Customize it… Jewelry Blocks

Let me ask you this: have you ever left The Container Store and felt a kind of high for how organized you are about to be? This happens to me about once a year after a big shop there and one time I asked the clerk if people are normally as giddy as I am as they check out? They said that actually there are studies done that there like serotonin released when one thinks that they are going to get organized. I’m sure I’m misquoting and it’s probably all propaganda, but I believe it because I’ve felt it.

But the problem is that once you leave the store and you have to not only organize your home with you new fancy (and probably expensive) products but you have to keep them organized. And this is where I fail, miserably. Which is why I’ve enlisted the help of Beth Ziegler, a local organizing expert (and all around awesome/cool chick) to help me with a bunch of organizing projects and posts.

So welcome to this ‘customize it’ post, where we get organized.  Our goal was to do organizational projects that are not only functional, but visually appealing. You can read Real Simple or one million mommy blogs to find out how to properly organize your coupon station in your kitchen, but I think that organization can be kinda cool, nay even sexy.

wood jewelry blocks_01

We came up with fun challenge of how to organize your bountiful, incredible jewelry collection. These aren’t for your precious gems (or family heirlooms) for i believe those should probably be put in a jewelry box. But for those daily wears that you take off drunkenly and throw on your nightstand, we thought there could be an easier system that looks good and modern. Thus we invented these jewelry blocks.

Here’s what you need:

wood jewelery blocks_02

1. hammer | 2. lint-free cloth3. sawtooth hangers, $1.69 | 4.wood stain5. gorilla glue, $2.59 | 6. wood block $1.65, $5.48 | 7. brass dowels, $1.99/each

wood jewelry blocks_03

1. You can buy a 2×2 block of wood in any length at the hardware store. Just have them cut it into squares for you or use a handsaw as I did to easily cut them at home. I sanded any rough edges and then used a lint-free cloth to lightly stain each block. I used very little since I wanted the grain of the wood to peek through.

2. Hammer the sawtooth hanger onto the back of the wood block. Keyhole hooks also work in a pinch if that’s what you have on hand.

3. I chose gorilla glue instead of wood glue because I didn’t want to compromise the clean and minimal look I had going for me. It holds up really well which is surprising–but perfect since it dries clear! Hang each block on the wall and arrange your jewelry as you like.

wood jewelry block_05

wood jewelry blocks_04

And there you have it. I love how simple and modern they are which lets your baubles stand out. Or if your baubles are less bauble-y and more  simple and modern then all the more reason why something like this is for you.

Thanks, Beth for helping with this post. I can’t wait til we show you what Beth has done with my daily hurricane that I refer to as my closet. This girl can work MAGIC in such a chic way. Contact her here: Bneato, and follow her here: InstagramFacebookTwitterPinterest

What organizational posts would you guys want to see? What are your biggest problems or areas that are the most daunting? We’ll try to cover it …

Photos by Tessa Neaustadt

  1. Absolutely one of the easiest ways I have seen to hang necklaces. Going to try this asap because right now all my necklaces are stuffed in bags on the floor in my bedroom! =(

  2. stephanie

    I’d love to see a post on how to organize all the baby feeding gear that has taken over my kitchen counter – bottles, nipples, drying rack, dishwasher baskets, pump parts, etc.

    • Emily

      ME TOO! I was just asking my friend the other day as i was pointing to it – is this my new life? is this what happens in my sink every day now? And she said yes. :)

  3. Lisa

    These are cute!
    My daughter just turned 15 and I have to say that her bedroom is the most challenging. She and I used to really get into figuring out ways to keep her stuff neat and organized but lately this task has dropped way down on her list of things to do (and mine). We REALLY need to get in there and get to work!

  4. Carol

    Such a great, budget friendly idea! Thanks

  5. Elyse B

    I love those!
    One of our goals this year is to get our garage under control. Would love to see some tips on organizing garage/shed items, tools, paint, baby clothes, holiday decor, etc.

