Made for Your Shades: A DIY Display for Organizing Sunglasses

On any given week, I’ll see anywhere from one to seven pairs of glasses and sunglasses make their way onto my kitchen island. (Why is the kitchen island the ultimate catchall for junk?) Coming in or going out, it’s the landing pad for shades. And while I’m not mad about the convenience of having all my various eyewear choices near the door, I’m not enamored with the clutter it creates, nor the scratches my lenses obtain every time a set of house keys lands too close to them. After weeks of internally complaining to myself about it, I walked to the craft store, picked up a few items, and got to work creating this wood and leather eyeglass display. Problem solved. And much to my surprise, it required very little time – just an hour with drying time – and very few tools! Don’t believe me? See for yourself…

What You’ll Need
Large 12 in. x 8.07 in. x 1.57 in. wooden plaque (or similar shallow box)
Balsa wood 1/2 in. x 1/2 in. square dowel
Balsa wood 1-in. wide craft stick (at least 24 inches long)
White paint (you can also use other colors to customize)
1 sheet thin suede leather trim
Paint brushes
Super glue

Fine-tooth razor saw

Drill & drill bit (optional)

Step 1. Using the display box dimensions as your guide, cut 3 equal pieces of the 1-inch balsa wood stick. They should roughly measure 1 inch by 7 inches, and should snugly fit inside the box. These will serve as the dividers, and they will be placed about every 2.75 inches.

Step 2. Now using the 1-inch balsa wood dividers as your guide, cut four 1-inch pieces from the balsa wood dowel. These will serve as “rests” for the bridge of your frames.

Step 3. Cut the leather sheet to fit the back of your display case. Remove and set aside for later.

Step 4. Paint your pieces. Paint the display box, dowel pieces, and dividers. I chose white, but you can easily customize the look of your display case with various colors on the inside, outside, or along the edges.

Step 5. Let your pieces fully dry. I found that the super glue did not work as well when the paint was still lightly wet. You also risk paint smudges on your leather if you’re not careful.

Step 6. Glue the leather. Dot the super glue carefully along the back of the display.

Step 7. Measure where the bridge rests will go. They should align down the middle of the display and be spaced evenly within each section. Mark with a pen, and glue the dowels pieces accordingly, and press for at least 30 seconds.

Step 8. Insert the balsa wood dividers every 2.75 inches. You may need to shave down the slats if they don’t slide in right away, but the key is that they are snug enough to stay in place once inserted. If not, add a little super glue and hold in place for 30 seconds.

Step 9. (Optional) Drill two equidistant holes through the top of your display, and thread cording or leather ribbon through each hole to hang. Or use your leftover leather like I did as a hanging strap across the top.

Step 10. Sunglasses, say hello to your new happy home!



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