Wednesday, January 22, 2014

$7.48 Jewelry Display: How to Make the BEST and Prettiest Picture Frame Jewelry Holder

What have you done so far this week? I got a tetanus booster shot (OUCH), fell in love with two houses that are completely different (how do we decide?!), and completed another step in my bedroom redesign project. My jewelry used to be scattered around the room in a way that didn't make much sense, and I never could find what I wanted. NOT FUNCTIONAL. 

So I made two jewelry displays with picture frames I already had, fabric left over from my last upholstery project, and a $7.48 roll of mesh screen. Earrings hang on the mesh, and I made little hooks out of paper clips to hang the necklaces. Now the pieces I wear regularly are in plain sight, and everything is in one place.

You're probably thinking Jen, this picture frame jewelry display thing isn't a new concept. And you're right! Similar jewelry displays have been floating around Pinterest and blogs for years. But now I can vouch that it's popular because it works, and it's very easy to get a professional result with minimal work.

If you follow these steps, you can't fail:

1. The most attractive collections are curated collections, so prune your jewelry collection. If you've been saying, "Oh, I'll fix this broken necklace someday," for three years, you're not actually going to fix it. So get rid of it! And give away anything nice that you don't actually wear. If you really can't stand to part with something sentimental, but you never wear it, put it in the farthest corner of your jewelry box.

2. Put all the jewelry you DO wear on a table and arrange it as if you're putting it on display. What kind of layout works best for your jewelry? Do you have so many earrings that you could never fit them on a single picture frame? Do you have a very small jewelry collection, and you can fit necklaces and earrings on one small frame? Do you have very long necklaces, and you need a tall frame to accommodate them? If you assess your storage needs BEFORE you choose your frame(s), you'll have a much prettier and more functional finished product.

3. Now that you have an idea of the general layout for your jewelry, take a picture to use as a guide when you're actually arranging the jewelry later. 

4. Select your frame(s), and follow Centsational Girl's tutorial to make your jewelry display. I didn't paint anything because I like my black frames and shiny metal screen. And to save money, I used a scrap of cardboard from an old cardboard box instead of foam board. Because the cardboard was too thin for staples, I used hot glue to attach the fabric to the cardboard. Also, if you might want to convert your jewelry holder back into a picture frame someday, follow these steps:
     a) Attach the screen to the fabric-covered cardboard, NOT to the frame itself.
     b) Do not hot glue the cardboard/fabric/screen piece to the frame. The frame back will hold it all together nicely.

5. It's time to arrange your jewelry! Refer to the photo you took earlier. Remember that the overall effect of this project relies on the layout of your jewelry. Don't crowd it together too tightly, or it won't be easy to see what you have. Once you have a pretty layout, hang it on the wall (if necessary) and enjoy!

Ever the overachiever, I used this project as an excuse to rearrange my entire bedroom dresser. It was a HUGE mess because I kept piling junk on it during my previous projects. The "Before" was so awful that I took every single item off the dresser, arranged, and got rid of/moved/stored more than half the junk that was originally up there. Since my jewelry display frames and jewelry box are very square, I tried to introduce more curves and rounded shapes to the display.

I'm so pleased with the finished result: Excellently calming neutral colors! Lots of contrast between black and white! And except for my wedding bouquet, everything is functional: The pitcher is where we collect loose change, the antique crystal jar holds buttons and sewing notions, and I keep rings in the black hand-shaped dish. A close look in the mirror reveals that Keith's dresser is still a mess, but I've made progress, and I'm satisfied with it.


  1. Where did you get your mirror. Currently looking for a new bathroom mirror and that looks perfect.

    1. Thanks! I got it about 6 years ago during a sale at Pier 1. They don't sell this exact style any more, but they have a lot of other good designs. Big mirrors are usually stupid expensive, but I like them because theirs are pretty reasonable, especially when they have a sale going on. Right now they HAPPEN to be offering an extra 30% off the price of mirrors and other wall art when you use the code 6058. I'm just sayin'. :)

  2. love love love


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