    • S

      I just did my garage container store.. It change my life!!! Each person in the family as their own hooks/drawer etc. we go into our house through the garage so it’s a great spot for backpacks/ coats/shoes etc etc.
      It seemed very expensive for one section of the garage (about 1k) but it’s turned out to be soo worth it!

    • amanda

      in terms of storage in the garage, we built the french cleat system from the family handyman (google image it, totally worth it, and chad’s workshop: and it completely changed our lives. it will grow and evolve as our family grows and evolves. a chop saw, a table saw, a weekend, and about $100 in lumber.

  6. Emily

    Love these!!

    I would love to know what to do when you have too many clothes to fit in your closet and dresser, without the answer being “get rid of some clothes”?

  7. Lindsay

    Love the project, especially because it doesn’t look “DIY” but like something one might actually buy! Where do you find brass dowels? Your post links to true value hardware but a search of their site yields nada. What section of the store would they be located in?

    • Emily

      Thank you! Thats exactly the point. :)

    • beth

      hi Lindsay–
      I found these at my local hardware store called Baller Hardware in Los Feliz/Silver Lake. They are located towards the back in a section with metal dowels that are square shaped, flat shaped and round. My Home Depot did not have them and Lowe’s had a version but not as long. Hope that helps!

      • Beth, I am about to ask you to buy some and ship them to me lol! I have been all over town and nobody seems to have them. Could you buy single ones or only in packs? Online is only giving me results for packs, and since I only need 3-4 rods, I can’t see why I would do that.

        If anyone has any ideas for Jacksonville, FL – I’d be appreciative! I think they are actually “brazing rods” but not sure, maybe someone who has bought these can say.

  8. Sarah

    I am absolutely LOVING these DIY posts you’ve been featuring lately. They look so great, and seem simple enough that I wouldn’t be too intimidated to try them. Great stuff, keep up the good work!

  9. Daiva

    This is such a cool idea!

  10. Zoe Royall

    I am LOVING how you are curating DIY on your blog! Everything is spot on. I cannot WAIT to see the closet makeover! I’d love to see some kind of mini-home office organization. I have basically no space for a home office, but need a place to keep home-officey stuff. Some filing/paperwork, printer…etc.

  11. Lyndsey

    Help me tame the hall closet! We’ve got towels, sheets, bathroom supplies, cleaning supplies… a huge jumble. I know there’s some pretty in there, but i haven’t found it yet :)

  12. Danielle

    This is beautiful and something even I could make! Are the rods thin enough for earrings to hang from?

    • Danielle

      That is also the prettiest hammer I’ve ever seen.

      • Emily

        West Elm, baby. :)

  13. This is over the top perfection! I adore and not only am I going to make them for me but you just helped me finalize my “new jewelry look” in my shop!! Thank you!
    Worst organizing area…the schoolwork/art/backpacks/ mail/ calender area! What to keep what to get rid of! PS….I HEART your Trolling Craiglist!! :) Spokane??

  14. S

    No you didnnnt!?!
    This is wonderful!
    I’m just starting to plan a bridal showers where the bride requested we all “make something”.
    Thank you.

    • Emily

      Yeah!! Thats awesome. Make it :)

  15. S

    Oh, if I could ask for a design organization post, I’d love help with making all the junk in my kitchen or desk look good.
    Thank you!

  16. mary

    Those are adorable! But if I had to remove 3 bracelets to get one, and then reload the other 3, I’d never wear any of the interior ones! Lazy, I know…

  17. Lacey

    I’m wondering if you have to have them full of jewelry on each side for them to stay straight? Will they fall if weighted down on one side? I say this because I too, am lazy. That’s why I have a few cute bowls/dishes/trays for necklaces, bracelets etc. spread throughout the house, upstairs and downstairs. So, I’m thinking there might be times when it’s not full on each side. Just curious before I attempt it! Thanks!

    • Those are some pretty thick dowels…I am actually going to stick mine to the wall using some trimmed-down 3M picture-hanging strips. I bet that would keep it from wiggling or tilting.

