DIY – Dry Erase Marker Board

Well, the countdown is on…2 more weeks until Thanksgiving.  Two more weeks until Black Friday.  Wait…stores aren’t even waiting until Friday anymore.  They’re barely waiting until after we swallow that last bite of pumpkin pie.  I have mixed feelings about that.  The shopper in me is very excited.  I’ve got my eye on a wireless printer.  The mom/wife in me is feeling badly for the employees who don’t really get to celebrate the holiday with their family.

The commercialism of the holidays is not what this article is about though.  I just got sidetracked.  I am very excited to share an original (not taken from Pinterest) DIY project that my hubby came up with the other day.  It stems from another DIY project he is working on.

After a trip to Lowe’s to pick up supplies for his project, he showed me the white panel board he got.  He’s making a hunting blind with it (really long story…I won’t go into the details).  Anyway, he’s been researching how to make this and he mentioned that some people say you can use the white panel board to make a dry erase marker board.

White panel board is a large sheet of…well…panel board.  It’s really hard to describe, now that I’m sitting here trying to!  It’s white on one side and very smooth.  The other side is brown.  It’s made out of some kind of pressed wood or saw dust…I don’t know.  I do know you can cut it with a saw and drill holes in it.

Anyway, when he said it might be able to be turned into a dry erase marker board, I got very excited.  I don’t know what it is about marker boards, but I LOVE THEM.  Seriously.  I had a small one in my kitchen where I would jot down my “To Do” list for the week.  No matter how insignificant it was, I wrote it down on the board.  I felt very accomplished when I could erase a task that I had completed.

Not only do I love dry erase marker boards for organizing my schedule, I couldn’t help but think that I could use a large one for our homeschooling.  I have visions of helping my daughter learn how to read while we write sight words on the board.  I see myself working out long division problems on it with my son.  Every homeschooler needs a gigantic dry erase marker board in their kitchen, right?

So, we made the trek to Lowe’s this afternoon.  Our store had 2 different sizes.  One was about 32 inches by 48 inches and cost about $9.  Not too bad.  Then, we discovered a huge sheet…4′ X 8′ for $13.  For $4 more, you get…well…at lot more board.  Now, I don’t need a 4′ X 8′ dry erase marker board (at least that’s what my hubby says), but Lowe’s will cut any board for you, in the length you want/need.  For free!  So, I got my marker board and my hubby got extra pieces of the white panel board…win/win!!

To hang the board, we used some 3M Command strips.  The kind we ended up getting are supposed to hold 16 pounds.  The board isn’t close to weighing 16 pounds, but we wanted to make sure it was good and sturdy.  The strips came in 4 pairs and are basically like plastic velcro.  So far, so good.  It hasn’t fallen…yet.  If the strips don’t work, we’ll just screw it to the wall.  Not as aesthetically pleasing, but definitely functional.

Here is the finished project…


Of course, the kiddos had to make their mark on the board.  I plan on having a few things on the board all the time.  Our weekly schedule, the day of the week and what we’re having for dinner that evening (because I’m getting a little tired of answering that question at 10:00 a.m.  And then at 11.  And then at 12.  And then at…well, you get the picture), and count downs of special days – like when grandparents come to visit.

You could dress the board up a little, if you wanted to.  Maybe one of these days we’ll get some trim pieces and frame it like a mirror or picture.  I was just a little excited to get it hung up and didn’t really want to take the time to do that (plus I didn’t want to sink that much money into the project).

I’m trying to calculate our cost in this project.  We bought the larger sheet of white panel board and this piece was about 1/3 of it, so I would estimate that part cost about $4.  The 3M Command Strips were also about $4.  So, for $8, I have a huge dry erase marker board.  I think I paid that much for the tiny one I had before!   It took a total of about 5 minutes (if that long) to hang the board.  Not too bad!  I love instant gratification DIY projects!!!!!!!

Will this make me more organized?  Will this keep me on schedule?  I have no idea!  I definitely feel like I’ve “got it all together”. Maybe I’ll fake it until I actually become organized!


Seriously…how cute is this??

Happy Weekend!!  Have a good one!


The Day Murphy Came To My House

Here it is…19 days before Thanksgiving.  14 days until my parents arrive for their visit (yay!).  I should be working on my list of Christmas gifts that I need to buy and/or make so I can send them home with them when they come visit.  So, what am I actually doing?  Watching “Everybody Loves Raymond” on Netflix and mopping the floors.  Makes sense, right.  Oh…and I want to tell you about the past month.

