How to display Thank You, Birthday and other cards.





That’s my monkey card.  How great is THAT?

And the poor thing has been shoved in a drawer for years, forgotten all about until this post.

I’ve always had a rule. If someone sends me a card I leave it out on display for a week. Minimum.  I also have a rule about not using a cutting from my cat’s tail to try to grow another cat (once gardening season rolls around I have to remind myself about these sorts of things)




The problem with stupid birthdays is they usually, sometimes, if you’re lucky involve getting cards.  The problem with cards is you never seemed to have a good place to put them. You stick them on the counter and they fall over, or get sauce and icing on them.  Ditto happens on the bedside table.




Then one day I remembered a photo from a Country Living magazine from a couple of years ago.  They were using metal flower frogs to hold seed packets.

I had metal frogs.  I also had a cute tin box filled with postcards based on vintage seed packets.  I got it as a thank you gift for speaking at Seedy Saturday a few years ago and I love the postcards, the problem was  I could never figure out how to display them.




The metal frogs make perfect sense.  Flowers, vegetables, seeds, deadly sharp pokey things you could use to slash the hands of anyone trying to touch your stuff. It all kind of goes together.




Stick them under a glass cloche and you have a place that makes anything look special.  Even that horrible birthday card that your Uncle Joe gave you that makes farting sounds when you open it.

My glass cloche is from an antique clock that I have that I never use anymore.  And I got the wood stand for it at Value Village.  But what would really make more sense for displaying vegetable seeds is one of these glass garden cloches. And at $53 for 4 of them they’re a deal. I’m not sure why they’re so cheap but they are.  You could buy the set, keep one and give the rest away as gifts.  Or at least tell yourself you’re going to do that to justify your purchase then of course, keep them all for yourself.




Now if I get a thank you card I put it in my little glass display dome, which sits just to the right of the desk in my office.




And just so you know, this portion of my office looks neat and tidy. That is an illusion.  My desk is currently covered with a white mug filled with pens, a toast rack filled with notebooks, one pair of glasses, two old coffee cups, a note on a new way to pinch back tomatoes, 2 empty gum packets, some jewellery I took off while typing, my iphone, some camera memory cards and 2 bobby pins. And a bag of cocaine.

Just kidding.

There are 3 old coffee cups.




  1. SusanR says:

    Thank you, Jan. I lost my dad a long, long time ago. Note is written on inside cover, so I can’t tear it in half. It’s ok. I still love seeing the message when I walk by that wall.

    I like Karen’s idea of displaying things with sentimental value. It would be fun to see photos of those types of things that Karen’s readers have in their homes. Hint, hint, Karen.

  2. SusanR says:

    My dilemma is figuring out how to display the front of the card when the message is on the inside cover. My dad long ago sent me a silly card just to say “Hi”. I framed recently with his note displayed. I thought about xeroxing the front to show that too. But it would look like a copy. And I wanted to see his original handwritten note when I looked up at the frame on the wall. It feels like a hug to me. The front is a message about “missing you”. My dad’s note:
    “I don’t really miss you. But this card was marked down from $24.95, and I couldn’t pass up the bargain. Love, Dad.” And he drew a silly face.
    I miss him.

    • Jan in Waterdown says:

      Now that made me tear up a bit. I am sorry for your loss SusanR. He sounds like he was a great Dad!
      If his written message isn’t on the reverse side of the front of the card, would you consider cutting it in two so you can put the front beside the inside? Not sure if that makes sense!

      • Jan in Waterdown says:

        Oh crap, I just reread your post and if I had half a brain I would have remembered that you said “on the inside cover”. . . :-/
        Maybe you could scan the front into your computer then print it in colour? That would be way better than a xerox.

  3. Feral Turtle says:

    A great idea….and it was my sister that gave me my farting card! I keep it close and blame the card! Cheers.

