Normally when you write a post you leave the big reveal until the end but I just couldn’t do that this time.  Watch this.  Watch it right now.  I’ll explain later.

There’s a bit of a story about how that little bit of magic came to be.

About 10 years ago I bought Bikram Yoga Niece a really cool Christmas present. I got it in a high end shop in a high end town.  Oakville, if you’re from around here and want to know.  It was a shallow lucite box that came with a perfectly round ring of stainless steel. The ring is probably around 3 or 4 inches in diameter.

What you do is pull your tissues out of the box, place them in the lucite box and stick the stainless ring on top.  The ring weighs enough to hold the tissues down. When you want one you just pull them out from the centre of the ring.  It’s genius.  And beautiful.  And I can’t remember exactly how much but it cost a lot at the time.

Both my sister Pink Tool Belt and I have spent the past 10 years trying to find something that would duplicate what the 4″ stainless ring did but neither one of us could do it.  If you think HEY STUPID! Just buy a 4″ stainless steel ring.” I’d say “Hold onto your hats, but much like the elusive, perfect fitting plain white tee shirt, the 4″ stainless steel ring is impossible to find.”.   

You can find 2″ stainless rings everywhere. But nothing larger.

Just last week I wandered around Home Depot looking for something that could be used again.  A towel ring is too big, a 2″ harness ring is too small and everything else was either too light or too heavy. I thought of bending copper tubing into a 3″ circle and filling the tubing with sand to weigh it down but immediately realized I’d never be able to bend that small of a circle without it crimping.

The one thing I thought would work was the ring from a horse’s snaffle bit so when I went to pick up some chicken scratch for the hens I asked them at the feed store if she had snaffle bits.  Nope.

So, she didn’t have a horse bit, but she did have horseshoes.  A pony shoe to be exact because it’s smaller.  I didn’t have a lot of hope, but since it was only a couple of dollars I bought it and took it home.

This is where the words end and the pictures begin.


That right there is my ABSOLUTE favourite gold spray paint by the way.

Not too yellow, not too green, just perfect fake gold. $7.29 a can on American Amazon.

(it’s a hilarious $34 on Amazon Canada so just find it at a craft store)









The pony shoe is actually a little light and spraying it gold made it extra slippy so the odd time the shoe slips around on the Kleenex.  I’m working on a fix for that.  I think scoring the underside with a knife to rough it up enough to help it stay put without ripping the Kleenex will be what works.

I can also make a little box for the tissue to go into which would prevent the tissue from slipping and wobbling and keep the shoe in place.  But it really does work great and this is just kind of nit picking.  I’ve been known to pick a few nits.  And nit wits.

The horseshoe I have measures 4″ wide by 4.5″ long.  I’ve checked on Amazon and they don’t sell something similar otherwise I’d link to it for you, but if you have a feed store around you (and you’d be surprised at how many of them there are lurking around) you may have a store that sells horseshoes.  You can also try farm supply stores or just google farrier supply.

I like this MUCH more than the plain stainless ring I spent a decade looking for. Which just goes to show you … when things aren’t working out … even for decades, sometimes a little good luck is all it takes to turn everything around.


  1. Rintin says:

    How about lining the underside with a a ‘horseshoe’ of suede or rough leather to eliminate the slipperiness and add a smidge more weight?

    • Karen says:

      That might be a bit too aggressive, but I do have some suede upstairs so I could give it a shot. I was going to try felt like someone suggested but still haven’t got around to it, because it actually works fine the way it is. It only slips if I do many, many pulls one right after another. :) ~ karen!

  2. Heather (mtl) says:

    Love this idea and will certainly think of it when I visit my sister’s SIL and her farrier hubby! They have a couple horses and I am certain they’d appreciate the creativity here.
    I wondered if you doubled up on the shoes it might give enough heft? Easy to glue together back to back then spray paint for an overall glow. I do this often when die cutting paper crafts and have to build up an intricate die. Might help avoid the tackiness of silicone and such (which would just tear the tissues). E-600 is a good glue, btw.

  3. Renee says:

    Really cool – except that I would have to relocate all the other crap I have on my toilet tank…Glass jar of seashells, candle & makeup tin…..

