Chalkboard Serving Tray Tutorial

I am so excited about this season – from our initial try outs, through week one and on to week three, the projects have been out of this world AMAZING. Seriously. There isn’t one project turned in that I wouldn’t be proud to feature!

In the Kitchen Challenge

The voting for our “In the Kitchen” challenge was supremely close last week. I don’t know that it’s ever been this tight. In the end, you decided that we would see Crystal’s chalkboard serving tray tutorial.

Crystal QuoteChalkboard Serving Tray Tutorial

There were some really great kitchen projects so I was excited to find out I had won, and I am really excited that I get to share my serving tray tutorial with you!

Chalkboard Serving Tray Tutorial

This tray is so cute for breakfast in bed or for entertaining.  It also looks great hung on the wall as a message board when you aren’t using it as a tray.

Chalkboard Serving Tray Tutorial

To make the tray you need an old cabinet door, I got mine at a shop that sells used building supplies.  You can also find them sometimes at yard sales or thrift stores, or if you or anyone you know is redoing their kitchen, snag one!  Or if you can’t find one anywhere, you can buy new sample doors at the hardware store.

You will also need two cabinet door pulls for the handles and a drill to put them on, chalkboard paint for the center, and paint for the outside.  I used two shades of green on mine for a distressed look.  The bottom coat is a dark green (Wild Rice by Behr) and the top is a light green (lemongrass by Martha Stewart)

Chalkboard Serving Tray

Tape off the center panel of the door and paint the outside of the door with the dark green.  After that coat dries, paint a couple coats of the light green.  I found it worked best to paint with my tray on top of a box, that way I could easily paint the top and all the sides.  Once the paint dried, I flipped my tray over and painted the back with the light green.

Chalkboard Serving Tray Tutorial

Once the paint is dry, distress it by sanding it some.  Focus more on the edges and corners where it would naturally distress more.

Chalkboard Serving Tray Tutorial

Find the center of the short side of the cabinet and mark where to drill the holes for your handles.  Drill the holes and screw your handles in place.

Chalkboard Serving Tray Tutorial

The last step is to paint the chalkboard paint on the center panel following the directions on your paint can, mine said to prime then paint.  I used a small brush to get into the corners and a foam brush for the rest.

Chalkboard Serving Tray Tutorial

Once the paint dries your tray is ready to use!

Chalkboard Serving Tray TutorialThanks for voting for me! I hope I get to hang around for a while this season and maybe even share some more tutorials!

*If you have a serving tray, you’ll definitely need something to serve. Be sure to head over to Stitched by Crystal and pin some of her AWESOME treat recipes!

Stitched by Crystal RecipesPeanut Butter Cup Cookies | Orange Coconut Truffles | Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

In the Kitchen Challenge Results Season 17, Week 1

Did you have a great Labor Day?! I have to admit I love these short weeks…Though I love my job, I LIVE for the weekends! Weekends are the time that I get all of my baking, blogging, crafting and DIYing in.

This week’s theme has me with kitchen on the mind (No kidding. I may have priced out a kitchen overhaul on Labor Day.), however, I don’t think a brand spanking new kitchen is in my near future. At least not this weekend…Instead, I am going to be working on a couple fun new fall recipes!

Anyway, enough about me. Let’s talk about this week’s “In the Kitchen” challenge results.

In the Kitchen Challenge

Results week is always a bit hard for me…I truly HATE to say goodbye to someone and I know you do to. Nevertheless it’s time…

In the Kitchen Challenge Results

In the Kitchen Challenge Results Season 17, Week 1

We had a record number of votes this week. Thank you so much for taking the time to participate!

Crafter Reveal

In the Kitchen Challenge

Project #1 Kitchen Utensil Herb Box – Justynn, Creative Life Antics
Project #2 Trash Can Cover – Dru, Polkadot Poplars
Project #3 Painted Refrigerator – Michelle, Delicate Construction
Project #4 Time for Lunch – Daniela, Bonito Servico
Project #5 Quick Kitchen Centerpiece – Melissa, Fablifyit
Project #6 Silverware Clock – Emily, The Benson Street
Project #7 Chalkboard Serving Tray – Crystal, Stitched by Crystal
Project #8 DIY Pendant Light – Lynda, Oh So Shabby
Project #9 Mason Jar Chandelier – Ariean, On Krieger Chick
Project #10 Napkin Garland – Krisha, Jacks and Kate

In the Kitchen Winner

That means our very first Season 17  challenge winner is Crystal, from Stitched by Crystal, with her awesome chalkboard serving tray.

