I decided to sift through my collection of earrings - donating what I no longer wear and organizing what I do wear. I needed a better way to organize them so I can see my collection at a glance. For a whopping $5, I came up with a solution in the form of an Artist Printer's Tray while perusing the clearance area at Michael's.
Although the sectioned tray is generally found in the scrapbooking area and used to hold small mementos, photos, and embellishments, I repurposed the tray to hold 2-4 earrings per section (depending on style). Earrings that dangle may need a single section. One tray could hold up to 20 pairs of earrings (maybe more).
I started this project by choosing 3 coordinating 12x12 scrapbook papers.
(1) Botanical Collection "My Darling" (Prima Marketing, Inc.)
(2) Righteous Dots (My Mind's Eye)
(3) Wood Plank
Each section measure approximately 2.75 x 3.75. I cut 3 pieces each of wood plank paper and dot paper. I cut the remaining 6 pieces out of the light blue word paper (same paper I used for my kitchen menu board). Using Mod Podge and a small foam brush, I applied a thin layer of adhesive directly to bottom of each section before placing in paper. Press paper gently into each section to smooth.
Here's how the artist printer's tray looks when filled in with the variety of scrapbook papers.
In addition to corks, I chose a variety of unconventional but creative "holders" to organize my earrings - small metal handles, tiny metal knobs (technically called "screw fasteners"), and small metal buckles. I wanted to be able to get the earrings on and off very easily. I found these in the scrapbook section at my local Hobby Lobby at 50% off (sweet!). The handles and knobs are part of the Spare-Parts colletion by The Paper Studio. The metal buckles are by Jim Holtz Ideology. The corks are from our personal collection but you can also find bags of craft corks.
The picture above shows the unique holders at a glance before adding the earrings.
This is how it looks after adding a few of my earrings. I love that the corks hold the stud earrings without having to take the backs off.
I added a personalized detail to give the project a unique twist.
For the buckle, I used a small bit to drill a hole through printer's tray. Each buckle came with a brad style fastener which went through hole to hold buckle in place.
The handles are attached with tiny screws not brads. I made a little boo-boo on my first attempt to attach handle by drilling holes through back of tray before noticing the screws. Grrr! Hence, I covered my mistake with the blue strip of paper. I then screwed the handle onto printer's tray. Important FYI - the screws are a little longer the depth of the tray and I may have screwed the whole thing to my table. Second oops! Good thing my table is already a little distressed. Learn from my mistakes! :)
The corks attach easily with a little hot glue. Stud style earrings fit snuggle into crevice between corks.
Ta-dah! Here's my finished earring organizer. It turned out even better than I imagined. Check out your local craft store for a printer's tray, scrapbook papers, and interesting holders to make your own unique earring organzier. Have fun crafting!