December 10, 2012

DIY Jewellery Display (from Scratch)

I've seen some neat re-purposed jewellery displays, but if you can't find something to makeover, here's how to make one from scratch!  Warning: I went a little overboard on the sparkly goodness, loading this DIY jewellery holder with 100% (except for one Sherman brooch) handmade-by-me jewellery for the "reveal".  Apologies to you fellow magpies. 

How to make a (super simple) jewellery display from scratch:

First, we grabbed some 1x6 pre-sanded pine and 1/4 inch plywood, leftover from other projects, but you can find these supplies at any home renovation store.  We basically created a design based on the supplies we had (about a 7 foot length of pine), so feel free to make up whatever measurements you prefer (oh yes, nothing but super specific instructions on Dans le Townhouse).  One thing: the 1x6's were a really good size for making something that can stand on its own.  We used a circular saw to cut the pine and because we don't have a table saw (no space!), Hubs used a handheld circular saw (like this one) for the plywood too.  Once cut, we dry fit the pieces. 

When we were sure everything fit well, we applied some Lepage PL Premium Construction Adhesive (leftover from the mirror project) and then used a nail gun and compressor (like this one) to put it all together, including the plywood back.

Then we had the issue of a rough edge:

Not to worry!  A little belt sanding (we use this one) followed by some hand sanding made all the joints and edges super smooth.  We also used some wood filler to fill in any gaps/dents, especially from the nails.

After I brushed on two coats of primer (the bare wood really soaked it up), it already looked pretty cute:

At this point are you asking why the heck I made a jewellery display when I have a super duper mini armoire for jewellery?  A friend of mine was having some jewellery storage issues and I couldn't just stand by and watch her struggle!  She had one of those teeny tiny dresser top jewellery armoires with drawers that were not practical for her, so she hung necklaces on the outside of it, in addition to draping them on a lampshade.  She likes to be able to see her jewellery, all at once, so I decided to make her this jewellery display.  I chose to enlist Hubby to make one from scratch, because I wanted one that could sit on a dresser or be wall mounted, and most of the ones I saw around the web were wall mount only.

Anyway, who we made it for is important because of the colours I chose.  My friend has an electric blue bedroom, bright (almost Kermit) green kitchen and a beige living room.  I chose to paint this beige because I didn't want it to compete for attention in her space but, because her living room is this colour, I knew she'd still like it. 

So, I opted for beige paint, (does the colour look familiar?), using a brush for the corners and a small foam roller for the rest.  Then I added some small hooks leftover from my artful Expedit Hack.  They are perfect for anything from earrings to bracelets and more!  I tried to space them so there's enough room above each hook for a hand to comfortably fit so my friend doesn't end up draping things over a lampshade again.  There are quite a few, but we have room to add lots more if she needs the storage.

For extra storage of hard to hang things (like brooches), we attached a small ceramic dish with the same adhesive we used for the construction.

Here it is, all decked out with some baubles I've made myself (just to show it to you in action).  I like it sitting on a surface, but we plan on adding some sawtooth picture hanging hardware so my friend has some flexibility.

And, for scale, hopefully this photo helps:

How do you store your jewellery?  Out in the open, tucked away?  If you say "draped on a lampshade," I'm making you one of these too!


  1. I like this. I made a jewelry organizer out of a corkboard but this is fancier. I like the hooks.

    I also didn't realize there was an acceptable alternative way to to spell jewelry!

    1. Awww thanks! I tried to make it pretty because it's a gift :)
      "Jewellery" is the British English spelling. Some Canadians spell it this way, but others use the American English spelling, "jewelry". I don't consistently use one system of spelling, but "jewellery" just looks better to me ;)

  2. Mine are draped on a lampshade..... (have you started to make mine yet?). Kidding! But I really like this simple design.
    I don't have much jewellery; except for a few perennial faves, I purge it once in awhile when I tire of it since it's nothing too valuable. To store/display, I have an empty cubby space in our closet organizer with a couple of dishes for watches/bracelets, a small ceramic elephant for rings (on his trunk) and a gargoyle to hang necklaces (on his wings)- doesn't everyone have a gargoyle in their bedroom?
    But building this from scratch is motivating. Yesterday, I saw a photo on design sponge of IKEA boxes used to create a stacked bookcase and I was inspired to do this for my workspace (I love all those raw, patina-ed studio/office/workspaces I see on DS, dotted with obscure, vintage treasures). But alas, IKEA no longer has those boxes- but now that I see this, I'm want to make my own boxes and create this stacked crate style bookcase.
    Nicely done!

    1. Haha! I'll get started right away ;)

      I love that you have room in your closet organizer! I'm jealous. I wish our closet was more spacious. Because we don't have a dresser at all, all our clothes (minus shoes, coats and my purses) live in our smallish bedroom closet. I'd like room for a gargoyle.

      It should definitely be pretty straightforward to make a crate type cubby with these same steps. I love the idea of a randomy-stacked bookcase.

      P.S. If the trunk if facing up, it's good luck right?

  3. (let's try again without typos- seriously)

    Yep, trunk up is apparently good luck.

    No, our closet organizer is not envy worthy but it works for us- I'm just a dork for that kinda thing and we keep the clothes pared down to fit- more than I'd care to ; ).
    We are seriously lacking in closets in our house and my hubby is not the most neat guy when it comes to clothes. So rather than a dresser for folded clothes, cubby storage was better for keeping clothes from becoming a jumbled mess in a single drawer. And instead of building a closet- placement would be tricky in our oddly sized/shaped room- I built my own closet organizer using 2 cheap 8-cubby bookcases. I stood one vertical, one horizontal (fashioned into an upside down L) screwed together & mounted. I attached a rod under the horizontal one for low hanging and another rod at the end & to the wall for full length items and boxed it in with cheapo wood, painted white with 4 large canvas bins on top for out of season clothes & decor items. It's dreadfully shy of hanging space but with 16 cubbies, I can spare one for jewellery & sundries; displayed in my dorky fashion to make me feel like I have a luxuriously large walk-in. I have room for everything in a separate space- my jeans, my tops, hub's tees, workout clothes, DIY clothes, etc- I like it all sorted out.
    Cubbies aren't large but suit my items fine- but I had to make my own t-shirt folder (see? dork!) out of foam board so that hubby's shirts fit nicely. I geek out over our now perfectly folded shirts all neatly stacked.
    Our 'closet' is workable because we have a laundry closet (note: not even a full room) with a rod over the machines- this is where I hang my husband's work clothes- I can take shirts straight from the dryer and hang.
    Geez- I must hold the record for longest comments on your blog.

    1. I LOVE reading your comments!! I wish you had a blog so I could see - is that creepy? Your closet sounds genius!! You're being modest. I like how you always seem to come up with innovative ideas that meet your needs. We also have to keep things pared down to fit, which sometimes I hate, but sometimes appreciate.
      I love your nerdy t-shirt folder too. I wish I was tidier that way. My folder is atrocious even though I try. They are never the same width. I find I am hanging more and more things and in the future, might reserve folded space only for sweaters because even tank tops and t's have been hanger bound recently.

  4. It looks great!! :-)

  5. This is a fantastic tutorial! I'm looking for DIY jewelry display ideas and this might be a little more substantial than what I need for next week, but it's a great tutorial!


    1. Thanks so much!! That's so kind of you to say :)


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