Earring Storage Book

Not so long ago I mentioned that I’m always losing earrings, and that I’d made a wire tree so that I could hang my dangly earrings on it, and place it next to my bathroom mirror.  It didn’t work because the earrings fell of the tree, and sometimes the tree fell over.  I didn’t want to search for earrings in separate boxes, and I’d already tried hanging them on a wire mirror and suspending them on plastic canvas.  I’d thought about using a picture frame with fabric instead of a picture (thank you Dee Priest), but decided that would also end up flying off the window ledge.  Thinking cap on, I came up with the idea of a ‘book of earrings.’  I’ve had this a few weeks now, and so far it’s worked.  Here are the instructions:

For the separate pages (about 8 of these) I used even weave fabric, 5 1/2 inches x 9 inches)  folded over a piece of computer paper (nearest paper to hand) measuring approximately 5 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches:

Earring book 1The edges were stitched with cream threadMy idea was that I could hang the earrings through one layer of fabric, or studs could be pushed through all layers on a page at the back of the book :

Earring book 2I used a ruler and a pencil to mark out a grid of four rectangles.  The idea I had in mind was that a pair of dangly earrings would fit into each rectangle so that they would be stored neat and tidy:

The grid was stitched the grid in black thread (actually it was dark brown because I chose the thread during an evening stitching session and, as usual, I couldn’t see the difference due to the light – minor detail and I’m still trying to convince myself that cream and brown look better than cream and black – it’s not working):

I was undecided as to where I was going from here.  Maybe a stab stitch book?  I had to get the pages neatly together, so I took a strip of paper the length of the page, folded it in half three times and used a ruler to mark points 1/4 of an inch from the edge.  The paper was then used to mark points on each of the pages:

Earring book 5The pages were stitched together through these points, using cream thread, so that they were positioned correctly, and they were held together securely:

Earring book 6Next, I needed a cover.  I started with a little colour inspiration from my colour sketchbook.  I have an envelope at the back of the book where I keep pictures with colour combinations that appeal to me.  Eventually I take out a picture, stick it in the book and then test paints, search for threads etc, generally play with anything I can find that is in keeping with the colour scheme.  A bit like mood boarding on a small scale.  This is the combination I chose:

Earring book cover colour schemeI cut a piece of thick fabric (cheap charity shop find, probably curtain lining) and used acryic paints that were in keeping with the colour scheme to paint the fabric (roughly stripes made in my usual headless chicken I don’t know what I’m doing or where I’m going style):

Earring book cover paintedOnce it was dry I used stamps and a chinese brush (any pointed brush will do) to add another layer with the same colours.  I’d also tried some puff paint, but i didn’t like the effect so I scraped most of it off:

Earring book cover stamped and paintedThen for the stitching.  The fabric was placed onto lining paper (which acted as a stabiliser) and threads were chosen from the same colour scheme.  Lots of free motion stitching on and around the shapes and on lines on the background.  Unfortunately, this is where I had an issue witht the blurry photos, so I’ll explain how I put the book together before showing the finished photos.

Once the stitching was complete, I cut a piece measuring 6 inches (1/2 inch longer than the pages and 11 inches wide (this would wrap around the stitched pages from edge to edge).  Bondaweb was ironed onto this, and the whole thing was then ironed onto a backing fabric (again use a colour from the colour scheme).  The backing fabric was cut to the same size as the cover, and a zigzag stitch used all around the edge to secure the fabric.  The marker paper (which was used to mark the position of holes in the pages) was used to mark positions of holes on the front and the back of the cover.  A long piece of embroidery floss (you could use cord, string, anything in line with your colour scheme) was then used to stitch through the holes to secure the cover to the book.  If you start in the middle you will be able to tie the ends so that you can then wrap the thread around the book to hold it closed.  I hope that makes sense – if not please leave a comment and I’ll try to explain.  This is the finished earring storage book:

So far it has been a success.  I haven’t lost any of the stored earrings.  I have lost the book once – but that is because I hadn’t allocated a place for it.   I think I might have cracked the earring storage this time.  I’m now wondering what other little niggly issues I can deal with.  I’m sure I’ll think of something.