Anyhow - remember the printer's tray (or type case) I bought recently? It's far better made than a lot I've seen, with dovetail joints and a solid wood back rather than plywood, but it had several years' worth of filth and dead spiders which needed removing before I could do anything else with it. It was a harder task than I'd anticipated cleaning each little compartment - 95 of the grimy things in all. Dust and dessicated arachnids removed, I gave it a light sanding and then applied a couple of coats of Danish Oil with a paintbrush. The colour came up beautifully.
Mr FHCS manfully took on the task of attaching two 'screw eyes' (closed loops) to each compartment save the tiniest ones; not an easy job. We discovered the best way was to part hammer in a thin tack to make the initial hole, then get the screw eyes in place by holding and twisting them using needle nose pliers. Strangely he's not thrilled at the idea of making any more and going into business on Etsy, muttering darkly under his breath about callouses and where was his tea? A couple of decades later, I screwed some fittings to the back and it's ready to be hung on the wall.
Here's the finished article, with a selection of my finest earrings hanging happily from it. I had thought about backing some of the compartments with vintage map paper, but I'm not sure it needs it. Another option would be to back a few compartments at random with mirror cut to size - I've seen this done and it adds definite glamour, but it might look better against darker wood?
I've put in one pair per compartment, but you could easily fit one pair per loop in most cases.
And here's a reminder of what it looked like before - pretty good transformation don't you think?
I'm really quite in love with it now, and it's my Flea Market Find of the Year. Anyone want to come over and play jewellery shop?
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