I’d already made Zoe a jewellery organiser for her birthday, but that didn’t even require any power tools.
Clearly it was time to lift my game. As soon as I saw this tutorial from The Borrowed Abode, I knew I had to make my own, since:
a) I have very little jewellery, and;
b) I already own a perfectly functional and gorgeous jewellery box
Erm…to the above reasons I annex:
c) It’s really pretty
I followed her (clear and excellent) tutorial in the essentials, but I made a couple of amendments to customise it to my jewellery and my complete abject poverty. In addition to or in substitution for her materials, I used:
- Beading wood
- Old picture with foam guts
- Holey shopping bag
- Curtain rings
- Eye hooks
1. I lasted a couple of minutes chipping off the putty with a screwdriver and hammer before I got bored and smashed the glass and yanked out the pieces. Now I know how fun it is, I’ll be even more tempted by those IN CASE OF EMERGENCY SMASH GLASS fire extinguishers.
2. Put in the cup hooks now, before the backing panels. I didn’t do this, but I should have – it’s a lot easier to twist them in without the panels obstructing you. Don’t put them too far towards the back of the frame – remember that the back curve of the hook protrudes behind the screw part, so screw them in a couple of centimetres forward of where you want them to end up.
3. I don’t know what foam core board is, but I suspected that it cost money. A couple of months ago I’d bought a picture from the tip shop because I wanted to upcycle the frame, but I’d kept the picture itself just in case. As it turned out, the inside was foam, or at least something you can stick pushpins in. And trust me, cutting it up was a service to the community.
4. I wanted a more natural look to go with the wood of the frame, but, again, buying burlap or hessian costs money. Enter Woolworths shopping bag with a gigantic hole frayed in the bottom. The weave was loose and I wasn’t sure it would hold with Mod Podge without unravelling, so I attached it to the foam squares with contact cement, which holds like a boss but takes far longer to dry.
5. Instead of window screening, I used the thicker and stronger mouse and snake mesh, but only because I have a grandfather with four sheds who hasn’t thrown anything out since 1945. This stuff will not cut with regular scissors – it needs sidecutters. Cut it to the exact size you want it, because your finger bones will bend before it does.
6. Instead of square sticks of craft wood, we used beading, which is actually designed for windows. Lawrence drew me a diagram on toilet paper of what it looks like, but sadly I didn’t have the foresight to keep it. It’s the same concept: the square edge lines up with the wire and the side of the frame, but instead of hammering across and into the side, you put the tacks at the top of the wood and hammer them straight down.
7. “It doesn’t have to be perfectly even,” Lawrence said, and I looked at him like he’d suggested it wasn’t necessary for McDonalds to sell hamburgers. I wanted the bracelets along the bottom properly spaced, so I measured the total length (60 cm ), subtracted how far I wanted them to come in from the edge (3.5 cm) and divided the number by the number of dowel pieces (7), leaving me with gaps of roughly 7.5 cm.
8. We picked a slanted bit of wood to lean the drill against so the holes would all be on the same angle, and attached a drill stop collar so they’d all be the same depth. In theory. In reality, all it meant was that I couldn’t blame the tool when they weren’t.
9. I don’t wear dangly earrings, since they make me feel like a pirate, and not in the Keira Knightley kind of way. I wanted something to keep my studs in, so I put six spoon handles in the vice and bent the spoon up on a 90 degree angle. Attaching them turned out to be difficult. Spoons are to drill bits what Redskins are to teeth: brutal, snapping death. Either pick skinny-handled spoons or use epoxy and glue them instead.
10. My grandmother knits scarves for a living so, well, I have a lot of them. I screwed eye hooks along the bottom of the frame with the same spacing as the dowel, then opened up the eye hook on the curtain ring with pliers, attached it and closed it back up again. The rings look tiny, but scarves are surprisingly squishy. The leftover eye hooks I screwed into the top as a substitute for picture hangers.
11. And that was it! Which was a shame, because then I had to go back to actually writing the essay that was due in two days. And by go back to, I mean start.