I’ve been volunteering at Ten Thousand Villages here in Houston for half a year now, and I just love their concept of helping under or unemployed artisans in developing nations market their products by providing them an opportunity to earn a fair, sustainable wage. Not to mention, it is always fun to shop in this non-profit store as there are a lot of beautiful handcrafted work, accompanied by a motivating story behind the work or the artisan group.
Last year, I bought a couple of placemats. I had noticed they were sitting in the sale area for weeks, and thought well maybe I could purchase it first and use them when we found a new place to rent. Now that we’ve moved in to a nifty little apartment in midtown, and had finally unpacked everything … I realized my earrings had always been kept in little clear, plastic zipper bags, all tucked away in a shoebox. I thought, perhaps those placemats could be turned into an earring holder since they’re made out of dried grass and the earrings can hang on easily on to the mat. What a fun way to display my collection as well! Without further ado, I started on my little project. The whole thing took me only 10 minutes to complete, as I just needed to attach a string to it so that it can be hung on the wall.
This placemat was handmade by a group of rural women from a fair trade Bangladesh handicraft organization called Prokritee.
I’ve found this works best for hook earrings instead of stud ones, but you can still put the stud earrings at the bottom. That way, it will be convenient to remove and put back on, rather than trying to fiddle with the whole mat if the stud earrings were in the middle or at the top. Also, if you have spare earring hooks, you can attach the earrings to it and essentially use it as a secondary holder on the placemat. I think this mat can probably hold 30-40 pairs of earrings! Now, Isn’t that neat? 🙂
To learn more about Ten Thousand Villages and its mission, visit their website or if you want to check out their retail store in Houston, head on over to Rice Village!