make a necklace rack

necklace rack
while i don’t consider myself a huge jewelry person, i have been adding items to the jewelry box lately. the addition of a few new pieces over the holidays made my little handmade jewelry box overflow, and i caught the cat digging items out and batting them around the bedroom a few too many times. i didn’t want to make another box, because earrings and necklaces usually gets lost in the bottom. i needed to make something that would allow me to easily see my pieces otherwise i forget i have them!

i wanted to make something that i could hang my necklaces on, and it needed to be out of the reach of the cat, so necklace “trees” on the dresser weren’t an option. i contemplated hanging a wire horizontally and using binder clips… but didn’t love it. while i was doing dishes, i looked up at my fish mobile that hangs from the ceiling with a cup hook, and the light bulb struck: a painted board with cup hooks is what i need. details and how-to after the jump…

you’ll need:

- a base (i bought a 1″ x 4″ x 4′ maple board at menards)
- cup hooks
- drill
- mitre box and hack saw, if you need to cut down a board
- paints, glue, papers
- gloss medium & varnish (or gel matte medium)

1. determine the length of your rack. (i made mine 16 inches long, to fit on a narrow wall that’s between my closet and doorway.) mark your board at the desired length, and cut it using a mitre box and hack saw. (or ask around and see if a friend with a mitre saw can help you out. a mitre box and hack saw will set you back $20 at the most, and i do use them quite a bit – they’re a good investment.)

cutting the board

2. drill the holes for hanging. do this step before you cover the board – that way you don’t risk ruining the paint/paper work you’ll be doing next. before i drilled the holes, i measured one inch from the “top”, and then 4 inches in from the left and right edges. i drew lines, and drilled 2 holes at the intersections. hopefully the holes will be level, and by having exact measurements, you’ll know exactly where to put nails into the wall for hanging. drill the holes about halfway through. if you accidentally go through the whole way, you can always cover the holes with paper!

drill the holes for hanging

3. figure out your composition. i had some floral paper scraps i wanted to use, and i also wanted to use some acrylics for solid colors. i placed the paper on the board and figured out where it would go, then made some pencil lines to guide my painted areas.


4. paint! i placed my board on a plastic container, which allowed me to paint the front and the edges without lifting the board. i wanted a shiny finish, so i added some gloss medium to the acrylic before painting.


5. once the paint is completely dry, glue down your paper. i applied the glue directly to the front of the board, then placed my paper. (the brown and yellow flowered paper was really thin, so i used a bone folder to carefully press out air bubbles.) then i folded the paper over the edges and glued those down. lastly, i glued on 2 circles of wood grain paper on the red painted area (sorry, no pictures of this step!)

6. once the paper was dry, i brushed gloss medium over the entire piece, to protect the paper and give the rack a polished look. you could also use gel matte medium, if you don’t want your rack to be shiny.

7. after the last coat was dry, i created a template for drilling the holes for the cup hooks. i cut a piece of paper that was 16 inches long, by 4 inches high. then i made a line 1-1/8″ from the top, and another 1-1/8″ from the bottom. vertical lines were drawn every 2 inches. i used an awl to mark the holes on the front of the board.

mark the holes

8. drill your holes. my cup hook package helpfully suggested a 3/16″ drill bit to start the holes. i drilled about a quarter inch in, then screwed in the cup hooks. i needed to use a pliers to get in the last few turns.

9. mark your wall according to the measurements used to drill the hanging holes in step #2. gently pound in nails, then hang your new necklace rack! yay!

necklace rack

9 responses to “make a necklace rack”

  1. gloria says:

    I am glad somebody is making a jewelry rack! Thanks for the idea. I have tons of necklaces, and not so many earings, and I want some way to display them, as they are very pretty, but not expensive. I have been trying to have my husband make me one, but he says I have to tell him what to make. Nothing was happening. Your idea is great and I can make it myself. I want it quite a bit larger though.

  2. lindamade says:

    wonderful! i have lots of hooks on the wall, but it’d be nice to have something decorative that i can take with me when i move, and it looks so easy! i’m putting this in my to-do file.

  3. Petchy says:

    I saw this over on WhipUp and think it’s fab! I think this will be my project for the weekend – I do have a bare wall in my bathroom that this would look great on. Not to menton it would stop my necklaces from the horrible tangling business!

  4. HM says:

    So cute. I’m making one for all our keys too.

    It would also be useful and attractive in a kitchen.

  5. Jenn says:

    Oh so very spectacular. That is an awesome idea;) Will be doing this weekend….Thanks

  6. Concha says:

    It’s fantastic!! Both an excellent idea and a fabulous tutorial — thanks! :)

  7. Lyssa says:

    This is SO cute and so easy to make! THanks for tutoring this! I can’t what to try it!

  8. allyson says:

    this is so me. the patterns, colors, faux wood, everything. i loovvee it so!

  9. ella says:

    wow this is really helpful! i so love your creativity… i think i can make one myself..

    thank you sooo much for the idea:)