I love vintage brooches. I love wearing them, I love buying them, I love looking at them. I know a lot of other people who do too. When ever I meet another vintage brooch admirer, I like to ask them how they store their brooches. I am always at a loss when it comes to how to keep them. Do I put them in velvet lined boxes and only take them out to wear them? Do I throw them in a tray where they might get scratched? Up until now I have kept them on a few ribbons I tacked up on my wall.
This weekend I was moving furniture around, and needed to move my beauties. I remembered I had some stretcher bars in a drawer in my work table. Stretcher bars, or strips, are what you use to make canvases out of. I figured I could make something for my brooches using those. (I know this is pretty reminiscent of my fabric memo board, but that’s because you can do so much with a canvas and some ribbon!) You can get stretcher bars at pretty much any art supply store. I bought mine here. They are great because you can get any dimensions you like! I just happened to have four 12″ bars on hand.
(WARNING: The pictures in the post ahead… They gave me such a headache! I will figure out proper lighting, I promise! My work room is like a deep pit of hell, and then what little natural light it does get is non-existent at midnight which is when I always tend to be working!)
Supplies You Will Need:
• 4 Stretcher Bars or A Blank Canvas
• Fabric: 1″ to 2″ larger on all sides than the dimensions of your stretcher bar or canvas
• Batting: 1″ to 2″ larger on all sides than the dimensions of your stretcher bar or canvas
• A Staple Gun
• Possibly a Hammer
To build the frame, you just push each bar into the corners of the other bar. I had to use a hammer to get a really tight fit. (Trust me when I tell you I rewrote that sentence multiple times and every time it came out so dirty in my mind. I’m pretty proud that there was nary a lewd word in that sentence there. Nothing about female to male ends or anything.)
After you have put all four sides together take out your batting. Lay the frame face down on the batting.
Fold over each side of the batting and staple it to the frame. Staple opposite sides first. Pull taught enough that there are no ripples or wrinkles on the front.
Next, do the same thing with your fabric.
I took three of my vintage brooches and lined them up to see how they would fit. I decided to place a ribbon two inches from each end and one centered in between those. I used a fabric pen and marked little dots where I wanted the center of the ribbons to fall. Because I was using a light-colored ribbon I could easily see these dots when I pulled the ribbon around back, which helped for placement purposes.
I placed the three ribbons, just to make sure I liked the look. Then I removed the bottom two ribbons. I stapled top ribbon on one side, pulled it over the front of the canvas, and wrapped it around, stapling it on the back. I then did the same for the other two ribbons.
For the last step, I added a ribbon on the back so that I could hang it easily.
Then I went and hung it on my wall! I couldn’t fit my entire collection on this display, so I will have to make at least one more. I like the idea of having them in different fabrics. Hope you enjoyed my little tutorial, and perhaps it will help you to be able to display your vintage brooches too!