Chore charts are a great way to practice delegation skills. They involve the entire family to tackle home maintenance as a team. Including children in household chores also teaches them important life skills like self-care, responsibility, giving back and contributing to the community.
I love trying my hand at new things. When the opportunity to make a family chore chart came my way I jumped on it. Here is how I made it.
D.I.Y. FAMILY CHORE CHARTS
When I set out to make these chore charts there were some non-negotiable elements that had to be met:
- It had to be interactive
- Blend with the existing decor
- It had to accommodate the wide age gap between the kids
- Had to be durable too
I had already envisioned something that could be customized and figured a magnetic element would make it interactive. This model includes a chore chart for each family member plus an extra one to house all the chores.
Once I had the general idea of how I could include all these elements I gathered my materials for the project.
I split the project into two parts: 1. Making the base and 2. Making the chore chips
I used the following materials to make the base:
- 8.5″ x 11″ picture frames (I used these)
- 12″ x 24″ piece of sheet metal
- Painter’s tape
- Safe cutting surface like this self-healing mat
- Tin snips
- Protective gloves
- Craft pens
- Label maker
How I made it
First I disassembled the picture frames. I used the the self-healing mat as my work surface to protect the picture frame and our floor.
These particular frames do not have any glass. The piece that protects the picture is plastic. I used those plastic pieces like stencils. The piece of sheet metal was big enough to cut 2 frames out of it. I laid the plastic pieces back to back on the sheet metal. Then I used painter’s tape along the edge that wasn’t covered by the plastic to mark the width. I did the same to mark the total length. Then I removed one of the pieces of plastic and taped along the edge of the one that remained to mark the length where I needed to cut in half.
Once I had everything marked correctly I put my protective gloves on and started cutting along the painter’s tape. I was careful to cut on the correct side of the tape. In hindsight adding a mark would’ve made the cutting process foolproof.
Cutting the sheet metal was the most difficult part of this project. Not only was it hard to cut the sheet metal but when I was done the edges were curled up. I used hand muscles I didn’t even know I had but I sure felt it for almost an entire week afterwards. I started looking for ways to make this step easier.
The first thing I found was this really cool tool that makes easy work of cutting sheet metal. Unfortunately I couldn’t justify the price and having to store a tool that I may never use again. The second thing I found was a place near me called the The WorcShop. It’s an awesome maker space with a bunch of really cool tools accessible for a fee. Honestly it’s a place where dreams come true. But again, I couldn’t justify the price for this tiny project and I was also pressed for time at this point.
That’s when I turned to a plumber friend of mine. He kindly took the other piece of sheet metal (that I had already clearly marked) and cut it using one of his tools. He was such a lifesaver. Interestingly enough he mentioned an HVAC supply store has the tools to cut sheet metal and may have been able to cut it for me. Good to know.
I used a black craft pen to write the name. Then I used a white craft pen to draw a line that would divide the area in 2 sections: To Do and Done. I tried using the black craft pen to write the title of each section but didn’t like it so I used my label maker to print them.
I loaded each cut piece of sheet metal into a picture frame leaving the plastic piece out.
The chore chips
I used the following materials to make the chore chips
- Printed chore list
- 1.5″ circle punch (I used this one)
- 1.5″ wood discs (similar to these)
- Mod podge
- Artist brush
- Glue – I used E6000
- Ceramic magnets
How I made them
I glued the ceramic magnets to the wood discs with E6000.
While the glue dried I created a chore list and printed on old sticky paper I had. I used the circle punch to cut out each chore.
Tip: when creating the chore list use wording your family will recognize.
Then I spread a thin layer of mod podge on each wood disc including the sides and glued a chore to it. I used my fingers to smooth out the paper and to work any excess paper over the edge of the wood disc.
Then I spread a thin layer of mod podge over the top and repeated this step 3 times letting them dry in between coats. This added a layer of protection since they’ll be handled on a daily basis.
Once everything dried it was just a matter of putting the magnets on the frames.
We then hung them on the wall using Command picture hanging strips and secured the bottoms too.
Assigning chores is as easy as moving the chips to the family member’s ‘to do’ column. Chore charts come in all shapes and forms. Find the one that will work for you and your family. If you can’t buy it at a store make it or find someone to make it for you.
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