  4. Tigersmom says:

    Congratulations! And prep yourself for some increased traffic! Your outdoor glowing orbs are featured in an article about upping curb appeal form House Beautiful on Yahoo. Here’s a link:

  5. Finally, a way to keep my cards and other objects d’art dust free! Thank you.

  6. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    That is so pretty Karen..I need to find a taller cloche..I really like the old seed packets..

  7. Joan says:

    Loved the ideas, and the cloche, but when I went to check on them the shipping was $27. Ouch!

    • Karen says:

      Ouch is right. I can understand it though. They’re big and they’re glass. :/ They still end up being under $20 each tho so that’s not bad. ~ karen!

  8. Jennie Lee says:

    I take back what I said about the seed packages being pricey. You can get them for less than $1 each!!! How many pretty things that are 80 years old can you get for $1? Not many. Check it out!

  9. Jennie Lee says:

    Your mention of seed packets reminds me: there are an amazing number of 1930s seed packets for sale on eBay They are 80 years old, and look like they were printed yesterday. They are a bit pricey, but everyone should go look at them . Looking is free. They would be so pretty in frames. Which gives me the perfect chance to brag about the ones in my kitchen: 9 vegetable packets in a custom frame, found for $10 at a second hand store. One of my best finds.

  10. Leslie Best says:

    Love this. So cute. I love displaying cards and this is such a great idea!

    Oh..and sweet floors!

  11. Jody says:

    What a great idea. I’m going to have to hjunt out the frogs I have. And never mind about what the rest of your office looks like. Your plank floors are beautiful. How wide are those panks?

  12. kelli says:

    fabulous idea…definitely need something prettier and more artistic than my ‘catchall crap corner’ where everything ends up. But of course that’s only because my ‘horizontal files’ (dining table) is already piled high with more crap. I swear, sometimes I think I’m ‘thisclose’ to becoming a hoarder. :(

  13. Tigersmom says:

    I was so distracted by the new home you found for that gorgeous mirror that used to hang where your art wall is in the living room now (right?) that I mistook the white dog figurine?/statue? for a cat.

    More examples of your gift for mixing the old with the new and having it work beautifully. I think white walls are almost a requirement for that. If not a requirement, they certainly help.

    And I agree, putting anything under a cloche instantly elevates it. Much the same way framing something with a mat does. Clever girl.

  14. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    No chips on your desk?

  15. June says:

    Am I the only one who was distracted by the awesome old wood floors in these pictures?

  16. Sandra says:

    I want to know your new way to pinch back tomatoes, too!

  17. jainegayer says:

    OMG!!! I was at an antique store last week and saw 4 metal frogs and knew I needed them for something!
    I’m going back today to get them. Thank you, Karen for the idea. I love it! Tomorrow I’ll look for the cute little frogs tomorrow, ones with fat bellies. Karen, you are positively sick! LMAO

  18. Mary Werner says:


  19. BethH says:

    But what about the new way to pinch back tomatoes?

  20. ellenk says:

    Oh but where can you get a lovely base for the cloche? That really does it! I want that too.
    And I’m so glad to see this. I was trying to sort through things, being urged to purge after a very recent basement flood (ugh) and came across my collection of frogs and almost gave in…
    No, they didn’t get wet, thankfully and now they have new life!

  21. Diane Richards says:

    Great idea….I had frogs, but no idea where they are now. Must find! Question??? Where did you get those white cabinets…the one with the fern on top? I need something like this and not having much luck.
    Love your blog Karen…you are such a smarty pants.

  22. Jenny n NC says:

    Good Morning Karen!

    I too have floral frogs-I collect all kinds. Spiky metal ones of all shapes, colors and sizes. Also have some plastic and porcelain ones along with a few vases and containers that came with their own frog. This shouldn’t bee too weird for a floral designer/gardner, huh?!?

    But when I go to a trade/bridal/etc show and set up my booth, instead of one of the modern business card holders, I uses a metal frog to stand up one of the cards and then spread others around. Makes for a very unique little display. Never fails that someone will comment on the frog. Keep it on my desk in my studio when not at shows.

    Love what you did with yours Karen….. Anything under a dome/cloche is pretty awesome!

