Thursday, February 4, 2010

Making Do Part 3 {A Series}: Chalk It Up

A high half-wall / unusable bar separates our eating area from the kitchen. Since we have one of those really open floor plans, builders do things like that to delineate one space from another I suppose.

{Here's an old picture to show you the "Before."}

I like the half-wall. And I would like the really high bar if I had a ladder to sit on while I drink my coffee. Bar stools tall enough for my bar simply do not exist in real life. The Man and I have discussed modifying the Empire State bar but that would require expertise and supplies. We're a little short on those at the moment.

So, we have just made do without it.

Unfortunately, the half-wall is prone to being bludgeoned by kitchen chairs and sneaker-shod kid feet. It was streaked and smudged and scratched only days after a fresh coat of paint.

{Yes, that is a llama. She joins us for school and meals on a regular basis.}

Recently I traded something I no longer wanted for a half-full can of chalkboard paint my neighbor no longer wanted. It was exactly enough to paint the dented and smudged half-wall. Yay!


{I write our Classical Conversations weekly memory work up here...until Cupcake sees fit to do a little work of his own.}

I don't know why I didn't chalk it up sooner. It took 45 minutes for 2 coats of paint. It's perfect for the space since the kitchen table is also our homeschool area. Best of all, it was free and can be painted over when when I tire of it.


So that concludes my mini-series on "Making Do." It wasn't until I finished these little projects that I realized the blessing and provision inherent in all of them. The wall and the rug rehab didn't cost me a dime. The hutch needed only paint and a few supplies.

All of them made me crazy happy and met very real needs.

Sometimes I'm completely without the means to make the changes I want...or so I think. It's one thing to have $50 to spend on a rug instead of $500. Fifty dollars is still fifty dollars. But sometimes I have zero.

I'm learning that times of want almost always provide magical options I would have never considered during times of relative plenty. Funny how that works.

I'll bet you have a neighbor who will gladly give you some paint in exchange for a lamp. You may even have a rug with Kool-Aid stains that's just begging to be flipped...

And if you do, I want to hear all about it.


{Linked up with Kimba's DIY Day {A Soft Place to Land}

{Linked up with Melissa at The Inspired Room.}


  1. I have to say, I'm totally with you on this - I have learned so much more and been so much more creative during the less plentiful times than I ever was when we hardly had to think about money. And I think the chalkboard is a particularly brilliant piece of innovation. :) We had one of those when I was a kid and it was one of my favorite places in the house. :)

  2. I so enjoyed the Making Do series. With a little imagination and using what you have, you can do just about anything!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  3. I do believe that limitations inspire creativity. Sometimes when working on a project {scrapbooking}, I give myself "rules" to follow {colors, supplies, technique}, just to see what I can come up with within those confines. And some of our best dinners come from a sparse pantry. God does want us to be content with what He provides. You have done an excellent job showing us how great "making do" can be! I bet that chalkboard will be one of your children's memories of home. Blessings!!

  4. We are going to do a similar thing with our "bar" area. We have the kids play kitchen underneath and then I want to buy some steel and paint it with chalkboard paint, but I want the magnetic aspect for their ABC magnents. It looks great, way to go!!

  5. I LOVE the chalkboard area. Since we are currently living in an apartment, I don't have the luxury to do things like this, but I do have a chalkboard hanging in our kitchen! Thanks for the series!

  6. Awesome! thanks for sharing the continuation of your making do process. What a great solution.
    I wish I had had something like this when we were doing CC Foundations ;-)

  7. I had noticed your chalkboard in a picture you had posted on another post, and I thought it was a great idea! My kids would love that! It's not going to happen on our wooden (stool-less) bar, but I'm keeping the idea tucked away for other possible locations!

  8. What a sensible solution! Well done, now you just get to sit back and enjoy and admire all the fruits of your frugal labor! ;)

  9. I love the llama at the table..and the chalkboard, but mostly the llama. It made me laugh.

  10. That is way cool! A great use of that space.

  11. Lily the llama made my day (well the early part of my's 6:30am and I'm facing a day of shopping and dining with friends in San Diego!) But seriously, I can't believe you're winding up your series without one of your "making do on less" recipes . . . say, the one that uses creamed corn, cheddar cheese and diced frankfurters?!? Yummy!

    Great post, my dear. I simply love to read what you write.

    Love you forever,

  12. Look at you, that is amazing! I didn't know you homeschooled. It is making me laugh at how many people God is bringing into my path who are homeschooling. We started this year with my son and I threw a little fit with God about obeying him on the matter (shame on me!) but we are LOVING it. My vision is to bring the smokey eye to the homeschooler masses :) haha!

  13. I love that idea...:) I am sure the kids do too! :) Hi, My name is Meme from Screaming Meme...I'd love to invite you to my blog...It is about decorating and my life...:) Hope to see you there!

    I also have a new blog called This Family's Gone Crackers...It is about a "normal" family going insanely GLUTEN FREE! Hilarious! It gives ideas and suggestions on all things GF...

    I hope to see you there...Meme

  14. oh how fun! i love it....and how sweet that your babes get to doodle!


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