Chicken Wire Message Board

I haven’t done any “project” posts in awhile now so I thought I’d better slip one in while I have a spare moment.  This past week has been spent moving my in-laws, who are 93 and 94, into a retirement community just minutes away from our home.  Up until now they’ve lived a good distance from us (anywhere from one to two hours by car, depending on traffic). They’ve been living independently but it was getting too hard, and too dangerous for them. This is a picture of them last July out on our boat.

The move happened pretty quickly and came after my father-in-law  began feeling too weak to keep up on everything in his home.  They looked at the retirement community near us on Memorial Day and decided they would move in the very next week!  This past week has been spent packing, moving and unpacking (we hired two wonderful women from a company called Smooth Transitions who are very skilled at helping seniors downsize).  We’ve also been busy shopping for some new things and trying to make their new place feel like home.  Today we’re meeting with their Realtor as it looks like they already have a full price offer on their old house, and on Thursday I’m meeting with an estate sale person to see how we can most effectively get their old place cleared. This move is a good thing but it has been pretty traumatic for them as they’ve had to downsize considerably. It will be so much better to have them closer to us but I know that it also means some life changes for us as well.  It is a very good thing!

Sooo . . . I’ve been in the process of creating a message center in the entry hall off my garage, a place to hang my purse, organize the mail, leave notes for Mr. OTN, etc. One of the first items for my wall is this chicken wire message board.

Here is a “before” picture of the frame I used.
I began by painting it with a coat of Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint and then two coats of Valspar’s Lyndhurst Duchess Blue mixed with Calcium Carbonate 
(Home Made Chalk Paint Recipe is HERE)
 These are my other supplies: chicken wire, wire cutters and a heavy duty stapler.  Ouch!  Oops . . . you might want to add protective gloves to that list!
 There was nothing too difficult about this except being very careful not to cut yourself on the wire!
I began by cutting a piece of chicken wire to the dimensions of the outside edge of the frame. I stapled the center of one side and then the center of the opposite side, stretching the chicken wire flat.  Then I did the two unstapled sides in the same manner. I kept going back and forth and side to side like this until it was taut all around.   Finally I clipped off the poky ends of the wire.
 You can see in the picture below that I did some heavy distressing with a sanding block and then used ASCP Dark and Clear Waxes to get the perfect aged look.
 I didn’t have any messages to pin to my board yet but I found these really cute graphics on The Graphics Fairy website.
  Tada . . . part one of my message center is finished and you can see that I’ve already begun adding a few things to it. 
This is such a cute way to display cards, or coupons, or it could even be used as an inspiration board. What do you think I should add next to this tall but rather narrow wall to complete my message center?  I’d love to hear your ideas.


I’ve been known to link up to the following great parties!!!



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  1. says

    Hi Patti,
    Nice post. Best of luck to you and the folks too. I really like this idea, so much so that I’ve reposted it at The Blog POST OFFICE. It’s my little forward & reverse link party. Drop by to view and if you backlink me…you could be next weeks “First Class Post” winner.

    Cheers, Victoria Lavender (this is not an ad :-)

  2. says

    Love your message board. I have never had any luck with chicken wire. We always tend to fight with each other. Thanx for coming to the party!

  3. says

    What a cute message board! I love the finish you achieved on the frame. I bet you’ll use this all the time! … And best wishes to your in-laws in their new home! I’m sure it’s a big transition and lots to do for all of you, but how wonderful to have the near-by now!

  4. says

    I think it is a blessing that they were able to be in their own home for so long – I can understand it being hard – but, it is good that they’re closer – love your project – beautifully done! I appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  5. says

    Thank you for such a lovely tribute to your in-laws….I hope they, and your husband, know how fortunate they are to have you in their lives! It is so refreshing to hear your concern for THEIR well-being; THEIR concerns; THEIR feelings at being uprooted; THEIR feelings of loss….bacause they indeed are losing more than ‘objects’. Independence is a vital part of life. So many times those very real concerns are pushed back, and minimized, because of what WE as family, think is the most problematic part of aging. Your adorable in-laws have experienced a good quantity of life, and I’m sure it was quality, as well. It is equally important that they experience a good quallity of life now. Blessings to you, Patti!

    And I love your message ‘board’….been wanting to do a similar one myself. I think I’ll add some felt strips to cover the sides. Even with the pokey ends removed, it can still mar the wall. little stick-on protectors would work too.

    Thanks again. it really made my day to read your post.

  6. says

    I had no idea that there were such folks (to aid in downsizing) what a great business idea, and so helpful. The picture of your inlaws on the boat made me smile. :) I wish them all the best in their new home.

    love your frame, the color is sweet!


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