Menu Planner Tutorial

Each Sunday afternoon the menu for the following week is decided.  I find that if I don’t do this, we end up eating very poorly.  If I have a plan, however, it’s easy for me to stick to it!  SO – I created a menu planning page.  I’d say it’s prettier than a yellow piece of notebook paper laying on the counter top!

Since our goal is to eat dinner together each night, that is the meal I focused on.  Breakfast and lunch are more casual (read less planned) so I decided I didn’t need to make a row for each of those meals – but I left a little space for each at the bottom of the page.  Then I thought ‘Why stop there?’  And I made a notebook of nothing but meal planning pages….because making notebooks is what I do these days  :o

I thought you might like to make yourself one too – and you’re in luck!  The page is available for download here (or by clicking on that cute little widget over on the side of my blog!)  You could just use the pdf but if you want to make a journal – here is how I did it.

Materials Needed:

  • 1 sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch card stock
  • fusible webbing (Heat-n-Bond LITE, stitchery witchery, etc.  Just make sure you can sew through it)
  • fabric – sized at least 5.5 inches x 8.5 inches or you can use scraps to make a patchwork cover – and if you like the look with a spine you’ll need a strip of black fabric – about 1.5 inches x 8.5 inches
  • Weekly Meal Plan pdf
  • paper for inside of journal – I recommend using 24 or 28 pound copy paper

1. Cut a piece of 8.5×11 card stock in half.

2.  Attach fabric to card stock.  I used the same method as the CraftApple patchwork cards.  Be sure you use Heat-n-Bond LITE, stitchery witchery, or other sewing friendly fusible web (not heavy duty no sew) because you’ll need to be able to sew through it.  You could use one fabric or piece scraps of fabric together.  That would be so cute.  Stitch as desired.

3.  Using Heat-n-Bond (regular or lite), attach the second half of the card stock to the back of your first piece (sewn with fabric).  This will cover up the stitching.

4.  Print the weekly meal plan pdf many many times (really 20 or so…26 would give you a full year)  I recommend using 24 or 28 pound copy paper for this.  (The traditional 20lb copy paper is just too flimsy and you don’t want something as heavy as card stock.)

meal-plan

5.  Take to office supply/copy center.  At the copy center, they will cut your menu plan papers in half and bind the whole thing for you!  (I get mine done at Office Max.  Right now it only costs $2.99 – and they include a plastic cover if you want and a linen back cover.  I upgraded to a vinyl back for $1 more because I thought it would be better in the kitchen.)

Other ideas:
Sketch Book or Sticker Book for kids (pair with some stickers, markers, etc for a cute gift)
Journal or Recipe Keeper (I’ve already made several as gifts, for the preschool auction, etc. I like to print lines on these pages.)

PS.  The pictures above are really from the book I made for my daughter…but I forgot to take pictures while making my own meal planner…and the process was the same!

I’ve become obsessed with these little books. I can’t stop making them!  These are the few I’ve made just for our family – and I’ve already given several as gifts.  :-)  So much fun!!!

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21 Responses to “Menu Planner Tutorial”


  1. 1 kari March 14, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Love this idea!!! What a fun, creative gift! You continue to inspire me!

  2. 2 Rachelle March 14, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    I can’t wait to make these for Christmas presents. Is the smaller the 5×7?

  3. 4 Melanie March 14, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    By the way, the $2.99 price isn’t a sale or anything – I just didn’t want someone looking at this in like 100 years and still thinking it would cost $2.99 to have it bound. :-)

  4. 5 Lisa Otis March 15, 2009 at 7:58 am

    those are great! i meal plan also, but my list is written on the scrap paper and lays on the counter. Your books are much cuter!

  5. 6 craftapple March 16, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Those are soooo cute – can’t believe they are that cheap! Wow. Love the bird, btw. :o)

  6. 7 Elena March 17, 2009 at 12:18 am

    Thanks for the tutorial! I made a couple and I’m addicted. What great inexpensive gifts!!

  7. 8 Marin August 31, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    I am absolutely the same way. Sunday is my meal planning day. If I don’t do it, I never know what to make on a whim and I end up at the grocery store 3-4 that week. I’ll have to try binding mine into a book, that way I can look back for ideas! Thanks!

    • 9 Melanie August 31, 2009 at 4:27 pm

      thanks! I think it’s fun to be able to look back and make sure we’re not having the same thing over and over! Plus the blank area on the page before is good for making notes about the menu, grocery lists, etc. :-)

  8. 10 Shelli September 2, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Hi! I just found your site through U Create, and I am in love with these notebooks! I can’t wait to make some for gifts, and the meal planning feature is terrific. Thank you for sharing the pdf and such a great idea!

  9. 12 Priscilla Hensley September 2, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Fabulous idea! I just found this project idea from UCreate. I was wondering…is it necessary to sew the cover?? Will it come apart if you don’t sew it?

    • 13 Melanie September 2, 2009 at 4:15 pm

      I don’t know as I have never tried it without sewing. I would imagine it would be okay though?!?!? Be sure to use a heavy duty adhesive, I would guess. I have also found that if I go along the edge of paper with white school glue (what’s that officially called?) after I stitch the fabric to the paper, there is absolutely no fraying of the fabric down the road.

  10. 14 Melissa August 6, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Love this! I am in the middle of making my own datebook for next year. I am going to our Staples to get it bind. Why buy when you can make your own!

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  1. 1 Winner Winner « Fabric Family and Fun Trackback on April 28, 2009 at 9:40 am
  2. 2 wfmw – printable menu planners « Are We There Yet? Trackback on May 12, 2010 at 10:38 am
  3. 3 30 Family Meal Planning Templates {weekly, monthly, budget} Trackback on March 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm

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