I blame it all to Violet LeBeaux whose blog I was reading when I started to make said place and it came to my mind that I – why not? – could make a tutorial for it.
It all started when I realised that the piece of leather with some holes where I kept my earrings was too small and, of course, not so very decorative in the way it was pinned on my book shelf.
Now, I don’t have so much space and mostly use studs, not dangling earrings (so no simple string of lace for me), and I liked the rustic, slightly pagan charm of my piece of leather. But I also wanted something more sophisticated, something maybe a little steampunky, but at least old-fashioned. The same afternoon I started looking for a frame.
I finally found it for about three Euro in one of these shops that mostly sell deco, but also kitchen supply and an occasional sleeping bag or something like that, but if I hadn’t been so impatient, I might have found something even prettier on a flea market.
It was the only oval frame they sold (I desperately wanted an oval one!) and I liked the design, so I took it. What I didn’t like were the odd, ugly golden “stains”. Blending would have been so easy, but no. Well, this is where the tutorial starts, after all.
At first, I cut out the back piece and removed the glass. That’s only one cut, and it means no annoying part during the painting and crafting. Of course you don’t need to do that if you’re just re-painting a frame, but for a “place for bling” it’s more sensible, I think. A ring of some sort is easier to grab and hold than a solid piece of cardboard, heavy plastic and glass, anyway.
To get rid of this stains I first sanded the frame and in particular the golden spots with a rather fine emery paper. Also, I sanded off the paint on the raised parts of the frame. Even if you don’t have a frame with stains, sanding is a very important part to do before painting.
The next step is to prepare the working place with some old newspaper, the acrylics needed (silver, black and white for me), some paper tissues and a fat paintbrush. I only say the thing about the newspaper because I am a quite careless person when it comes to paint, and have been rueful more than once about it.
For the first coat of paint I choose a silverish, dark grey, and painted the whole frame, regardless of any consequences.
As you can see, the next coat is a little lighter in colour and doesn’t cover the whole frame but more of the raised parts. Just imagine which parts are more likely to be touched by polishing cloths or brushing hands.
While the paint is let to dry, you can take the time to prepare the inner part. As I said before, I wanted leather again and just happened to find a piece of the same leather I had used before in the right size (I used the removed glass from the frame as a pattern). You can also use pretty paper or fabric, but make sure you glue it onto a thick piece of cardboard or sew it onto some piece of felt.
Intermediate result: It fits!
The next thing is rather easy: It’s a third coat of paint, all black.
You’ve got to be fast after that one. Grab a wet cloth or some paper tissue and wipe away the drying paint on the raised parts of the frame so that the black stays in the deeper parts of the carving.
I blended the edges with a slightly wet brush, but I think it’s just as nice this way, too, only a little bit more grungy.
In the meantime when the frame is set to dry again, punch the leather (the smallest hole will do, of course. You could also do it with a sharp and thick embroidery needle, maybe that’s even better) with just enough holes to match your earrings and glue a strip of lace to it, one drop of glue on each side on the back.
Now just fit it into the dry frame (I added an additional thin coat of silver, too), put in your earrings and hang it on your wall. I left the nail out about one and a half centimetre to not let the studs’ ends touch the wall. Someone more careful could also glue some placeholders made of foam rubber or something similar on the back of the frame.
And well, that’s it.
I fear these are not all of my earrings, but I can put the frame down any time to punch new holes. It will be to small one day, too, but then I know what to do.
I hope you liked my first tutorial!
If you’d like to see more of them, just leave me a comment! If not, I might be bothering you from time to time, anyway.
Love and sweet dreams tonight,