DIY Jewelry Organizer Made From a Salvaged Drawer

Article Posted By: Liberty Hardware

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This beautiful DIY jewelry organizer has a vintage distressed look, and it’s so easy to make from a salvaged desk drawer.

Here’s the step-by-step tutorial.

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Materials and Tools for DIY Jewelry Organizer:


Step 1 – Attach the Base to the Drawer

To allow for a free-standing unit, the pine board you had pre-cut at the Home Depot will be added to the drawer as a base for stability. Center the drawer vertically on the pine base.

Use your drill to screw the bottom of the shelf onto the base. We chose a center placement of the screws to stabilize the entire unit.

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Step 2 – Remove Hardware and Sand the Drawer

Use your Philips head screwdriver to remove the hardware located on the front exterior face of the drawer.

Sand the unit to rough up the surface. This will allow the paint to adhere better.

We used a 150 grit sand paper on all surfaces, and 220 grit sand paper to round the corners.

After sanding, you should wipe down with a cloth to remove any excess sanding dust.

Tip: For a better look, sand the corners of the base, much like filing your nails, to round the edges

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Step 3 – Spackle and Sand

Apply a small amount of patch and paint spackling over the screws, and remove excess with your finger. You can also paint over the screw without using any spackling for a more industrial look.

Sand the wood filler to even the surface.

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Step 4 – Apply the First Coat of Paint

Apply the first coat of paint. We used Behr Cozy Cottage (740C-2). We applied a heavier coat of paint on the front face of the drawer, but lightly throughout the rest of the unit. Using only one coat, we could still see the texture of the wood grain and the wood kept its natural distressed look and feel.

Tip: Apply the paint in the same direction for a more consistent application.

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Step 5 – Sand to Distress

Once your first coat of paint has thoroughly dried, lightly sand the interior of the drawer to distress and reveal the natural wood finish.

We used the 220-grit sand paper for the whole unit, but applied slight pressure on the front facing edges and corner to enhance the wood reveal and to create a deeper distressed or vintage look.

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Step 6 – Apply the Second Coat of Paint

Apply your second coat of paint. We chose Behr Spring Stream and decided to keep the inside of the drawer’s Cozy Cottage distressed, while using the second color to highlight the exterior pieces.

Tip: Since you’ll be distressing the edges again, you don’t need to focus on painting a precise full coat of paint. You want to see the cream poking through the blue and give the piece a vintage, imperfect appearance.

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Step 7 – Sand to Distress

After your second coat of paint has dried, use the 220-grit sand paper to reveal the underpainting and wood. Again, we focused on the edges, applying pressure to reveal the cream and a slight pressure in places to expose down to the wood.

Tip: Don’t use too much pressure when distressing. If too much pressure is used, you’ll take off larger clumps of paint, rather than an even light reveal of the cream and wood.

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Step 8 – Map the Jewelry

Next, map out the jewelry and hardware. We used a mix of finish and style when picking out our hardware.

The placement of your hardware should depend on the sizes and lengths of your jewelry. Best placement for long necklaces is to wrap around a knob at the top interior of the unit, while a small cup pull can be used for odds and ends such as small earrings and costume rings. Thin drawer pulls are great to hang longer earrings.

Tip: When searching for hardware, be adventurous! Mix style and finish. Play around with your different knobs and pulls, and explore different placements. Gold jewelry looks great hanging from nickel hardware pieces, while colorful acrylic and glass hardware creates an eclectic and interesting canvas.

Bonus Tip: When you feel you have the right placement, take a photo for easy reference.

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Step 9 – Mark Placement

Mark your hardware placement.

We traced a slight outline, and where the center holes for mounting should be. By tracing your hardware you will save time with placement and achieve the overall look you are going for. For more precise measurements, you can use a hardware mounting template.

Tip: Marking your hardware placement will be easiest if you remove the jewelry first.

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Step 10 – Pre-drill Holes and Attach the Hardware

Use your 5/32-in. drill bit to drill through the drawer unit for easy mounting of hardware.

Mount your hardware using the machine screws, one small washer, and a Philips head screw driver.

Tip: Since the holes are pre-drilled, you can push the wood screw through the back into the front, line up with the cabinet knob and use the Phillips head screw driver to tighten. Avoid over-tightening your hardware, especially items made of glass or ceramic.

Bonus Tip: This is where the photo of placement comes in handy for easy reference of your preferred layout.

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Step 11 – Bling!

Place your jewelry onto your new organizer and enjoy!

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We have many more DIY projects for you here on The Home Depot Blog, and follow our Easy DIY board on Pinterest for more DIY project ideas.

Check out more cabinet knobs you could use for this DIY jewelry organizer.

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