Make a Custom Magnetic Clipboard

Magnetic Clipboard DIY- notes on the fridge can actually look cute!Are you a list maker? I'm an avid maker of lists, but also a chronic forgetter of lists. How many times have I found myself at the grocery store as my shopping list rests forgotten at home? The world will never know. Though they may get misplaced, lists are a necessary part of maintaining my sanity, particularly in the kitchen.

To improve my list-making abilities, I wanted to make a little note command center that wouldn't look ugly on my kitchen refrigerator. I needed one part to hold removable notes for trips to the store while another part could be for writing temporary messages, like my honey-never-mind-I'll-do-it-myself lists. I came up with this little wooden clipboard that combines both of these list-making needs with a magnet on the back for mounting on a refrigerator or locker. Check out how I made it below!

Magnetic Clipboard DIY- notes on the fridge can actually look cute!Materials:
-1 3/8" x 4" x 36" piece of select pine (I bought a 36" piece and used 12.5") / $3.25
-2 3/8" #4 screws / $.50
-clip no wider than 3" (like this one or this kind) / $2
-chalkboard paint (spray or brush on) / $5
-primer (optional but recommended)
-wood stain or paint / $5
-painter's tape / $2
-Gorilla Glue / $5
-magnets (strips or individual) / $2
-120-220 grit sandpaper / $2

Total Estimated Cost for All Materials*: $27
My Cost (wood, screws, clip, and magnets): $5.75

*Most of these materials are small portions of supplies that a crafter will have in his or her supply kit. That is why I also note the amount I paid to complete the project, which does not include the materials I already had.

Tools:
-paint brush
-screw driver
-wet rag or sponge
-clamps (optional and not shown above)

Magnetic Clipboard DIY- notes on the fridge can actually look cute!Step One: Cut the 3/8" x 4" x 36" piece of select pine lumber into 1 10.5" piece and two 1" pieces. If you do not have a saw, the lumber yard or hardware store will cut the pieces for you. Be sure to lightly sand down all cut or sharp edges.

Step Two: Dampen the areas of the wood that will be glued together. This helps activate the Gorilla Glue.

Magnetic Clipboard DIY- notes on the fridge can actually look cute!Step Three: Apply a thin bead of Gorilla Glue on the edges of the spacer piece of wood.

Step Four: Clamp together the pieces of wood as shown above, or use duct tape to simulate a clamp. The bond of the glue is improved with pressure. The glue will ooze as it's activated. Be sure to wipe away any goop before it dries.

Magnetic Clipboard DIY- notes on the fridge can actually look cute!Step Five: After the glue has set up (1-2 hours), stain or paint the wood. I used Rustoleum's "Driftwood" tinted stain. I had this leftover from my framing project.

Step Six: After the stain or paint has dried, attach the clip to the board with screws. You don't need any power tools for this. A little pressure with a screw driver will drive the screw in nicely and pull the clip tightly against the wood.

Magnetic Clipboard DIY- notes on the fridge can actually look cute!Step Seven: Clip the paper you'll be using into place. Post-its are the perfect size for this! Then apply masking tape around an area for the chalkboard below the notepaper. I made the width of my area to be the same as the Post-it note with about a 1/2" spacing in between them. Before painting, press the edge of a fingernail along the edge of the masking tape to make sure no paint will sneak below it.

If you're spray painting instead of brushing, you'll need to remove the notepaper and mask over the entire clipboard before spraying. I used primer before painting because I had it on hand. It will help the paint job hold up over time.

Magnetic Clipboard DIY- notes on the fridge can actually look cute!Step Eight: Carefully remove the masking tape. If the paint begins to pull up with the tape, you should use a blade to separate the tape from the paint as you pull. I didn't have a problem with this.

Step Nine: Use Gorilla Glue to attach magnets to the back of the board. Make sure you've tested the magnets to see which side should go against the refrigerator. If the magnets push away from each other while the glue is drying (mine did!), you can duct tape them in place.

Magnetic Clipboard DIY- notes on the fridge can actually look cute!Find a short pencil and some chalk for the tray, and you're ready to start using your noteboard!

