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DIY Motivational Message Markers

Updated on July 13, 2014

Just Choose a Stick to Get Moving Toward Your Personal Goal(s)

I have a big goal that I'm working on!

I've given myself a deadline to get a lot done. Most days I do okay on my own, but there are other days... whether it's because I'm busy doing other things or my heart is just not in it, sometimes I need a little extra oomph to meet my goals for the day. So I came up with these simple, brightly colored popsicle sticks to help keep me motivated with prompts, obstacle climbers, and personal challenges.

I'm excited about sharing this project because it can work for a million different things:

* Date Nights

* Fun Family Activities

* What to Do When Kids Get "Bored" or Chore Jars

* Inspirational Quotes to get you through a tough time

* Motivators for your particular big goal

* Whatever else you can think of... the sky's the limit!

On this page, I'll share how I made these sticks with just a few inexpensive tools. I'll also share useful tips to help you create your own motivational message markers.

All photos on this page are my own.

Motivational (or Other Themed) Message Markers

Tools & Supplies for Motivational Message Sticks

Most of the supplies for this project can be found around the house and/or are very inexpensive. That might be the best part! Here's what you need:

  • Craft sticks - you can buy them (I have a recommendation below because I liked the shape of them) or eat popsicles! This is an excellent upcycle project!!
  • Mod Podge (matte finish)
  • Food coloring - your color(s) of choice
  • 2 small bowls or cups
  • Foam brushes- 1 per color
  • 4-5 Clothes Hangers
  • Clothes Pins
  • Fine Point Permanent Markers - colors of your choice

Photo Tutorial for Creating Motivational Message Markers

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Gather your supplies (listed above).Add food coloring to Mod Podge until desired color. Paint a single layer on the stick making sure to cover both sides and the edges.Clip bare ends of sticks to a clothes hanger to dry while you paint more sticks.Hang clothes hangers in an open doorway until sticks dry. You can get a lot of sticks painted in a short period of time with this hands free method.Use a fine point permanent marker to write your message. Sharpies work really well on Mod Podge; the ink bleeds if you write directly on the wood.Add another layer of Mod Podge. It deepens the color, protects the message and ensures a good coating.Allow more time for the sticks to dry.Voila!! A motivational message each day to keep you going.
Gather your supplies (listed above).
Gather your supplies (listed above).
Add food coloring to Mod Podge until desired color. Paint a single layer on the stick making sure to cover both sides and the edges.
Add food coloring to Mod Podge until desired color. Paint a single layer on the stick making sure to cover both sides and the edges.
Clip bare ends of sticks to a clothes hanger to dry while you paint more sticks.
Clip bare ends of sticks to a clothes hanger to dry while you paint more sticks.
Hang clothes hangers in an open doorway until sticks dry. You can get a lot of sticks painted in a short period of time with this hands free method.
Hang clothes hangers in an open doorway until sticks dry. You can get a lot of sticks painted in a short period of time with this hands free method.
Use a fine point permanent marker to write your message. Sharpies work really well on Mod Podge; the ink bleeds if you write directly on the wood.
Use a fine point permanent marker to write your message. Sharpies work really well on Mod Podge; the ink bleeds if you write directly on the wood.
Add another layer of Mod Podge. It deepens the color, protects the message and ensures a good coating.
Add another layer of Mod Podge. It deepens the color, protects the message and ensures a good coating.
Allow more time for the sticks to dry.
Allow more time for the sticks to dry.
Voila!! A motivational message each day to keep you going.
Voila!! A motivational message each day to keep you going.

Supplies for this Project

You can get all the supplies for this simple project in one place. Several of them are multiple use, so you can get ready for all sorts of fun crafts in the future.

Mod Podge Waterbase Sealer, Glue (16-Ounce) CS11302 Matte Finish
Mod Podge Waterbase Sealer, Glue (16-Ounce) CS11302 Matte Finish

I love Matte-finish Mod Podge! It still has a little shine to it, but it's not so glaringly shiny as the gloss finish. I have been using Mod Podge in more and more projects and I feel confident that when you get your first jar, you'll become addicted too.

 
Loew-Cornell 842 25-Piece Foam Brush Set, 1-Inch
Loew-Cornell 842 25-Piece Foam Brush Set, 1-Inch

These foam brushes come in handy for lots of different things too. And they clean up easily. I reuse each one again and again for projects with Mod Podge.

