Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How to Make-Over a Glass Lazy Susan, part 3 (plus a Dry Erase Calendar)

  1. Decide you're not going to let that st*pid paint get the best of you. You'll use cutouts from that hydrangea paper on something, but not this blasted lazy susan.
  2. Try removing the fruity "paint" with acetone nail polish remover (husband's idea). FAIL
  3. Try removing the fruity "paint" with a pink-handled razor blade. FAIL

  4. Accidentally scratch paint you actually want on there, when removing lazy susan from sink. FAIL

  5. Check out mineral spirits and paint thinner at Wal-Mart. Budget FAIL
  6. Find the perfect all-purpose spray-on primer at Michael's. WIN
  7. Forget 40% off coupon, necessitating return trip. FAIL
  8. Realize that you can now justify a return trip to Lexington on Monday, thereby creating an excuse to get free Chick-Fil-A sandwiches. WIN
  9. In the meantime, do another project!

How to Make Your Own Dry-Erase Calendar
  1. Find or buy an oblong frame.

  2. Remove the "innards" (mat, background paper, etc.) and paint the frame, if desired (AKA "if you remember before fastening it all back together and writing this tutorial"). While it's drying, clean the glass on both sides with Windex. Don't let your cat sit on it.
  3. Decide on a layout and dimensions for your calendar (my glass was 18"x34", and my margins were 1.25", so my calendar was 15.5"x31.5"; each column was 4.5" wide, the days of the week row was 2" tall, the main space was 10.5" tall, and the "next week" row was 3" tall; I arbitrarily drew the header for the "next week" row).

  4. Take a Sharpie, a ruler or yard stick, and (if you're lucky) a large ruled cutting board and mark out the lines and words you want as default on your calendar on the wrong side of the glass.

  5. If you severely screw up, use some acetone nail polish remover on a Q-Tip to "erase" your mistakes (or, if you're lucky enough to be drawing on a removable protective plastic film, just smudge it off).

  6. When your toddler wakes up from his nap, take a break for a day or two because your project is "on top of the road, mommy".

  7. Turn the glass over and carefully trace over all of your lines and words with a Sharpie. Consider using different marker widths (I used a Fine Point, a Chisel Tip, and a Magnum 44). Do any designs or decorations you want permanently on the calendar (leave it decorationless if you want to customize it monthly or seasonally).

  8. If, hypothetically, you hate any impromptu decorations you try to do with dry erase markers, be sure to scrub them off with a dry paper towel. While the term "dry erase" may seem misleading, it actually won't come off when you use something wet, like, oh, nail polish remover. I'm just sayin'.

  9. Check for Sharpie flubs and fix them with acetone nail polish remover on a Q-Tip.

  10. Ask your supervisor if he thinks your project is acceptable.

  11. Turn the glass back over and (if applicable) remove the protective film. If you want to erase your guidelines from step 4, do it now using acetone nail polish remover (don't get any on the back).

  12. Realize that, contrary to the test patch and general common sense, the dry erase marker used for decorating did, in fact, rub off some of the Sharpie.

  13. Fix it on the "right" side of the glass.

  14. Fill in your week's activities, with accompanying pictures for your toddler's benefit.

  15. Get really excited when your toddler recognizes your sketch of a Batman mask (to signify that he's going to play with a friend, who has one) — WIN. Realize that your reflection is showing up in your pictures — FAIL. Feel relieved that you're clothed — WIN.

We really needed a large weekly calendar to start using for family things, and to help teach Caspian about the days of the week (and make it less confusing when we say, "We're doing ___ on Tuesday"). Imagine my happiness when I saw this entry for this contest! We even had a suitable frame sitting around unused (albeit with plexiglass instead of real glass, but it passed the marker test). I'd originally purchased it to make a gift for my college French professor, but that never happened.

The great thing about this project is that you can customize your dream calendar (time span, labels, dates/days, etc.). Now I just have to figure out what to do with the leftover mat. Any ideas? It's pretty flimsy, but it's white on both sides (one matte, one shiny). I keep wanting to cut out each individual "frame"...but for what...?

This is another neat weekly calendar idea, especially to use for older children! Can't you just see each child's cube stacked on top of or laid next to each other on top of a little shelf above your family's regular calendar?

This post originally appeared on my family blog and is reprinted with permission.