In a modern world, where most of the information is saved digitally, memo boards don’t really have much of a relevanse anymore: notifications, shopping lists, photos, quotes, concert tickets – basically everything you would use a memo board for is now saved on your phone, or laptop.
There are still people, like myself, who like to have some of the information physically in hand, and who for example still prefer to have a paper calender in addition to the one on your phone. I like as well having memo boards around the house – whether they’re necessary or not. Sometimes you get a nice postcard, which you don’t want to loose into the bottom of a drawer, want to leave some funny message to your roomie, or maybe have a motivational quote to put somewhere other than Instagram wall. This why you can find, not only one, but two memo boards in our small appartment.
When we started to plan the decor of our new home, we really tried to think of the sustainable aspect of it: what can we buy used? What can we make ourselves? What is durable and timeless?
I am a visual person, so the looks and the feel of our new home was very important to me. We went from furniture shop to another to seek inspiration and ideas, but everything looked so monolog and dull. It felt as if every shop was selling same things. Eventually we ended up having a lot of old furniture because of their unique looks and good price-quality balance. Some of them needed some work and some not. Some of the things were made by ourselves, for example these memo boards:
Magnet memo board out of beer caps
I did our first memo board, when I had to figure out a low-budget birthday present for my boyfriend. Back at that time I was still living and studying in Copenhagen, and spent any leftover money from my student job to fly to Stuttgart, so obviously something self-made was a fun and wallet-friendly choice. My boyfriend loved hanging photos around, so I figured I’d make him a magnet board, where he can have the flexibility to change the photos whenever wanted.
I found some old music sheets (my boyfriend plays music) and got a bucketfull of beer caps from my former roommate, who worked as a bartender (my boyfriend likes beer). Additionally I used an old Ikea picture frame as a base. My materials were acquired for a total of 0€, and the only thing I had to buy was glue strong enough to attach the tin caps to the cardboard. Not so fun part of the process was to soak and wash the beer caps, that were held in a bucket which was sometimes used as an ashtray at the bar.
I almost threw the magnet board away when we were moving. Then I gave it a one more chance by trying it out in our office room, where I was anyway aiming for a chill, kind of a “beach hut” vibe – and what do you know, it was like made for it! It also has a nice story behind it, so I’m glad I didn’t toss it away just yet.
Cork memo board out of old rackets
I am quite sure anyone ever searched for dyi decor ideas on Pinterest has stumbled upon the picture of old wooden tennis rackets made into mirrors hanging beautifully on a mint colored wall. I also saw it, got inspired and wanted to try it out in our home. On Ebay and the Facebook marketplace you can quite easily find old tennis and badminton rackets for a fair price. The more difficult part is to find a mirror, which is exactly the right size and fits to the racket head. This is where I gave up on the idea, since getting a custom-sized mirror ordered would have kind of ruined the idea of dyi and recycling, plus would have cost a lot.
Few months went by when I didn’t even think about the rackets, since we were busy renovating our apartment. Then after finding places for the rest of our furniture I realized I really want to find some cool memo board on top of the sideboard by the entrance; A spot I can pin up a reminder of a doctor’s appointment or hang that nice card we got from our friends. Then I got the idea of attaching cork board on the head of the rackets, which would be easy and low-cost to try out.
We were very lucky with the rackets: my boyfriend’s parents happened to have two old wooden badminton rackets in the attic, which we got for free, since there was no use for them anymore. This time the total cost was approximately 5€ for a small sheet of cork, which I painted white with a left-over paint from our renovation, and glued to both sides of the rackets to make the board thick enough to pin stuff in it.
The style is a bit funky, but I love the result and it definitely fits to the apartment, where we already have been collecting old furniture and aiming for a retro vibe. It is as well practical and will definitely be in use a lot.
Fun, low-budget, recycled!