Around the first of October, something happened to my hubby and I that has never happened since we’ve been married.  For the first time in 14 years, we are DEBT FREE (except the house)!!!!  This is huge for us people…huge.  I mean, how many people in America can say this?  We don’t even have a credit card anymore.  Thanks to our friend, Dave Ramsey, we are (by other people’s standards), officially “weird”.

I say this all to set the stage.  This all happened on a Friday afternoon.  We were sooooo excited.  I think we might have celebrated by going out to eat, most likely with a coupon…that’s how we roll.  Before I went to bed, I do what I always do, set the timer on the dishwasher to start a couple of hours after we go to bed.  The way I figure it, it might be cheaper (in electricity) and I don’t have to listen to it.

Saturday morning, I wake up.  The “clean” light isn’t on.  Which is weird, because all the dishes look clean.  I unload the dishwasher and don’t think too much about it until I’m unloading the bottom rack and there it is.  Standing water.  The dishwasher is broken!!  The day after we became debt free.  Thank you Murphy’s Law…

Well, my hubby and I had the typical discussion. Do we call someone?  If so, who?  Do we just get a new dishwasher?  This one was only about 4 years old, so it seemed kind of silly to toss it to the curb.  Plus, we just got rid of a lot of debt…the DAY BEFORE!   We didn’t exactly want to spend more big bucks.

So, I did the next best thing.  I Googled.  Isn’t it amazing that “google” is now a verb?  I mean, did the founder of Google ever think that people would be googling one day?  Anyway, I hopped on the internet and low & behold, my dishwasher wasn’t the only one to quit working!  And then, I found my new best friend.  A website called Appliance Parts Pros.  I had never heard of this website before, but what I found was a wealth of knowledge.  They have a phone number you can call 24/7 or you can just hop on their “live chat” and talk to a very helpful person.  Well, after some troubleshooting, I found the problem was a fuse.  The prices on their website weren’t too bad, but here’s a secret…I ordered it off of Amazon!  I found the same fuse for a lot cheaper.

Once the part came in, my hubby used the install video on the website and in about 15 minutes (if that long) had our dishwasher fixed!!  Yay!  I was getting soooo tired of washing dishes by hand.  I know…I’m spoiled.

Well, we didn’t exactly kick Murphy out of the house yet.  More like we moved him into the garage.  About a week later, the dryer quit!  This time, I knew exactly where to go, and within about 30 minutes figured out what the problem was and we had the part ordered.

The dryer was a little harder to figure out what was wrong, but once we did, it was an easy (and fairly cheap) fix.  Now, we walk on eggshells and can’t help but think, “What’s next?”

So, this all got me to thinking.  It was very tempting to just say, “you know, we should just get a new one.”  After all, there were no guarantees that the parts we replaced would be the right ones.  And, we were putting all this money & time into it, when it would just be much easier to go to Lowe’s and get a new one.  Then, I thought about all the money would we have been out.  Possibly $1,000 or more!  Who knows!

Our society is a throw away society.  Our cell phones get upgraded every 2 minutes.  When something breaks, we just go out and get a new one.  Very rarely do we put time and effort into fixing something.  Even our relationships.

How many marriages have been “broken” and instead of trying to fix them, people just throw them away and get new ones? Now, I know that sometimes marriages are truly broken and are a lost cause.   But, how many out there need a part or two, some elbow grease and viola…fixed!  It’s not easy.  And sometimes, you replace a “part” and another one breaks (like our dryer…we fixed it & then something else broke on it).  But, can you imagine how I felt when we fixed our dishwasher & dryer?  I was so excited and proud that we had worked together and did something that a lot of people wouldn’t do.

God did not intend for marriages to be thrown away.  In Genesis 2:24, the Bible says “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh”.  Some versions say “cleave” instead of united.  I kind of like that a little more.  I can picture cleaving.  My daughter “cleaves” to her daddy when she doesn’t want him to leave the house for work in the mornings.  Cleaving is desperately holding on to something…never letting go.  No matter what.  Even if you fix one part and the next day something else breaks.  You fix it too.  It’s not easy and sometimes it might seem to be easier to just give up.  I want to encourage you to keep going.  Do whatever it takes.  Don’t give up.

So, as I sit here, procrastinating over my Christmas list, admiring my clean floors and wondering what on earth will break next, I know…no matter what it is…I will fix it.