  4. Audrey says:

    This might be a solution to your slippage problem. When the paint is still wet sprinkle some silica sand on it. I’ve done this to my metal spiral staircase and it works like a charm and looks very nice too. With the gold paint it will likely look like pixie dust.

  5. Penny says:

    I haven’t even read all the comments for once before replying, but to stop the pony shoe slipping around just put three blobs of Sugru on the bottom (underside) of the shoe, which will actually be the side that would be in contact with the hoof, if you get my drift.
    Sugru is a sort of squidgy putty that dries and cures in 24hours to a strong silicone rubber. It comes in a load of different colours that you can mix and blend. It’s dishwasher- and freezer-safe, withstands heat and insulates against low electrical current. No, I don’t work for the company, I’m just a very happy customer and think that Sugru was made for people like you that make and fix things and sort stuff out so it works better.

    • Renee says:

      Penny – this has me intrigued on many levels. Where can you find this magical Sugru?

      • Tina says:

        I bought Sugru at The Container Store during the after Christmas sale. It’s cool stuff.

      • Penny says:

        They have their own website where you can contact them direct. You’ll find them super-friendly and helpful. Or just Google ‘Sugru stockists’. I don’t know where you are, Renee, but I know Sugru is available in the USA now.
        In case you need to know, it’s pronounced ‘soo-grew’. Sugru is Irish for play and the whole ethos of the company is about encouraging people to play around with the product to find new uses, fixes and hacks to make all sorts of everyday items work better.
        It sticks to all sorts of materials from rough wood to glass, fabric to plastics. It’s as easy to mould as play-dough, cleans off skin with a dry tissue and is perfect for customising the handling-surfaces of just about anything – all my pan and knife handles now have custom grips!

        • TucsonPatty says:

          I purchased it at my Target! I love it. The video from Dave Hax (get it?) shows him using it to strengthen the USB end of a power cord so it won’t break or short out. Cool beans. I think this is the best sugesstion of all the fixes for the slippage.

        • Renee says:

          thanks Penny & Tina
          oh too cool – I have to get this stuff. If you have never seen Darby O’Gill and the Little People (old DIsney) Sean Connery is VERY young in it (hubba hubba) – one of the bad guy characters is Pony Sugru…..

        • Renee says:

          and TucsonPatty too!

  6. Lynn says:

    Longtime lurker first time answerer..looked up snaffle the horseshoe so much better but for a ring check this V=

  7. Kelly says:

    Thank you for the idea – I have a hand made shoe from one of my favorite horses (he passed away last year). Great idea to keep a memory of him close by.

  8. Shauna says:

    You know I was going to look for it right? It almost sounded like a dare, and well, you know, you always tell us how the internet lies. This page has a 4″ stainless steel round ring:

  9. j says:

    Wow–I learn new stuff here everytime I check in–So glad you have a love for horses–they make your life richer–dontcha think? Maybe someday you can share a horse story,,,,

  10. j says:

    Hay Karen—Get it? Hay for horses??
    The horse industry makes shoes for horses to wear in snow and ice..with 4-6 nubs on the bottom side. They also make shoes for mini horses, ponys, and baby horses. If you were to call a farrier [person who goes to farms to trim and shoe horses] the farrier is very likely to have used small sized shoes that they would love to give to a smart blonde-that would be you-!! Or call a horse farm that has small horses, etc.
    I’m so glad I have a bit of info to share with you–the best, most read blogger in the English speaking world!
    And if you end up with a pair of Icelandic Ponies,,,

    • Karen says:

      I am about to ruin your world here J. I’m a rider. I’ve owned 2 horses in my lifetime which I showed in both hunter and 3 day eventing. First there was Albany, an Anglo-Arab and then Wolfgang an 18 hand German warmblood who was an Olympic hopeful dressage horse my friend owned. So I know about farriers, and giving horses shots in to their neck muscles and colic and cribbing and all the things that go along with horses, lol. I almost hate telling you that, lol. ~ karen!

  11. Jody says:

    I hope the feed store people follow your blog so they’ll know why they have a run on single pony shoes and how brilliant the horse shoe worked for your quest.

  12. Alicia Herron says:

    Someone may have linked this already but Loookeee here! :) the ring is listed on this site!

