Magnetic Menu Board – Part II

Hello, Hello!  On Monday, I showed you my Magnetic Menu Board and explained how it works! If you missed it, you can read it here! As promised, I am back today to show you how I made it!

I started here:

 My materials included:

  • A magnetic and dry-erase calendar (this one is from Target for ~$16)
  • 2 packages of magnetic sheets (you can find these anywhere from Walmart to Amazon…these are from Staples and are glossy, which give the magnets a nice and professional look!)
  • 6 books filled with clear plastic page protectors (mine are from the Y100 Store in Okinawa – yes, I stocked up before I left years ago! – but any binders or similar-type books would work!)
  • Scissors
  • Clear packaging tape
  • (Not pictured) Recipes – you’re on your own for that one!
  • (Not pictured) Small craft storage box to hold magnets
  • (Not pictured) Magazine file for storing recipe books
  • (Not pictured) Vinyl for labeling magnet box

Yup…that’s all you’ll need to make this beauty!


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 Unfortunately, the first step is the most “not fun” and time consuming! If they are not already done so, you must first organize and/or sorted your recipes!


Before this project, I was already printing (or copying) recipes (from emails, online, or cookbooks) that make it into our regular rotation and then store them in handy books. As I said in my original post, my recipes were already somewhat organized…I just expanded my system. Instead of “Favorites,” “Classics,” “To Try,” and “Desserts,” I instead organized my recipes by main protein source, and then lumped my sides/salads and desserts into categories of their own. Here are my 6 categories!

  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Beef/Pork
  • Vegetarian
  • Sides/Salads
  • Desserts

Once my recipes were organized, I could begin making my magnetic labels.

I started by making a template of rectangles using My Digital Studio, but this could easily be done in Word, PowerPoint, Excel etc! I specifically sized my labels to take up only half of a square on my calendar (the width was also dictated by the calendar box widths.) To do this, simply measure the height and width of a “day” on your calendar and use that as a starting point. My boxes are 2.5″ wide by 0.75″ tall. You may want to print a test to make sure the come out the size you want! I then copied and pasted the box as many times as I could.

Because I had 6 categories, I needed a color scheme. In preparation for our next move, I have been looking at a lot of different color schemes for our next house, and am pretty sure this is the one! (I know, I’m ridiculous already picking out ideas for our next home!)



Anyway, I used these colors for my labels and had a sheet for each color:

Using the text function, I simply added the title of each recipe to the appropriate color sheet!

I also made a sheet with 6 blank labels of each color in order to have extras!

Next, I made my sides and symbols sheet. You can see all these labels explained here!

 Lastly, I made “key” magnets (so I could always remember what each color stood for) and month magnets to match!

With everything all typed up and ready to go (make sure you proofread!), I printed out all my labels onto those magnetic sheets!

Here is how my recipe labels looked all printed out before cutting!


 Using a plain ol’ scissors, I cut out each label (btw – these cut BEAUTIFULLY! I was SO worried, but they cut just like paper!)


 I then added my “key” magnets and setup my board for February…learn how to set it up here!


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And then organized my remaining magnets in a little craft box:


I used my cricut to make a matching vinyl label for the top of the box!


 With the menu board and magnets done, it was time to turn my attention toward my recipe books. In addition to my labels, I also made a template for my spines…these I printed on card stock!

 I cut out each spine…


 And mounted each spine onto the notebooks using the clear packaging tape (use extra for re-enforcement!)

 Once all six were done, I had pretty spines that coordinated with my magnets!

 I loaded my books into a magazine file and now have everything sitting nice and tidy on my counter!

This project took me less than 1 nap to complete (ha…I measure my project length in nap time now!) ONCE all my recipes were organized and sorted – that’s the time-consuming part! It came together so quick and easy thanks to the magnetic sheets, and I’m telling you friends, this system really works great!

 You can now catch up on all things Magnetic Menu Board HERE!

And you can shop all my printable templates now HERE!

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial! Next week, I am sharing the beginnings of my newest project…a “tween” girl’s bedroom makeover!!! Can’t wait!

This FREE 5-week email course will help you clean out and improve function in EACH area of your kitchen!

