From Tangled Mess to Neat & Tidy

Ever since I had seen this jewelry organizer in an issue of DIY Magazine, I’d been itching to create my own version.

Luckily for me, our tufted headboard project left me with a piece of PureBond formaldehyde-free plywood that happened to be the perfect size for this jewelry organizer. The hubby did a little circular-sawing to straighten out the edges, so the final size of our plywood was 16 inches wide x 21 inches long.

With the base of my project taken care of, I started shopping around for cabinet knobs to drape my necklaces on. But, at $3 a pop, I wasn’t feeling it. So I stopped in to our local Habitat for Humanity Restore and picked up 8 worse-for-the-wear door knobs in a super basic shape, to the tune of $3 for the whole bunch. I started by scuffing up the existing finish with some steel wool, which revealed that my knobs were actually 3 different shades of nickel.

After a little oil-rubbed bronze spray paint, these babies were looking as good as new.

If you’re looking for some tips on painting cabinet hardware or doorknobs, I followed the guidelines from Young House Love on how to paint metal hardware.

The next step was measuring, marking, and pre-drilling the plywood for my cabinet knobs. I knew I wanted to stagger my rows to prevent the always-annoying giant necklace wad that I seem to be prone to (that’s the technical term for when all of your necklaces come together to form a completely snarled, untangle-resistant blob, usually associated with profanity and a bare neck for days to come). So I settled on two rows of 3 knobs, plus a middle row with just 2 knobs, and got to drilling. If you’re following along at home, your board should not have a billion lines on it like mine. We’ll chalk that up to a little case of “I can eyeball it without measuring”… which, it turned out, I could not.

I also added a sawtooth hanger to the back of the plywood, for easy wall-mounting.

For a more decorative alternative, you could staple a looped piece of ribbon to the back, and hang that over a doorknob on the wall (a la Pottery Barn).

Next up was deciding on my fabric. To make sure that this little adventure could be classified as a Penny Project (aka 500 pennies or less), I dug a piece of fabric out of my stockpile, settling on this pretty Waverly print (Evening Scroll, in case you’re wondering).

I considered adding some batting under the fabric, but figured since I wouldn’t be hugging on my jewelry organizer, I wasn’t too worried about how cozy it was. So I laid the fabric out (after ironing it – don’t forget this step!), centered my plywood on top, and got to stapling. To be sure that my pattern was straight, I put a single staple in each side and then flipped the board over to double-check myself.

It was looking good, so I added more staples along each of the sides, and then tackled the corners. The corners are always the tricky part – my tried-and-true method is do ’em once, and then a few more times for good measure, because I never get them right on the first try!

The next step was inserting the screws for the cabinet knobs. To keep from damaging the fabric as we added the screws, we came up with this method: Tony screwed each screw in from the back of the board, stopping as soon as it dimpled the fabric on the front. Then I would use a razor blade to cut a tiny hole in the fabric, so we could get the screw all the way through. The last step was popping the cabinet knobs on to the screws.

Then my new jewelry organizer was ready for a (temporary) home in our closet.

She’ll be relocated when I finally get around to a major closet overhaul, but for now, this is the perfect spot for all of my necklaces to enjoy a tangle-free life.

Love. And, in case you’re keeping track, this project snuck in just under $5. We spent $1.80 on new screws to complement my $3 second-hand Habitat knobs. Fabric, sawtooth hanger, spray paint, and plywood: already owned, so $0.

How do you keep your necklaces from turning into a giant snarl? Or do you just resort to the tried-and-true grumble & untangle method?

Linking up to Remodelaholic!



Filed under DIY Tips, Projects, The Lottery House

3 responses to “From Tangled Mess to Neat & Tidy

  1. Jenn

    this is awesome!!! i bought two jewelry racks from etsy and this is ten times better!!! i wonder if i can get Mike to attempt this with me…

  2. Pingback: How to Add “Old House” Character & Charm to Your Newer Home {Step 4} | Beneath My Heart

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