By Stacey-I have too much jewelry. Inevitably, even with earring trees, jewelry boxes, creative necklace display trees, things get tangled and lost. So when my friend Louise passed on the idea of using a window screen to hang earrings (stolen from another friend), I was intrigued. And of course, I thought to myself, I can do the same thing and do it cheaper/bigger/better myself.
Here’s the result:
I used two square dowels, 1/4″ x 1/4″ x 36″, and a roll of gray fiberglass screen, 36″ x 84″. When hanging the finished product on the wall, I used nails both above and below the dowel so that it would hang about an inch out from the wall – leaving plenty of room for earring hooks to fit through the screen. I also use a couple of nails at the bottom dowel as bumpers to keep the mesh away from the wall, which could be avoided by using a thicker dowel.
I had enough space that the three foot width was just enough, and meant I didn’t have to deal with cutting either the dowels or the screen. My basic technique was to staple on all four sides of the dowel evenly across the top. Once I had the top pretty even, I had someone hold the top dowel so I could staple the bottom in order to get the screen to hang evenly.
I ended up using almost all 7′ of the screen, but the same technique could be used for shorter lengths. I prefer the fiberglass screen for a project like this because it’s tough – it won’t bend or reshape due to weight. You’ll notice if you look carefully however that my screen is not perfectly flat – there is some curve to it, which an aluminium screen won’t have. Using a dowel on all four sides or a screen making kit that includes a frame will eliminate most of the variation my screen has, but I like the natural look of it. Buying a preexisting screen at a hardware store, or even reusing a screen from someplace like the RebuildIt Center are also options, though this can get expensive if you’re looking to completely cover your wall.
To hang hoop earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and anything else that can drape, I used aluminium wire which I folded into a flattened S-shape. Paper clips can make easy makeshift hooks as well. For heavier items, I used a twisted double-length, but the aluminium was strong enough for everything I have. An alternative would be curtain hooks, if you have any of those lying around.