I made this little thing early last year, after getting tired of constantly rummaging through little boxes filled with loose earrings trying to find a pair to wear on any particular day. I’d previously slapped something together back at the apartment using lace and a plastic hanger, but figured I’d go for a more presentable look now that we are homeowners and all.
An old picture frame was pressed into service. I’d always thought it was a bit on the clunky side when used for photos, but the aged metal and wood make a nice contrast when paired with colorful airy lace. I have several spools of brightly colored lace, courtesy of a university friend who liked feeding my costuming habit. To give the fabric the stiffness necessary to support a fair amount of jewelry, I used a few sheets of light iron-on interfacing. A lot of these types of projects call for some sort of wire mesh (which I thought was overkill and didn’t feel like buying) or say to use the lace as is (which I thought was giving lace too much credit for durability). This was a nice compromise that felt sturdy without needing a trip to the hardware store.
Nothing difficult here. I started with a sheet of interfacing and pinned my alternating lace strips where I wanted, then added another sheet of interfacing and pinned more lace in a checkered pattern. Repeated three times for this frame, but would probably go with just two layers in the future. I was hoping it would look more tartan-y than it ended up, but that’s as much a fault of color choice as anything. I do think ending on vertical stripes looks better, so would start out with the horizontals next time. The bottom right shows the lace and interfacing being ironed together, with a sheet between the lace and iron so that it won’t melt from direct heat. Cheap lace is highly synthetic and all.
Once the lace sandwich was ready, I stapled the fabric into place along the edges, then hammered four small nails into the inner corners of the frame to stretch it into the front of the display area. Then I trimmed it to size for the frame — just a smidge smaller than the wood itself, but completely covering the open area. Yeah, it’s not gonna win any prizes for graceful construction, but hopefully nobody will be snooping around my bathroom long enough to examine the backs of my wall hangings. I braided together a few strands of the lace and stapled that on as a hanging strap. There it is!
As anticipated, the interfacing added just enough support so that I could completely fill the thing up with post earrings without any unsightly sagging. I have some pretty heavy ones on there, too. I did have to be careful popping in some of the posts made of softer metals — you have to kind of wiggle them around to find the holes in the lace since there are so many overlapping layers. Do it wrong and you might bend the post. Using just two sandwich layers next time will take away some of that difficulty. The inner bottom edge ended up being a good place to hang the few dangly pairs that I own. I can imagine this being easily expandable, too — just make another frame in complementary colors and tack it on underneath this one with another pair of braided straps. Over the past year, I have had a few people ask where I got this hanger, so maybe I’ll get around to making up some prettier ones as gifts or to sell one of these days. I definitely have enough lace to make a dozen more 😛