Creating a Collectibles Display

I completed the Christmas decorating today. Photo blog post will be up tomorrow. This evening, as I finished the last project, before decorating the Christmas tree, I decided to capture the steps via pics, and show how easy it is to create fun displays of collectibles.

I enjoy transforming my house during the holidays, with every tabletop and shelf holding decor. I create Christmas vignettes in old suitcases, a vintage wooden sieve and rustic wooden boxes. Using what I already have on hand makes the experience a creative…and fun…challenge.

Here is the step by step process of grouping collectibles together, using on hand objects for the display. In this case, this is my Christmas mug collection that I began in the late 70s when Greg’s mom gifted me with two mugs she made when her boys were small. From that beginning a sizable collection has grown as I add to it each year.

Start with an area large enough to hold the collectibles and one that is secure from pets or small children, if the items are breakable. For my mugs, I clear a shelf in the living room armoire that houses the tv. This shelf will continue to work for me for another year or two. Then I’ll begin using the top of the armoire as well.

The fun begins. Depth and height add interest and help to create visibility for the items. I use risers to add varying heights to the display area, so as to best showcase the mugs. I could buy risers. However, I’ve discovered an easy alternative. I use small empty cardboard boxes. The boxes for some of my Christmas items work well and the empty Christmas tree light boxes are the perfect size.

Arrange and/or stack the box risers to create varying heights. Taller items will go in the back, working toward shorter items in the front, making a tiered look.

Hide the boxes under fabric. Again, I use what I have on hand. These linens were picked up previously in yard sales or flea markets. If I find a placemat, tablecloth or napkins that can serve multiple purposes at sales or second hand shops, I pick them up. Boxes are covered. I am ready to begin placing mugs.

This is the creative play part. Try different arrangements, moving items around until the effect is pleasing. This is the part that is so fun to me. It is my display, so I am the one who decides whether I like the results or need to play with it more. Larger, taller mugs go in the back. I fill in gaps with smaller mugs as I go.

Don’t be afraid to adjust as necessary. I realized I needed to create more height in front of the back row. Books make great risers too! I chose a thicker volume, and a thinner paperback.

The books go beneath the little white tablecloth. Now I can play some more, until I am pleased with the results.

This personalized Santa mug, and the rosy cheeked snowman mug behind it, started my collection. Greg’s mom made the mugs in the late 1950s and gave them to me in 1977.

And this adorable Christmas owl mug is this year’s addition. He came from Cracker Barrel. Each of the mugs in my collection has a note tucked inside or a sticker on the bottom, with the date and place purchased written on it.

The completed display. I love my Christmas mugs. Setting them up is fun…and it allows me to remember where each mug came from. There are yard sale finds in the collection and very inexpensive mugs. Those remind me of the Christmases when my children were young and money was tight. To have more to spend on them, I spent very little on things like Christmas mugs. And yet, these are precious memories of doing for my kids and buying a little something for myself. Someday the kids will deal with a collection that is twice this size, I hope, and mutter to themselves…”Why didn’t one of us stop her?!”

That’s how easy it is to create a collectibles display. Soon I’ll add a post detailing how to create a vignette, using items already available.

Happy decorating!

Giving Tuesday 2017

I’m getting a very late start on my blog post tonight, due to a full day. However, I paused long enough to honor the day, which is Giving Tuesday, and make donations to the organizations of my choice.

Giving Tuesday, also referred to as #givingtuesday, is an international day set aside for donating funds or time to charities and organizations around the world.

This special day, which is always observed the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, was created in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation.

I learned about #givingtuesday in 2015, and it has become a yearly event for me. I typically celebrate Thanksgiving with family, and devote focused awareness on gratitude. I sometimes participate in Black Friday. This year I did. I sometimes participate in Cyber Monday. This year I did. Since learning of Giving Tuesday, I have always participated.

Here are the recipients of my donations this year:

BlinkNow – Created and run by 31 year old Maggie Doyne, this organization is in its 10th year. Traveling after high school graduation, Maggie was deeply touched by the children in Nepal, who were living in destitution. With her savings of $5000, Maggie began to care for children who were without parents, homes, education, medical care and basic necessities. In 10 years she has built a children’s home, a school, and a women’s center, and her organization provides necessities, education and medical care. Maggie is Mom and guardian to 50 children.

Check out BlinkNow HERE.

TOGETHER RISING – founded by blogger, author and activist Glennon Doyle, this organization began through Glennon’s blog, Momastery. Women began reaching out in tangible ways to help each other. Today Together Rising restores hope by helping women and families in crisis and by responding immediately to disasters around the world by raising and sending funds and necessities.


World Vision – this Christian based organization has created programs that benefit children, families and communities in need, around the world. They offer child sponsorships, medical and school supplies, food, sustainable living by way of seeds, fruit trees and farm animals, clothing and clean water.

Learn more about World Vision HERE.

Haven of Hope Rescue Foundation and Carthage Humane Society – both of these organizations aid animals by rescuing dogs (Carthage rescues other animals as well), and helping to place them in foster homes and ultimately into forever homes by way of adoption.

Haven of Hope, based in the Oklahoma City area, has saved hundreds of dogs since 2009. Check them out HERE.

And Carthage Humane Society has been in operation since 1948. Their mission is to provide a safe haven for animals in their care and aid in finding suitable homes for those pets. Find out more about them HERE.

Of course, donations and the volunteering of time and services can, and should, take place year round. I am grateful though, in the midst of this busy holiday time, that there is a special day for focusing on those people and organizations that live the giving lifestyle 24/7. These people and groups are making a difference in the world. Our attention and awareness, our funds, our time, supports them in their efforts.

And that is such a good thing. That’s #givingtuesday. Together we can change the world.