    Keep it coming……

    Jenny n NC

  23. Karol says:

    Hi Karen! I have metal frogs that I bought specifically for that purpose. I’ve never used them for flower arranging. But instead of new cards, I like to display vintage cards under the cloche.
    On another note, one of the things I love about you is you use the word “fart” a LOT in your posts. Makes me teehee out loud.

  24. JMC says:

    Great idea Karen. My mother is a certified Ikebana teacher of the Sogetsu School, after years and years of classes some person came over from Japan to test her she got a certificate and a flower name. So she has a number of kenzans (what they cal those deadly spikes) including one I gave her that is a series of small connected circles that you can have in a straight line or bend the connection to have it snake along (it’s early I’m not expressing myself well sorry) I think it might be fun for your card idea. You’ve got so many good ideas Karen – it must be busy in that head of yours.

  25. natalie says:

    “She would have been happy with a somewhat less sincere form of flattery.”
    You’re welcome!

  26. tajicat says:

    What a great idea! I have my mom’s old metal frogs, didn’t know if I would ever use them, now I do. Thanks for the great idea, not only the metal frogs but putting old cards etc on display. :)

  27. Hudson Valley says:

    Years and years ago, my friend Maureen Longo and I went for coffee (so long ago I still drank it.) She said she’d bought me a gift (?for my bday? I don’t remember.)

    She said she saw a jacket, gold colored, with a paisley pattern, very pretty with purple frogs.
    Not being a sewer (or a sewing person) I quietly gulped.

    In this case the frogs were not purple frogs cavorting in the fabric of the jacket. They were perfectly lovely purple closures– in lieu of buttons.

    I love that story.


  28. Suzie Baker says:

    Ladies, it’s almost 4am and I couldn’t sleep. I was hoping to go back to bed…. NOT! Here I sit, by myself, laughing and giggling at the wonderful article and now the replies! Thanks…. I may have to turn to drugs myself to calm down :)

  29. Sande says:

    Great idea, I can’t wait to try. When you run out of flower frogs, you can also use black binder clips. Lay the clip base on a tabletop so that the clips are facing upright and insert your card or photo.

    • RosieW says:

      Sande’s idea is excellent. We all have those clips or can get them easily.

      No idea where my frogs are…..somewhere in the shed.

      Thanks Sande and Karen!

  30. Grammy says:

    I love this idea. Now, if I can find my wire frogs, I’ll do this. If I can’t find them, I’ll probably be so distraught that I’ll turn to drugs, and it will be on you that I went nuts and ended up in a gutter somewhere. Wish me luck on finding the frogs!,

  31. Barbie says:

    So……I’m totally sending you a card now… long as I know it’s going in that cute lil thingy for a minimum of a week!

  32. Luanne says:

    Happy belated birthday!

    • Karen says:

      Oh it’s very belated, Luanne, lol. It was in December. But thanks. I’ll celebrate anyway with cake. :) ~ karen!

  33. Paula says:

    The glass cloches are still unavailable. I have had my eye on these since you mentioned them at Christmas time.

  34. Now you’ve got me all perplexed. What ARE these metal flower frogs? I can see they’re metal, but where do the frogs and flowers come into things? Unless I were a transcendental fakir frog, I would want to steer clear, as they look more like a bed of nails than a lily-pad… And on that note – can you enlighten me?

    • Karen says:

      Well Fiona you just smash the frog’s belly right onto the spikes. Keeps him right where you want him. As long as you don’t pull him off there’s no danger of him dying. Just kidding. He’ll die so don’t do it. You put the flower frog at the bottom of a vase and then stick the stem of the flowers into the spikes to hold them where you want them. They’re especially good for Ikebana floral arranging. ~ karen!

  35. Sylvia says:

    I LOVE THIS SOOOOOO MUCH. What a wonderful way to display so many meaningful things. I have my grandmother’s flower frogs…5 sizes…from long ago. I can’t wait to use them to display a special card or photo.
    Thanks for your wonderful blog. I look forward to all your posts.

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