  13. Melissa says:

    You’ve got me thinking… I never would have suspected that I needed such a thing, but I do like it…

  14. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    OK…this is weird but the first thing I thought of when said you needed a ring was a horse bridle ring…I have not been on a horse for years…quite a few of them…anyway…that is a most unusual way to dispense tissues but don’t Cleo & Ernie mess with them??…I’m afraid my bunch would make fast work of them and it would take the rest of the day to get all of the pieces picked up…I do have a horseshoe here though….

  15. kelli says:

    Whattaya know. It’s the horse that laid the golden shoe. So to speak. :)

  16. Teresa says:


    so you could make a clear box by bending the plexiglass sides and not bothering with ends because tissues piles don’t slip end to end
    I just like saying “pony shoe”

  17. Karol says:

    … a little bit of luck, and a LOT of creativity. Awesome hack. Would felt work on the back? (smooth enough to let the tissues through, rough enough to not slip?)

  18. Lynn says:

    Just a thought , why use the clear box … Why not make it of garden stakes that have been white washed ??? It would be best of both worlds? Like I said just a thought. Now if you could just tell me how to make a tissue dispensing cup for my car!!!

  19. Tigersmom says:

    Leave it to you to find the only acceptable way to decorate with horseshoes for someone who is not a fan of rustic.

  20. nancynurse says:

    This is exactly why I hate to declutter. My very nice neighbors gave me a horseshoe from his grandfather’s horse farm in Kentucky. The only problem is, they spray painted it gold when I would have rather had it plain. After I moved away and they wouldn’t see, I tried halfheartedly to remove the paint. Finally, I “decluttered” it and ever since I have hating on myself, trying to rationalize my decision, etc. I’m always decluttering the dumbest shit, the beautiful white silk blouse that required ironing (so what would it kill you to iron? NO. People used to iron with heavy things they had to heat in their fireplace AFTER they chopped down some trees). And then the No Buy Month thing, what a disaster. I walked right past a fabulous large stainless steel bucket for $10 at GoodWill because it was No Buy month. What a sissy, I can’t even break my own rules. And what was I doing in GoodWill anyway that month? Sometimes, I will admit, I am a dumbass.

    • Tracey says:

      NancyNurse, I can so relate to all of this!! I feel bad about having so much stuff, so I will declutter, but I really can’t decide what, so “something” goes and then I come across some fabulous use for it (yup…HAD a pony shoe, thanks Karen! ), or wish I had kept and not returned some fabulous brown El Naturalista booties with a thick ankle tie in the same brown leather that my husband bought me. I thought they made my ankles look big! Yes were a style kind of ahead of their time….I still regret that one 10 years later, so on trend the last couple of years! ARGHUS! At least one a week I think of how great they would have looked with THAT outfit. What “dumbassery”!
      That’s ok NancyNurse…..I’m sure we aren’t the only ones out there with dumbass tendencies.
      Now off to the feed store for a pony shoe……
      PS awesome as usual Karen….(lol at Oakville)

  21. cheryl says:

    quick note from your friendly neighbourhood florist….the design master paint line is available through floral wholesalers…so make nice with your florist (you DO have a florist, and don’t go to big box stores for cuts, right?) and see if they couldn’t add a can for you onto their next order for supplies! LOVE your blog K….i live in the sticks and keep a few good hens and one turkey girl as their guardian…they are AWESOME to garden with…they talk back to me, dig in the manure, and warn me of things flying overhead…birds, hawks, airplanes and frisbees!! each thing has their own unique chicken voiced ‘word’ to describe them…yes..i really DO talk too much about my chickens…lol

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Well I mainly grow my own flowers Cheryl. :) But if I do buy some in the winter months I use the floral department at my garden centre. And as a matter of fact that is where I got my can of 24c gold. :) ~ karen!

  22. Luanne says:

    Ok so… just to start – this is beautiful.

    But my favorite part? “… when things aren’t working out … even for decades”

    One of the founders of Brunching Shuttlecocks has been taking care of his 5-10 year old thank-you notes on his Facebook page – it’s both inspiring and heartwarming to see the thank-you’s and responses!

  23. Wendy Morison says:

    I’m in! I hate the..friction dust..caused by using regular kleenex boxes. I have taken to removing the plastic oval piece at the top. I hide my kleenex boxes in drawers and cupboards, then the dust gathers there when you pull the kleenex out. I then have to remember to vacuum those spots periodically. We really should return to using the handkerchief.