Chalkboard Serving Tray

Watch for her winning tutorial on Tuesday!

I am so excited to share Crystal’s prize with you as well…She will be going home with a copy of Mindy Cone’s new book, Gourmet French Macarons: Over 75 Unique Flavors and Festive Shapes (CD Included) and a super-fun ruffle apron!

In the Kitchen Prize

Saying Goodbye…

This week we will be saying goodbye to Melissa, from Fablifyit. Melissa is absolutely, without a doubt, the Queen of Vinyl Crafts. Her blog is full of crafts for every season, but today I thought I would show you a few of my fall favorites…

Fablifyit Crafts

Wood Block Pumpkins | Ghost Soap Dispensers | Glitter Jar Decor | Fall/Thanksgiving Wood Block Crafts 

Don’t limit yourself to taking a peek at Melissa’s crafts though. She writes a lot of “real life” woman-type posts. They are open and insightful.

Come back and read my interview with Melissa tomorrow!

In the Kitchen Challenge {Season 17, Week 1}

Happy Labor Day friends!

The first of September always sort of signals the end of summer for me…Yes, it’s still nearly 100 degrees outside, but the kids are back in school and football has started…We’re hinging on the start of fall, which for me signals a return to the kitchen. I start cooking and baking more just generally spending more time in the kitchen. Fitting then, that we should kick off this week with an In the Kitchen Challenge.

In the Kitchen Challenge


Our competitors have put their heart and soul into this first week challenge and I am super-excited to share their awesome projects, so without further ado…

In the Kitchen {Season 17, Week 1}

Kitchen Utensil Herb Planter

Wahoo! I made it through the Auditions and into round one! This week’s theme is KITCHEN and I’ve got a Kitchen themed Herb Planter to share with you. I have a small kitchen/ living and dining area that are all combined into one medium size room. Which makes counter space and cupboard space invaluable. I wanted to make an herb planter, but keeping it on my kitchen counter, away from any windows would be counter-productive (I already don’t have the greenest thumb in the world).  So while walking the isles of Salvation Army I came across a vintage coffee pot and a measuring cup and the details all fell together. I’d make a Kitchen Utensil Herb Planter and keep it in the dining room near the sunlight! I made a wood box that holds platers made out of old kitchen tools.

Kitchen Utensil Herb Planter

I built the box out of an old pallet that was taking up way too much room in my garage. I love that the screws are exposed giving it a rustic feel. I used two large kitchen Utensils for the handle by bending them with a hammer and affixing to the box with screws nuts and screws. I left the whole finished box outside for a few days to get some sun bleaching and rain damage for aesthetic purposes. The planters themselves are made out of the old coffee pot from Salvation Army, an old dry measuring cup, a wet measuring cup and a canning jar. I filled the bottom half of each planter with rocks to help with drainage and I bought partially grown plants from a local nursery.

DIY Kitchen Utensil Herb Box

For the final little twists I filled the box with white rocks to hold the planters in place and add some visual interest to the bottom of the box. Even while making this project I kept forgetting the names of each plant so I used some leftover corks, bamboo skewers and a sharpie to make tags for each plant. I really love the way everything turns out. It’s nice to have small amounts of the herbs I use for cooking at home vs. driving to the store to buy a whole handful that will never get used. My dining room always get the most sunlight so it sits on the table in there during the day. Since completing this project I’ve learned to use an old wine bottle for watering (the neck helps regulate the flow of the water to the plants!). I hope you liked my Kitchen Utensil Herb Planter and vote for it! I’d love to be back for another week! Crafting is my JAM.

Kitchen Utensil Herb Box Trash Can Cover

Regular kitchen plastic trash cans are not cute!  I’ve been desperate to fix this issue.  The theme this week gave me the motivation to do something about it.

DIY Trash Can CoverI’ve seen plans for several different kinds of cabinets but I needed something different because of where my trash can sits.  So, I created a side opening cabinet where the door pulls out.  Having it open this way will be easier to use.

