Another great find at the Dollar Tree!

I almost passed these beauties over. I was convinced they were pretty useless as mats (their apparently intended function) and promptly decided they weren't much good as window blinds or any sort of decorative trim, either. But after laying a few out on the floor and letting them titillate my right brain a minute or two, I began to realize their potential if only they were unleashed from their kite-string shackles.

The bamboo itself is actually pretty good quality, nice and rigid. And each mat appeared to consist of one of three different bamboo thicknesses: narrow, medium and large. I saw picture frames, chimes, beer holders — all sorts of small projects. The clincher was the 3-D, bamboo-lettering sign I envisioned hanging out on my tiki patio.

So, I gathered as many as I could buy with the $7 in my wallet and schlepped them up to the register. Now all I need is a free weekend and a bag of hot-glue sticks.

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