Stencils Organizer, Photo Display, or Whatever Holder

Do you ever buy something, and don’t have a faint clue what you need it for – you just know at some point you’ll need it for something?

Now, I have been know to buy things that I never end up using, but I love it when months after purchase, I discover my instincts were right after all!

During the winter, my youngest son had a basketball tournament in Kansas City.

Whenever we travel, I like to hit some big stores that we don’t have anywhere near my home, and on this trip I wanted to visit IKEA.  While I think it’s a pretty cool store, and I love looking at their displays, I really didn’t find much I felt needed to come home with me, other than a a few small area rugs, and some metal curtain clips (affiliate link).

curtain clips

I knew I wanted to use the rugs in my bedroom, but I had no idea what I’d do with the curtain clips, since I didn’t need to hang any curtains.

I just knew they were inexpensive, and seemed like something I might find useful at some point.

Well, that some point came now, because I’ve got stencils all over my house, and I hadn’t come up with an organized way to store them.

I’ve been trying to come up with an easy  and convenient system, then I remembered that I have several old wood and wire racks that were originally used to hold transmission belts.

When I bought them to carry in my shop (HERE), I envisioned them being used as flower drying racks,

but I realized that by hanging the curtain clips on the wire hooks, I’d have an instant stencil organizer.

wall organizer

Of course, these racks could also be used as a photo display, or Christmas cards display, or whatever.

     I have a lot of whatever around my house.

photo display rack

I’m still thinking of how to organize the rest of my stencil supplies, like the plastic bags I put them in,  my package labels, and package inserts.

I need to go rummage around in my workshop, because there’s probably something there that would work, but I’m glad to have at least gotten the stack of stencils off my entertainment center.

wood and wire rack

If you are a history buff, I thought you’d enjoy this.  These racks are labeled, “Gates Rubber Company and have a rich history, which I find really interesting.  The company was started in 1911 and was very successful, but in the 1990’s it was acquired by another company and in 2013 the manufacturing plant that had been located in Denver, CO for so many years, was demolished.

     End of history lesson. 🙂

It’s often difficult to know the story behind pieces I bring home, so I  love being able to use something with a known past.

You can see more of my Repurposed Vintage projects HERE.

Repurposed Vintage


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  1. Love your ideas. I have a lot of whatever too. I have a Facebook page called D’s Uniques.

  2. I love the idea of hanging stencils from those racks, but I have three of those racks and they are loaded with baskets. I’ll have to find another place to store stencils, but I love your idea.

  3. Clever idea, Angie.

  4. Angie I have those same clips and I use them to hang my quilt squares. I am always sewing different designs in the hope that I will complete the quilt someday. lol The clever idea of the hanger is amazing. The hunt is on for that special hanger. Thanks

  5. love this idea, organizing stencils can be tricky! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  6. Marlene Stephenson says

    This is a great idea Angie and i know what you mean about buying things, if cheap whether you need them or not, it always seems i end up using it.

  7. What a fantastic idea and it works like a charm, too…this setup would allow your stencils to fully air dry after you wash them off, as well! I was just thinking how multifunctional a little rack like that would be…you could also use it in a darkroom to hang newly developed photos or film strips. Your usage of this rack will ensure your stencils continue on in superior condition for years to come!

  8. Smart purchase, Angie! Listening to our intuition is a very fine skill to have!

  9. Sara Mullis says

    Hello Angie,
    I’m a relatively new subscriber and have really enjoyed your daily posts. Love the stencil rack (or whatever rack) and can keep my eye out for one . Unfortunately, horizontally space challenged at present ,thought I’d share my solution for those in a similar situation. I’m using one of those multiple pant,skirt, shorts ,(whatever hangers) that I picked up inexpensively at a Dollar General and some 2 gallon plastic storage bags for various sizes of stencils . It hangs in a rather narrow closet I’m using to store crafting materials. Your curtain rings gave me the idea to fix up a wooden pant hanger with drop bar on it with curtain rings with clips on them for longer stencils. Thanks, it works for me !

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