Just a warning— I first used an American Crafts chalkboard pen on this board because it writes so much prettier than regular chalk, but it wouldn't wipe off! I had to apply another coat of paint to cover it up. Now this board is strictly for old-school chalk only.

Magnetic Clipboard DIY- notes on the fridge can actually look cute!Magnetic Clipboard DIY- notes on the fridge can actually look cute!I love having a nice-looking note station exactly where I need it. Now I can write down what we need from the store exactly when I notice our supply is dwindling. Organization is now within my grasp! Look out, world! -Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella of the Signature Collection.

Studio Bathroom Tour (Before + After)

A Beautiful Mess bathroom makeoverFriends! Today I am so excited to share the "after" photos of our upstairs bathroom located at our studio house. Each time we renovate a room I learn so much, and this room was exceptionally helpful. There are so many elements from it that I would do again in my own home, which is the truest test– I think! 

But first, you know what's coming. A little walk down memory lane... 

Bathroom before + afterWhen we bought this house, the bathroom had laminate floors, fake tile walls, and yellowing caulk. It was ready for a little refresh. We were initially attracted to the layout and the natural light. Good bones. We planned mostly bright white updates with a gray ceiling and colorful accents. We wanted to keep it simple and full of light. 

Before and afterThe heart shaped penny tile floor was a big part of our vision for the room. I'll talk more about that below, but it's one of my favorite updates we've ever tried. Even though, yes, it's very, veryyyyy specific I have no regrets whatsoever.

A Beautiful Mess bathroom makeover A Beautiful Mess bathroom makeover A Beautiful Mess bathroom makeover A Beautiful Mess bathroom makeover After remodeling four rooms with white tile, I can confidently say I will never regret white subway tile. It's clean, bright, and fresh. I love it in kitchens and bathrooms, for the bottom half of the wall, or all the way up to the ceiling. When choosing the tile for the floor and ceiling, I like to mix two tile shapes. 

A Beautiful Mess bathroom makeover The gray ceiling was a big win in this room. We have tried several colored and patterned ceilings in this house (see more rooms here) with great results. I like the gray because we aren't tied down to any color scheme, but it adds a lot to the room and makes the light fixture pop! 

A Beautiful Mess bathroom makeover       A Beautiful Mess bathroom makeover       A Beautiful Mess bathroom makeover       When it came to adding color to the room, we kept it pretty simple. Colorful towels, the tassel shower curtain (an Anthropologie sale rack score!), a pretty Etsy print, and some fresh flowers. These vases are a project from our new book.

ABM bathroom makeover!   ABM bathroom makeover!   ABM bathroom makeover!   ABM bathroom makeover!      ABM bathroom makeover!
Back to the floor! 

We originally ordered white and red penny tile for the heart patterned floor. I had my heart set on a red heart. Well, we didn't read the fine print, and when the tiles came in, we found out they were for walls only and not for floors. So we quickly figured out a plan B. We used the white penny tile on the downstairs bathroom wall, we found another small tile at a local store that was durable enough for floors, and we settled on black for the heart. In the end, I think I love the black even more than I would have loved the red. 

We worked with our contractor on the heart shape before the tile was laid. It's hard to make round shapes with tile, but we did our best, and I love the finished result. 

ABM bathroom makeover!        Now every time a visitor comes into our studio house they always take a picture with our bathroom floor. Ha! 

ABM bathroom makeover!         Here's the view looking out from the bathroom. Our three office rooms and the stairs to the front entry are just outside.

Thanks for taking a look at our room tour! We had a great experience giving this room a makeover. The biggest things I learned were– white tile is always good, gray painted ceilings are interesting, but not overwhelming, and designing with neutrals leaves more room for changing color choices later. What do you think about our heart tile floor? Crazy good or just crazy? xo. Elsie 

Sources: Light fixture/West Elm, Wild at Heart print/Etsy, Shower curtain/Anthropologie (we snagged it on sale). 

Credits// Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions

Espresso Crème Brûlée

Espresso creme brulee (click through for recipe) Trey learned two things about me early on in our relationship. First, I'm the kind of gal that if a server asks if I want to look at the dessert menu, I say yes. It doesn't hurt to look, right? And second, he learned that if crème brûlée is on that dessert menu, I'm going to order it. 

