I had a wee bit of an ebay addiction in my early twenties. I spent many sleepless nights “sneaker-fishing” my way into senseless purchases. I kicked my habit but have many reminders, including two fabulous, but un-wearably inconvenient, vintage Bakelite pins. The solution to a collection of brooches I don’t wear? Frame them!
- Cotton batting (I used leftovers from an upholstery project)
- Silk (sourced from my fabric hoard)
- Primer (leftover)
- Paint (leftover from paper storage organizer I painted)
- Small paint brush
- Glue (Aleene’s worked well!)
- Vintage frames ($5.00 for pair at estate sale)
- 2 Vintage brooches (try flea markets, yard sales and estate sales)
How to re-paint wood frames:
I lightly sanded each frame, removing any sheen. Then I gave the frames a quick wipe with a damp cloth. Using a small brush I applied a coat of primer, let it dry overnight, then applied two coats of paint. I used a smaller artist’s brush to get the paint into the “carved” detail. Spray paint with a built-in primer would make light work of this job!
How to create a padded backing to display a brooch:
I used the original “artwork” as my base – you can cut a piece of thin plywood/scrap plastic etc., if your frame is empty. I cut a piece of batting and silk slightly larger than the backing and “upholstered” it. I wrapped the fabric tightly, squeezed the backing back into the frame to check fit (and make sure the lines on my silk weren’t woobly), and then glued the batting and fabric in place on the back. I secured with tape while the glue dried (hot glue is faster, but I find that it doesn’t always have as strong a hold as I would prefer).
Putting it Together:
Working with finishing nails was a pain (it is aggravating to hammer something that tiny, super gently). Instead, I stapled beside the backing so instead of the staples going through the backing (into the thinnest part of the frame), the staples hold the backing in a kind of friction fit:
Now I just need to figure out where to hang them . . .