  18. Margo Reynolds

    Hi, Emily,

    Great post — we live in Brooklyn and I have a horrible time trying to organize all my shoes. You know the deal: one small/medium closet for two adults means shoes are stored in boxes under my bed but actually means I don’t wear 1/2 my shoes/collection. I love my shoes. I would love to see some ways to keep the shoes out in a thoughtful/designed way so that I would have access to more than 8 pairs in the bottom of my closet.


  19. Erin

    Oh my god this looks super good and I can’t believe how much I love you! You’re totally the best thing ever and I wish we were best friends!!!!

  20. Brilliant! Easily done! I’m definitely making these someday.

  21. Anne

    I love this!! I was just trying to untangle two necklaces that I should never have thrown in my jewelry box and just got fed up and threw them out!!! This is so perfect.

    How about hanging something under the kitchen cabinet by the sink to put bottle stuff, etc in to dry. Some kind of container with small holes to let things drain..IKEA has those rods they hang small white containers from. I’ve seen them in their kitchen catalog, they are holding silverware and small kitchen things. Just fashion your own contain to hold/drain all that baby stuff. Then at least they would be off you counter top. I use to put all that stuff in a cool looking colander on my counter. My husband couldn’t understand why I did this, but it made me crazy to see sipping cups and bottles all over the place.

  22. Heather

    I use a tie rack (the kind with the little pegs that come off it) for all of my necklaces and I love it!

  23. Jessica

    My biggest organizational hurdle is mail. It ends up piled on the counter in the kitchen. Not pretty and to top it off, we have misplaced important mail before. I’d love to see a post on cute/cool ways to organize mail…ways to hide the clutter and maybe still have the important stuff in a visible place so you don’t forget it.

  24. Stephanie

    How about tips for organizing magazines and newspapers? I subscribe to about a dozen magazines and would love to organize them better (and have them look pretty and be an accessory). I usually keep magazines around for 2-3 months and newspapers for 1 week.

  25. Neen

    This is a great idea. I am thinking it also would work if the wood blocks were glued to a larger piece of wood painted black or grey. Then the wood could be propped up on a dresser or hung on a wall. Thanks for posting this. All ideas about organizing gratefully accepted.

  26. Jenny

    I would love to see some suggestions for organizing kids’ craft stuff! Markers, pencils, paper, paint, felt, pipecleaners, the EXPLOSION of coloring books…. Preferably for a small space – if I had a full playroom it would be much easier. :)

    • S

      Check out the Boon multi-stash organizer – it’s a godsend. I used it for diaper rash creams, nail clippers, hairbrushes, pacis, etc. when my son was a baby and now that he’s a toddler, just for the things you’re looking to organize – pipecleaners, markers, crayons, paint brushes, etc. I keep it on his play table now. Love it! Amazon has it for $20 usually (depending on inventory levels) – very affordable and so stylish!

  27. Jamie

    What a pretty AND functional jewelry idea!! I’ve been trying to figure out a good system for my statement necklaces and bracelets because if they’re in a drawer, it is totally “out of sight, out of mind” so this is perfect!! Thanks for the great tip.

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  29. Absolutely love the way these turned out! They look fantastic with that paint color on the wall too. Thanks so much for sharing!

  30. Lucas

    Awesoommeee . since Im a guy, Im gonna make those and try to find a different use for them …. sharing on Fb!!!

  31. Love this so much! I’d love to see one on baby gear in kitchen too, I have the grass patch, but still gets so cluttery. Also small bathroom storage. Our master bath is TINY and I’m always looking for pleasant to the eye ways to create storage.

  32. Aimee

    My organization nightmare? All of my once-worn but not dirty clothes that end up on my desk. It’s a huge pile. What do other people do? Put them back in the dresser?

    • Kate

      We put some attractive coat racks on our wall near out closets as an in between solution for the stuff that comes off your body at night but is still clean enough to wear again. It’s good in-between that my husband and I can stick to. Rather than tossing on a chair or the floor, we at least get stuff draped neatly on hooks. Then, once a week or more often, we each cull through the rack (it too inevitably gets bigger and messier throughout the week) and either put back on hangers in the closet, fold in to drawers, or retire to dirty laundry. Plus, i think you could find an amazing vintage or unique freestanding coat rack to achieve the same behavior and look cool.

