Showing Off Your Collections

A few weeks ago, my dad brought me his collection of sand and shells from North and South Carolina. I already had some scallop shells from another project, and I really wanted a way to show them off.

So I pulled out my container of blue glass pebbles, put them in the bottom of one of my favorite dishes and then stacked the shells on top. The sand was already in those adorable glass bottles, so that part was easy.

The result was a centerpiece that I absolutely adore. And it's more interesting than sticking them in a box somewhere and coming across them every couple of years.

We all have collections that are tucked away or set haphazardly on a shelf. But what fun is that? Let's take them down and do something exciting with them.

* Clear off a couple of your bookshelves and put your favorite collection out. Unless your collection is books - then leave them there. Just arrange them differently.

* Turn one whole room into a collection showplace. Fill it with bears, quilts, baskets or posters. Then they're all in one place - a great conversation piece.

* Clean them up, dust them off and get them working again. Why have a collection of anything if you're not going to take care of it. Give you special pieces a good cleaning and put them on display in great shape.

* Do some sorting. Maybe having 350 coffee cups is a great collection, but are there duplicates or broken ones? Are there some that are special that your children and grandchildren might enjoy having. Trim down your collection so that it's not overtaking the house or just taking up space.

* Put your collection to good use. Instead of having 27 baskets stacked in a closet, use them all over the house. Put extra towels, magazines and potted plants in them. Put a handful in each room. You'll enjoy seeing them and they'll be helpful every day.

 Don't just have stuff for the sake of having it. Build a collection that you truly enjoy and have it out so that others can enjoy it, too. That's what makes them truly special.

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