Espresso creme brulee (click through for recipe)This version of crème brûlée features a healthy dose of espresso flavor. Honestly, it sort of tastes like a vanilla latte. I highly recommend serving these on a tray filled with coffee beans. The added aroma will totally impress whoever you are serving this to. And when they aren't looking, you can totally pour the beans back into the bag and save them for your morning coffee. That's exactly what I did. :)

Easiest ever creme brulee recipeEspresso Crème Brûlée, makes 6-8 depending on your ramekin size.

2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1/4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup super fine (baker's) sugar

Heat the heavy cream over medium heat, whisking to dissolve the espresso powder. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

How to make creme bruleeIn a bowl combine the egg yolks and sugar. Stir for a couple minutes until the mixture turns from bright yellow to a paler yellow. Slowly whisk in the heavy cream-espresso mixture and the vanilla extract. Pour the batter into your ramekins. 

Place the ramekins in a large casserole dish or a baking sheet with a tall lip. Fill the baking dish with water so the ramekins are half submerged in the water. Bake at 325°F for 45-48 minutes. The custard should look set but have a slight jiggle in the center (like a solid custard). If it seems too liquidy, allow them to cook for a few more minutes. Ramekin size can really make a difference here, so use your best judgement. Take care when removing the baking dish from the oven as the water will be very hot. You do not want to splash it on your skin.

Espresso creme bruleeAllow the custards to cool. Then cover and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight. Before serving, sprinkle a thin layer of sugar over the top and caramelize with a kitchen torch or under the broiler. Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with The Signature Collection.

DIY Wire Utensil Rack

Make a wire utensil rack with items found at the hardware store— click through for details!When I was planning my kitchen renovation, I didn't want to miss my chance to add some dream elements to our new space. For me, kitchen dreaming is more about providing function, not just beauty, but sometimes those two qualities can collide. One of my dream elements was pretty simple— a utensil rail. A few of the kitchens I saved on my Pinterest kitchen inspiration board have rails or hooks for convenient utensil storage, and I loved the quirky look and functionality the display seemed to add to each space.

Make a wire utensil rack with items found at the hardware store— click through for details!When I first considered how to implement visible utensil storage in my own kitchen, I thought I would mount a rail on the wall below the upper shelf and use S-hooks to hang regularly used utensils. But I had such a large, open space on the backsplash that was begging to be filled, so I decided to fashion a wire rack instead— one that could hold skillets and strainers as well as utensils. I love the industrial/country quality it adds to the space, and also the versatility of the rack. I can hang as many or as few things on it depending on how clean or cluttered I want this wall to be.

Check out how simple and inexpensive it is to make your own wall-mounted wire utensil rack!

Make a wire utensil rack with items found at the hardware store— click through for details!Materials:
-wire mesh rebar— $7 (found in concrete section of hardware stores)
-ceiling hooks— $8 for a 10 pack
-variety of S-hooks— $5-$10
-bare metal primer (rust preventing)— $4
-appliance epoxy— $4
-rust removing cleaner (I used CLR)- $5

Total Cost at Most: $38
My Cost* (not including CLR): $28
*I had plenty of primer, paint, and mesh left over from other projects.

Tools:
-industrial wire cutters or metal grinder (like I used)
-gloves (chemical safe + fabric protective gloves) (not shown)
-safety glasses
-cleaning brush or metal scratchy pad
-tape measure
-power drill (not shown)
-pencil (not shown)

Make a wire utensil rack with items found at the hardware store— click through for details!Step One: Measure the space where you want to hang the wire rack. Then decide how big you want the wire mesh to be and cut it to size. You will have to round down to the nearest square. Each square measures 6". I cut mine to 24" x 24".

Step Two: Cut the wire mesh to size. If you are using a grinder instead of industrial wire cutters, you should probably wear long sleeves and protective fabric gloves because sparks will fly. Lesson learned on that one. Definitely wear safety glasses, as you always should when doing any kind of cutting or grinding.

Make a wire utensil rack with items found at the hardware store— click through for details!Step Three: Clean the rust off the raw steel with your preferred cleaner. I found CLR worked nicely with some elbow grease and a metal scratchy pad. Rinse and completely dry the steel when finished.

