailed the thin side of the ‘trunk’ onto the side table. Then we stapled the pieces of left over carpet onto the two, bases, above.
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Ofcourse we do have a quality inspector, without who’s consent, the product is not released forward :)
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Voila !!! There you have it !!
Repurposed bedside table
I stapled a tiny cat toy, made with some yarn ~ Just to lure them into trying out the new ‘hangout’
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My youngest had it trolleyed to the main gate. That’s my Dad in the background. He’s one of my biggest inspirations, whom I have watched for years, churning out amazing projects.
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Found its resting place close to the gate.
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That’s Sofu, sharpening his nails on the carpet ~ exactly like I wanted him to do with it !!
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Miscki is third in line, to inspect the “watch tower” 1st level # checked !
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Second level # checked !! Miski has given her approval too :)

 

Repurposed bedside table into a cat tree 1 Repurposed bedside table into a cat tree

I love it when a project works out as I had envisioned it.  I am happy to report that the cat tree/watch tower has survived for the last three months but is inhabited totally by Pepper – my Tom. He has laid his claim on the watch tower. Its his throne becoz its placed at the point of entry into the house. He guards the house from atop the tower !!!  There are times, when I believe, there is a watch dog somewhere inside Pepper and at other times, I convince myself that he’s just a very very very territorial Tom.

What started out as an attempt to make Charlie and Oreo comfortable, turned out to be Pepper’s new turf. Oh well, that just means, I have to work on another cat tree in the near future :)

I am linking this cat tree idea to the following link parties here.

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Best wishes

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DIY Cat Tree Tutorial.

Once upon a time, we lived in a lovely home at Arabian Ranches with our sons and two cats ~ the Arabian mau, we called Pepper and an elegant but snooty calico called Keiki.

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My handsome 7 year old Pepper. (rather fed up of the constant intrusions in the house )
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My beautiful princess ~ Keiki. Doesn’t she look glamorous ?

After 8 beautiful and blissful years, we moved to Al Warqa house ~ a much larger home and decided that we could earn extra blessings by fostering homeless new-born kittens with their mama in the summer, till they were old enough to be adopted.  Long story short ~ Two little ones who never got adopted last year, are still with me.  ENTER ~ Sofu and Miski.  Sofu is a super friendly but reckless boy while Miski has reservations about EVERYTHING ! While sofu prefers to sleep right on top of my face ~ Miski prefers to remain at a safe distance by my feet !  While Sofu is fearless and highly energetic  ~ Miski fears EVERYTHING !!   They both are loud ~ oh so loud !!! They are such a delight to have around ~ but then, aren’t all cats ??

Introducing ………….. Sofu and Miski  { at 4 months age }

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Sofu and Pepper are the two boys in the house while Keiki and Miski are the girls.

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Pepper and Sofu ~ each claiming his own place on the porch.
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Pepper and Sofu ~ have claimed many a chairs, this way.
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Miski, Sofu and Pepper ~ basking in the sun. They even claimed who would sit infront of the tyre and who would sit behind it.

Pepper my tabby ~ took 3 months to get used to their presence ~ Keiki still cant stand them :(   Reserved as she is, she just keeps hiding from both of them. The new babies are a year old now, while my older ones are 8 and 7 years respectively.  . . . . . .  and you thought this post was about a Cat tree ?????  Hang on ~ Just kidding ~ IT IS about the CAT TREE  !!

I noticed the turf wars between Miski and Sofu occurring more frequently and decided perhaps giving Miscki her own little space would be a good idea, since Sofu (the boy) is super dominating and super possessive, she always got the shorter end of the stick.  After checking out some of the Cat trees prices in a couple Pet stores ~ I decided I would have to try and build a simple cat tree by myself ~ after all, necessity IS the mother of all inventions !!

So off, I jumped into my pile of planks, pallets and chunks of wood in the backyard and grabbed two large sturdy pieces of mdf.

The base has to be a larger rectangle while the other piece can be 30%  smaller. I had 2 pieces of grey-colored carpet left over from another project which came in handy. I cut out two pieces to the size of the planks.

