Gothic Martha Stewart: starting, shopping, motifs, projects, resources, notes

Display Your Treasures
If you have any kind of collection or favorite finds, why not display them all out in the open? Whether you collect thrift store teacups or have a wide variety of leather dog collars or historical costumes, arranging them on a shelf or wall can be an attractive piece of decoration (plus an easy way to find them when you want to use them!).

Craft, housewares, and hardware stores often sell small, lightweight wall shelves. Wooden ones can be painted to coordinate with your display, and plain metal ones can be painted or draped with fabric or scarves. Make sure to space the shelves according to the height of what you want to display -- tall hats will need more space between the shelves than teacups.

Hooks and pegs can be used to display any item that can safely hang. An expandible peg rack is great for hanging hats, belts, scarves, and larger jewelry items. Hardware stores carry plenty of plain and fancy cup hooks in different sizes.

displayIf you have attractive items of clothing that perhaps you don't wear much, make these into displays. Fragile vintage garments, ethnic clothing, heavy coats or capes (especially if you live in a warm climate), painted leather, historical costumes, wedding clothes, and anything else that catches the eye but isn't worn everyday make great displays. You'll need a sturdy hanger such as a wooden coat hanger or a well-padded satin hanger. Determine how high you want to hang the garment on the wall, then place a large garment hook or nail in the wall. If the garment is heavy at all, make sure you put the hook or nail into a wall stud. Simply hang the garment up on the hook, making sure to arrange the garment to show it off the best. You can also display clothing on dress forms or store mannequins, if you can find one.

When displaying, try to keep smaller items near eye-level so they can be seen and appreciated. Larger things can hang at eye-level or above.

Pictured Here: At a previous house, I clothed a dress form in a Renaissance faire shirt, a lace scarf, and an odd hat with lots of long feathers; I hung two short swords from the wall with nails and burgundy cord; and I piled the end tables with candlesticks, framed photos, tarot cards, a skull, and a Buddah incense holder.

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