Few people have an adequate appreciation of the effect on their daily life of constant small burdens.
For instance, a useful contrivance for keeping music tidy can be made which, besides being quite a pretty object in a room, need only cost a few pence. Get three cardboard blouse-boxes, of the size which will hold a piece of music with a couple of inches to spare. Let a jobbing carpenter make a strong stand of deal, with three shelves, one on the top of another, the exact size of the card-board boxes; paint these shelves with white or cream enamel paint, and, when the paint is perfectly dry, place on them the boxes, which should have been previously covered with either a pretty chintz-patterned wall-paper or one which matches the wall-covering of the room in which these shelves are to be used. A handle of cord to facilitate the pulling in and out of the boxes adds much to the convenience of the case. Such a handle is made by threading cord through a small hole bored in the cardboard and making a knot. This should be done after the wallpaper covering has been pasted on. A most useful blotter can be made of wallpaper matching that used on the walls of a bedroom. When workmen have finished paperhanging they nearly always leave behind them a couple of half rolls of the paper which was not required. Nothing gives such a careful and well thought out look to a room as to find its nicknacks and accessories en suite in colouring and design, and a blotter should harmonise also.
A useful bedroom screen can be made from a large-sized towelhorse with unbleached calico stretched over and nailed down.
Take two stiff pieces of cardboard, gum them firmly on to a square of paper, having enough of the covering to wrap well round. Between the two pieces of card, which should be half an inch apart, place a strip of calico, and gum down also; then fold over the edges of the wallpaper, cut another piece of paper, or some of a plain colour, and paste over on the inside to neaten the edges. A pad of blotting-paper inside the covers makes this blotter complete.
How often we have a screen that has grown shabby with long service. Such a thing can be freshened and made ready for useful work again if re-covered with the wall-paper of the same pattern as that used in the room. If there is not enough of one kind it is well to purchase a roll of a plain colour, or one which has almost invisible stripes on a plain ground, and to use it in the way suggested in our sketch. Sometimes a pretty two-inch border can be obtained by rummaging amongst the old stock in a decorator's shop. In that case, panels can be achieved, and a really tasteful screen made. One side of the screen should be covered with paper sufficiently large to fold right over the edges on to the other side of the screen. The face of the screen must then have pieces exactly fitting to cover such folding over.
When such a screen is made for a bedroom, it is a good plan to use the remainder of the paper in covering hatboxes. Few of us have sufficiently large shelves and drawers to store our larger chapeaux. Hatboxes should never be kept under a bed, and we have not all dressing-rooms for storing purposes. If the big brown cardboard box in which the hat is sent home is covered with wallpaper in accordance with the rest of the room, the hatbox is no longer an eyesore when left in a corner. A nice bow on the top is a pretty finish, but the ribbon should be permanently tied, the strapping being gummed to the lid and the part round the box also gummed and the ends cut off.
A shabby picture frame can be given a new lease of life if covered with a light wall paper of dainty or quaint design
Friezes often show a row of birds, a flight of swallows, or butterflies. Such a design has been utilised in fashioning the very pretty photograph-frame illustrated.
Get a piece of cardboard slightly larger than your pictures, cover it with a plain coloured paper, bending the edges well over and pasting down. Then mount the ornamental border, which is to form a pocket, on a piece of cambric so as to strengthen the paper; press well until the backing is dry and fixed firmly on to the border. Then cut out the border; its uneven edge will look very attractive. Paste the pocket on to the prepared back, leaving an inch to fold under at the sides and bottom. Finally paste on a firm backpiece to make all neat, and the home-made frame is ready.
By the side of the telephone a tear-off block on which to write messages should be hung. If the front is covered with a piece of floral-datterned wall paper it will always look neat. A pencil, attached to the block by a length of ribbon, must not be forgotten
It is extremely useful to have a telephone memoranda tablet of sufficient size to permit not only numbers to be noted, but also messages. This should hang within easy reach of the hand while the receiver is being used, for a name is sometimes spelt over and a telephone number given while the listener stands by the instrument. A sheet of pretty wallpaper matching the paper in hall, passage, or wherever the telephone is placed, makes this businesslike accessory a dainty object, and the attachment of a pencil which can never be borrowed adds much to the utility of the affair.