We made it!: Revolving earring organiser

(Edited to clarify instructions.)

Using a drill (properly, at that) is a very important life-long skill that should be learned from a young age. So is finishing a project. Last week, the kids were able to share in this fun and rather easy project and learn from my procrastination. Too bad the resulting product is really only useful to one of them (unless the Boy decides that he’d like to wear earrings too).

This was a project that I had hoped to finish as a gift to the Girl this past Christmas, because her earrings had been slowly invading too much space on my own wall-mounted earring-holder. So I looked at my earring holder, and some that were already designed out there, and set out to design a holder that would be functional, easy to build, fun to use, and which wouldn’t require expensive materials (in fact, I wanted to use not only inexpensive, but upcycled materials as much as possible). But time got away from me around Christmas, and I convinced myself that the Girl had received too many gifts anyway. As days went by, the materials sat there and mocked me, and the Little-Girl-earrings were slowly overtaking the Sophisticated-Adult-earrings. So now was the time.

This is my own invention: a revolving earring storage unit on a Lazy Susan base, with holes to easily hold fishhook earrings, and notches to hold fishhook and stud earrings.

Below is the list of supplies and materials, and a brief description of how I built this. I know, I know—it would have been easier if I had stopped at each step to take photos, but sometimes you’re just too into a project (or the hot glue is threatening to drip all over your fingers and/or project) to stop and take pictures. It was great fun to do this, both kids had such pleasure drilling holes, and even The Beloved Husband commented admiringly that this was my best designed and executed project yet.

Revolving Earring Organiser

Estimated time: 1 hour (about 50% longer if using child assistance)

Materials (with a rundown of my costs, and estimated if you don’t have materials to upcycle):
> 1 wooden Lazy Susan, one size: $10, IKEA
> 2 wooden embroidery hoops, measuring 25 cm (10″); this will give you a total of 4 hoops as shown, when disassembled: $2.50 for both, upcycled from second-hand stores ($3-$4 each, from most needlecraft stores or Michael’s craft store. If you’re not in a rush to finish the project, wait for one of Michael’s frequent coupons that discounts any one item at 40% or 50%.)
> 5 wooden dowels, measuring 30 cm long x 1 cm thick (12″ x 3/4″): $1 for package of 8 at dollar store (slightly more if purchased at hardware store). We had some left over from a previous project, making suction-cup arrows for the Boy’s bow and arrows, so the cost for this was nominal.

Supplies:
> electric drill with 3 mm (1/8″) bit
> hacksaw with fine blade (alternatively, a serrated knife)
> glue gun and glue sticks (or wood glue, for a more secure fit)
> sandpaper/emery board/nail file
> measuring tape
> pencil

Procedure:

1) Plug in glue gun and keep in a safe place away from children. Disassemble embroidery hoops.

2) While an adult holds the measuring tape along the outside of each hoop, a child can pencil in marks about 2 cm (1″) apart on each hoop, all the way around (try to keep it centred vertically). This will be where you will drill the holes or cut the notches that will hold the earrings.

3) Making the holes to hold earrings: While an adult holds each hoop steadily, the child can carefully drill holes where marked, on two of the hoops only. This should be fairly easy to do, because the hoop wood is thin. Use the drill’s lowest speed.

4) Making the notches to hold earrings: Adult only should use a hacksaw or serrated knife to saw little notches about 3 mm down the hoop on the remaining two hoops, where pencil-marked.

5) Using sandpaper or emery board/nail file, sand both inside and outside of hoops, to get rid of minor wooden splinters.

6) Stack all hoops one atop the other, and mark four lines on the inside of each hoop, two sets across from each other (think of these as your North-South-East-West points). These will be where you will glue the dowels for support.

7) On each dowel, pencil in three marks approximately 15 cm (6″) apart, starting at one end. These will be where the hoops will be glued.

8 ) Glue dowels to hoops: Take one dowel and place a dab of hot glue to the first mark. Attach a hoop. Now dab glue to the second mark on the dowel. Attach a second hoop. Dab glue to the third mark on the dowel. Attach a third hoop. Dab glue finally to the top of the dowel and attach the final hoop. (You can have a child help you with this step, as long as you take precautions around the hot glue.)
Continue until all four hoops have been glued onto all four dowels at the marked spots.

10) Wait a minute until the hot glue has solidified on the last dowel, and place the entire structure onto your lazy Susan. Place where you’d like it, and using a pencil, trace circles around the base of each dowel to mark where they will be attached.

11) Remove structure, and dab hot glue to each spot, then quickly secure structure onto Lazy Susan(Edited to add: during a house move, the dowels detached from the Lazy Susan, so we’ve since updated this by drilling holes and attaching the dowels to the base with wood glue.)

12) Optional: Glue the fifth dowel across the top of the earring holder, for necklaces and bracelets. You may want to use your handsaw or knife to cut notches into this, to prevent sliding of the necklaces.

Et voilà—you now have a revolving earring holder for under $15 and an hour of work. Hang necklaces and bracelets from the horizontal bar.

With all that extra space at the base of the lazy Susan, we also used poster putty (like Fun-Tak) to position some little paper jewellery boxes to hold extra earring backs, rings, etc..

Thinking of doing this project yourself? Snap a photo and show us!

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