What the Heck Is It? #17

Happy Thursday friends, and welcome to another edition of What the Heck Is It?

In the last What the Heck I shared this mystery item with the elephant head feet.

There were some very good guesses, but I think it’s probably what Mary, Granny, and Vickie suggested… which is a vintage wine bottle coaster

What the Heck #16.

While I didn’t find a piece exactly like mine, when I googled I did see some quite elaborate ones that make me lean in that direction. The centre area is nice and flat and a wine bottle would fit there quite nicely. That would explain the grapes, but the elephant feet may forever be a mystery.

It will stay a keeper. It’s just too cool for me to part with for now.

Thanks so much to all of you for your comments. You guys are all so helpful, and it’s very much appreciated.

Now onto this week’s mystery items.

One of which is from Lynette, a TRV reader who asked if I would help her out by sharing this with you guys.

Of course I will! 🙂

She found these in a bunch of buttons that she bought and has ho idea what they are.

what the heck 17

They’re about 1 1/4″ square, and she thinks they’re made of lucite.

If anyone could help her out that would be awesome.


What the Heck Is It #17

And I found this lot of cool thingies, and for $2 I thought what the heck. 🙂

I have no idea what they’re used for. Some type of crafting I imagine.


What the Heck Is It #17

They’re metal on the one side and measure about 6″long by 2″ wide.

They’re marked on the fronts, Made in China, Patent Pending, Provo Craft.

I googled Provo Craft and couldn’t find things that looked like these.


What the Heck Is It #17

The backs are some kind of rubbery spongy substance, with what looks to be in tact cut outs.

None of them appear to have been used.

I’m wondering if these are meant to be used in some kind of machine, but that’s just a guess. I’ve never seen these thingies before.


What the Heck Is It #17

What do you think?

What the heck are they? Any ideas?

Thanks so much for reading, and until next time…

keep on keepin’ on!



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  1. Yes, the Provo Craft find are dies you run through a die cutting machine. You guessed correctly. As for the other things, no idea.

    1. Thanks Lisa! I guess I need to do some more googling re die cuts.

  2. ColleenB. says:

    The buttons; have you tried lining both the solid and the button with the opening together to see if the holes line up? If so then I would say the you have the front and back side of the buttons. One side goes on front of a garment and the other goes on the back side of garment. (was just a guess. )

    1. I think it was a bracelet at one time with the stretchy string to get it all together and sadly it broke.

      1. That’s a great idea!

    2. Lynette Adams says:

      I tried it and it makes sense. Thanks for the help!

    3. Thanks for the guess Colleen. 🙂

  3. OK. No idea on the square things. Maybe a different kind of button? As for the other….if they are rubbery on the back, could they be stamps? Being together like that, they’d be hard to use I would think. That’s my only guess! Someone out there will know!! Dona

    1. Thanks Dona! That was my first thought too, but I can’t figure out how that would work.

  4. Completely. Stumped. I will stay tuned for the mystery revealed!

  5. Could be u put together w/metal jewelry things to make a “hippie” type belt

    1. That would be a cool belt Sherry! Thanks for the suggestion.

  6. Karen Harrison says:

    The Provo Craft plates are die cuts meant to be used with their Sizzix die cutter.

    1. Provo Craft makes Cricut and Cuttlebug. Sizzix is a whole different company

      1. Oops, I was wrong- Provo Craft DOES make Sizzix according to that Post. Forget I said anything, please, LOL

        1. Thanks Carole! I’ll be doing some googling to see how these things work. I don’t have any of those machines but maybe I’ll have to get one. We’ll see.

    2. Thanks Karin! I just did some googling to see how these things work. Pretty cool!

  7. I have no idea about the cutouts, but the button thingies remind me of accessories to make cloth belts. If that’s what they are, they probably date from the 30’s.

    1. Lynette Adams says:

      That sounds great also! I never thought of it.