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Measuring the carpet to the size of the planks.
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Dont try to cut the carpet using a normal scissor ~ It WILL break ! Use an x acto blade or a scissor for fabrics.
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This large piece of wood was chopped down to a short size. This would form the trunk of the tree.
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I marked the center of the rectangular wood to figure out where I would be drilling the holes.
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Before drilling the holes, the carpet needed to be fixed to both the base as well as the roof of the tree. Here, I have applied some white wood glue and let it settle for just a bit.
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After allowing the carpet to stick to the planks, I stapled the edges from all sides ~ this is necessary becoz the cats would be pulling/clawing/scratching the carpet a lot and we wouldn’t want the carpet to get pulled out easily.
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Here both the pieces are ready having been glued and stapled. I let them dry all night.

The next morning ~ I drilled 3 holes in the base of the tree from the side which did not have the carpet attached to it and had the ‘trunk’ attached to it. The same process was carried out for the roof of the tree, but from the side of the carpet. I did not color the trunk, becoz the cats would be using it to stretch and file their nails, anyways.

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As if, she knew all along that this was going to be her favorite spot !! She jumped right on !

And Finally !!!!

CAT TREE DIY

Poor Sofu, is showing just how neglected he’s feeling !! Quite an actor ~ that sofu :)

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CAT TREE

This project was fun and so creatively gratifying. I loved that my cats appreciate and fully utilize it too.  If you have cats and planks at home and are not intimidated by the drill machine, then you could easily try out this project too.

Don’t you just love such trash to treasure projects ?? I know I do !!

I am linking my cat tree to the following fantastic link parties here, as always.

Thank you for visiting me today ~ I hope you leave alittle inspired.

If you liked what you saw, kindly subscribe to my blog or any of the following media platforms to keep in touch with my current projects and ideas.

Till we meet again ..

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DIY Family Organization Board Tutorial.

Dressing up mundane objects with a little color, some craft paper, few embellishments and alittle TLC gives me a lot of creative satisfaction. Ordinarily we tend to throw a lot of packing material, pieces of fabric, and even things that can be easily recycled. But not me :)  A large part of the “junk” is cleaned/washed and stored for future projects and ideas. {and then hubby and I quarrel about the amount of “junk” being stacked up in the shed !! ~ sounds familiar ?}

Jokes apart ~ Its one of those things that I so wish to educate kids about. A little change can go a long way in saving the state Mother Earth is in :(

This project is totally, an upcycle freak’s dream ~ Everything is recycled in this project ! I made this board a couple of days back when felt the need of an organizational board to keep track of some of the engagements, meals, doctors appointments and reminders for the week ahead.

I didn’t need something fancy ~ just something simple and reliable. I dived into my backyard wood stock and came across this thin sheet of cork wood. It seemed to be perfect. Alittle sanding here and there and it was ready for being dressed.

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I’ve always been a sucker for polka dots and I had just the perfect, bright and happy design paper for the background.

I needed a couple of containers to hold pencils, pins, rubberbands etc ~ I reused milk cartons and some laban cartons to do the job.

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With a little spray paint ~ they really perked up. For a more aesthetic look, I added some scraps of the polka dot cardstock and finished off the look with a few tiny clothespin. Has made an immense difference, isn’t it ??

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Next a few clothespin were modge podged with co-ordinating stripes pattern.

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I also placed one old cork coaster for pinning school circulars or reminders.

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I had this title printed off my printer with some fancy font and layered it over a nice textured bright orange handmade paper.

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Assembling the whole board was really quite easy.  Naturally the title went on top while the rest just fell into the place that could leave enough space to pin things, clip things and hold stuff in the containers.  They were all modge podged ( the word is a verb too !!! ) except for the cork coaster and the milk cartons. For those, I decided to use E6000.

Btw ~ do you know that you do get the duplicate of E6000 ? Trust ‘reliable’ China to come up with ANYTHING duplicate. Its E600 and the tube looks almost exactly similar to the original.

Once everything had dried ~ I modge podged over the board along with everything (embellishments ) again. That gave it a really nice and more professional finish.

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And Voila !!!! Two holes were made on the top of the board {goof up :- those holes would look a lot better and less chipped, had I drilled them instead of hammering them } so as to hang it with a cord.

family organization board tutorial

family organization board

This project took nearly 2 – 3 hours including drying time. And all the materials are recycled so you don’t really have to buy any of the tools or materials. Its readily available in almost all homes.

Do you have an organization board at home ? Would you like to share the picture with me  ?

I’m sharing this board with the following fantastic parties here

If you like what you saw here, please join me at any of the following media platforms :-

           

Thank you for visiting me and hope you leave a little inspired :)

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