Having just installed a couple of beautiful stone fireplaces, and spent months painstakingly painting numerous walls and woodwork, I’m finding for the first time in my life that I’m becoming a little hesitant about bashing nails into every surface and applying sticky tape liberally to fix my latest garland / project / Harry’s artwork, etc.  Who knew that domesticity could strike so late?  As a result, I’m left with a huge pile of things I still want to display, so this week I have been experimenting with alternative  - but temporary – ways of doing so.  I made these cheerful display clips (above and below) by filling individual cereal boxes with rice and then sealing and decorating, with a clothes peg added for the clipping of artwork, letters and cards which can now adorn the mantelpiece and be moved around at will….

These are so straightforward that they don’t need a step-by-step tutorial, but here’s a few tips; I used individual portion cereal boxes like these (below), which are just the right size – small enough not to dominate shelves and mantelpieces, but big enough to hold enough rice/beans so that they don’t topple over when you hang things from them.  Fill the empty boxes with uncooked rice or dried beans, right to the top.  Avoid sand or other fine substances – you’ll suddenly realise just how many tiny cracks an apparently sealed cardboard box can have!  Wrap in gift wrap or craft paper, and attach a clothes peg or bulldog clip to the front using strong glue. Hey presto – you’re done!

I kept most of the boxes pretty simple, but some I wanted to use just in the playroom for Harry’s artwork and photos, so I decorated three clothes pegs with animal faces, shown below.  I keep a big shoebox full of small offcuts of coloured paper leftover from when we’re making things, and a quick rummage in there produced the scraps and odds and ends I used here.

I use these mainly over fireplaces, because we have them in most rooms, but they’d look equally cute on bookshelves or cupboard tops.  Or why not make one to package up with a drawing or painting to give to grandparents? I’m thinking a numbered series of these would look beautiful on a mantelpiece in white or natural tones at Christmas time to display cards and festive invites – but we’re going to have to focus on working our way through a whole lot of cereal first…

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