Modern Spoon Display

Way back in the day, I used to collect spoons. Yes, spoons.

It all started when I was 11 years old, and my then–21-year-old sister had gone on a trip to Paris. As a souvenir, she brought me back a spoon. And like an 11 year old brat, my reaction was something like, “A SPOON?? WHAT A LAME GIFT! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH A SPOON.”

But, after getting over my initial bratty disappointment, the spoon spawned a collection hobby over the course of 10+ years. Everytime I traveled, whether with my family or by myself, I bought a spoon. Pretty soon, my spoon racks at childhood home were packed to the gills.

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I stopped collecting spoons sometime in the 2002 range. I started traveling to more diverse destinations, and spoons weren’t always available in gift shops. Plus, I learned the value of buying locally made souvenirs, or souvenirs with some cultural meaning. (Although I still like to buy my Christmas ornaments!)

But, that still left all my old spoons. Still sitting in their display racks at my dad’s house. I wanted to keep the spoons. And I liked the idea of displaying them in our house now instead of my dad’s. But I wanted to figure out a more modern way of displaying them. Plus, I thought that the racks always looked too cluttered:

Old spoon rack displays Old spoon rack displays

Plus, some of the spoons were too “fat” and couldn’t even fit in the slots. So, they just kinda laid at the bottom of the rack.

Old spoon rack displays

A little old fashioned, no?

Old spoon rack displays Old spoon rack displays

So, after considering many different options for displaying my spoons, I kept coming back to this image as inspiration that I found via Pinterest. I really liked the display option. Clean, modern, uncluttered.

But, unfortunately the photo was sorely lacking in any sort of explanation or tutorial about how the spoons were mounted. After trying many different solutions (all of which failed), I settled on plain old hot glue. (I’ll talk more about my experimentation with different materials at the very end of the post).

Tutorial

First, I bought some shadowboxes. After many MANY trips to places like Michael’s and AC Moore, I concluded that A) Pretty much every shadowbox was poor quality. B) Despite being poor quality, large shadowboxes were still quite expensive, even when using Michael’s regularly-offered coupons. C) And finally, even ignoring the quality and cost, I couldn’t find a shadowbox in a wide enough size that I was hoping for.

So, I ordered a custom size shadowbox from PictureFrames.com, and I was really pleased with the quality. They weren’t exactly cheap, but they were exactly the dimensions that I wanted, they cut a high quality mat precisely to size, and the frame and glass were great quality.

In case anyone is looking to get something similar, this is what I ordered:

  • Shadowbox with outside dimensions of 39×10.
  • White Custom Suede Mat

First, I laid out the spoons on the white suede mat until I found an arrangement that I liked. I staggered the spoons from the approximate middle of the matboard, which I thought looked nice considering that they vary so much in side.

Modern spoon display tutorial Arranging spoons for display on the matboard

Next up, it was time to hot glue the spoons to the mat. Using the tiniest dabs of hot glue that I could manage, I put a dab on the “most convex” part of the spoon (is that a thing?). Basically the back of the spoon that has the most surface area that would touch the mat. Then I also put a tiny dab of glue on the top of the spoon. This part was really tricky for some of the spoons that had dangling ornaments in that area.

Hot gluing spoons to matboard for display Hot gluing spoons to matboard for display

I repeated the process for each spoon, until all the spoons were glued to the matboard. Then came the process of cleaning up all the little hot glue boogers and strings. This was fairly tedious, looking for mostly translucent pieces of glue against a white background. I had the most success when I pointed an adjustable floor lamp directly at the matboard. The hot glue strings would create shadows on the matboard, and I was able to clean off even the less obvious pieces.

Cleaning off hot glue strings Cleaning off hot glue strings

Then, I just let the spoons sit and dry on the matboard for about 24 hours. After 24 hours, I leaned the matboard up against the wall for another 24 hours to test that the spoons were glued strongly enough to the matboard that they wouldn’t fall down when hanging vertically. After 24 hours and no falls while leaning vertically, it was time to put them in their shadowboxes.

I bought two total shadowboxes, which are at different spots around the house now. Here’s one leaning on a ledge shelf in our basement. Pretty snazzy!

Modern spoon display frame

And much better than the old display, don’t you think?

