eclectic design inspiration

Friday, August 31, 2012

DIY: Jewelry Organizer

A couple of weekends ago I stumbled upon a $25 gift card to Forever 21 that I'd never used, so I headed to the mall to do a little outfit shopping for a wedding I was going to later that evening. I decided to let myself spend the whole thing on jewelry - guaranteed I'd walk out of that store with multiple options for the night. Well, $52 (obviously not the plan) and about 20 minutes later, I exited the mall with three necklaces, one bracelet, four pairs of earrings and two rings. I was so happy.

When I got home, however, I was disappointed to find my precious jewelry all tangled up in its little yellow plastic bag and I knew it would only get worse after it found its place in my "jewelry pouch." The makeup bag that I use to store my jewelry is where most necklaces, rings and earrings go to die because I forget about them or am too rushed to untangle them before I head out the door. Can you relate? I basically have two pairs of earrings and one bracelet on heavy rotation, but I have lots of other worthy jewelry that deserves its time in the spotlight as well. I'm not trying to go all Toy Story with this post I promise...

The next day I decided to come up with some kind of organization system that would keep my jewelry accessible and out of harm's way. And because I think jewelry is pretty (and my closet is just way too damn packed with stuff to do anything there) I started thinking about ways I could display it attractively in my room. There were many options, but I decided to go with an idea I had seen on Pinterest... perhaps you've seen it?

originally from Better Homes & Gardens

Now, truth be told I don't take on DIYs too often and I pretty much despise anything that involves using a drill, so I will probably never get my own show on HGTV. This particular project came with swearing, sweat, phone calls to my mom, and near give-up moments, but in the end I completed the project and I'm really glad I did. (Don't be scared, keep reading...)

Because I wasn't following any kind of directions and just sort of figured it out as I went along, there are many things I would do differently if I repeated the project (#1 being: make sure you have a drill bit). So, that's the version you'll be getting below. I believe that this is a pretty simple DIY and with a little effort, anyone can do it. If you are good with a drill, this will be a piece of cake.

And please don't get too annoyed with me if I over-explain. I have a degree in Elementary Education and that communication style has unfortunately stuck with me...

First, your materials and tools:

Rectangular piece of plywood - I got mine for $0.51 from Home Depot's wood scraps and it measured 24" by 28" and was a little less than 1" thick.

Sandpaper - (only if the plywood needs to be smoothed down)

Burlap - Enough to fold in half, cover the front side of the board, and staple in the back. I got 2 yards to be on the safe side, and had lots of extra.

Hardware - Drawer knobs, drawer pulls, hooks, etc. that you will be hanging your jewelry on. You might want to draw out what you want the board to look like so you know how many of each kind to get, or you can just lay it out at the hardware store and see what you like. I ended up choosing 5 pulls, 5 knobs, and 2 hooks. If I did it again, I'd get a couple pulls that are pocket shaped, like in the photo from Pinterest, to put stud earrings in.

Staple gun and staples

Power drill

Drill bit - Choose one that is the same size in diameter as the bolts that came with your hardware. This is the one tool that I did not have during this project, and as a result, it became way more complicated than it needed to be.

Screwdriver - You may not end up using it

Ribbons - Two ribbons, one wider than the other and in different colors, long enough to wrap around the front of the board and staple in the back

Picture Hanging Materials - Brackets, hooks, wire to hang the board on the wall


And then this is what you're going to do:

1. Use the sandpaper to smooth the plywood edges and corners if necessary. Then, with the board on the ground, lay out where you want to put all of the various pieces of hardware. Keep in mind what you will probably hang from each one (earrings, long necklaces, etc.) and space accordingly. 

2. With the hardware in final place, use your pencil to mark the bolt holes for each piece so you know where to drill. For pieces of hardware that have two bolt holes, mark the two holes but just drill one of them.

3. Wrap the burlap in two layers around the the side of the board that you did not mark and staple gun it to the back (marked side), stapling about every two inches. Pull at the burlap with one hand as you staple with the other so that the material lays smoothly on the front side.

After this photo I was about to throw the drill out the window so I was over taking pictures. Sorry!

4. Take the bolts from the hardware and match them with the correct bolt holes in the board. Use the screwdriver or power drill to screw in the bolts so that they poke through the burlap on the other side. You will need to prop the board up from the ground (I used yoga blocks) so you don't drill into the floor.

5. Flip the board over and carefully push the burlap down around the tips of the bolts so that you can screw the hardware on tightly. Then one by one, twist on your hardware.

6. Finally, wrap the larger ribbon across the top of the board and staple to the back. Then wrap the smaller ribbon around the board so that it lays on top of the larger ribbon and staple to the back. Attach your hanging hardware to the back of the board and hang on the wall.

Finished! Now the fun part is hanging your jewelry...

Do you have a favorite way to organize your jewelry? And more importantly - are you doing anything fun for Labor Day weekend? I'm going camping for two nights with a big group of friends and seriously CANNOT WAIT! :) Have a good one!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Always Believe

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Here's a little inspiration for the start of the week...

via Pinterest

I don't know about you, but I fully believe in the power of positive thinking. I'm a sucker for books like The Secret and A New Earth and have found myself spending way too much time on the New Age self-help aisle at Powell's Bookstore. I blame Oprah. 

