I needed a dry-erase calendar for my little one who is learning the days of week and months of the year. But the ones in the store are boring - not to mention costly for the cute ones. So I found this blog: http://emily-anne-learningtolive.blogspot.com/2011/08/diy-paint-chip-ca… and using knowledge previously learned by Ana's genius site (love the Kreg Jig!!) I went to town. My little guys' favorite color is green, so I focused on those colors to customize it for him.
Pallet wood - free
Paint laying around - free
Paint chips - free
Plexi glass - free left over from other project
1 1/4" screws
Kreg Jig - priceless
Router - awesome new tool that was screaming for me to try it
razor blade knife
I decided what size I wanted, cut my boards, sanded them. Then drilled two holes with the Kreg Jig on the side horizontal pieces at the tope and bottom. Glue and screw them together (now you have a frame). I used a 3/8" router bit on the router, and routed out the interior edge of the frame on the back for the plexi glass to sit into. Sand around this area also. I wiped it all down with a damp cloth. Then did a light paint job by dipping the damp rag in the paint, wiping onto the frame lightly and wiping off as I liked. This dries very fast.
Then set my plexi glass on top of the back of the frame, did a rough outline and cut using a razor blade knife and straight edge (clamped to the table with the plexi glass so nothing would move) with 4-5 passes. Unclamped the plexi and straight edge, put plexi on top of straight edge and let piece of plexi I didn't want over the side of the table, then pushed down and snapped it off - easy as butter. I used my sander with high grit sandpaper to sand around the corners to accommodate the routered edge (make it curved, not square).
Into the frame it went followed by the poster board with paint chips nicely arranged, and a piece of cardboard. All this is held in with glazier points. As soon as I can find my sawtooth picture frame hangers, it'll be on the wall :)
While I realize all these items I had laying around the house and so the project was free for me - you may have to buy a piece of plexi glass to fit your frame. Also, if you don't have access to a router and idea is to nail some wood trim on the back of the frame 1/4" off the inside of the frame to hold the plexi glass.