Make a wire utensil rack with items found at the hardware store— click through for details!Step Four: Prime the wire mesh and metal hooks with bare metal primer. I used rust-preventing primer because the wire mesh is made of raw steel, which rusts easily. The S-hooks and ceiling hooks are already coated, so you don't necessarily need rust-preventing primer on those, but I used it anyway.

After priming, paint with epoxy paint in the color of your choice.

Make a wire utensil rack with items found at the hardware store— click through for details!Step Five: Hold the dried wire screen up to the wall where you will be hanging it. If you don't have horizontal lines to use as a guide, as I did (thanks to my paneling), you may need someone to hold up a level to make sure it is straight. Mark the corners where your support hooks will go. I used 6 support hooks for a 4 x 4 grid (24" x 24").

Make a wire utensil rack with items found at the hardware store— click through for details!Step Six: Drill pilot holes for the ceiling hooks. If you are not drilling into studs or wood (as I was), you will need to use drywall anchors to keep the hooks from pulling out of the drywall. They can be painted to match your wall color.

Step Seven: Screw in the hooks. Then hang the rack! You may be able to see here, but I only painted the ends of my hooks to match the wire rack. The neck of the hooks I painted white to match the wall. This is just a matter of personal preference.

Make a wire utensil rack with items found at the hardware store— click through for details!I used various sizes of S-hooks to hang my utensils. I also plan on hanging skillets here, maybe, but I'm pretty sure the steel mesh wouldn't hold up to something really heavy, such as cast iron. You can hang somewhat heavier items at the joints of the wire mesh where it's least likely to bend. As far as the load capacity goes, that depends on the drywall anchors you use and the strength of the wire mesh, which can only be determined by testing it. If the wire bends against the weight of a skillet, I'd suggest storing it somewhere else.

Make a wire utensil rack with items found at the hardware store— click through for details!Make a wire utensil rack with items found at the hardware store— click through for details!I still store the bulk of my utensils in a drawer so they don't get dusty or create too much clutter. But I sure am loving having my regularly used spoons and strainers hanging out within arm's reach. How about you? Are you someone who likes to hide your utensils or put them out in caddies or on rails? -Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella of the Signature Collection.

August Favorites

Giant tiled photo artAugust was an awesome month at the ABM office, and it went by waaay too fast. Summer is almost over and we are all trying to get in a few more bbq's and weekend trips before it ends. :) We shared tons of awesome DIYs and recipes last month, and we made some exciting annoucements! Let's take a look at some of the highlights.  

Creamy pea & fresh herb fettuccineBacon cheddar pierogiesTomato toast with basil cream cheese(Easiest Ever) coconut lime pieWe shared some amazing recipes, including creamy pea and fresh herb fettuccine, bacon cheddar pierogies, vegan biscuits and gravytomato toast + basil cream cheese, (easiest ever) coconut lime pie, cornmeal churros, banana bread granola and more!

A beautiful mess products (coming soon)We announced our upcoming product line and the official A Beautiful Mess instagram account!

Herb garden coffe tableMake your own media cabinetJosh shared some of his awesome wood-working projects, including how to make an herb garden coffee table, media cabinet,  porch swingmodern pet bed, and more!  

Emma's 5 secrets to successEmma shared her 5 secrets to success, and we discussed the process we've undergone (and what we've learned along the way) when developing our apps.

Fast and easy large tapestry wall hangingVintage copper letter DIYDIY simple bed frameMake your own fabric beltsWe loved this vintage copper letter DIY, large tapestry wall hanging, simple bed frame, fabric belt DIY, giant tiled photo art, instagram picture heart display, DIY cake dome & cloche jars, and sister photo book

Happy handmade homeOur new book Happy Handmade Home was released, and we couldn't be more excited!

Bohemian festival knot braidWe love beauty posts! Katie showed us how to create this pretty bohemian festival knot braid, we learned how to fill your eyebrows in like a pro, and how to apply false lashes.

Peaches & whiskey ice cream floatStrawberry basil lemonade cocktailElsie shared some of her favorite cocktails like this amazing peaches & whiskey ice cream float, strawberry basil lemonade cocktail, and more! 

A new site design!Last but not least, we launched a brand new site design. We hope you love it as much as we do! 

Have a great weekend :) - The ABM team

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