The other day, I found myself searching for a pretty printable menu planner online — something I would be proud to display in my kitchen. The outcome of my search was lamentable; all of the menu planners I found featured stock clipart and computerized type. That was when I decided to take matters into my own hands (and brushes and pens)! The result of my efforts is an 8″x10″ illustrated menu planner that I am proud to say I am currently using. You can download your own copy for free by clicking here!
I am the type of person who likes serving elegant but simple meals … Ottolenghi-esque salads and uncomplicated main courses. For that reason, I chose to use Janet Style calligraphy, which reflects the elegant/uncomplicated philosophy, for the menu planner header.
Next, I used a crow quill nib to draw a botanical motif featuring lemons. I’ve really been into the citrus lately! It’s the perfect kitchen design motif because it’s cheerful, beautiful, and fun to look at.
I knew that I would be watercoloring over my lemon motif, so I used Ziller ink to illustrate it. It’s a good idea to use Ziller for watercolor pieces because it is impressively waterproof!
Once I finished the black and white illustrations, I went over them with watercolor paint. Each leaf and lemon contains two shades of yellow or green, which helps them to show a bit of depth.
Next, I scanned everything into my computer and used Photoshop to make a printable PDF file. (You can learn exactly how to do something like this with your own illustrations and lettering in the Digitizing Artwork & Calligraphy eCourse!) Once I felt happy with the layout, I printed out a copy to test the menu planner out! I then cut along the outside lines for optimal display, which you’ll also want to do.
The beauty of this menu planner lies not only in its artistry, but also its utility! If you’ve never used a menu planner before, I encourage you to give it a try. At first glance, it seems too simple to be a “game-changer”, but keeping a menu planner will save you a surprising amount of time, money, and calories. I find that when I use one, we don’t succumb to eating out as much. I’m also much more focused at the grocery store!
Once you finish filling the menu planner out, it’s a good idea to make a grocery list. That way, you’ll have the ingredients to make everything you wrote down! Next, place the menu planner in a conspicuous spot in your kitchen. That might be a frame, a bulletin board, or simply on the fridge! As the week goes by, you’ll be amazed at how well you stick to the meal plan.
I’m not saying you couldn’t use a more mainstream-looking menu planner, but who doesn’t love displaying pretty things in their home? Again, if you like this menu planner and want to use it, you can download it for free by clicking here. It was my pleasure to be able to make this and share it with you, and I hope you enjoy it!
Thanks so much for reading TPK, and happy planning!