Sunday, February 13, 2011

How-to: Jewelry holder out of styrofoam packing material

Yesterday we realized we had to buy our kids a new humidifier. (We are still working on getting rid of this cold we've had for the past several weeks.) So we went to Target and got a cute penguin that really puts out some steam. This morning I noticed the two blocks of styrofoam packing material we were left with and thought, you know, I bet there is something you can make with that. I googled a little but mostly found styrofoam cup projects and things like that, and some of them involved melting the stuff in the oven, which I did not fancy doing because of the fumes. Since my jewelry box that Jordy gave me in college is getting crowded, I decided to try to make a jewelry display.

To make this you will need:

A piece of styrofoam
Some sort of loose-weave fabric--an old sweater will work, felting NOT required
Paper clips
Wire cutters
A needle and thread
A sewing machine (would expedite the process, but isn't totally necessary)
A knife to cut the styrofoam, if it's not the right size

I started by cutting off the end of one of those blocks. It's smooth on one side, lumpy on the other, and that's okay. (It probably would be easier in the long run if you had a totally flat piece, but it's not required.)

I went up to our bedroom to see where something that size might fit, and found a good spot over our dresser.

Then I found a piece of fabric to cover the styrofoam with. I knew I wanted something with a loose weave (so metal can poke through easily), and something that would look good in our bedroom. I also didn't want it to be a busy pattern because I wanted my jewelry to be easy to see against it. I ended up using a sleeve of this cashmere sweater.

The sleeve was a little big, so I sewed down the edge of it to make it tighter. I didn't bother turning the sleeve inside out or changing the thread to a matching color or anything, because none of this was going to show.

So I slipped the sleeve over the styrofoam and it was a good fit. The fabric was stretchy and forgiving.

Then I wrapped the edges back sort of like a present and sewed them down. You don't have to do a neat job of this, because it'll be on the back. Just make sure the front looks smooth.

Once you are done with this, you'll want to pick the lint off the front if there is any. There was on mine.

Seriously, I didn't go to any trouble making it look nice on the back. But it did look smooth on the front.

And then you are going to need a handful of paper clips (medium or large, preferably some of both) and some wire cutters.

Just fold out each paper clip like this.

And then cut it into two pieces like these.

I liked to have a couple of pairs of earrings handy to help me figure out spacing. These are some of my favorites right now. Can you tell what they are? :-)

Then you stick the cut up paper clips into your jewelry display, and those will hold your dangly earrings! Post earrings can just be stuck directly into the display.

I also used some straight pins, stuck in at an angle, to hold necklaces and bracelets and things. Just know that the styrofoam has limits, and don't try to hang anything too chunky or heavy.

I have to admit that hanging this thing on the wall was tricky and Jordan finally figured it out. This is the part that would be easier if you had a piece of totally flat styro. Eventually, we bent a large paper clip loop just like the ones used on the display at an angle so that it was poking up into the back of the display. We stuck it in about the middle of the back so it wouldn't show at the top, and hung it on a picture hanger. I think it is going to stay up. I hope so anyway. I think it would also look nice if you had some pretty matching ribbon and wanted to make a decorative hanger out of that.

And now I can see my jewelry! Now maybe I will change my earrings every once in a while.


Lauren Wayne said...

That is so ingenious! I'm glad I'm not the only one who forgets to wear the jewelry she never sees…

Denise said...

Very neat! If the back doesnt keep it up try decorating with a flat grossgran ribbon and use that to hang on the wall. Love the things you have made especially the owls. Have you seen a a Dressy Bessie or Daper Dan? They have lots of snaps buttons, zippers ,velcro and ties. I did a train for my son. I bet Ivey would love something like that.

Megan said...

Love it. I have made stand up crayon holders out of mine but never thought of using them for jewelry. I hope you all start feeling better soon!