DIY Trash Can Cover

I’ve never really built anything like this before and was scared, but it was so much easier than I could ever have imagined and I love the beautiful mint color of the paint.  This is a good beginner building project.

Painted Refrigerator

When I heard this week’s theme, I knew it would be a challenge for me as we rent our home and have an old kitchen that really just needs a complete overhaul. Despite that, I was excited to take on this challenge and figure out something that would brighten up the room (and maybe distract from the rest of it)! I have to give credit on this one to my husband who randomly said “why don’t you paint the fridge?” {We bought our fridge when we moved in at a scratch and dent warehouse for crazy cheap and since we own it, this is an option.}  I don’t think he was serious, but then he saw the look on my face after his suggestion and knew exactly what was going to happen next.

Painted fridgeOur fridge was a plain, white, ‘apartment special’ I like to say. It is not huge or fancy, it doesn’t give me water or lemon flavored ice cubes, but it keeps things cold and fits in the space available between the cabinets. I never thought much of it, that is, until it got its makeover! I am in love with the new pop of color from the turquoise and gold accents. It is so much fun and really brightens up the previously dark space.

Painted RefridgeratorI had just as much fun putting together the accents as I did painting the fridge. On the side I added a laser cut frame that will hold family photos or children’s drawings {thanks Project Life for adding some flair until I can put some pictures in!} with tiny little clothespins. On the freezer door, I added some smaller magnet photo frames to hold traditional and wallet size photos on the right and on the left, a dry erase board for messages and notes.  I wanted there to be a space for kids to play while I was cooking so I added a framed chalk board to the fridge door- it also helps to camouflage the dent that it came with, even better!

Painted fridgeAll in all, the transformation is night and day and I love how it came out!

On Time for Lunch

Tray 1 I am so happy I made it through the auditions. This first week I have decided to make something I have been looking for my kitchen for a while. A kitchen clock and a serving tray! Until now I haven’t found any that I really like so, it was a good opportunity to make it!

Tray 2For the clock I used a piece of wood, cut it and spray painted it white. The numbers and mushrooms were handmade in polymer clay, as well as the corner flowers. As for the clock machine I have used the one from a very cheap clock I found at IKEA.

Tray 3

The serving tray was initially plain wood. I painted it white and then applied handmade delicate polymer clay flowers, to give it color. To finish, I have put a glass on top so it works well as a serving tray. It worked out great and I just can’t wait to use it.

I like my kitchen even more now. Hope you like it too.

Quick Kitchen Brightener or Centerpiece

I love fresh flowers, and I love color! To add some of both to the my kitchen, I just found 3 totally different vases…, I found all 3 at the local thrift shop for $1.00 each, the “rocks” I bought at the dollar store for only $1.00, the flowers…Well I wish I could say I got them from my yard…I found them in a clearance cart at the grocery store for only $5.00.


The water and food color I had on hand. When you cut your flowers you want to cut the angled, so that the bottom of the stem isn’t straight… I filled the vases half full with the rocks, the slowly split the flowers up between them.


Once I had them all the way I wanted them. I poured the colored water just to the top of the rocks. ( I mixed aspirin with them as well, I hear it makes your flowers last longer)  Then TADA, I can group the together, of place them individually around my kitchen, a quick cheap way bring nature and color in to your home! They make great center pieces as well.


Silverware Kitchen Clock

Silverware Kitchen Clock  The theme inspired me to use kitchen items to create a home decor piece that I could display in my kitchen. I created this clock using vintage silverware and a charger plate.

 Silverware Kitchen Clock

I love the pop of color, pattern and the clock’s unique flair. It is simplistic with but the silverware clock hands give it a special touch.

Silverware Kitchen Clock This clock will definitely make me want to spend more time in your kitchen. I hope it has inspired you to use kitchen items to create.

Chalkboard Serving Tray

There is a place here in town that sells used building supplies; it is an awesome place to score things like stained glass windows and old doors.  I was browsing there the other day and found a whole room full of old cabinet doors.  I snagged one of them to make this serving tray.

