Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Who Knew I Could Be Crafty! (Personalized Earring Holder)

Martha Stewart, move over.  Ok, I'm no competition for Martha, but I did feel rather successfully crafty when I recently made an earring holder for a young family friend.  Let's just say that "successful" and "craft" usually don't appear in the same sentence in my world.

I actually completely stole this idea from Etsy while looking for the perfect gift.  Yes, I'd rather purchase crafty items over making them. However, the one available wasn't to my liking.  In fact, it looked a little chintzy.  When I thought, "Even *I* can do better!" I decided...hey, why not? Here is the end result (sorry, no in-process pics to share):

What you will need:
  • Wooden letter
  • Decorative wood pieces
  • Glossy craft paint
  • Matching ribbon
  • Screen material
  • Craft glue
  • Staple gun
I purchased the letter, decorative pieces, and paint at Micheal's.   The paint colors and hearts were selected based on the theme and color scheme of the recipient's room. My materials total came to around $8, with $3.50 of that being the letter.  There were a variety of letters available.  I went for a larger one with a finished surface, which also had predrilled holes for hanging.  Depending on what you already have at home, your biggest investment might only be a couple of dollars for the wooden letter.

The ribbon was purchased at Walmart for a couple of dollars. While shopping for the ribbon, I came across a heart earring set that just happened to have the exact colors of the ribbon. Perfect! The rest of the items I had at home.

Assembling was fairly easy.  The first step was to paint the hearts. I decided on double wooden hearts to provide extra weight to hold the screen material down, but it also gave me the option to add some more color.  While the hearts were drying, I cut my screen material.  If you didn't want to do the two separate pieces, you could do one larger piece across the entire letter.

The ribbon down each side of the screen was a bit of an afterthought, and I wish I had tested the ribbon with my glue first.  I used Tacky Glue, but it soaked through the ribbon a bit and made parts darker where it dried. I had bought the last of the ribbon available, so there was no turning back. If I had another chance, I think I would try hot glue instead. Once the ribbon was attached, I used a staple gun to attach the hearts on the end of each screen strip.

The bow took a bit of finagling, but I was finally able to produce something presentable. I put a stitch in the center and ran a piece of left over thinner ribbon through the center to use to tie it to the letter.  I wanted the recipient to be able to remove the bow if she didn't like it.  I used hot glue to place the wooden heart on the center.

One tricky part was to make sure the screen strips were straight.  To do this, I first attached them with a dab of hot glue, then held up the piece level against a wall, adjusting and regluing as necessary. Once satisfied, I attached the pieces permanently with a staple gun.

You can completely customize with different colors and decorations.  I spent some time looking at embellishments in the scrapbooking section, and also considered hand painting designs on the letter.  You could even include the matching paint with the gift for a "design your own" option.

No matter what you decide, if I, the craft challenged, can pull it off, you can too! This turned out to be a fairly inexpensive and stress-free craft that was well-received.

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