Old spoon display shelf

How I decided what materials to use

This project took me FOREVER to finally implement. Mostly because of how many options I mulled to mount the spoons.

In the inspiration image that I shared, it looked like the spoons were mounted using some sort of clips. Well, after searching high and low, I did finally find and order something that looked similar. Unfortunately, the clips were way too big for most of the spoons that were narrow.

Back to the drawing board. Then I considered “threading” the spoons to the matboard. In other words, taking a needle threded with some wire or fishing line, and adhering the spoons to the matboard that way. Well, it was extremely difficult to “tie” the spoons tightly enough to the matboard without bending or warping it. Plus, after threading just a few spoons, I could tell that it would be very time intensive to do it for the 100 spoons that I had!

Next, I tried an option that I hadn’t been crazy about … hot glue. I was so afraid of permanently damaging my spoons. Or, if I ever wanted to disassemble the frames, bending or ruining the spoons if I tried to remove them from the matboard.

So, what I did was I looked for a spoon that didn’t have much sentimental value. It was from a location I had never visited, and had probably been given by a family friend who had gone on vacation somewhere. I couldn’t even remember who would have given it, so clearly there was no sentimental connection to the spoon. I used some hot glue and glued that spoon to a scrap piece of matboard. And, I let it dry. A few days later, I was able to easily “snap” the spoon off the matboard. Yes, it ruined the matboard, but not the spoon. And, I was also easily able to scrape off the hot glue on the back of the spoon without damaging it or bending it. I tried it for all the other remaining spoon materials, like the pewter spoons too. Zero damage to the spoons, all very easy to remove.

So, I was sold. No, I don’t know if there might be very long term damage thanks to the hot glue, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take to put my spoons on display!

DIY Gift Wrap Storage Made from PVC Pipes

The holidays are now long over, but that doesn’t mean that gift wrap still doesn’t come out! It’s just more for birthdays and baby showers these days.

In the past few years, I’ve developed a kind of wrapping paper obsession. I have a really hard time walking past a cute roll of wrapping paper without buying it! I attribute these impulse purchases to one thing: A massive improvement in my gift wrapping skills in the past few years!

Gift Wrap Organizer and Wrangler! DIY Project Made from PVC. Organize your wrapping paper! | SuperNoVAwife

I used to be a TERRIBLE gift wrapper. Then I finally made myself watch tutorial after tutorial for properly wrapping gifts. And now that I’m such a good wrapper, I love to have beautiful wrapping paper to go along with the tight, crisp corners of my wrapped boxes!

But, storing wrapping paper had become a problem. I had one of these gift wrap organizers for a while, but was so awkwardly shaped that it was difficult to store it in the closet or anywhere else. (For what it’s worth, we still have one that we keep Christmas wrapping paper in, but we keep it in the attic 11 months of the year, so the awkward shape isn’t as big of a deal for the attic!) .

Underbed wrapping paper storage containers also weren’t ideal, mostly because not that many rolls can fit in a single storage container.

Ideally, I wanted something to store behind our bed headboard. Why? I’m pretty sure the only reason that I wanted to store it behind the headboard is because that’s where my parents used to store their gift wrap, and learned habits die hard. Although they just used to kind of toss their wrapping paper behind the bed. I wanted something a little neater.

I had an idea to corral my wrapping paper using some sort of PVC “box.” And that’s exactly what I set out to do.

PVC gift wrap storage

But first, there was some cutting do do.

First, I went to Home Depot and bought ten 1/2 inch PVC pipes. I also needed 3-way PVC elbow connectors, which Home Depot did not appear to sell (and the sales associate confirmed!). So, I had to order 8 1/2″ PVC fitting connectors from Formufit.

First, I kind of fit everything together the way I wanted it to go, even though it was enormous.

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You’ll notice that there aren’t two PVC pipes connecting the top two sections though, which would have made it a complete “cube” shape. I figured that, because I was going to be cutting pieces of PVC, I would just use one of the cut pieces to eventually complete the top part. That saved me a few bucks on buying two extra pieces of PVC.

Hopefully that’ll make more sense in the next few photos.

First, I had measured the depth behind our bed’s headboard to get an idea of how deep the organizer should be. Then, I measured that length on one of the pieces of PVC and marked it with a pen.

