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How to: Make a Simple, Inexpensive DIY Wooden Jewelry Organizer

by on Mar 27, 2013

When it comes to home organization, we generally do pretty well. Nearly everything in our house has a dedicated space, and is neatly stored close to where we actually use them. Long term storage goes in one place, all seasonal goods have a spot, as well as weekly items that see more action. Our real problem is: where do we put the stuff we use every day? 

When items get touched multiple times during a twenty-four hour period, where do they go during half the day, when they’re not in use? Where to put the French press pot, if we’re just going to use it again tomorrow? How should I store my watch, or the headphones I use to listen to news and podcasts while running errands or working on projects?

Recently, to tackle this problem, my wife asked me if I could make a dedicated storage solution for her bracelets, as she had previously just been using a large bowl that she slid under her nightstand. A few years ago, we came up with this solution for necklaces and earrings, but the specific size and shape of rigid bracelets required something a little sturdier. 

So, I came up with this super simple and easy-to-create design that can be adjusted and adapted to whatever you need to hang: scale it down for rings, make it longer for scarves, or even purses, bags, or hats. Once you’ve figured out the technique, you can fill your house with all kinds of easy, contemporary hanging wooden storage.

Tools and Materials 
One of the best parts about a project like this is that it’s quite simple and inexpensive to build. If you shop smartly, the only tools you need are an electric drill and a specialty bit for drilling large, 1″ holes, called a Forstner bit. You can snag one for a few dollars at any hardware store.created at: 03/26/2013

  • 1″ thick wood – you can buy wooden plaques at the craft store, or have the home center cut it to length
  • 1″ dowel rod
  • 1″ Forstner bit and electric drill
  • Wood glue (I like Titebond II)
  • Sandpaper: 150 or 220 grit
  • Wood stain or finish (optional) 

1. Determine your desired size, and have the wood cut to length. Since most bracelets are around 3- 3 1/4″ in diameter, I made mine with a 3 1/2″ space in between the dowels. Final size: 14 1/2 x 3″

created at: 03/26/20132. Draw a line down the center of the length of the board, then mark the center points where you’ll place the dowels. I spaced mine 3 1/2″ apart, with 2″ on either end. 

created at: 03/26/20133. Place a piece of scrap wood underneath (or set your wood on a surface you don’t care about drilling into), and use the Forstner bit to drill all the way through the wood board, making sure to keep your drill and bit at 90-degrees. If you can, placing a thin piece of scrap wood on the top and bottom of your wood will make for the cleanest holes, minimizing tearing the wood fibers on the entrance and exit of the bit. 

created at: 03/26/2013Repeat until all you’ve drilled out all your holes.

created at: 03/26/2013
4. Determine the length of your wooden dowel “pegs” accounting for the extra 1″ (or whatever) that will be sitting inside the thickness of the wood. I went for 4″ long dowel segments that will protrude 3″ out. You can have these cut at the hardware store or lumberyard, or you can easily cut them at home with a hacksaw, coping saw, or inexpensive pull saw, all of which are affordable and easy/safe to use.

Then, before gluing your pegs in, sand everything with fine grit sandpaper. Since the final shape will be a little irregular, it’s easiest to do this step now. If you want, you can follow this tip for matching the end grain of the wood and dowels to the face/side grain, since you’ll be able to see all sides of the wood.  

created at: 03/26/20135. Since the dowels and your holes are 1″ in diameter, the fit will be a little tight, so use a little sandpaper to remove just a bit of wood on the bottom 1″ of each dowel. Turn and twist the dowel inside then sandpaper to remove material evenly. 

Then, apply wood glue to the inside of the dowel holes. I snipped a corner of a foam brush to make this easier. Allow it to dry for 5-7 minutes, then insert a dowel into each hole, using a mallet, scrap wood, or even a heavy book to encourage it in. Stop when the dowel protrudes just a tiny bit on the other side. Clean up any visible glue now with a damp rag, and allow the glue to dry overnight.  

created at: 03/26/20136. Lastly, finish your wood as desired. You could stain it, clear coat it, or just leave everything natural. Since I used a naturally dark wood (walnut), I opted for an easy teak oil finish which I applied with 320 grit sandpaper, rubbing with the grain. After it cured, I applied a bit of paste wax to protect the wood against the sliding jewelry. 

created at: 03/26/2013

Lastly, hang it up! You could use hooks or sawtooth picture hangers, but if you don’t plan on doing any pull-ups on your rack, you could probably just get away with 3M Command strips and not need to do any damage to your wall. 

These would look great as a group — one for bracelets, necklaces, rings, etc — to add some practical decor to your bedroom. If you have any questions about the woodworking, please ask in the comments below. Seriously, this is super easy and very inexpensive, and everyone should give it a shot!

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