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!


  1. That came out so well, I want one, NOW! Lol! Everytime I go to the mall I treat myself to a piece a jewelry from that store. They always have the best stuff for super cheap.

  2. Really cute and nicely done! And yes, the Museum of Printing History is in Houston - a really nice find.

    Hope you have plans to enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

  3. I really love this idea. I've wanted to make one since I first saw them like last year. I hesitate because I move every year and next year is the last move. Once I've settled somewhere, I think I'll finally start all of those DIY projects I've had my eye on...Good work!

  4. So clever and looks great too :)

    Abbey x

  5. wao!!! so super cute!!! I'm so impressed that you own a drill! Great job, its very cool and so practical.


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