Measuring PVC pipe

Then, I cut the PVC using a miter saw. (I’m sure a bunch of tools would’ve worked for this, it’s just the easiest tool we can use in our space. Similarly, if you already know the measurements, Home Depot or Lowes staff can cut it for you.)

Cutting PVC using miter saw

Then, using that cut piece as a guide, I cut the remaining three pieces that I needed (for a total of four cut pieces)

Cutting PVC for DIY gift wrap project Cutting PVC for DIY gift wrap project Cutting PVC for DIY gift wrap project Cutting PVC for DIY gift wrap project

Then, I just had to put it all together. It would be a narrower version of the large cube above, and would include the two “top” pieces.

Assembling gift wrap organizer Assembling DIY gift wrap organizer

Then I put it behind our headboard.

Storing gift wrap behind headboard

(I swear, we sleep with sheets on our mattress. It was just sheet-washing day!)

Then, I filled up the PVC storage thingy with rolls of wrapping paper!

DIY wrapping paper storage from PVC DIY wrapping paper storage from PVC

It was perfect for what we needed! Although the photos make it look like the bed is pulled out kinda far from the wall, it’s really not noticeable. The only people that can ever tell are people that see our bed when walking out of the master bathroom. Which is just me and Ken!

Do you have a wrapping paper addiction? How do you store your paper?

Ribbon Storage Project

So, let’s talk about ribbon.

Up until a few years ago, my gift wrapping skills were DREADFUL. I mean, like a 2nd grader who insists on wrapping their own gift for their best friend, terrible. Every Christmas season, I’d be watching countless YouTube tutorials on how to wrap gifts, and my presents would still end up so ugly.

Well, a few years ago, I finally discovered the best gift wrapping tutorial. I discovered that my problem had been I was using WAY TOO MUCH PAPER when wrapping a gift. I finally learned how to measure just enough, and that really made my gifts already look infinitely better.

Well, then an obsession began. Fun wrapping papers, fancy ribbons, washi tape. I went a little overboard buying ribbon from PaperMart a few years ago, and since then, I haven’t had a good way of storing them. I don’t use them for much else other than gift wrap, so it’s not like I need constant access.

So, I had them stored in a canvas under-bed storage container. And it looked like this:

Ribbon in underbed storage container

Not ideal, but not terrible either. But, even though I didn’t need regular access to the ribbon, when I did, it was still a total pain in the butt to drag it out from under the bed.

I had the idea of storing ribbon vertically (certainly not an original idea), but on a somewhat larger scale. And then storing it in the under-utilized space behind our headboard.

And so it began. I bought two dowels from Home Depot (5/8“ and 1/2” and found some extra scrap 2×4″’s we had laying around. I wanted to drill holes in the 2×4 for the dowels.

At first I used a hole saw, but the hole saw created holes that were way too big for the dowels.

Using a hole saw

Then I tried to find a regular drill bit, but couldn’t find any that were as big as 5/8″. (They might exist, but we just don’t own any). So then I went digging in our tool chest, and found these spade bits. Ken had bought them to install a door sensor one time (that’s a topic for a different post).

Spade bit set

There was a 1/2“ spade bit and a 5/8” spade bit, and they both worked perfectly!

Drilling holes Drilling holes Drilling holes

Even though it didn’t make sense intuitively (at least not for me), I thought I’d have to use a slightly larger bit to fit the dowels. But as it turns out, the 5/8“ hole from the 5/8” spade bit fit the 5/8“ dowel perfectly, and the 1/2” bit fit the 1/2“ dowel perfectly too! So perfectly, in fact, that I didn’t even need to use any wood glue to make the dowels ”stick.” I pounded them on the top a little with a mallet, and trust me, the dowels are stuck in those holes!

Dowels in holes Dowels for ribbon storage project Tall ribbon storage project.

Although it didn’t quite fit ALL my ribbon (I might need to make one more!), it is such a more efficient way of storing them.

Ribbon storage project

And we tucked it behind the headboard:

Ribbon storage behind bed

And now, any time I need to access ribbon, I can just pull out the holder from behind the bed and snip off the ribbon I need.

