Friday, October 07, 2011

Make Your Own Letter Towel Hooks

One bonus of moving into a new (to me) home is that it is a fresh start in the decorating department. The drawback in my situation, of course, is the lack of funds to purchase new decor. But, we're making do and trying to reuse what we can and make what we can.

Our new home has only one full bathroom...and a shocking dearth of towel bars. Okay, let me rephrase...a shocking dearth of useful towel bars. One is located in the shower and the other is above the toilet paper roll. Yeah, neither are ideal locations for me, especially since we have four bath towels to hang up every day. Then, I discovered these...

Aren't they adorable? When I saw them, I envisioned each of us having our own letter lined up along the bathroom wall. The letters would even help remind the girls where to put their towels. Oh, it's a genius solution. Unfortunately, I can't really afford a $56 solution ($14 each)!

So, for about $4 each, I made my own version. Coat and Hat hooks with a wooden or papier-mâché letter above give me a similar look for a lot let less money. I already had wooden letters for the L and E, but I needed a B and a J. Since I couldn't find wooden letters to match the ones I already had, I made some papier-mâché ones. The best part? They hardly cost me anything to make! I made matching letter templates on my computer, used cereal boxes for the structure, and made paste from ingredients in my cupboard. Then I painted them with some paint from a $3 Martha Stewart Paint Tester.

For step-by-step instructions on how to make the letters, check out this post from Green Zebra Crafts. Just be sure to make holes on the backside of your letter so that you can hang them on the wall. (I used a hole punch to make my holes on the backside of the letter before I assembled it. Be sure not to cover your holes with papier-mâché.) This recipe for papier-mâché paste has always worked well for me. It made more than enough paste for two 6-inch letters.

Papier-Mâché Paste (makes about 1 cup paste)
2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup boiling water
2 1/4 teaspoons sugar

In a small bowl, combine flour and 1/2 cup cold water. In a saucepan, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Add the flour/water mixture and stir to combine. Bring back to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar. Allow to cool. Paste will thicken as it cools. Store in refrigerator between uses.

For other money-saving ideas, check out Frugal Friday at LifeasMOM.

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