My husband is a collector. I know it, he knows it, the kids know it, we all know he likes to collect things. He collects a lot of different things, some items more actively than others. I don’t believe he acquired a new watch in a while now, but I also don’t know his current watch count. This is by far his biggest and his favorite collection. Then there is the baseball cap collection, the coin collection, drill bit collection (yes, you read that correctly – my husband collects drill bits) and if clothes count as collectables, and I believe it does, then he also collects t-shirts and jackets.
I love that he loves to collect things. And I believe most collections shouldn’t live in closets (well, maybe clothing collections should). Collections need a spot where they can be lovingly displayed. Otherwise, what is the point?
There is a whole cabinet in our bedroom dedicated to Pieter’s watch collection and it was while I was cleaning / organizing in there the other day that I rediscovered his cufflink collection. They were all gathered in an empty chocolate box that was stuffed in the back of the cabinet. Most of the cufflinks belonged to his dad or uncle and I thought it would be a nice surprise if I can organize and find a way to display the unique and special ones.
While it is surely possible to build a nice display case, I opted for a store bought one. I recently bought one at Hobby Lobby (it was on sale) even though I didn’t have a project in mind for it at the time. It was quite deep and the front had hinges and could open up easily. Displaying Pieter’s cufflinks using this case seemed like the perfect solution and I immediately got to work to make it happen.
I removed the backing, which was a piece of cardboard covered in burlap. Not the look I was going for and not something that will hold cufflinks securely. I was going to have to replace it with something else that could also provide a contrast to the shiny cufflinks.
I had some foam left over from another project and thought it would be the perfect backing to hold cufflinks. It was white, but I’m a firm believer in spray paint and had no issue spray painting foam. I used the piece of burlap covered cardboard as a template to mark my foam. You can cut foam with a breadknife, or a craft knife and metal ruler. After cutting my piece of foam to size, I gave it it a couple of coats of paint and I was ready to add the cufflinks.
I laid them all out on paper first and tried to create a visually balanced group. Then I used a wooden kebab skewer (!) to make holes in my foam and inserted the cufflinks one by one, row by row. Some needed a bit of room in the back, so I just used my utility knife to remove some additional foam to make them fit nicely.
I liked the wood look of the frame itself, and decided to leave it as is. While displaying the cufflink collection in Pieter’s closet didn’t make a whole lot of sense – it is not like he is wearing cufflinks to work lately (well, is anyone?) – I left it there for a while so he could enjoy seeing it daily. Besides, I needed to put something on his newly painted dresser.
Since the frame can be hung on a wall, I finally moved it to the basement and into his bar area. Does anyone else struggle with taking pictures of reflective surfaces?
Do you have a favorite collection and how do you display them?