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  35. Gorgeous! My jewellery always seem to end up in a tangled mess. I’ll definitely give this a shot. I’d like to see a clever way of storing wrapping paper, gift bags and ribbon (and not one of those fancy craft cupboards that are solely used for that purpose… who has that kind of space!?)

  36. KathrynJ

    These jewellery blocks are simply gorge! Such a clever, clever idea. I second the suggestion for stylish shoe storage ideas.

  37. jolene

    Very cute! I’m so excited that we get to see your closet makeover!

  38. Andrea

    I love this idea! I have a whole dresser drawer of jewelry, which is way ridiculous. Plus this is so simple, modern and clever! In the future, I’d love to see a post on organizing office stuff and files – so not pretty, but so necessary!

  39. These are great! I could even see doing an artful arrangement as wall decor.

  40. Terree

    I’m adding another vote for tiny bathroom storage. Where to put that extra roll of tp? Here in tundraland the polar vortex burst my pipe last week! The damage was done in a mostly unfinished basement full of my art/craft supplies. I would love to make a more functional space there (now that I’m being forced to) and organize what’s left of my supplies so it would be more fun to work there.

  41. Kevin

    I think you must use 2 points of attachment to the wall; otherwise you have to be sure to keep it balanced. A previous poster mentioned this as well, but I didn’t see any reply.

    Hybrid idea from another poster: fix the cubes to a larger board (which should be painted/finished nicely). Using 2 small nails per cube would keep them straight, or some gorilla glue (assuming surface roughness of the cube isn’t too bad). Then the entire board could be fixed to the wall with some lightweight anchors/screws.

  42. Kate

    I have a few areas for home organization that I need:
    Medicine cabinet – keeping it easily accessible and organized in a way that doesn’t make me sick just looking at it!

    Produce on the kitchen counter – the bananas, onions, apples, squash, etc. – I need to corral all that produce that doesn’t live in the fridge but looks like a farmers market spit up all over my counter in a way that keeps it fresh and accessible (no garlic stinking up my clementines, but both in arms reach).

    Mail/Purses/Bags – We don’t have a front entryway in our house, so this stuff clogs our kitchen table daily when we get home. We need a “sorting and storage station” in a house layout that does not offer a natural place for one.

    All that freaking tupperware! Is it even possible to organize the monstrosity of different lids and plastic shapes that is reusable food storage? It’s my biggest source of irritation in my kitchen.

    Also, I would love to see a timeline (stop action?) of use after you organize – from the day it is installed and styled and PERFECT, to a few days after use, to a week after use, to a month after use. It will help us all see how good organization can be functional, but doesn’t have to always look perfect to be working. It can be daunting to see only perfectly styled organizational posts (after everything was installed but before anyone actually lived in or used the space). I compare it to my own attempts be functional, which are never quite as beautiful… and feel like a failure. I am sure even the most talented designer/stylist in the world doesn’t keep her socks in perfectly gridded patterns in her drawers or her Tupperware in pristine visual order… but that doesn’t mean she’s not organized and using the space efficiently with a high degree of aesthetic value. Let’s see the balance of functional and beautiful at play. It would be so cool to see an organized space working in real life over time, and see how it evolves depending on whether it was a busy week or right after work or after a weekly tidying, etc.

    Love this! As you can tell, I’m pumped. :)

  43. Absolutely love this idea! Simple DIYs are always the best. This one looks totally doable, beautiful, and brilliant!

  44. Love this! Looks like the way a cool boutique would display their jewelry in Silverlake or Los Feliz!

  45. Lisa

    I love this. I have been looking for a new way to put my hand jewelry!

  46. Michelle

    This is a fabulous idea. I have some 9 square boxes from Target that I use for my jewelery, but my necklaces are just too long to fit in them. So I will be giving this a go.
    I would love it if you did an entire organization series: desk/office, pantry (pantries need to be cute, too right?), how to store products in the laundry room, closets, etc. I would love organization ideas that are functional and stylish!