Ribbon storage behind bed

Oh, and I should point out that I can STILL lift it up by the dowels when it is full of ribbon, and the dowels still don’t come out of the holes.

That’s it! Do you have a ribbon obsession? How do you store your ribbons?

Tall Vertical Ribbon Storage

Foreign Coin Display

So, you guys, I still have a box of Russia trip memorabilia that is just collecting dust. I’ve been on a quest FOREVER for ways to integrate memorabilia into easily displayed / accessible mediums, but I’ve never been able to decide on anything.

For instance, I love the idea of mini-albums (like here and here), but I shudder at the thought of punching holes or using glue on my memorabilia. I also like the idea of displaying memorabilia in jars or boxes, but I kind of wanted something that would be easier for houseguests to “leaf through.” You know, because I’m sure that’s what all our houseguests would want to do … spend time looking at our old ticket stubs (end sarcasm). But, you get the idea! Indecisiveness. Analysis Paralysis. Whatever first world problem you want to call it.

Anyway, even if I can’t decide on a method of displaying memorabilia, one thing I decided on several years ago was a way of displaying my foreign coins. (And, I do feel pretty proud that I had this idea before Pinterest was around). I’ll be making room for my Russian coins soon!

Foreign Coin Display Idea

For years, (No, seriously, YEARS! As in more than a decade) I had coins from previous international trips sitting in envelopes in a drawer. Like trips to Europe in the mid 1990’s when each European country still had its own currency and wasn’t on the Euro. I had Greek Drachma, Italian Lira, and French Francs. I also had Japanese Yen, South African Rand, and Brazilian Reals. And lots more. And those beautiful, amazing coins just sat, unappreciated, in a drawer.

So, I set out to make a display of them. Even though it was pre-Pinterest days, a couple of Google search results inspired me to make magnets out of the coins. But I didn’t want to put them on the fridge, I wanted to make some sort of display.

Currently, I have two shadowbox frames displaying the coins. I’ll provide the details and how-to after the pictures.

Shadowbox displaying foreign coins from travels Another shadowbox displaying different foreign coins

And here is one of the shadowboxes with the front “door” open, in attempt to minimize the glare.

Foreign Coin Display Foreign Coin Display

If you look closely, I clustered the coins around magnet maps of the respective country. So for instance, the French Francs surround a map of France, the British pounds surround a map of England, etc.

Closeup of foreign coin display and map magnets Map magnet of England and a display of British Pound coins Foreign coin display

I wanted the maps displayed so that people would be able to tell easily where the coins were from. In many cases, it’s not immediately clear from looking at the coin. In case you’re interested, I ordered the map magnets from XOHandworks on Etsy.

Like I mentioned, this project is from several years ago, so I don’t have any photos detailing the steps I took to complete the project. But, it was very straightforward, so hopefully some text-based instructions will work just fine!

1) I purchased a 12×12 shadowbox from Michael’s. It opened in the front, but that’s not completely necessary. 12×12 shadowboxes are plentiful because that is a pretty standard size for scrapbook paper.

2) I purchased this 12×12 piece of sheet metal from Home Depot.

3) I spraypainted the sheet metal using matte black (or it might have been satin black) spraypaint. I used two coats, allowing it to dry completely.

4) Next, it was time to figure out how to make the coins into magnets. Some of the coins are ferrous, meaning that a magnet will stick to them directly. For those coins, I just put a small neodymium magnet on the coin directly. For those coins that were not ferrous, I put a tiny dab of silicone glue on the back of each coin, and then pressed the neodymium magnet into the glob of glue, and allowed it to dry completely.

**Please note that I am not a coin preservation expert! I have no idea what the long term harm might come to your coin if you use silicone glue on it. However, from my rudimentary research, silicone glue was the best option for the coins because it holds well, is non damaging, and can scrape off easily. Considering my coins are not rare, and in many cases I had multiples of each (which still sit in a drawer!), I was not concerned about this method.

5) Finally, I put the sheet metal in the shadowbox, and then started putting the coin magnets and map magnets on the sheet metal, moving them around until I was pleased with the arrangement.

6) Hang on wall or put on shelf! Enjoy your coins now on display!

There you have it! How have you displayed your foreign coins?