    2. Wow, if the button thingies went back that far that would be so cool.

  8. Lynette’s find looks like pieces from a belt I had in the late 60s early 70s. The pieces were connected with metal rings – it was worn loosely around the waist. My friend and I each had one and she sometimes wore hers as a necklace. My best guess on your find from Provo Crafts is that you would create stamps from them – removing each letter and sticking onto a wooden or plastic square.

    1. Thanks so much for those suggestions Karin. 🙂

  9. Karen Harrison says:

    I think the squares are “beads” used to sew onto blouses – usually around the neckline – as embellishment.

  10. I think the squares could definitely be used in jewelry making or belts as decorative links.

    The second batch I’m much surer about. They are dies used with a die cutting machine like Cuttlebug or various Sizzix machines. You put what you want cut…usually some sort of paper or cardstock against the foam side (which protects you from the sharp cutting blades ) and you put that between a couple of plates and crank it through the machine. Voila! all those shapes are cut out for you! Dies are expensive! That set is very cool and could well be over $100! I’ve paid $20 for just one long alphabet set by Tim Holtz. Let me know if you want to sell them! guess I shouldn’t have told you how expensive they are!lol!!!!!

    1. lol!!! Thanks so much for the info Linda. Even though I didn’t know exactly when they were I knew I was getting a deal at $2. I’ll be doing some googling to see if these are something I would use in the future. If I’m interested in selling some or all I’ll definitely let you know.

  11. I think Linda G has it right for the second item, that’s exactly what I was going to say! I like Karin’s guess for the other items, they sure are pretty, they almost look like Mother of Pearl.


    1. Thanks Tania! Now I have to google on how to use my find. Lynette’s square thingies are so pretty!

  12. Billie Crossman says:

    The Letters are for a die cutting machine. There are several out there now. Sizzix, Cuttel bug, Big Shot to name a few. I wish I could find some like those.
    As for the things found in with the buttons. They look like parts from dangling earrings that have been taken apart.

    1. Thanks Billie! I’ve never heard of any of those machines but I’ll be doing some googling now. Those square things could be awesome earrings.

  13. The lucite squares are from the 60’s or 70’s and would have been a necklace or perhaps a belt. Would have had thick link chain and large jump rings or round circles of lucite to hold them together. The chains often corroded or became blemished to the point you couldn’t repair- so someone just saved the pretty parts!

    1. Thanks for helping out Connie! That would have been such a pretty belt, or necklace, but could be again.

  14. I think they are the belt ornaments – the links are missing….reminds me of the chunky funky belts of the late 60’s & early 70’s.

    1. Lynette Adams says:

      That sounds really good also.
      Thanks for the help. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before.

    2. Thanks Colleen! I can picture those funky belts now. It was a great look back in the day.

  15. Lynette Adams says:

    Well, Tuula, I guess we have a winner! I think the best bet is that they are pieces of a belt with the possible metal links in between missing. What do you think?
    Thanks for putting the photo up for me!

    1. You’re so welcome Lynette! I agree with the vintage belt idea. I would probably wear one now if I found one. Those pieces are so pretty.

  16. Lynette Adams says:

    I think I might use them and make really cool earrings!

  17. Patricia B says:

    Hey Tuula,

    Those Provo Crafts are dies for the manual Cuttlebug machine.

    1. Thanks Patricia! I just googled and that’s a cool little machine.

  18. I agree about the letters being a die for a Cuddle Bug or similar machine. Have no idea about the squares but it is interesting.

    1. Thanks Debra! I did some Cuddle Bug googling and watched some videos. Still don’t understand quite how they work but they do seem to.

  19. too bad there aren’t more. I could re-makevthe belt!

    1. But they’ll make a fun repurpose project for you. 🙂

  20. The metal things are definitely dies for a Cuttlebug machine, a VERY good deal for $2. These would be worth a lot more to a paper crafter/scrapbooker/cardmaker!

    1. Thanks Fran! I was pretty sure they were a good deal even though I didn’t know what they were. It was worth the $2 risk.