This simple earring display is made from a piece of antique coral and is mounted on a small scrap of Robusta (a type of eucalyptus tree) base. The coral provides all kinds of interesting nooks and crannies to hang the earings on. A small slot in the base was routed out to create an area where rings and studs could also be kept. While this doesn't display all of one's earings, it's a great way to showcase the ones that are worn most often.
Embedded within this project is actually a process that warrants it's own Instructable. That is "How to make custom patterns for a router using a laser cutter" covered in steps 1, 2 , 3 ,4 ,5 and 8. Look for that Instructable coming soon.
Note - this project details some basic wood working processes that require some previous wood working experience. To simplify this project once could easily just glue the coral onto the base using epoxy and use a bit of quarter round molding from Home Depot to make a well for the smaller earrings and thus avoid several of the more challenging wood working steps.
Step 1: Scan coral
Once you've found a suitable piece of natural beauty to hang your earrings on, the first step is to scan the base using a flatbed scanner.
It's ok to leave the over open while you scan, it will still work fine.
Scan the image in greyscale and at a suitable resolution, like 300DPI.
Step 2: Adjust brightness and contrast in Photoshop
The resulting image will need to have it's brightness and contrast tweaked as well being converted to black and white.
Try and get the image to be as crisp as possible so that the edge of the coral is clearly defined.
Step 3: Trace and vectorize in Illustrator
Once you've prepped your image it's time to do a Live Trace in Illustrator or some other vector editing program. Follow instructions for how to do a live trace and keep only the resulting outline path. No fills are necessary.