I was a difficult child.
Supplies: an old picture frame, sized appropriately to the size of your earring collection, a scrap of black plastic screening and a piece of cardstock in your choice of colour (not shown).
It was my mission in life to push every adult who tried to tell me what to do to their utmost limit. I reduced grown women to tears of frustration (much to my current shame). My mother stopped talking to me for three days straight once, she was so angry with me. (That, actually was the most effective punishment, ever. I was an only child of an extremely gregarious parent. The absolute silence was terrifying--and while it was happening, I'd no idea how long it'd last.)
My mother told me not to pierce my ears.
On a visit to my grandmother's I convinced her to let me get them done.
Cut the cardstock to fit the picture frame opening at the back.
When I returned to my Mom's, I had nothing to treat them with, so we agreed I'd take out the bullets and let them close up.
Take the screening and fold it around the cardstock. You want the screening to wrap all the way around the cardstock. The fold should be at the "top" of the frame when you assemble it later. Use the cardstock as a template to trim the screening.
About a year later, I think it was the summer I was thirteen, I did the same thing again.
But this time, I was defiant and determined. I thought the bullets were ugly, so I put in a lovely pair of copper and turquoise studs. I still didn't have anything to treat them.
The back of the screen is under the cardstock. The fold is at the right edge of the cardstock. Trim the front of the screen to the size of the opening of the picture frame. Here, the sides are trimmed.
This time, my mother shrugged. There were other much larger battles we were fighting, so she let me have this one.
One day, just before I was about to leave for a babysitting job, I decided to change the earrings.
I couldn't find the backs.
To cut the bottom, measure the cardstock from top to bottom and subtract the measurement for the "lip" of the frame. Mark the spot with tape so you know where to cut.
Mom thought that maybe I hadn't put them in, so she started tugging on them from the front. When I yelped with pain, she stopped, and got out some ice cubes.
I was instructed to hold the ice cubes to my ear lobes while she got out the pliers and pulled.
Screening all trimmed out. The fold is at the bottom of the cardstock in this picture. I hope it all makes sense, now!
With blood running down my neck and the time for me to go to my babysitting job looming, Mom and I decided that she would go babysit for me and I would get in a cab and go to Emergency and see what was what.
So that's what we did.
As the doctor cut the front of the earring from the back and then gently removed the back from the skin that had grown around it, he admonished me quite severely never to pierce my ears again. I now had scar tissue in my ear lobes, he explained, it just wasn't a good idea.
I followed that doctor's advice for 35 years. Last summer, when my daughter turned thirteen, we went down to the mall and got our ears pierced together.
We got stuff to treat them.