 
Creative Arts by Charles Leonard Craft Sticks, Regular Size, Natural Color, 4-1/2 x 3/8 Inch, 150/Bag (66515)
Creative Arts by Charles Leonard Craft Sticks, Regular Size, Natural Color, 4-1/2 x 3/8 Inch, 150/Bag (66515)

I liked the slightly different shape of these craft sticks. They're shorter and a little wider than traditional popsicle sticks, which made them fun and a little different for this project. (Of course, I would rather have you eat popsicles and upcycle the sticks than purchase these here :). I just didn't have any on hand for the project.)

 
Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Permanent Markers, 24-Pack, 80's Glam Assorted Colors (32893PP)
Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Permanent Markers, 24-Pack, 80's Glam Assorted Colors (32893PP)

I LOVE my 24-pack of Sharpies with the fine point!!! It is the adult version of the big box of crayons when we were kids (I was always jealous of those kids!). So many colors to choose from and doodle with and craft with and... I can't stop!! :)

 

Messages for Motivation

* Always write messages in the positive - They should never tear you down or try to "guilt you" into trying. Negative messages rarely work.

* Think about the obstacles you face and give yourself ways to overcome them - For example, in my writing goal, sometimes the problem is simply that I'm staring at a computer screen. I added one stick that encourages me to write with a pencil and paper for one day. What are your obstacles? Each stick can represent a way around, over, or under that challenge.

* Break your goal into achievable pieces - Again, for me, it can sometimes seem daunting to sit down and write. Several of my messages are to "write for 5 minutes" or "write 1 page" and I usually find that once I'm writing, the momentum takes me much further. These messages just help me get started so I can begin to feel success.

* Consider having two categories - one for simple tasks and another to get you moving - In my case, the blue sticks are for smaller tasks that can move me forward even if I don't get any writing done that day, while the orange sticks are obstacle climbers to help get me over whatever is blocking my way. That way, I can target my motivational choices to my needs for the day.

I hope these tips are helpful for you in using motivational message sticks to reach your goal!

A Special Place to Keep Your Motivators

Bonus Feature: Quick & Easy Motivation Keeper

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Thoroughly wash out a jelly jar (or other upcycled container of your choice).Add lettering or other decorations. The Painters do a good job of filling in since the paint comes out as a liquid. I recommend practicing beforehand.After the first color has dried completely, add accents in a second color.These craft sticks were the perfect size for my jelly jar. I love the bright colors all collected in one place!
Thoroughly wash out a jelly jar (or other upcycled container of your choice).
Thoroughly wash out a jelly jar (or other upcycled container of your choice).
Add lettering or other decorations. The Painters do a good job of filling in since the paint comes out as a liquid. I recommend practicing beforehand.
Add lettering or other decorations. The Painters do a good job of filling in since the paint comes out as a liquid. I recommend practicing beforehand.
After the first color has dried completely, add accents in a second color.
After the first color has dried completely, add accents in a second color.
These craft sticks were the perfect size for my jelly jar. I love the bright colors all collected in one place!
These craft sticks were the perfect size for my jelly jar. I love the bright colors all collected in one place!

Painters Are Great for Glass! - Paint Markers

Elmer's Painters Calligraphy Tip Paint Markers, Gold/Silver/Black/White and Red, Set of 5
Elmer's Painters Calligraphy Tip Paint Markers, Gold/Silver/Black/White and Red, Set of 5

Painters Paint Markers are so much fun to use and spark my creativity in so many ways. I use them for labeling and decorating glass jars of all kinds, and they write easily and smoothly on a lot of other materials too. I really like having them on hand for anytime I might need them - the other day I labeled a new spice jar (a quick job where any other product would not have done the job)! They're great!!

 
Motivational message markers
Motivational message markers

Do you have a goal for which you want to stay motivated?

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Link Party Connections

Here are parties and blog hops this page is linked to. Click on any of them to find hundreds more ideas, recipes, crafts, and much more!

What do you think? Would a project like this help you stay motivated?

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    • AcornOakForest profile imageAUTHOR

      Monica Lobenstein 

      4 years ago from Western Wisconsin

      @ecogranny, Yes, I really liked how the colors turned out. It makes them fun to use.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      4 years ago from San Francisco

      For certain activities, absolutely, yes it would help to keep me motivated. Bright colors are always helpful in keeping one's spirits up too. Excellent idea, well presented. Thank you.

    • Corrinna-Johnson profile image

      Corrinna Johnson 

      4 years ago from BC, Canada

      Awesome idea! My mother-in-law gave me a jar filled with inspirational quotes and any time I needed some motivation, I would pull one from the jar and read it.

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 

      4 years ago from West Virginia

      Cute idea. Good idea for a chore jar.

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