A Love Affair with Mason Jars.

I love mason jars. Who doesn’t? No really, I want to know, do people exist out there that don’t love mason jars?? Ever since we used them as our glassware for our wedding reception, I’ve tried to use the leftovers for everything possible. I’ve begun storing all of my beans, rice, oatmeal, coffee and everything else in my kitchen in these well sealed, quaint little jars. Most recently my husband and I started roasting our own coffee in small batches and we store the roasted coffee in mason jars. Problem was, we couldn’t figure out a way to mark them so we knew what they contained. Recently, a blog I follow offered really cute labels to print, cut out and glue to the lids. So I printed them out, bought spray glue and went to town. Unfortunately, the paper ripped and the ink faded within a week. Bummer. Also, for the more temporary roasted coffee, the labels need to constantly change.

Growing tired of less than sticky post-it notes and writing with permanent markers on less than sticky plastic wrap, I devised a solution. Paint the lids with chalkboard paint!

Whether you have a ton of empty mason jars readily on hand or have to go buy some (they are super cheap at any grocery store, feed store, walmart, etc. or try craigslist!),  these jars are a great way to get organized or keep stuff fresh. Now you have an efficient way of labeling your jars too!

We had some chalkboard paint leftover from another project, but you can buy it at any home improvement store. While you’re there, pick up a can of spray primer. In fact, I’d buy the spray paint version of the chalkboard paint and spray primer. Spray works easier because just imagine painting these little lids with somewhat sticky, heavy paint with a paint brush. They slide all over the place and whatever paint you got on the surface you’re painting on beneath the lid, will get on the underside of the lid (although, if you use a piece of tape on the other side, it should help). No bueno, but not a huge deal.

Let the paint dry and color the whole painted side of the lid with chalk. Rub the chalk all over and you’re done! You have to do this step to “primer” the chalk board surface.

Now I have neatly labeled coffee jars. If I really wanted to get fancy, I could write on them with chalk markers…

Because I store everything in mason jars, I spread the love around the whole kitchen. I sure wish my handwriting was cooler.

The possibilities are endless! Let me know what you come up with: oururbanfrontier@gmail.com.

Enjoy!! <3


Being a good wife.

I’m not very good at remembering birthdays and neither is Phillip. All that’s about to change. Now that we are married adults, it’s high time we get with the program and start sending gifts/cards for birthdays and anniversaries. I only regret that it’s taken me 7 months to get on the ball. Wanna know what I did to solve this dilemma?

I finally created a perpetual wall calendar! Have you ever traveled in Europe and seen one of these in someone’s restroom? Kind of strange place for them to be I know, but a good place to have reminders posted. Perpetual birthday calendars are calenders of just the days of the month, without the days of the week. Write someone’s name on the date and presto, a birthday calender that never has to be thrown away! Well, that is until it starts turning yellow and ripping… then you might want to replace it.

I’ve shopped around for years and I’ve tried to create one in the past, but have never completed it. The options online just aren’t very appealing, because they are either too girly or too bulky. So I decided to just do a really simple one and maybe play with the design in the future. Most likely I’ll have to update it every so often, so it will be nice to have it in a word document that can be updated easily or reprinted.

Here’s what it looks like:

For those of you who are trying, like me (key word: trying), to be frugal and responsible, I’ve created a pdf that you can print and either staple or just pin to a cork board. There are many crafty things that can be done with this, but I’ll leave that up to you. I’ll share with you my end product and hope to see how crafty you can get with this too! Shoot me an email with a picture of your final project: tunaranjamedia@gmail.com.

Click for your new Perpetual Birthday Calendar!


DIY Wood Cover Guestbook

We completed our guestbook…finally. We’ve been working on this project since October, but haven’t spent much time on it. We saw a picture on pinterest of a wood photo book and the wheels turned. We began on a smaller photo book, using the screws, but we decided to make this into a guestbook. I purchased 12″ x 12″ scrapbook inserts in the plastic covers and some screws made for photobooks (like the ones we took off of the other album). I’m going to put photo corners on the pages and have everyone sign the pages. I liked other ideas for guestbooks, i.e. a guestbook thumb print tree, keys to success jar, etc. etc. but I don’t have the room on my walls or in my cabinets to keep things like that, so I went with a nice coffee table photo album that can function as a guestbook and our wedding album. We bought some wood from Home Depot, cut it into 12″ x 13″ squares and went to work.

We made the wood squares a little bit bigger than the scrapbooking pages.

The scrapbook pages and the screws we got from Michaels…

We stenciled the written stuff in pencil and did some wood burning.

Punched some holes in the wood with a leather hole punch (but a battery drill would work good) and put the screws and pages in.

For the hinges, we used an old leather belt. We cut two pieces to be the hinges with scissors and burned the edges to blacken them a little so they didn’t look freshly cut. Instead of punching a whole in the leather and putting the screw in the leather to attach it to the wood, we devised another plan. It would be too thick to fit the leather, the pages and the wood all in one screw. So, we attached the pages with the screw and used upholstery tacks to attached the leather hinges.

The screw is concealed under the leather.
And this is what it looks like on the other side (the inside). The tacks are hammered down and the pages will go on that bolt and be screwed in.
The cover piece of wood doesn’t have the screws, only the upholstery nails as seen in this photo. The pages are now in and the screws are in.
Now for some cover work. We made a snap to close the book from the same belt.
Finished product. :D