But, have you ever experienced the saying, "when it rains it pours?" For me it really does, and it's one of the most startling realizations I've made about life. I am convinced that attitude has almost everything to do with it, so when things start to go wrong, I find myself doing everything I can to turn my frown upside down before I find myself with even more trouble. Mocha Coconut Frappuccinos and a look at Pinterest's humor section (my new nightly bedtime routine) usually do the trick. 

In the same vein, one of the most rewarding practices I've discovered is keeping a daily Gratitude Journal. I learned about it from Oprah, of course, and it involves writing down 5 things I am thankful for that happened during the day - so simple. Many people do this when they say prayers, but I've found that writing it down really helps it to sink in. When I keep the journal regularly, my mindset is really affected and I am constantly recognizing the many blessings I experience every single day. Even if it's The Worst Day I can always come up with 5 things to be thankful for, it might just take a little longer. So, if you are looking for a little pick-me-up in the mood department, I totally recommend keeping a Gratitude Journal, I guarantee it will make a difference. Now I promise I'm done with the new agey talk...

I've been avoiding the fact that I haven't blogged in a week (I blame Oprah summer), so here's a little catch-up with some of my recent favorite things:

this wonderfully eccentric living room via Bright Bazaar

this Balmain dress of my dreams via Fashion Gone Rogue

this eye-catching sitting area via The Decorista

this beautiful antique bureau via Design Sponge

the ultimate (Dior) party via Kerrin Palooza

this oddly perfect wall art via Design Sponge

and from the same home, this very sweet bedroom 

this dripping-with-cool lounge area via A Note On Design

And to get us back to where this post started... guaranteed this Victorian film strip will have an effect on your mood :) Have a great Monday!

(one of my favorite Pinterest finds) via

What daily practices or quick fixes have you found to transform your mood?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Messy Mondays

Well, the weekend came and went, and while it was a good one (two days of sleeping in, a close friend's wedding, and a fancy homemade dinner paired with three episodes of The Newsroom), it's now Monday and my apartment is not as tidy as it usually is as I'd like it to be. Story of my life. So, I guess I know what I'll be doing after work today!

I did, however, pick up a couple of pieces of art that I had left at Michael's for custom matting (and I'm feeling like it was money very well spent) so I'm convincing myself I was a tiny bit productive. I'll have to do a before and after post of the progress I've made on the "art wall" in the near future, but until then, here is an Instagram sneak peek I took this afternoon...

don't mind the crispy dead flowers...

And coincidentally, my good friend Anna texted me a photo of the art wall she has created in her baby Max's room, which includes a piece of art I sent as a baby gift in the bottom left corner. I can't get over how cute this little nook is! Way to go Anna and Nate!

What was the best part of your weekend?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Can't Go On Without 'Em...

I'm a little late to the game on this one since it was posted on last week and I didn't see it until a few days ago, but for the truly wonderful: better late than never, right? I'm talking about the awesome home of Jamie Meares of Furbish Studio, located in Raleigh, NC. Not only does Jamie own the kind of store I do in my dreams, she has a house that totally knocks my sandals off as well (but isn't it a big "duh!" that she would?). Colorful, eclectic and is a must-share. Just wait until you see the bar...

Yea! Love Jamie's home so much. But before we end this thing, I need to post photos from this one other house tour  that is even deeper in archives, because I'm realizing I never got beyond pinning it and I honestly think it deserves a lot more attention than that. Just for those readers who may not have seen it, I don't want you to miss out. Girlie to the max, Catherine Sheppard of The Life Styled still finds ways to incorporate humor and the unusual into her style. Enjoy!

all photos from

Phew, what a photo marathon! Which home is more your kind of style, Jamie's or Catherine's? 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Where I'm Going from Here

Loving this quote right now. It's these kinds of words that have been motivating me lately to go after what I really want, the things I haven't done yet because they're some version of "scary." But it's becoming more glaringly obvious that "boring" actually frightens me the most...

Does this quote have meaning for you?
I hope everyone has a fantastic Monday :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Desert Paradise

Family trips to California were always the best part of summer as a kid: Disneyland, Santa Barbara and Yosemite all wrapped up into a glorious few weeks. Since we always drove to California (in a giant, striped '80s van with the ladder up the back) and camped along the way, I also got to see a good amount of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and sometimes Nevada. I fondly remember sitting on the roof of the van, eating bowls of cereal and watching the sun come up over the Grand Canyon. Magic. But the good memories don't stop there and they have definitely given me a special love for the deserts of the Southwestern United States.

So, if I could take a "spa retreat" anywhere in the world (love this game), I think I would choose a desert setting over anything else. Not only for sentimental reasons, but because I adore the dry heat, beautiful stillness and quiet mystery that come with it. So naturally, when I was reading this AD article about celebrities' favorite hotels, I had to check out the Amangiri - the resort that was mentioned more than once and happens to be in a desert. It is located in Southern Utah's Canyon Point, surrounded by nothing but majestic canyons and plateaus. (Weren't we all hoping Curiosity would show Mars to look like this? I mean if we're going to be building colonies there...) Check out the photos below from the Amangiri website and more about the resort here!

Incredible, right?

Do you enjoy the desert? Where would you like to take a "spa retreat?"
Have a wonderful, relaxing weekend!