over 1000 words on DIY jewelry organizers because I am a lunatic

I’ve been in Super Project Mode the last few weeks. This tends to happen every January for some reason. Maybe it’s partly a mental resolution for the new year and also partly because January is usually pretty crappy weather-wise and we’re stuck inside on the weekends so what ELSE is there to do? Whatever the reason, January and February seem to be my time to Get Things Done And Clean Out And Organize All The Thingssssss!

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had created a new spot for my necklaces to hang in my closet. Before that, they were a tangled mess of crap and stored in two different places- in my jewelry box and hanging precariously on a tiny wire thing with my earrings. It was… not ideal. Not only did something fall on the floor every time I went to pick a necklace, but I couldn’t even remember what type of necklaces I HAD, so I ended up wearing the same 3 or 4 all the time.

My new solution is much better (before/after, obviously.)

My necklaces have a new home! A cheapie curtain rod & shower curtain hooks. BOOM.

I bought a cheap cafe curtain rod at Target and two boxes of these shower curtain hooks. They’re double hooks so I can hang two necklaces on each one. Magic! I seriously couldn’t stop walking in to stare at the new arrangement for a few days. I… I might have problems.

Once I got my necklaces figured out, I went back to Pinterest in search of a good solution for my earrings. I have lots of dangly, hoopy earrings and some stud/post earrings (I have two piercings in each ear, so I wear two pairs at a time). As you can see in the ‘before’ up there, the dangly earrings were all hanging in a homemade thing I made a few years ago: an empty picture frame with a screen stapled to it. It worked, but it was getting crowded so any extra earrings ended up in one of the drawers in the jewelry box on my dresser. And you can imagine how untangled and organized THAT was (it was NOT. heh) It was also not very sturdy and the earring posts were starting to scratch the wall behind it. So I needed something better. My only criteria is that I could hang it on the wall inside my closet. We don’t have a ton of furniture in our bedroom, but we do each have a giant closet of our own (YAY!!!) so I really wanted to take advantage of that. My post earrings were all in a drawer and HA HA good luck finding a match!

(If you search on Pinterest for jewelry storage solutions, the options are OVERWHELMING. So many great ideas! But I was able to narrow it down pretty quickly to things that would work for my type of jewelry– mostly earrings, necklaces, not a ton of bracelets- and my space. But that’s only a fraction of the stuff that would potentially work for my setup.)

Anyway! I holed myself up in the office for an afternoon, told Dan GOOD LUCK WITH THE KIDS! and got to work. For my dangly earrings, I decided on this: a wooden utensil tray with tiny screw hooks.

DIY earring holder

The idea is super simple, but I realized I had to do some planning on this one. Some of my earrings are longer than others, so I laid them out to get an idea of where I should put the hooks. Instead of spacing them out evenly, I put them where they’d work best for my earrings (and I’ve actually rearranged them a bit since taking this picture, it’s a work in progress apparently!) And there was a nice space at the bottom for a row of hooks to hold hoops. I ended up putting the hooks on the back panel instead of on the separators because otherwise the hooks would have poked through the other side (the separators are pretty thin), but it works just fine. But I did have to use a tiny drill bit to make pilot holes for the screw hooks because DANG, bamboo is HARD. I attached the whole thing to the wall with a picture hanging tooth thingie and a nail, put little adhesive squares on the bottom corners so it doesn’t wobble, and ta-DA! A very sturdy, very customizable earring holder.

(I actually need to make a second one because I ran out of space! I’m planning to hang it right next to it, up close, so it looks like a single unit.)

Now! For the post earrings. This one was more of an adventure and I probably could have executed it better because it’s a little sloppy but oh well. I have extra materials and it took about 10 minutes to do, so I can always remake it if I feel like it.

DIY earring holder
I actually forgot I had tiny Christmas stocking earrings. HA.

I based this off of a few different ideas I found in my search. Here’s what I used: a deep shadow-box-type picture frame, craft foam, an exacto knife, spray adhesive, and hot glue.

DIY earring holder

First I cut the craft foam to fit the frame. I used 4 sheets since it was thin and then glued them together using spray adhesive to make it a little thicker/sturdier. I wanted black for the front panel but it really didn’t matter what was behind it. (I thought I should save the other black pieces in case I messed up along the way!)

DIY earring holder

DIY earring holder
All glued together, like a foam sandwich. (super blurry photo, WTH, Jen?

Then I used an Exacto knife to slice long lines across the surface. Originally I didn’t think I’d need to go all the way through, but it ended up holding the earrings better when I did.

DIY earring holder

DIY earring holder

Then I used a glue gun to mount the whole thing to the inside of the picture frame, popped in all my earrings, and hung in on the wall.

DIY earring holder

The slices in the foam hold the earrings and backs perfectly! My only annoyance is that I made kind of a mess with the hot glue on the left side there (and burned the CRAP out of my fingers) but it’s staying together and does the job. And it’s inside my closet so nobody really sees it anyway.

I am so so happy that I did this. It’s kind of ridiculous how much it excites me! But I was getting REALLY irritated every time I got ready to go somewhere and put on jewelry and couldn’t find a match to an earring or a back that fit right or a necklace was tangled with another one. It’s the little things! And I realize I probably could have bought something already made that would hold my jewelry just as well, but I liked having different methods for each type. Plus I can move these around someday when I redo my closet because while it’s gigantic and wonderful, the use of space in there is TERRIBLE.

But. That’s a project for another day :) For now I’ll just gaze at the beauty of this.

DIY earring holder


  1. Jenn

    January 23, 2014 11:06 am

    Go you! :D I love this DIY, and I love how neatly organized your jewelry is. I’d do something similar, but I’m out of wall space. *sadface*

  2. bessie.viola

    January 23, 2014 12:47 pm

    Well, I guess I’ll join you in being a lunatic because this? This is a thing of beauty and I just put those hooks and a cafe rod into my cart at Amazon. (I couldn’t find the double hooks at my Target, which is where I looked first after your Twitter pic the other day, so thanks for the link!)

    I also get the January organizing craziness – I have purged 6 bags of stuff from our house since Christmas, and last weekend (ON MY BIRTHDAY) I finished cleaning out our basement and I was SO pleased with myself. It was a great present, getting that done. :)

    This is SO the next project! (And one for Madeline too, because I swear she has more necklaces than I do.)

    (Longest comment EVER.)

    • Jen

      January 23, 2014 2:02 pm

      I’m happy to be such an enabler! ha. And I did the basement cleanout thing in the fall. 6+ hours in there by myself while Dan dealt with the kids and I was EXHAUSTED after but OMG it was SO NICE TO GET IT DONE. (we won’t talk about the fact that it’s kind of trashed again because of Christmas decoration bins that still need stacked and put away. AHEM.)

  3. Jess

    January 23, 2014 4:00 pm

    Love these! Thanks for sharing! I’m super excited about the earring holder because I was trying to conceptualize something to store and display some Disney pins (that are keepers and we will not trade away) and it looks like I could do something like this!

    • Jen

      January 24, 2014 1:52 pm

      ooh that’s a really great idea! I think it would work really well as a display for pins (assuming you don’t gunk up the side with hot glue like I did. HA.)

  4. Elsha

    January 25, 2014 11:22 pm

    These are fabulous.

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