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A simple chalkboard hung in the kitchen looks lovely on the wall, and can help to keep that area of the house in order, assisting with everything from grocery lists to dinner party to-dos. I might even use a section to keep track of my food resolutions for the new year, which include cooking more from scratch, using my juicer at least twice a week and saying no to sugar. (That last one is probably a pipe dream, but a constant visual reminder can’t hurt!)

(Photos by Karen Robock for The Globe and Mail)

You’ll need

  • mirror
  • glass cleaner
  • cloth
  • painter’s tape
  • chalkboard paint
  • 1-inch sponge brush
  • safety glasses
  • 2 lengths of 22-gauge wire (about 40 inches)
  • needle-nose pliers
  • 2 3/4-inch wood screws
  • 2 small pots (about 4-inches in diameter)
  • handful of pea gravel
  • 2 small succulents
  • reindeer moss
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • screwdriver
  • craft stencil set (optional)
  • chalk

Step 1. Depending on your decor, a vintage mirror from an antique market could fit the bill, or one with a modern distressed-wood frame might better suit your space. Either way, look for a mirror with an interesting shape or one that’s divided into sections you can use to keep your notes organized, as I’ve done here.

Prep the mirror for painting by wiping away any dust and fingerprints using glass cleaner and a cloth. Next, cover the inner edges of the frame with painter’s tape, applying it in small sections to carefully cover all of the wood without touching the mirror.

Squeeze a toonie-size amount of chalkboard paint into a disposable container (like the lid of a yogurt container) and apply one even coat to the sections of the mirror you’d like to cover, with thin and even horizontal strokes. Allow the paint to dry for one hour. Apply the second coat with even vertical strokes and allow it to dry. For even coverage, continue alternating the direction of each coat for a total of 10 coats.

Step 2. Wearing safety glasses, place a pot in the middle of one length of wire. Fold the wire around three times so that you’re left with ends of equal length. Use the pliers to twist the ends together around the pot several times until they’re snug, but don’t overtighten because the wire could snap. Continue to twist the ends together until you have about 2 inches of twisted wire. Repeat with the other pot and wire.

Step 3. Slide the wire off the pot. Wrap the twisted wire around the screw twice, just below the screw head, then loop the wire around itself, below the screw, to help keep it in place. Cut off the excess using the pliers. Repeat with the other wire.

Step 4. Fill the bottoms of the pots with a small handful of gravel. Remove the plants from their plastic containers and add them to the pots. Spread a small amount of moss over the tops to cover the roots.

Use a measuring tape and pencil to mark where you’re going to attach the pots, ensuring they’re evenly spaced on the bottom corners of the frame. Slide the wire hangers that you’ve made back over the pots and use a screwdriver to fasten them to the frame.

Step 5. Before you hang your chalkboard use a stencil, or a very steady hand, to write some helpful headings that’ll help to organize your thoughts. These can stay put long-term while you fill in, and wipe away, everyday notes around them.

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