Hacking the French Cleat System

The French cleat system can be a helpful organizational tool for a garage or craft room, but also can be used in the home for an aesthetically pleasing vignette. The cleats allow you to have the flexibility to move pictures, wall decorations, baskets, etc. whenever you get bored with your current arrangement; it can be personalized to suit your own needs and taste.

After making your French cleat system from our directions in our prior post, you’re ready to embellish your cleats!!! We picked up some fun items from IKEA and Christmas Tree Shop to use. From IKEA we found baskets, metal hooks, small galvanized buckets and a watering can.

From Christmas Tree Shop we found a large gold clock.

As you can see, a little paint can transform an item! The gold finish didn’t match the decor of the room, so we spray painted it with Rust-Oleum metallic spray paint, then applied Annie Sloan warm gold gilding wax to help define the details in the metal. Just remember a little goes a long way with the gilding wax. Find sections of your piece to highlight, then apply the wax where you want with a finger or small brush, and rub it in with a paper towel.



To attach the items to the wall we cut an “attachment cleat” to fit the size of each item. We painted these attachment cleats the same color as our wall so they would be camouflaged and create an illusion of floating items on the wall. We then secured the attachment cleats to the different items with the 45° angle facing down so it would slide into the slot on the wall. Pre-drilling holes made this process a breeze. We also had some wooden antique boxes and a woven basket around the shop that we attached to the cleats as well.

We were very pleased with the finished products! Simply attaching cleats to various items from IKEA, Christmas Tree Shop, and around the shop was an easy hack that anyone can do! Stay tuned for our latest projects and ideas from Artisan’s Collective!