Have a great weekend,


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61 Responses to Magnetic Menu Board – Part II

  1. visiting from positively splendid party- LOVE this!!! I totally pinned that photo on pinterest, but I'm liking your take on it even better!! now I'm gonna pin YOURs 😀

  2. Wow! What a fabulous system! You work fast too, only 1 nap time. I love how you specifically wrote in what you are having as leftovers and left some blank for the new recipes to come.

  3. Wow! Just wow! I have been using an Excel spreadsheet and notebook system for a couple of months now, but it certainly isn't pretty! I might have to take a look at doing something like this myself! Thank you thank you for the instructions!

  4. This is great. I have a large blended family with 5 kids. We are spending a fortune on groceries and I'm now researching the meal plan for our family. I will be using some of your tips for sure!

  5. This is the best menu board I've seen, as it will work the best for my family. The features I love the most: it's flexible (the magnets), neat (printed), it's color-coded for protein sources (I vary my meals that way as well), it includes side dishes, it's detailed (includes eating out and leftover nights, along with plans to make extra and try new recipes)and you have your recipes all printed out. I have all my recipes in one book (as I type them up and format them the same), and may end up planning two weeks at a time, but those are minor tweaks. Thank you SO much for posting this–I have pinned a couple ideas to come up with a menu board but must have been waiting for this perfect version to come along!:)

  6. What a great idea and great tutorial- thank you for sharing- I just recently started once a month cooking (freezer cooking) and I think this is going to be the planning/organization tool that will make this even easier for me. thanks again!

  7. Saw your post at IHeart Organizing and I think its a great system. I especially love having the recipes divided by category. I use binders but they are rather unorganized so I look forward to redoing it a bit! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Just saw this on iHeartOrganizing and it is AWESOME!! Are you able to share a PDF file that can be typed in? ( THANK YOU!!!!

  9. Be careful when downloading the templates for this project. I tried to do it and had issues with my computer and never did get the templates. It downloaded something else instead and messed things up. My computer then could not find my printer. Edward had to uninstall the offending stuff and restart things from scratch before it would find the printer again. Very frustrating.

    I do love the idea and that was why it was frustrating to have these issues.


  10. As a designer and an organiser I am absolutely drooling over your menu board. So much so that I just HAVE to make my own now. Its a shame that the materials are so expensive in the UK so im having to adapt by just using a week planner. Still, im excited about my new project. Thank you!!!!

  11. I love you for posting this. I saw it on I Heart Organizing, and I am so doing this!! I've been looking for a new way to plan menus for a long time, so thank you for coming up with one for me!! 😀 Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  12. This is an amazing system you have created !! I am literally on my way to Target to get the items I need. I downloaded your templates, Thank you so much for including them – what a time saver you are !! The one question I did have was – Is there a way you could email the files?? I can't figure out a way I can type my meals on the template in a pdf file… Help !! My email is – Thanks !!!!!

  13. Yipee it works!!! Thank you! I would love what Mandy Zabel said…some way that we could type in our menu-please!!!!

  14. This is great! And in the same colors I have in my kitchen! Also wondering if you'll be offering an editable version?

    • Hi Erin! Thank you for the comment and how fun that our kitchens are the same color scheme 🙂 At this point, I am only offering the PDF files. I've been really excited and a bit overwhelmed with the interest in this project, so I am exploring other options for making the files available, but it will take me some time to get some things together. In the meantime, other readers here have suggested some great programs for editing your pdf files! Good luck!

  15. These are fantastic and I'm going out to buy all the supplies today to make. But how do I edit your downloadable forms? Should we use word or another program? I'd love to know as I'd like to make this weekend! Thanks! And I saw you on iheartorganizing too! 🙂

  16. My advice would be to use something like photoshop, gimp or paint shop (or if you are experienced – illustrator) to edit the files. Or use an online image editor such as or

    • Thanks for these suggestions Nicola! I've been asked this a lot over the past few days, and have been trying to answer everyone as fast as I can 🙂 These are great tools to use…and another that some people don't know about is Preview (if you're a Mac user) – preview has a text function that allows you to add text, change the color/font, etc. Good luck!

    • Forgot about preview. I use photoshop and illustrator daily so they come the most natural. You have created a great project that not only works fantastically well but also looks amazing. I found your calendar in the uk and its £60 ($90) so I'll have to make do with my week view for now until my trip to Florida sept/oct 2013 – lol!!
      Happy organising!!

