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Whew, what a start to 2014 I’ve had! We’ve had a bit of complications in my husband’s family, forcing me to take a little break from the blog and all my projects. But today I want to share a new upcycling tutorial that is great for those of you who love earrings as much as I do (I’ve got 9 holes). If you follow any crafty people on Pinterest, chances are that you’ve seen all different types of earring displays made from picture frames. In a nutshell, you remove the glass and backing and put some sort of material that can support the earrings in their place. I’ve seen this done with various types of fabric, lace and even wire. I knew I wanted to try this project because my earring were all dumped in a little container and I would forget about the ones at the bottom or not be able to find the ones I wanted. But I didn’t want to buy a new frame.
Then I remembered this framed picture disaster. The photo is from the morning after my daughter was born. My husband had promised to give me a framed print of it for years before finally surprising me with a terribly printed (and unframed) version of it. The frame never followed, so I finally brought the picture, despite not liking how it was printed, to get a custom frame made because it was a strange format. The frame shop was kind of dark and I hadn’t realized that the one I chose had a horribly kitch yellow-orange-brown ombre effect going on until I went to pick it up. So I painted the frame white, but I still wasn’t happy with it. I decided to have the kids paint it in their own way, but in the meantime the frame fell and the glass broke. Sigh. I suppose I was unconsiously (or perhaps consiously…) not wanting the frame to work out because I was so unhappy with how the photograph was printed, and so all chaos ensued with it.
Then I remembered this burlap shopping bag, which I’d inherited from my husband’s aunt.
I’d used it so much that the handles were worn almost completely through, so it had just been sitting around for a while. But I realized that burlap would be ideal for an earring display as its woven texture leaves fairly large holes to stick earring posts through.
Ok, enough background on my chosen materials, let’s get to work! Assemble your materials. You’ll need a picture frame (either a hanging or standing one, depending on where you want to keep it) and some burlap (or other loosely woven fabric). If you don’t like your frame, also get a paintbrush and some paint.
Remove the glass and backing from your frame. Discard the glass but keep the cardboard backing.
If you want to paint your frame, chances are you’ll need to do more than one coat, so start painting straight off.
If you paint thin coats, they will dry quickly so every so often while you’re preparing the rest of the display you can check it and add another coat.
Some versions of this project staple the fabric directly to the frame, but you need a heavy duty stapler for that, which I don’t have. If you do, just do that. If not, take the cardboard insert from inside your frame. If it’s slightly smaller than the inside of the frame, it won’t work so cut another piece of cardboard that fits in perfectly, otherwise everything will just fall right out. Measure 15 mm in from all four sides and draw lines.
Using a box cutter or scissors, cut out the center of the cardboard, leaving just the 15 mm wide border INTACT.
Cut open your burlap bag (or lay whatever fabric you’re using flat) and place the cardboard border over it. Cut all around the edges so you have a rectangle of fabric the same size as the cardboard.
Start stapling the burlap to one side of the cardboard border, then continue to the opposite side, holding the fabric taut. Then staple the other sides. Try to staple as close to the outer edge of the cardboard as possible so they will be hidden by the frame.
When you’ve stapled all around the edges, trim the bits of fabric that stick out beyond the cardboard.
Pop this new insert inside your frame with the cardboard border facing the back.
And start sticking your earrings in! Earrings with fish hooks are the easiest to just slip in. You can also use this for earrings with regular posts though you do have to reach around the back to put on the earring back.
For earrings with lever backs, you need to slip them in a hole and then back out another hole towards the front again before closing the back. (Boy, do I have some silver polishing to do!)
I wear a lot of little silver hoops, so those I just slipped through the same as those with lever backs, but didn’t bother closing them.
Once you fill up your frame with earrings, you might notice the weight pulling the cardboard border from the edges of the frame’s inside. If this happens, just add a little glue to keep it in place.
And that’s it, a super quick project that doesn’t necessarily require new materials that will help keep your earrings in order. I actually made this a few months ago (before receiving my record earrings, which is why they aren’t here) and I love being able to take inventory of most of my earrings at a glance to decide which ones to wear. “Most”? I have a lot of tiny studs which were really too small to use in the burlap as they would’ve risked slipping through the back, so I just keep those in a little container. But that doesn’t really bother me as I tend to change my little earrings only a few times a year and only switch out the main holes regularly. However I did manage to stick in my tongue bar. Yes, I used to have my tongue pierced, but took the piercing out 12 years ago. Goodness, the things I used to do! Ha ha! What kind of crazy things did you do when you were younger?