OK, so the title is a little over the top, but I am just over the moon about how this long-awaited project has turned out.
I found these frames at Target about a couple of years ago. (It’s hard to discern in the photo, but there are two identical collage frames nestled together.) I’d planned to use them for this project in my old house, but then my moving plans started cranking up, and the plan got delayed. Unfortunately, Target doesn’t carry the frame anymore. In fact, I can’t find a U.S. source, but it’s available in the U.K. (source 1, source 2, source 3) and Canada (source 1, source 2). But I hunted for it for you, dear reader, really I did! In the meantime, the same basic technique should work for any multi-image frame, or for a DIY collage of small frames. Embroidery frames are really ideal for earring hangers, and I’m sure there are some good tutorials out there.
Here’s what I did:
First, I used a drawing program to sort out how best to arrange the frames and what background colors I wanted:
Of course that could be done by hand, but having illustration software sure does help when you want to switch around colors quickly.
The colors are based on my plan to repaint my grandparents’ bed.
I used what I had on hand for the colors: The teal is fabric I appropriated from my mom’s stash ages ago. The orange and yellow are a couple pieces of scrapbook paper that I had on hand for another project. The white and lime are the paper that was in the frames. The lime actually has some writing on it, but I decided that it wouldn’t be nearly as vexing as having to delay the project longer.
All of the paper is cut to the exact size of the square. The fabric is cut about three-quarters of an inch larger on each side, and wrapped around the original paper insert to give it the right shape.
Over each bit of fabric or paper is a piece of white tulle, also from mom’s stash, and also cut a little larger than the square.
In the frames with paper, I put the glass back in to fill up the depth of the frame. In the frames with fabric, I left out the glass, because the fabric added too much thickness for it to fit. I’d like to take out all of the glass and insert squares of felt, instead. A little softness would make it easier to hook the earrings onto the tulle. But I’m going to wait a while to see if there’s anything else I want to change. For instance, I don’t know how well the paper backing will hold up, so I may want to replace it all with fabric eventually. The original board backing was replaced in each square with the tulle tucked neatly (if not always perfectly) inside, and the clips were reengaged to hold everything together.
To hang the frames accurately (so they fit snuggly enough together to look like one large conglomeration), I used the toothpaste picture-hanging trick. I had to hang them so the top squares are a little higher than I would have liked, but I needed clearance for the jewelry box underneath.
That may be more detail than was warranted, but I wanted to be thorough for the sake of anyone attempting to create something similar.