Chalkboard Serving Tray

I painted the outside of the cabinet door first with a coat of dark green, then a coat of light green, then sanded it lightly for a distressed look.  Next I added some chalkboard paint to the inner panel of the door.  When I bought the door they threw in two door pulls for free, they were brass which wasn’t really the look I wanted, but I wasn’t going to turn down free!  With a quick coat of black spray paint I had in the garage they went from shiny brass to satiny black.  I added one door pull to each side for carrying the tray.

Chalkboard serving tray

This would be a great tray for serving breakfast in bed to someone special, and leaving them a little note too! It is also perfect for entertaining; you can use the chalkboard surface to label what you’re serving so your guests aren’t left guessing what kind of cheese or dip they are eating.  Or you can simply use it for carrying dinner from your kitchen to the table.  I liked my tray so much I didn’t want to hide it under the counter when it wasn’t being used.  So it is doing double duty and hanging on the kitchen wall as a message board.  Plus that makes it easier for my husband to find it if he wants to make me breakfast in bed (hint hint honey…)

Chalkboard serving trayOne of a Kind Kitchen Pendant Light

So excited for the first round!!!   The inspiration for my “In the Kitchen” project was my BORING pendant lights hanging over my kitchen island.  After shopping endlessly for something unique I came up with zippo!!    So…….I decided to make some myself.  Here is the before pic….  hopefully  you’ll like the finished product enough to vote for me!!   Would love to make it to the next round!

DIY Pendant Light

 I knew I needed something circular for the top and bottom so I started with some simple cheap embroidery rings from Hobby Lobby .   From there I bought a sheet of wood paper, some stain, round wood pieces, some sticky cork, burlap and some beads.      After cutting and staining the wood paper I glued them to the embroidery rings with Loctite Glue.  After that I applied sticky cork to the burlap and fixed that on the inside of the fixture.

DIY Kitchen Pendant Light

To put the finishing touches on the piece I used my “jewelry skills” to assemble some hanging beads which I hung from the top embroidery hoop.  Last but not least I used a drill to cut a hole in the round wood  for the top piece and drilled two other small holes that I used to screw the fixture in place.  I glued the round wood piece (that I spray painted copper) to the top and wallah we have a new fixture.  It was a bit time consuming but very simple.  Now off to make the second one!!!   Didn’t have it done in time to show you both!!   I will add more pics to my blog once the other one is done… but for now my little ‘ol pendant light is flying solo!    Hope you like it enough to vote for me…

DIY Kitchen Pendant Light

Mason Jar Chandelier

In the Kitchen…What a challenge…so many possibilities!  My biggest challenge was narrowing down what I wanted to create.  I love my kitchen, but I did not love the chandelier in our eating area.  It was definitely time for a makeover!

Mason Jar Chandelier

From straight out of the box to a conversation piece…I was able to give my existing chandelier an updated look fitting of my style on a budget by using items I already had on hand.  I gave it a fresh coat of paint, added chalk paint details and used a fun technique to make new mason jars look old.

Mason Jar Chandelier

It took a little tweaking and a bit of trial and error to make it all work together, but Oh How I Love It Now!  It adds just the amount of added color and charm this space was lacking! So excited to share how I made it!

Mason Jar Chandelier


Napkin Garland

I’ll admit it, I love a cute napkin! I keep a stock of cocktail napkins in my kitchen. I think they can really fun up a meal and are great for parties. You can grab a pack of 25 or more for less than $3.00 at Homegoods or Target.

Napkin Garland

When I first saw the theme for the first week of the competition, I was a little stumped. Do I cook? Do I make something for the kitchen? I really wasn’t sure. After thinking it over, I decided to use some of those awesome cocktail napkins I had hanging out, “In The Kitchen” to make this Cocktail Napkin Garland.

Napkin Garland

To start, I used 4 different napkins that were all approximately the same size. I wanted more of a patchwork look, so I used chose napkins with different patterns and colors. Once I had my chosen napkins, I  ran them through the sewing machine. That’s it!

Napkin Garland


The whole project took less than 20 minutes for a 12 ft long garland. I used my sewing machine for ease and to get it done quickly. However, this could easily be done with a needle and twine. I hope you like it as much as I do and will vote to keep me in the competition!

Time to Vote!

In the Kitchen Challenge


There are so many great projects this week!

Please select the top five projects you would like to see a tutorial for next week. You may vote once per day. Voting will end Thursday, September 5, at 5 pm. MST


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