January 9th, 2011
A long time ago (read: sometime last fall) I decided that I wanted to replace my jewelry box withsome sort of framed, mesh earring holder. I love the jewelry box but 1) my necklaces kept getting awfully tangled in it and 2) I wasn't wearing some of my earrings because I simply forgot about them! The earring drawer was so full that I couldn't always see to remember what all was in there, not to mention the task it was finding a pair once I did decided what to wear. There was also a drawer of bracelets that I literally don't think I ever wore. So it was time for a change.
I searched around online for awhile at the shopping beacons overstock.com and etsy.com but couldn't find anything that seemed to fit the bill exactly. There were lots of framed, mesh earring holders, but they all needed to be hung on the wall, whereas I needed one that would be able to stand on the dresser. Even the instructions I found for making a framed, mesh earring holder included hanging it from the wall with a pretty ribbon. But it didn't seem like rocket science, so I decided to just try to make one on my own.
I bought a plain, white, wooden frame from Hobby Lobby or somewhere, a rectangle of cross-stitch mesh, a staple gun, and a pretty piece of fabric. My plan was to take the glass and the easel back off the frame, staple the mesh and the fabric to it, and, voila!, poke my earrings through and call it a day. Well. First, I struggled with cutting the mesh and fabric down to size. Then, I couldn't get the fabric to stay taught enough. Then, I noticed that the wood of the frame was so thin that the staples had poked through to the front. Great. So in frustration, I gave up on the fabric and just stapled the mesh in place, leaving me with a plain white frame, with white plastic mesh, with staples poking through.
It lived leaning up against the aforementioned jewelry box for quite some time before I got around to buying an easel to stand it up on. I found a pretty one I liked on sale at Stein Mart, but when I got it home I realized that the top of the easel poked into the mesh, which obviously was not solid. This a) looked goofy and b) made the rest of the mesh rather unfunctional. (Spell check tells me that's not a word, but I'm deeming it one for the purposes of this post.) I returned the easel and despaired. I was out of ideas, so the frame kept leaning against my jewelry box. Every time I wanted to put an earring with backs through, I had to awkwardly hold it steady from the top and then try to quickly slide my hand down and shove the back on. It was so unwieldy that I mostly gave up, and my earrings were just living in disarray on top of the dresser. (Gasp!) I also had necklaces hanging from the corners that tended to fall off every time Hubby opened or closed a dresser drawer. Again, unfunctional.
I decided to bring the project to my parent's house over Christmas and make it functional once and for all. (I took it there because my mom is artsy and I figured she would have a lot more miscellaneous supplies for me to play with than I do. I hoped I would find inspiration in something!) I used my handy dandy hot glue gun that I got at a rummage sale to affix some random bits of wood my mom had around to the back. Step 1: it stood it! Then I used some random paint she had around to paint the legs and the inside of the frame in an attempt to cover up the staples. Step 2: It was slightly more attractive! And then I nailed small brass upholstery nails that she also randomly had around to the back, creating a place to hang necklaces and crab claw hook earrings. (Is that even what they're called? Maybe you know what I mean.) It looked sort of country shabby chic if you squinted, but it seemed functional. I wasn't crazy about it, but that opinion was also tainted by the needless frustration I had wasted on it for all this time. I decided to bring it home and live with it before making any drastic decisions.
And you know what? It's grown on me! It's functional--all the things hang well on the back, it stays standing even when the dresser is in use, and all my earrings fit with room to spare. It doesn't exactly "go" with our bedroom decor, and it's not the end all be all of earring holders, but I feel like it was hard-earned to even get to this point, and I'm fine with it for now.
I bet you're dying to see it, right? Here it is in all its glory!
Other upsides include that I culled my jewelry collection, getting rid of the last of the power bead type bracelets (remember those?) from middle school and also some earrings from Claire's that I've long since matured past. (Not that I've matured past Claire's in general--the earrings I wore on my wedding day were from The Icing!) I'm hoping the consignment shop where I just started an account will be able to sell some of the nicer things I decided to get rid of. And I also rediscovered some necklaces that I've had for awhile and had forgotten about! I'm not a big necklace wearer, but now that I can see them all readily, maybe I will wear them more often!
And thus ends the saga of the earring holder. I will definitely NOT be opening a shop on etsy anytime soon, but if I ever need or want to make another one, I feel like I now have some much better ideas.
Can anyone else relate to the DIY project gone awry syndrome? Happy ending aside, I feel like I am plagued by it.