Upcycled earrings keeper

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In our family, my girls have to wait until they’re twelve to get their ears pierced.  This makes the event a rite of passage – something they look forward to and celebrate when they finally reach their twelfth birthday.  Now that my oldest daughter has her ears pierced, she is accumulating quite a collection of earrings; however, I noticed that she is losing them almost as quickly.  I understand this, given how tiny they are and how difficult it is to find a good system for storing them, other than in a big jumble at the bottom of a jewelry box.

I went looking for a better storage system for earrings, and although I found racks for hanging dangling earrings, no one seemed to have a good solutions for posts.  So . . . I made one.  I used a letterpress box – you know, a box from the “olden days” that they used to store typeset blocks in?  I found it on this Etsy site, and it is really cool – weathered and authentic, but still in good condition.  I thought the small cubbies would be perfect storage for small pieces of jewelry.

I cut up an old cork board and made squares the same size as the letterpress cubbies, then used craft glue to glue the cork into the cubbies.  I used two layers of cork, so that it would be thick enough and stick out far enough.  You can see below how you can stick the posts into the cork, and then set the backings on the ledge of the cubby:

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Next, to provide storage for dangling earrings, I cut out a piece of an old screen door and used decorative thumb tacks to secure it to one row of the cubbies.  The holes in the screen are the perfect dimension for slipping the posts of the dangling earrings through:

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I had so much room left in the letterpress box that I decided to provide storage for necklaces and bracelets, too.  I ordered the fancy thumb tacks from this Etsy site, and screwed them into the upper sides of the box and into one of the larger cubbies, filled with cork.  The thumb tacks became hooks for hanging necklaces:

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As a final touch, I ordered little wooden letters from this Etsy site – which turned out to be a craftsman in Thailand, isn’t Etsy amazing! – to spell my daughter’s name.  I painted them each a different color, and displayed them in one of the rows of cubbies:

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I mounted the box on the wall with velcro mounting strips, because I couldn’t find a good way to put nails through the box (alternatively, I could have mounted a hanger on the back, and then hung it from a nail, but this worked much more quickly and easily).  I positioned it right next to my daughter’s sink, up close and in good light so she can easily find what she’s looking for.  The possibilities for the cool details you could incorporate into this box are endless – I’m working on ideas for the remaining spaces (unless, of course, my daughter acquires so many earrings that I need to fill up the rest of the cubbies with cork 🙂

My dad, who has been in the newspaper and publishing business most of his lift, tells me that this box is properly referred to as a California Job Case, and that he used to pick individual letters for making headline type from boxes very much like this one.  So much cool history in one simple item 🙂

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