For many years I’ve kept my jewelry in a cosmetic travel bag. I think a big part of my reasoning was that I was always going to be moving again, so I didn’t want to bother with jewelry holders. Eventually though, enough was enough, and I decided it was finally time to pull my jewelry out of the travel bag. Inspired by a pricey (but super nice) jewelry holder, I decided to make my own. I went to the Salvation Army and bought an old $4.00 picture frame as my base. Then I bought some cup hooks, eyelets and cork board and got to work.
In the above supplies you can see my glue gun, but I was actually low on glue sticks after my air plant holder project, so I ended up using some wood glue and a staple gun for adhering the cork board. Other items I used that aren’t pictured were black paint, a paintbrush, round nose pliers and velcro damage-free hanging strips.
To start, I removed the backing from the frame and measured enough cork board to fill three spaces within the frame. I didn’t notice until after I added the cork to the frame that the cork board edges were visible when looking at the frame from certain angles. I wanted a cleaner look, so I ended up painting the edges black, something that might be easier to do beforehand if you decide to make something similar!I added cup hooks along the bottom of the frame for necklaces and bracelets, and added eyelets with some round nose pliers for hook earrings. Be careful to choose a thick frame if you make this project so the wood doesn’t split from the cup hooks. Mine split a little, but I just reinforced it with wood glue and painted it black. Once everything was in place, I added the velcro damage-free hanging strips to the back of my frame and put it on the wall. The last (and most exciting) step was adding my jewelry. I don’t have too many stud type earrings for the cork sections of the jewelry holder, so I might tuck a little picture of Lily in the middle cork section of the frame for now. I like the frame a solid black at the moment, but it could be fun to expand the project by changing the paint color or adding fun designs with washi tape. I love that this was an easy, inexpensive project that looks pretty nice. The best part is that I can finally see what jewelry I have and start wearing more of it again!
Recently we’ve been making stops at a local bookstore to find books to read to Lily that might be harder to find back home. We’ve been excited to find some books written with both English and Japanese on each page. While we don’t really plan on teaching Lillian Japanese since we’re moving back to the states, there are some phrases that have become part of our vocabulary, so it’s neat to have books available that incorporate some of those phrases. We also enjoy being able to introduce Japanese culture to her, as well as good stories! Saturday we purchased a book called Mottainai Grandma. It was written by a woman who was trying to explain the Japanese word mottainai to her son. Mottainai basically means, “What a waste,” or “Don’t waste,” but it also comes with a reminder to have gratitude for what we’re given. Furthermore, as this NPR review points out, mottainai is an old Buddhist word that ties in with the Shinto idea that objects have souls. Japanese believe we are part of nature, and that we should have a very harmonious relationship with it. I think mottainai is a great phrase for Lillian to know! In the book, mottainai grandma teaches her grandson all kinds of ways to avoid being wasteful. One of my favorite examples is when the grandson has leftover rice in his bowl and his grandma not only eats every remaining grain of rice, but goes so far as to lick the rice sticking to her grandson’s face as well!
I also like when mottainai grandma tells her grandson that instead of throwing out his mandarin orange peels, he should dry them in the sun and put them in his bath water. Although we love taking baths and have even traveled Japan with bath salts, it somehow never occurred to me to use mandarin orange peels in the bath! And we tear through mandarin oranges when they’re in season! I’m inspired to use the peels in the future during bath time, but it might also be fun to use them to make mandarin infused vodka, to make a pretty smelling body scrub, or to make candied mandarin orange peels!
Mottainai Grandma is a super cute book with a great reminder for children and adults alike. It serves as fun inspiration for thinking about ways we can reuse things rather than throw them away, and makes you think twice about letting things go to waste. What is one of your favorite uses for something many people normally throw out?
PS If you’re into up-cycling items that others might toss aside, you might enjoy checking out these thrift store challenges (a feature I’m hoping to resume on Little Snail once we’re back in the states!)
Hey there everyone! It’s December 1st already, and that means it’s time to check in with you on the second round of Little Snail Thrift Challenges. Challenge two was to find something related to the kitchen and use it in a project (original post here). I found loads of ideas on pinterest that I wanted to try and/or adapt, but the only one I actually got around to was wood burning a wooden spoon.I basically copied the design from this pin I found, but I found many other cool ideas for wood burning wooden spoons that I want to try out, too! (Take this one of kitties, for example, these sunflower ones, or this one that has a bee on it!)
I love the idea of creating personalized wooden spoons for friends and family as gifts! Here are a few links to some other fun thrifty kitchen-related projects I’d like to try:
Teacup Bird Feeder
Pretty Vases Out of Tin Cans
Shelves from a Silverware Drawer
Picture Holders/Place Card Holders/Coat Hooks out of Forks
iPad/Cookbook Stand Out of a Cheese Board and Scrabble Piece Holder
Were you able to participate in this month’s challenge? How did it go for you? For the third Little Snail Thrift Challenge, visit your local thrift store with the winter season in mind. What can you find that can be touched up to add warmth to your days? Is there a picture frame that could become brighter with light blue paint and snow-like glitter? Or some pretty fabric that could be used as a pillow case? Maybe a little snowflake that could be used as a brooch? The due date is January 1st, but as always, you’re welcome to email me, post on instragram or twitter, or leave a comment with your ideas or questions in the meantime! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #littlesnailthriftchallenge!
I can’t wait to see what you come up with this month!
Today Chad and I went to a huge garage sale at a big church in Grand Haven near our house. We got really lucky and found this awesome set of sturdy, quality knives!
The knives were only $12.00, still incredibly sharp and in fantastic shape–a great find. (They’re also a Japanese brand!)
I love that the knives are labeled, too!
We also bought a hutch that we are planning to change into a little bar–a fun future DIY project I’ll be sure to share!
What are some cool thrifty bargains you’ve found recently?