Thinking inside the Big Box

A business friend of mine, Janna Lufkin, is a contributor to a facsinating blog, Lifestyle Insights.  One of her recent posts praised the hardware store, There's style in them thar aisles.  I couldn't agree more!  Keeping your eyes in focus and your brain in gear, you never know what you might find at the hardware store and how you might use it.  Last week's episode of Project Runway had the designers shopping at the hardware store as the source of materials for their outfits - the finished projects were astonishing - some in a good way, others not.  It all depends what inspires you!

A Eureka Moment hit me while at Lowes last week.  As the seasons change, there are many items that are reduced for sale to make room for new stock.  And sometimes these items linger too long in the aisle...until one day, one of the managers finally says to move it and get it out!  This was the case with a stack of metal fireplace screens.  Now anything that's metal immediately captures my attention.  I took my time and looked over the display model...mmm...there just might be some possibilities here.  I grabbed three boxes from the pile.  Of course I heard a round of comments and remarks about why anyone would want three fireplace screens, but I ignored them.  The price on the screens had been marked down to $23 - and now there was a big sign proclaiming 90% off last marked price - for $2.30 each, I was willing to take a chance.

Of course, this was the one time that I had driven Monty's cute red Hyundai instead of my Subaru Outback - but no worries, the boxes all fit.

To begin my project, I took a screwdriver and a hammer and popped out the rivets from the hinges on one side of the screen.  I now had one of the side panels free.  I noticed that the remaining two panels formed a nice free-standing "L" -potential display fixture for art shows...but I'm getting ahead of myself.

With the rivets removed, there was a hollow opening on each end of the panel.  I threaded a length of jute twine through the holes and tied it off.  I love jute and use it for everything; there is a variety of thicknesses, textures and colors & it gives the "casual/I just threw this together/oh, it was nothing" look that I like.

Now I was ready to hang my new organzing/inspiration/decorative panel.  A few magnets to hold three vintage postcards - completed.  A christmas ornament hanger twisted into a small "S" hook to display a well-loved clockface - accomplished.  Ingenuity and pluck put to the test - passed.

I have two more intact screens and one partial remaining...I'm thinking garden-themed organizers...I'll keep you posted.


  1. oh my gosh what a great idea and a perfect place to hang the little things you never seem to know where to hang them to share them.
    i agree hardware stores are a great place to visit and create.

  2. This is EXACTLY what I need to above our computer desk in the living room.


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