Yesterday I revealed the framed jewelry holder I made for my little sis. I thought I’d share how I went about making this so that anyone else who wants one can make one, too!
1 frame (this can be any size you want)
Poster board or cardboard the size of the frame (if the frame has a cardboard insert that fits into the frame, generally to hold photos or art in place, great! You can use that. If not, you’ll need to cut one that will fit in the frame)
Cork board (enough to cover the cardboard that fits in the frame)
Screw-in hooks (the number of hooks you need will vary based on the size of your frame)
Fabric or linen to cover the cork backing (I used an upcycled linen tablecloth, but any basic fabric would work)
Fabric scraps to create the distinct areas for hooks (again, how much you need will depend on how big your frame is and how you want to lay things out)
Appliqué material (I used Heat n’ Bond)
Spraypaint (optional, for repainting hooks or frame)
Pencil (for marking)
Hot glue gun (for holding things in place)
Newspaper (for covering and protecting your work surface, particularly from the hot glue)
This project can vary depending on the size and type of frame you use, and how you decide to lay things out. I chose a fairly large and square frame, because I wanted necklaces to be able to hang but not surpass the bottom edge of the frame, and I wanted to create smaller sections for bracelets, rings, and anything else. I bought my frame from Home Goods (it originally framed some shiny seashell art), though this would be a great project to use as motivation to refinish an old frame you already have or to hit the flea market to find a cool vintage frame to rehab.
1. The first step is to take your frame apart. You don’t need the glass from the front of the frame (it’d be a good idea to recycle this if you don’t have another use for it). If your frame has a cardboard or card stock insert, be sure to save this– we’ll use it in the next step. If it doesn’t have this layer, you’ll want to make one out of cardboard or poster board. Make sure it fits into the frame– after we cover it with the cork board and fabric, we’ll stick it in the frame.
2. Next, lay your frame over your card board or cardstock and sketch out where you’ll want your fabric scraps to be lined up. I decided to do a longer, wider piece of fabric on the left side (for necklaces), with a short strip above it (for rings or smaller jewelry), and 3 medium sized sections on the right size for bracelets or medium sized jewelry. Figuring out the layout at this step helps, because it allows you to decide on how many hooks you want and where you want them. It also lets you know how large to cut each of those scraps of fabric that will define the sections within the frame.
3. Cut a piece of your background fabric, making sure it will cover your card board backing and will have a few extra inches on each side (which we’ll use to secure to the back once everything is sewn). I used a linen from a tablecloth I upcycled. I found the tablecloth for a very good price at an estate sale, but it wasn’t in great condition, so I washed it and then strategically cut it up to use the parts that looked like new. Next, cut your fabric scraps to be the size you sketched out in the last step, and appliqué them to your piece of linen or background fabric. I used my see-through, gridded ruler to make sure I had things straight and the correct distances apart. After ironing the fabric scraps to the linen, I used a zigzag stitch around all the edges to keep them secured and give them a finished look.
*Note: I decided to appliqué the fabrics rather than piecing the linen and fabric scraps together because I wanted it to have a smooth finished look, and didn’t want to have to worry about the bulkiness of seams.*
4. Next, you want to take your card board backing and glue your cork board to it. I bought cork squares, and cut them down to size and used the hot glue gun to get them right up next to each other and secured into place.
I was worried about the gaps between the pieces being noticeable, but I was careful to hold them very close together when gluing them, and once the fabric was covering this piece you couldn’t tell where I had joined them.
5. Next, you want to take your fabric and position it over your cork covered background so that the fabric scraps are positioned where you originally laid them out. You have to eyeball this part, and I found that holding the empty frame over the fabric helped me make sure I had the fabric positioned correctly. Once you have this in place, carefully flip everything over and use the hot glue gun to secure all of the edges of the linen to the back of the cardboard. Be careful not to pull on the linen too much, because you don’t want the front to shift. However, you do want it to be taut. There’s a little trial and error in this step, so just take your time to make sure things are still lined up on the front, and secured on the back.
*Note: to give the back a finished look once I had these edges all glued down, I cut brown craft paper and glued a square of that over the back. If I were making this for myself, I may have skipped this step, since this side will be facing the wall. But, as this was a gift I wanted it to have a finished look, and I liked that this kept all raw edges concealed.*
6. Carefully fit the fabric covered cork into the frame. Mine just popped back in like it would as if I were changing out a photo in a frame. However, once I fit it back into place, I used a dab of hot glue on each of the corners to make sure it wasn’t going anywhere. This will be frame specific, because if your fabric-cork square fits snugly into the frame, you can probably skip this step.
7. Last, you need to screw in your screw hooks! I will say, finding the right hooks was probably the most challenging part of this project, so I’ll share how I found mine– and the key is trial and error, so again, see what works for your frame and aesthetic.
I went to the local hardware store, and found the section of small screw hooks (they were all meant to be screwed into wood). I bought one of each kind and brought them home, so I could test them all out and see which one worked best. Some were larger than others, and some had longer threads to screw into wood. I took a scrap piece of cork and cardboard, so I’d get the same effect as screwing them into the finished framed board, and I screwed them all in. I was looking to see how far they would stick out the back of the frame (if at all), how far they would stick out in the front, and how firmly they seemed to hold in the cork. I wanted them to be really steady and firm, without sticking out in the back. Luckily, one little hook (one of the smallest ones I tried) fit the bill, so I calculated how many I wanted for each section of my jewelry holder, I went back to the hardware store and returned all the rest, and bought all the small ones I needed. I also picked up a can of satin white krylon spray paint to change the color of the hooks. Originally, the hooks I chose were gold, but that didn’t fit with my vision for the project, so I applied 2 coats of spray paint (waiting for it to dry after each coat). It would be really fun to paint these bright colors, too!
8. Last, screw each hook directly through the fabric and cork until it is secure. On mine, they just barely poked through the cardboard, and I knew they were completely screwed in. I also would give each one a test “wiggle” to make sure it was secure.
That’s it! Now, hang it on your wall, fill with gorgeous jewelry, and enjoy! Happy weekend everyone!