Wookieehut DIY presents:
Earring Holder & Display
Gillian F. Taylor, Diana

Leia Organa, as befits a princess of the royal house of Alderaan, had a LOT of jewelry. Some of it, she received as gifts. Other things, she acquired herself. Why? For a lot of reasons; sometimes, she was being nice to a vendor whom she saw needed the sale, other times she intended to give the jewelry as gifts, but mostly it was simply because she liked it. All her jewelry had significance to Leia, but she had been accused of hoarding them, rather than having a proper collection. She had so many that she lost track of her jewelry.

Her aunts thought it was too much. True, Leia was royalty (in more ways than she could understand), but what good was having so much jewelry if she couldn't even find it to wear it? This was especially true of ear adornments, which tended to be small and dainty and thus could be easily lost or damaged. And Leia's aunts flatly refused to let her mix-and-match different halves of pairs. She claimed it was "trendy," but they knew it was because the young princess had lost one of the pair and was trying to make an asset out of a fault!

Her aunt Celly, whom Leia considered the most draconian of the aunts, laid down the law, "If you cannot find a way to put the jewelry away so that it is accessible and cared for, I will throw them away!" This was a serious threat — Celly would normally say that she'd give the whole lot away to those who would appreciate them, which Leia wouldn't have minded. But to have her extensive collection thrown into the uncaring garbage mashers was unbearable!

Leia begged for some time to find a way to handle the problem. She swore that not only would they be put away properly, but she'd use the earrings as functional decorations, so that they weren't merely earrings. Celly begrudgingly gave her two days. The aunt even made Leia program the cleaning 'droids with the date and time they'd come through with their powerful hoses to collect the earrings, and only Celly had the key to cancel the order!

Leia thought and thought into the night, but other than boxes to stash the collection of dainty things, she couldn't think of a good way to solve the problem. In the morning, she spoke to her companion, Winter Reltrac, who gave it some thought.

"I remember," said Winter, "that Prince Bail told me that my mother had a beautiful collection of jewelry, which she would pin into a long strip of sturdy fabric, then roll it up and tie it with a ribbon. He told me when he gave me the fabric, so that when I grew up, I could store and transport my jewelry in it, too." Winter was gifted with perfect recall, and if she said she remembered something, it meant that it was a hard fact.

Leia frowned, "I stupidly told Aunt Celly that I'd use it as decoration too ... that's how I got some extra time to tidy it up. It's not just storage."

Winter furrowed her brow. "Well, how about if the fabric was hung up on the wall, laid out flat? Then you could see the jewelry you pinned up on there, like the tapestries in the grand hall! And it'd keep them out of harm's way ... and if you want, you can just roll it up and take it with you when you travel."

Leia had to admit — not for the first time — that Winter was a genius!

When they were done and the display / holder was hung up on the wall, Aunt Celly openly admired it, "It looks so much neater and more finished than anything I've seen, and I'm really pleased with it. Perhaps you could tell me how you made it, so I can have it as an arts and crafts instruction for the palace children?"

Very proud of herself, Leia happily dictated the instructions, which Winter entered into a datapad, along with her own commentary:

Leia: I used a fine quality muslin, though the unbleached buttercloth muslin will do. It's still pretty cheap. How large a piece depends on how many earrings you want it to take. There's over 100 pairs on mine, and room for more! It's approx 40 cm x 50 cm.

Winter: By "muslin," we mean Corellian muslin, which describes many sheer cotton fabrics. It's also called scrim or sheeting depending on what it's being used for. Other fabrics with a fine — but open — weave and a firm hand may be used, and can even be a synthetic fiber. The weave has to be open enought to allow the wire earring backs to "thread" through them. To use the Old Republic measurements system, 40 x 50 cm is about 10" x 12".

Leia: I folded one of the short edges back by about an inch and a half, then tucked the last half inch under itself, so the raw edge was concealed under this second fold. I stitched along the second fold, to leave a channel about 1" wide to insert a length of wooden dowelling, which was just a little longer than the fabric is wide.

Winter: Folding it over onto itself to hide the raw, cut edge will prevent the fabric from unravelling. There are many ways to "finish" the raw edge so it won't unravel, including stitching a zig-zag against the edge, or sometimes "pinking" which means cutting the edge with a zig-zag edged scissors. The measurements Leia mentions are 2.5 cm for the width of the channel, and she folded the fabric back about about 4 cm.

Leia: I had a ribbon a little over an inch wide, and folded this lengthways, so it went on both sides of the muslin, and stitched it around the other three sides, so it bound the edge of the muslin.

Winter: Again, the purpose of this edging is to conceal the raw edges so they don't unravel. It also looks very nice. You can use fabric ribbon saved from gifts, and you can even use different colored and textured ribbons to edge the muslin. The ribbon Leia used is 2.5 cm wide, but you can use wider or narrower, too, depending on what you have and what you want it to look like.

Leia: I just used a length of embroidery thread that I happened to have as the hanger. I measured out a bit more than twice the length of the dowel.

Winter: Embroidery thread comes as a thick cord, which is really six strands twisted together, that you separate out the threads for finer work. We didn't unravel the thread, and instead used all six together as a single cord, since we wanted it to be strong enough to hang on the wall, with the weight of the jewelry on the muslin.

Leia: You could use any nice coloured yarn, thread, decorative string or what-have-you, even another ribbon.

Winter: We simply knotted each end of the thread to the ends of the dowel, but you could also use a dap of clear glue to ensure it stays in place. Or if you're very handy and have the tools, you can cut a notch or hole at the end of the dowels and thread the cord through ...

Leia: That's about it! I hope that's a clear enough explanation!

Winter: ... to attach the stud-back earrings onto the muslin, just poke the posts through the weave of the fabric, and secure it on the other side with the earring back. We put the stud fastening earrings around the edge, so you can reach behind to fasten on the butterfly back. For the looped wirebacks, you can kind of stick it in-and-out like a pin to secure it.

Leia: You can finish it off by putting a pendant on a ribbon, onto the peg you hang the display from, too! Don't you think it's pretty? That was my idea!

It was clear to Celly that it was Winter who'd come up with the idea, rather than Leia. She would have punished the princess for taking credit from others, but she really was pleased with the hanging jewelry display. So, Celly instead gave a pair of earrings to Winter, in thanks. Leia didn't mind ... though she was ashamed she hadn't given Winter any earrings in gratitude first!

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