Jewelry Storage Gets An Upgrade

I've talked about my jewelry storage already - here, here and here - but as usual, I have re-organized it. Again. Also as usual, I took on multiple tangent projects at the same time which makes it REALLY HARD to write a cohesive post about it. This is me trying my best.


When we moved into our house I basically duplicated the exact set-up I had at our apartment: necklaces on the branch or the board, rings in my industrial jewelry holder. Or at least that was the plan.

You guys remember my cheap yet awesome industrial jewelry holder, right? Wasn't it cool? I thought so, too, unfortunately the movers didn't realize it was delicate and so it got damaged when we moved. So sad. It's not entirely ruined, and I might fix it someday, but for now I have learned to live without it.

Rest In Peace, my friend
at least until I re-purpose you

So what does that mean to you? It means my rings went back to being stored in my hideous, dying-to-get-rid-of-it jewelry armoire. Remember this. It will be on the quiz come up later.


Another unfortunate incident: I broke my necklace branch. But I was able to repair it with some [alleged] quick-dry epoxy and now it's almost as good as new.


I have this tendency to fixate on things. Like, the second I decide I want something I have to have it YESTERDAY. It's a sickness, I know, but sadly I have no intentions to deal with it.

So, when Sherry from Young House Love tweeted that West Elm had ceramic egg crates on clearance for $5 the wheels started turning. "Some ceramic egg crates would be perfect for storing my rings. They'd be so pretty sitting on my vanity." When she posted a follow-up tweet with a 15% online discount I whipped out my wallet so fast I left skid marks in my purse.

Linkimage from West Elm

Then yet another tragedy* struck: I got an e-mail from West Elm saying the egg crates were back-ordered with no plans to be re-stocked anytime soon. No! The horror! HOW WILL I LIVE WITHOUT SOMETHING I'VE BEEN OBSESSED WITH FOR 48 HOURS?!? I was furious. How can a company think they have something in stock, sell it, then later realize they had oversold the item? THIS IS THE INTERNET AGE, PEOPLE.
*I may not have a rational grasp on what constitutes tragedy.

I tried to put the whole thing out of my mind, but I was still obnoxiously inwardly sulking. The universe must have been rooting for me because the very next day I stumbled upon a ceramic egg crate while browsing and hating myself for not being rich at Anthropologie. It wasn't as much of a steal at $14, but they had stacks and stacks of them all laid out in front of me, with no one trying to fight me for them. Sold!

[sound of angels singing]

In a turn of events that won't shock any of you, I sorted my rings by color.

[more angels singing, this time with Bono and Elton John - it's a benefit concert]

You know me, I can't resist the detail shots.


As you can tell from all the pictures and babbling, the project could have ended there. I had fixed the necklace tree and I had somewhere to display my rings. But was that good enough for me? No.

As I was dusting the vanity and putting my things in just the right spot, the itch to keep organizing set in. As I've said in an old post "I originally thought I could store my jewelry in my vanity but the drawers were too big to keep everything organized and visible." Well, not anymore. I was no longer content to have ANYTHING still in my jewelry armoire so I set out to make the very deep drawer work for me. I say "drawer" because I left the other 3 drawers alone. Someday they might get the up-fit treatment, but for now I need the deeper drawers to store socks, long underwear, etc. Yes, I wear long underwear in the South. I AM THAT COLD NATURED.

Echo... Echo... Echo

So I carried my drawer out to our wood shop. At this point I would like to point out that this project involved drill bits, power tools and absolutely zero husbands. Girl power.

To make the drawer more functional I wanted to create a false bottom within the drawer, which would effectively give me 2 smaller spaces instead of the one cavernous one. To do this all I needed to do was install some spacers (all the same height) to support the false bottom, and then the false bottom itself. I just grabbed some pine scraps for the spacers then stood them in place so I could get an idea where to pre-drill my holes. Pre-drilling was necessary because I didn't want to risk splitting the (old and brittle) drawer sides when I screwed in the supports. I also ended up pre-drilling through the pine spacers after I split the first one with my wood screw. Live and learn, right?

Here's a shot of my drawer side after the installation of the spacers. Since I drilled through the sides only - and not the front - of the drawer no one will ever be the wiser about my little modification. And for all you vintage furniture lovers out there, I would not have drilled into the dresser at all if I thought it was worth lots of money. But since I got it for free from my mom, who got it for free when the previous owners of her house left it behind, I don't think I'm at risk of ruining anything priceless.

After the spacers were installed my next step was to create the false bottom. I grabbed this already stained board from our scrap pile. It used to be a shelf several apartments ago. The matching brackets were long since lost and it's too small to hold much anyway. Plus, what was I thinking with that hideous olive brown stain. Best to hide it in a drawer.

A few quick cuts with the miter saw and I had my false bottom. For those of you without power tools, A) this could be done with a hand saw and B) what's wrong with you? power tools are awesome!

You may notice my false bottom has 2 pieces. That is only because the dimensions of my existing board weren't big enough to cover with one piece, so I cut it in half (length-wise) and then rotated the pieces 90 degrees so the length became the width. If you're confused, just look at how the grain runs on the long board and then in the drawer - you'll get it. If I was buying new materials to make this I would just get a bigger board, but I was trying to make it work with what I had on hand.

You also may notice that it would be very hard to get the boards back out to access the bottom of the drawer. I have a solution for that, too. I just used a 3/4" bore bit to cut a notch on the end of the board.

TIP: It is impossible to drill only half on a hole, so I rigged this up to help me out:

It's just the board I want to drill into clamped together with a scrap board (which has to be the same thickness, btw) to create an easy-to-drill-into solid surface. To make myself look smart my life easier I also started with a pilot hole before I broke out the big bit.

After that all the hard labor was done the drawer and I got to come back inside and enjoy the sweet miracle of air conditioning again. Remember how I told you nobody would ever see my modification from the outside? I was totally right.

Here's the empty drawer just waiting to hold my treasures.

And here's me demonstrating the false bottom action, Vana White style.

And lastly, here's what you see when you remove the false bottom. Fascinating stuff, I tell ya.


So even after the drawer building, branch gluing and ring sorting I still had the urge to keep organizing. Also, I still had the urge to pull craft supplies from the trashcan. In this mini-project I made a bracelet box using a toilet paper tube, a paper grocery bag and a decorative paper box (which I never photographed because I suck at life).

I wrapped the brown paper around the tube (logo side in), secured it with tape and then stuck the tube inside the cardboard box. I intentionally cut the paper slightly too long so that the tube would hold itself in place with tension.

pictured: tension

My dainty bracelets are clasped around the tube while my bangles just fit in the sides. At this point I should mention that I don't wear bracelets very often so this solution works for my lifestyle. If I was a wear-bracelets-everyday gal this little project would probably fall apart in no time flat.


I finally stopped organizing stuff and took pictures to show you my progress. Hooray!

The new and improved vanity top. Forgive the baby monitor; facts of life, yo.

My earrings are stored on an earring stand I picked up from Urban Outfitters a while back. As usual, UO put a bird on it.

Inside the modified drawer - make-up, perfume, travel jewelry clutch on top...

... scarves, bracelets, old earring stands on the bottom.

I used my repaired necklace branch to display short/chunky necklaces...

... while my long necklaces - which I am amassing at an alarming rate - are on the necklace board.

So that's what I did today. What did you do?

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