Saturday, 29 September 2012

DIY - Turn an old Frame into a Chic Jewellery Organiser

As much as we love 'oohing and awing' the gorgeous work of Irish design here on This is Álainn, I thought it'd be fun to help you flex those creative muscles and embrace your inner makers. So I've enlisted the help of craft queen extraordinaire Emily Westbrooks of wonderful lifestyle blog From China Village.

Once a month Emily has kindly agreed to share with us some of her nifty tips and tricks in this new DIY series on This is Álainn and to
kickstart things off in her first post she shows us how to turn an old frame into a chic jewellery organiser. Simples!

"There's nothing worse than knowing exactly which necklace will dress up the perfect outfit, only to be met with a tangled ball of strings and beads when you go to put it on. I searched long and hard for a stylish jewellery organiser that would keep my necklaces from ending up in a tangled mess, but to no avail. I finally decided to make one for myself - and I'm so glad I did! With minimal tools, time and skills, I turned an ugly frame into a chic jewellery organiser."
[Emily Westbrooks]

What you'll need
  • Frame (you'll want something sturdy with enough space to screw in the hooks)
  • Pliers /wire cutters (mine are cheap jewellery pliers - a great tool to have for many projects!)
  • Paint (the sample pots at Woodie's DIY are more than enough and come in great colours!)
  • Paint brush
  • Glue gun
  • Garden mesh
  • Screw-in hooks 


[Photo's by Emily Westbrooks]

What to do
  1. Use the pliers to take out any staples on the frame. The frame I used had staples holding in the ugly picture.
  2. Use a damp cloth to wipe any dust off the frame.
  3. Paint 2-3 coats of paint onto the frame. Just let the paint dry in between.

  4. Cut the mesh with the wire cutters so that the piece of mesh fits just inside the frame.
  5. Attach the mesh to the frame using hot glue - simply dab the glue on top of the mesh in a few spots on each side of the frame.
  6. Hold the mesh down while the hot glue dries completely, just a minute or two.
  7. Flip the frame over and screw in the hooks along a flat part of the frame. If your frame is made of very hard wood, you might want to start a hole using a thumb tack.
  8. Once the hooks are screwed in, your jewellery organiser is finished! Hang necklaces and bracelets on the hooks and store your earrings by hanging them on the mesh. 

You'll never be caught untangling a big ball of necklaces or searching for the second in a pair of earrings again! [Emily Westbrooks - ]

Thanks Emily, look forward to next months!


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Friday, 28 September 2012

Irish Design - London Appeal

In an exciting first for the Irish Crafts Council, its debut exhibition at last weeks prestigious London Design Festival - A Place to Gather showcased the work our new design generation to the world. Curator Johnathon Legge presented pieces by 30 of our Irish Craft enterprises in a unique venue at the heart of the  fashionable Shore ditch Design Triangle. Many of the exhibition pieces are to travel onwards to Brussels, for a special functional display during our upcoming Presidency of the EU . Above are just some of the hits from the show, you can see more from our talented makers here.

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Tuesday, 25 September 2012


What a find! Coldlilies is a new one-stop online shop to some of the best Irish independent jewellery designers’collections. Founded by former college classmates and present-day jewellery lovers Ciara McKenna & Kim Knowles, it has just launched with twelve of Ireland’s leading big names in jewellery on its books including rare and exclusive gems by the likes of Una BurkeMerle O'Grady and one of my faves Muireann Walsh., defo one to be bookmarked.


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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Cute Cards

The cutest bunch of hand cut and handmade cards to suit any occasion worth smiling and raising a glass to by illustrator Sara Furlong. See more of her work here.

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Monday, 17 September 2012

Strand Lamps

Love these 'Strand Lamps' by Clancy Moore Architects with their inclined human - esque style heads. The lights
have been developed and refined with metalworkers from Portadown and will shortly be available for sale from Makers and Brothers - but first they will be shining brightly at the London Design Festival where they will feature as part of exhibition of Irish design that will run from 18 - 23 September. See for more beauts.

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Friday, 14 September 2012

Top Six Picks - Indian Summer

Don’t pack away the last of the sunshine just yet -  here's some gorgeous Irish-made pieces inspired by our recent Indian summer - bold, bright and beautiful. Enjoy.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 /

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Monday, 10 September 2012

Beautiful Hair.

fabulous, creative, charming bespoke work of Lynne Astrid Baillie aka ASTRID hair accessories.  Check out where she is stocked here and if you'd like something truly unique she also creates custom headpiece's and seems quite popular amongst the brides to be. Very hard to not press purchase purchase purchase right now!


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Friday, 7 September 2012


This lady just loves dots - (and the odd square too), she does
bags, pouches, purses, travel labels, you name it as long as its spotty!
By Dublin based Dottyspotsdesign.

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Thursday, 6 September 2012

Thursday's Top Six - Old School

Those old school days
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 /

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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Date For you Diary - Celebrate the old and the new!

WHEN  - Sept 20th 6-9pm
WHERE - No.7 Wellington place, Belfast.

The creative folks of REFOUND up in Belfast, renowned for giving even the most unpromising old pieces of furniture and found objects a new lease of life with their quirky one-off designs have just got themselves a permanent home in Wellington Place, Belfast. The gorgeous early 1800's building will house their shop, gallery meeting & studio space and is fast becoming the go-to place up north for those excited by 'sustainable creativity'- where vintage chic meets modern design.

And to celebrate their new abode, they invite you along to a curated a pop-up collection of intriguing furnishings at their new Building on Thursday September 20 to raise a glass to the old and the new!

Be warned, all Refound collectibles are for sale on the evening so don't be surprised if you find yourself leaving with a lampshade on your head - but rest assured it'll be a stylish one!

Festivities kick off from 6pm, see details on their Facebook event page here. And if you can't make the trip, there's always their online shop to drool over.


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Monday, 3 September 2012

Wool, lace and paper

Romantic little keepsakes pieces by mixed media and textile artist Jessamyn of Homespun Ireland. Working in wool, lace, and paper she handcrafts these gorgeous little gems and pillows from her studio in Ballinacurra, Co. Cork.


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