  24. Heather says:

    I actually like the tissue boxes. They come in such pretty patterns. I save the boxes for papercrafting projects. For example, they make wonderful Project Life cards cut to size.

  25. Monique says:

    So cute..especially here in a little part of horse country..well anywhere actually .
    I hate Kleenex boxes..younger we used to make houses(the Kleenex came out the chimney) and sofas to hide them..every year has it’s crafting glory;)

  26. Codi says:

    Hi Karen! Love it.
    What was your plan for the snaffle ring? To cut it or to leave it attached to the bit? I have a surplus of bits and I just have to know! (Want some?)

    Best, Codi (the one on Instagram with the greyhound wearing red pajamas)

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Hello Greyhound Codi! I would have somehow cut off the bit and used just the actual ring. Probably with a hacksaw, which of course would be a bit of work. It’s crazy that you can’t buy a plain 3 or 4″ steel ring! ~ karen

  27. Cred says:

    Very cool- I love it
    Perhaps some felt adhered to the bottom would prevent slippage. I’d assume that felt on the whole underside would be to grippy but perhaps just on the area where the tissue starts to slip.

  28. Debbie Neal says:

    To get traction on the bottom, why not use those Silicone sticky dots you useon the back of pictures so they don’t mark the wall or for the bottom of rough bowls/vases so they don’t mark up a table. They come in clear so you’d never see them.

    • Karen says:

      Those *might* work Debbie, but I’d worry silicone would be too “grabby” and not allow the tissue to slide through. Really just getting a heavier shoe is what I should do, lol. Someone else mentioned stick on cork which might work. ~ karen!

  29. Jack Ledger says:

    Now that you have unwittingly created a shortage of horseshoes for ponies, think of all the poor ponies out there walking around in just socks!

    • Karen says:

      You realize by saying that, you’ll have incited an entire nation of people who feel like they need to switch from knitting chicken sweaters to pony socks, right? ~ karen!

  30. Kim C says:

    This is really cool! As for the slippyness (is that a word?), would some very thin cork work? I think I’ve seen sheets of it at craft stores.
    Happy sneezing! ;-)

    • Karen says:

      Hmm. That might work. I have some stick on cork around here somewhere. I’ll give it a shot and report back. ~ karen!

      • Eileen says:

        I was thinking those rubber or silicone or felt (or cork) dots you stick on things like the bottoms of lamps or picture frames to keep them from scratching surfaces….
        I actually have one of the stainless steel designer rings…but mine didn’t come with a lucite box. First time it and the pile of kleenex slid into the toilet it went back in its package* and into the cupboard….
        I’m sure that was just me and not some design flaw, right??!?
        *washed first.

        • Karen says:

          Ha! Oops. Well, maybe the back of your toilet tank has a bit of a slope to it. Maybe. ~ karen!

        • Brenda says:

          I have one too and I did the same thing – we NEED a How To Make A Lucite Box post pretty please! I’m thinking fake 24k guilding foil

      • Laura says:

        moleskin would work.

  31. Barb says:

    Found horseshoes at my Tractor Supply store for a mere $8.29, sold in packs of 4 because hey, horses have 4 hooves! You are just tooooo crafty, Karen. What a great hack!

  32. Marna says:

    What a cool idea! Leave it to you to think of it! :)

  33. Laura Bee says:

    Ahhh! So pretty & simple. Much like some people I have worked with.
    I must remember this for Christmas.
    Brainstorming for other things that could be used now. A large metal or lucite bangle?
    So cool.

    • Laura Bee says:

      And it had nothing to do with the Niagara Region…reading the subject in my email I was envisioning a souvenir from the falls from a recent trip. Time for bed.

    • Karen says:

      The bangles wouldn’t be heavy enough Laura. If they were they’d be too heavy to wear, lol. It definitely has to be a heavy metal. Like maybe something made out of Metallica. ~ karen!

  34. Noreen says:

    Great post, as always. Now where did I leave my horse….?

