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Hanging Around

A few years back, my mother-in-law made K and N place mats for each month.  Every month they got a new one with an appropriate theme for that month.  In January they received snowmen, in February they received hearts, March was Saint Patrick’s Day themed, etc.  Each one is a beautiful little piece of art and I’ve never been able to bring myself to let them eat off of them for fear of staining or ruining them in any way.  Consequently, up until now, they’ve been in a drawer and I’ve felt bad about it.  I’ve been brainstorming of possible ways to display them for awhile.  I finally decided that I wanted to use them in our basement family room because that’s the room that is most kid-centric and in desperate need of cozying-up.  I really wanted to display them using something like this from IKEA.

The problem with the IKEA curtain wires is that I would have to drill into my concrete basement walls in order to hang them.  I’m not sure I’m ready to take such a permanent step at this time because drilling leaves such giant holes in the concrete and can be kind of ugly to patch, at least in my experience.   I put my thinking cap back on and still came-up blank.  Then, a couple of weeks ago, we went to a wedding where the place cards were hung using cord and clothes pins.

(That’s the bride arriving at the ceremony in a horse-drawn carriage in the background.  Funny that I focused on the clothespins and thought “aha”!)

I still had the problem of  how to hang the cord, though.  Then I remembered these little guys:

They’re Ook Picture Hangers for hard walls such as brick or concrete.  I used two of those and found some light gray heavy weight fishing line in J’s tackle box, which sort of resembles the curtain wire from IKEA.  I found some clothes pins in my laundry area and voila:


Now I can change the place mats out each month and we always have revolving artwork.

I can even hang-up kid artwork when they bring something special home.

The best part about this project is that is was absolutely free.  At least it was free on this go around.  I’d already purchased the Ook hangers for a few other items we’d hung earlier and the line came out of J’s tackle box (shhh…).  Plus we already have oodles of art that we can hang, so we won’t get bored any time soon, that’s for sure.  Overall, I’m pleased with how it turned-out.

What about you?  What odd place or thing has brought you inspiration?  How did you incorporate it into a practical solution?  Let me know!


About sugarshellandbutterknife

I am a work-at-home mother of two, daughter K who is 16 and son N who is 12. I live in a 1956 mid-mod ranch with my children and the love of my life, J. We're slowly renovating our house on a budget and love all things DIY. I hope to make this a place where frugal-minded folks like myself can exchange ideas, gain inspiration and find encouragement to tackle whatever life throws our way.

2 responses »

  1. I was just staring at an old box of candlesticks and knew that I had to do something with them. I turned one into a candy dish and I’m working on other things, too!

    • I love the candy dish you made with the candlesticks!! Great idea and super cute. Halloween’s my favorite holiday, so I’m totally on board. I haven’t taken the Pinterest plunge yet – I’m a little scared that I might end-up doing nothing but that…


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