The goal is always the same, however. To create something I love, while trying to save a bit-o-change. But if you ask me, the very best part of DIY'ing is that you can customize your project to your specific needs.
I am going to admit, Cassie's recent jewelry display post put me over the edge to finally tackle a project that has been on my list for quite some time now. I am a chronic earring stud loser, and although I can't guarantee this solution will help with that problem, it will give me an organized place to put them away each day.
I don't wear a lot of jewelry, but earring studs and bracelets tend to be my favorite pieces to rock on a daily basis. The storage I am sharing today was a perfect solution for my ear candy, yet it would also work beautifully for rings as well. I just realized while shooting these photos that I don't have a single ring beyond my wedding bands (and my class ring which is packed away), that I own or wear. Is that weird?
For this project I gathered a few supplies, some I already had, others I found at a local craft store.
Additional tools that were helpful for this project:
- Miter box
- Scissors; regular and fabric sheers
- Craft brush
- Hot glue gun
- Water-Based Poly (optional)
I have been wanting a nice way to organize and display my earring studs, but I also know that if I were to cover them up with a lid, I might not be as likely to put them away. So I removed the lid of the unfinished wood craft box I purchased.
Any box would work for this project, however. Think shoe box lids and decorative boxes you pick up from your travels... Getting creative is so much fun!
I had ordered the gift wrap shown above to use with a gift for my niece. I had a few extra sheets and knew this was the perfect way to preserve the loveliness!
I am often asked for specific steps while wrapping boxes in gift wrap or fabric. Honestly, it always seems to go a little bit different than I think it will. I just take it one step at a time, cutting small slits and wrapping around the perimeter in a way that seems to make the fewest amount of seams. #seewhatididthere
This paper was perfect because the pattern was really organic and forgiving. I did learn that I probably should have sanded the top edge of the box smooth prior to affixing the paper with decoupage, as there were some minor bumps that came through.
I used Martha Stewart's decoupage as I have been preferring it over Mod Podge (I am not being paid by Martha but just might secretly wish that I was). I found that if I had any crazy bubbling action, that it was because I had applied too much decoupage below the paper. A small pin sized hole would help fix that problem, as does applying below the paper and letting it dry completely before applying any to the top of the paper. Also, less is definitely more.
Once I made my way around the entire box, I let it dry for a full day.
While the box was drying, I measured the inside to determine the length I needed to mark and cut my dowels. I used our small miter box/saw to trim the dowels down to size.
I also used the same measurement to determine the size to cut the felt pieces.
I was able to get two identical cuts from each sheet of felt, and repeated the pattern until I had enough cut for each dowel.
I then used my hot glue gun to affix the dowel to the felt. I started by adding a strip of glue to the edge of the cut felt, placing down the dowel, rolling the dowel and felt tightly together, and finishing with another strip of hot glue.
I found the white felt to be a bit too stark, so I proceeded to roll each piece with some scrap linen for a more finished effect.
I forgot to snap a photo of this step, but as soon as the box had dried for a day, I placed a single (very thin) coat of water-based poly over the paper. This provided an added layer of protection and a slightly glossy finish.
I didn't want the rolled fabric/display to be on the floor of the box, so I used some extra scrap dowels and hot glue to create a raised ledge on two sides.
Then, I just popped the dowels into the box and pressed down firmly. I found that the dull edge of a utility blade was helpful in tucking in each end of the fabric wrapped dowel.
It didn't take long to realize my mistakes with the first fabric choice. First, I should have ironed it, because the wrinkles became more obvious as I went. And really, linen isn't very forgiving, especially light colored linen. Secondly, I should have cut the fabric slightly longer on each end of the dowel, to be sure there were no rough or visible edges.
With those lessons learned, I removed the linen and re-rolled each dowel of felt with a slightly thicker ivory fabric that I ironed in advance.
This time I also cut the fabric a smidge longer than the dowel, and used the blade to tuck everything in nice and neat as I went.
As I placed the new organizer on my dresser in my closet, I realized that I have DIY'd almost all of my jewelry storage. #hooray! I started with a cork board wrapped in linen fabric paired with pushpins for my necklaces, a bracelet organizer made from a paper towel roll, and now this sweet little earring box!
I also ordered a package of extra earring backs that I placed into a cosmetic container and store in my nearby makeup drawer. I find these smaller, rubber backs stay on my studs and prevent them from falling out of my ears.
After store coupons, I purchased about $10 worth of materials to work on this project, and was able to utilize tools and materials I had on hand as well. The best part is that this project is completely customizable with different box types, fabrics and decorative papers. And it can be used for rings or earrings, a double whammy win!
I can't wait to start scheming another DIY storage solution soon! I am beginning to think that taking the time to craft and create thoughtful storage is my favorite part of our organizing projects. It adds such a fun and creative element, as well as a bit of motivation!
Did Cassie inspire you to mix up your jewelry display and storage as well? Or, have you been putting pretty gift wrap to good use around the abode? If so, tell me about it below!