I’ve always been a fan of planning and organization so when I stumbled across “Kitchen Command Centers” on Pinterest, I almost fell out of my chair. It was like the mother ship was calling me home. I decided I HAD to have one. But, I knew I also wanted to keep it simple and under $100. I really wanted to nail down an easy and USEFUL design so I scrapped a few designs before I came up with the final product. And don’t get me started on my laughable abilities when it comes to DIY. That being said, I hope this is a helpful and easy guide for you!
I’ve learned that weekly meal planning, and grocery shopping from a list, is a MUST for my family. I love to cook and experiment with new recipes, but nowadays I save that whimsy for special occasions. In order for my family to get through the week with our sanity and bank account in check, it is super helpful to have it figured out ahead of time. Also, grocery shopping with a toddler is a full contact sport and I prefer to get in and out as quickly as possible. A well thought out list helps that immensely.
To save time on the weekends, I tend to use my lunch hour at work to jot down the plan for the next week. That way, by Friday it’s done and I can get out to the store first thing Saturday morning and avoid the weekend madness. I use a basic Microsoft Word template that I created as a meal planner and grocery list, but I wanted something visual to have in my kitchen too!
When I started doodling what I wanted to make, I realized I could make it even more useful with space for mail, coupons, party invites, cards, etc. I remembered my fellow North Phoenix Bloggers doing posts with chalkboards: Magnetic Chalkboard + Chalkboard Walls. Both of these inspired me to include chalkboard in my design. I love the look and it’s so functional!
After designing my Kitchen Command Center, I decided to write out a simple list with recipe links of the meals we have on the regular. That way, I would have it handy for writing in our meals each week. I know this sounds exactly like Pinterest, and I do have an extensive board on there with recipes. But I really only make 15-20 meals regularly, so it’s nice having them listed out for super quick and easy access. I’ll be doing another post soon with a HUGE list of easy, delicious and (mostly) healthy meals as well as my meal planning template. Stay tuned!
So on to the project! Here is the list of items I used and the process. What’s great is that this is all very customizable, so if you want different bins or background, or a bigger or smaller chalkboard section, it’s easy to adjust.
$10 – White Marker Board Panel
$7 – Baseboard/trim
$4 – Command Strips
$15 – Mighty Magnet Strip
$5 – Liquid Nails
Board and Supplies
1 – Measure the wall space you want to use. The space I have is pretty big so I went with a large board, roughly 3’x4.’ You can easily adjust this idea to whatever size space you have by trimming the board or buying a smaller size board to start.
2 – Before you start painting or applying contact paper, sketch what you want to do or lay them out on a flat surface to see how everything will fit. That way you can rearrange to make it work best for you without having to start all over (ahem, hindsight is always 20/20).
- Start with the white, marker board side up. Paint the chalkboard area first, giving a little bit of overlap for where the contact paper will go. Tape off the separation with painters tape to keep it clean.
- Let paint dry completely before moving on (usually at least overnight). Make sure to follow the instructions for whatever brand of paint you buy! They’re all a little different and I learned (the hard way) to follow them exactly. If you want to use it as a meal/day planner as I have, measure out a grid for 7 rows (days of the week) X 2 columns (dinner & fun). I ended up not drawing perfect lines because I like a perfectly imperfect look (lol, total lie – I tried!)
- BEFORE you remove the protective sheet from the back of the contact paper, lay it out where you want it and then cut it to size. Peel back the protective sheet from the bottom edge.
- Line up the edge straight from side to side and adhere about an inch up. Slowly pull back the protective sheet as you use your hands to press it down onto the board. Go slowly and spread from the middle out to avoid air bubbles. If you can, have a second person help you line it up and flatten it out.
- Once it’s all laid flat, trim any excess from the edge. If you aren’t doing a trim around the board, be sure to use an exacto-knife or something that will cut clean and easy.
- Measure the length of board and mark where to cut (measure twice!)
- Cut at a 45 degree angle for each corner.
- Glue trim to board (I recommend using a really strong glue, like Liquid Nails).
- If you aren’t painting the trim, you are done (this is why I decided a white trim would be just fine!)
- Line up where you want it to go and use command strips to stick it to the board. I chose to have it go right where the chalkboard and contact paper meet to give a separation to the two areas (and to cover up some of my inevitable mistakes.)
- Refer back to your design and measure spaces for where to hang bins with command strips/hooks.
Voila! Your very own Kitchen Command Center… where have you been all my life?!