  17. This is really awesome! I have been wanting to do something similar but I didn't really know how to execute it. This is something I'm going to have to do. Thanks!

  18. This is great! But I did try to change the text in preview and it did not work! 🙁 Bummer! Great idea though!

  19. Wooohooo! I figured out how to add text using Preview…here are the directions:
    Click Annotate in the toolbar, and then click Text.

    Click where you want the text to appear.

    Enter your text.

    Hope this helps! 🙂

  20. Love this!!! Super organized, easy to read/view, attractive to look at. I went out and purchased all my supplies yesterday. Found some cool, lacy magazine holders at Office Depot. Now I just have to figure out a way to edit those pesky pdf labels without having to purchase any software. :/

    • I finally decided to just go ahead and create my own printable version. I used Windows Word 2010 and inserted a table and made the width/height match. I was then able to tweek it so the colors matched my kitchen scheme. I printed out some of my sheets already. Very cool. Now the biggest hurdle is transferring recipes into the notebooks and then typing up my menu labels and printing them out. It didn't take me as long as I thought it would be create the templates in Word. Took awhile, but not what I thought. Thanks for a wonderful idea!

  21. This is amazing! I love the whole idea and concept and here is hoping that I can get myself organised enough to put it in to action! Thank you so much for sharing!

  22. Feel like a fool but are the magnetic sheets colored? How do you get the magnets colored in so many different shades? Love the idea and have been menu planning for years with just a calander on the fridge. Only go grocery shopping once a month for the main stuff and stop weekly for bread milk etc. Thanks for posting. Shelly

    • Hi Shelly! The magnetic sheets are white, just like an ol' piece of printer paper! All the color comes from my templates above. I customized the colors of my boxes to my liking, then printed them out the blank white paper and cut out each one! Hope that helps!

  23. I puzzled over how to create my own template for several hours, and then I Googled "Avery template 2.25 x .75," which were the dimensions I wanted. I'm using the template for Avery 8987–it's exactly what I need, and I can edit and customize as much as I want. Can't wait to make my own magnetic menu board!!!!

  24. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this! I modified mine a bit slightly, to save ink i printed the words in color on a white background, and I used 1 martha stewart for avery binder with dividers (Im 23 so my recipe collection is still small!) and a magnetic calendar i had from college. LOVE this idea and thank you so much for streamlining our lives!

  25. I am so excited about this and cannot wait to put it to use. I have all the magnet cut outs finished, now I just need to purchase a white magnetic board with bigger calendar squares. I was able to type in the provided templates by saving the PDF file then right clicking and copying image, then pasting the image into paint. Once you paste into paint you can create text on top of each rectangle. Thank you so much for this!! Although it was a bit time consuming, in the end it will be a huge time saver!! My husband and I are planning to only go shopping bi-weekly once we have our calendar up.

  26. Do you know how to pull the colors off of the color scheme?? Referring to RGBs for each color. Since your match seemlessly, I was wondering if you knew.Thanks.

    • Hi Julie! This is Megan over at The Homes I Have Made! You left me a question re: matching the RGB colors on my magnetic menu board prints. While I could have used the RGB colors, my program actually has a "match color" function..other programs (including Microsoft programs) have a similar "pick" color function! Hope that helps!

    • The binders I used were actually plastic notebooks filled with clear cellophane pages; unfortunately, I bought them overseas (in Okinawam Japan) so I don't have a link of where you can get your own! Maybe try a different box or book ends to store your bigger binders?!? Good luck!

  27. Curious to know if your system has worked for you so far and if you have kept up with it! Thanks for this amazing idea and yes I have repinned your idea!!!

  28. I'm a little confused as to how you got the labels onto the magnetic sheets. Did you run the magnetic sheets through your printer? Or did you print on plain paper and then somehow adhere the paper to the magnet sheets?

  29. Yes!! I'm so excited. It seems everytime I set my mind to do something one of the blogs I'm following features it. I saw this on Uncommon. I have a monthly calendar dry erase that I'm not using. And I've been gathering freezer friendly recipes for weeks from Then I found some super cute vintage recipe cards from I'm super excited. I'm making my store list now. Once I'm done with this project I'm going to make my very first craft blog. I'll be sure to link back.

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