  35. Bambi Mayer says:

    If you just need a little traction on the bottom of the horseshoe, maybe try a few “sandpaper dots” which you can find in most quilting stores. They are used to stick on the bottom of acrylic rulers to keep them from slipping when using a rotary cutter to cut fabric. They have their own sticky stuff on the back. Or you could make some of your own from med grit sandpaper and glue them own your ownself. Might work.

  36. Elaine says:

    Gee, I’m really impressed with your determination and stick-to-it-ness!! Re trying to “rough up” the horseshoe underneath, what about that faux stone spray you can buy? Think Home Depot sells it or Michael’s. Comes in a can like your gold paint, Karen. I used to see ads for it showing say, a cheap plastic pot sprayed with the faux grey paint to resemble concrete and would assume it leaves the sprayed item rather rough in texture. Or …. what about that Craft Fabric/Dimensional paint that comes in small bottles made by Americana or DecorArt? It was real popular a number of years ago. Crafters would squeeze it out to write something on a T-shirt for example and even when it dried, it had a rubbery consistency. Also, re acrylic box, I used to see clear Lucite paper hand towel holders at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I wonder if the width of one of those would also fit the Kleenex?!! You sure come up with interesting projects, Karen!

  37. Auntiepatch says:

    Genius! Again!

  38. Grammy says:

    Brilliant idea. Beautiful execution. Everyone except the judge from East Timor gave it a 10.

    And now, in addition to having become quite knowledgeable about The Art of Raising Chickens, I know that such a thing as a snaffle bit exists.

  39. Judy D. says:

    This company sells Pony Horseshoes and they’re very reasonably priced.

    A Lucite box and some gold spray…and you’re in business. Thanks for the idea Karen. It’s definitely something I’ll do for my horse loving friends.

    Judy D.

    • Karen says:

      Hey! Good eye! I tried to find some pony shoes online but didn’t do a good enough search apparently! I’d probably go for the size 1. The heavier the better. You just don’t want it so big that it hangs over the whole Kleenex like a regular horseshoe would. Maybe my next post will be on how to make a lucite box. ~ karen!

      • Judy D. says:

        The Pony Shoes were under the Stainless Steel tab. I didn’t even both to look under the Aluminum tab because I figured they wouldn’t be heavy enough. I’ll order a size 1 and hope for the best.

        My Dad made some Lucite boxes for my Mom years back. I don’t remember it being a big project, but I would imagine one would need a specific type of saw. If he was still alive, I’d ask him…now I’ll have to do some research. :-)

    • barb says:

      This is ANOTHER use for gold spray painted horse shoes! My daughter made a beautiful centerpiece last Christmas with the gold horseshoes around holiday greens and white votives – beautiful! Also go to your nearest stable or horse barn to ask for used shoes. They will give them to you for free and because they have been used by 1000 lb horses the bottoms will be roughed up enough that they won’t slide on the tissues.

  40. peg says:

    thanks for sharing.I have a pony shoe and gold spray paint.

  41. Denise Hosner says:

    Really cute until you have some little grimy hands come for a visit..

    • Karen says:

      If the grimy handed kid doesn’t know how to pick up a single Kleenex without making a mess of all of them then I’d be more worried about my couch, chairs, curtains, cat etc. during that particular visit. ~ karen!

  42. Gillian says:

    This is a fantastic idea!! I’ll keep an eye out for horseshoes!

    What about a spray paint with some sparkles in it? I used some last summer and it didn’t finish smooth.

    • Kitty says:

      I, personally, wouldn’t care for sparkles on the topside, but they may make the underside grip the tissue a little and prevent movement

  43. Edith says:

    Very clever Karen!

  44. Carolyn says:

    Ooooooh! I love it….I have to make one for my blacksmithing buddy ( who sadly :( ) has to put her horse down next week.
    I do have to find some kind of box. She’s German and having a pile of kleenex on the table just won’t do.

  45. Robert says:

    Wonderful, although I don’t think I’ll be able to find the 24K gold spray paint

  46. Olga says:

    wow, this is weird. It makes perfect sense. I just can’t understand why I didn’t think of something so neat. Your brain is very unique! I had no idea there is 24kt paint either.

  47. Mark says:

    To my taste, that is light years better than those crochet covers!

  48. Tammi D says:

    That would look amazing sitting on a crystal dish!

  49. Paula says:

    I have never even seen anything other than Kleenex boxes for dispensing tissues.

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