  47. Laura

    I would love to see a post about how to tame kitchen clutter on counters, tables and desks!

  48. I love this idea and look! For so long I have been looking for some way to hang my jewlery nicely on the wall. Unfortunately, living in a small apartment, I don’t have much (any) space to do the sanding or staining required. If anyone happened to make these I would totally buy them ;)

  49. So in love with this midcentury mod DIY piece! Making this ASAP – the perfect fit for my minimalist, Scandinavian, industrial space. Thanks!

  50. Pingback: Jewelry Display: Jewelry Blocks | Virukka Blog

  51. I LOVE this… no other project on your site has made me wish of owning my own place more! But alas, I am a renter (the horror!) I actually found a couple of “tea towel” racks (is that only a Southern thing?) and use them to hang my jewels… but his homeowner luxe idea is getting filed away for sure!

  52. Sarah W

    Love this! The better question for me is what don’t I need help organizing? Basically my whole house is a disaster. Top on my list is open storage in my kitchen. I have very little cupboard space, and need to utilize some open space under the counters without hanging a curtain. Ick! Also, toys are taking over my life, so I need ideas for storage in my very small girls’ room, and a little bit in the living room, and I need help making my bookshelves look pretty. I am loving everything you are doing recently! And I love hearing about/seeing Charlie too. So cute!

  53. Jamie

    really like this a lot. I think that I may drill a hole through the wood block and glue it there for my wife. It would provide a little extra strength and still look nice I think :)

  54. Aimee

    How much weight do these hold? I have lots of heavy jewelry and would love to try this!

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  57. These are SO kickass. I’m obsessed. I will be making these.

  58. Elise

    These are awesome! Beautiful. Thank you so much! Definitely will be making some of these for my daughter and I.

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  64. Judy

    This is AMAZING! I’ve gone about as far as doodling on 3M hooks or just spray-painting them a solid colour, but this is beautiful. And they’re great for rings, for which I have a lot more.

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  68. Diana

    Hello! I love this idea. So beautiful and functional. I’m trying it — as soon as I can figure out where to buy those brass dowels!

    Quick question — it looks like (in the third picture, step #1) you’ve chiseled out a channel in the wood, presumably where the dowel would sit, but the instructions don’t say anything about that. Is that a recommended step, or am I just seeing things? If you’d recommend that step, what did you use to create the channel?

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  71. Sorcha

    Hi! I tried this but the wooden blocks lean forward when I hang them. How do I get them to be perfectly straight like yours look??? I used every single thing you did and followed the directions exactly…

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  73. Jen

    These are great but I did make them and cannot get them to stay straight. Every time I take a necklace off, the entire thing tips and all the necklaces fall to the floor…Any tips? Do yours actually work or just look super cool?

  74. This is such a cool idea. I have been looking traditional and non traditional ways to store and display my jewelry. For my showier pieces I would definitely give this a try.
    American Retail Supply

  75. Paul

    I love the idea, it looks great. I think I would use a driller to embed the dowel a bit into the woodblock.

  76. AJ

    Hi! I made this and it looks really cute BUT it’s not functional. The teeth hanger thing on the back makes it lay in weird way against the wall like it’s falling off or something. Also whatever you hang on one side has to weigh the same as the other side or it teeter-totters and everything falls off. Did I miss something in the directions? I wish I didn’t live in an apartment or I would just glue it to the wall or something. It really is cute but not at all practical.

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  78. Laura

    Quick question. Did you glue the dowels to the flat surface of the block? Or did you saw in a groove in order to give it a little more strength/spot to put the glue? One picture looks like there is a ridge in the wood where you placed the dowel, others it looks like you just glued it on!
    Thanks. I’m excited to make my own!

    • Diana

      Hi Laura, I asked the same question and cross-posted it to the bneato blog as well. Here is what Beth said:

      “Nope, no channel. Just used superglue to affix to wood dowel. But that’s not to say you couldn’t score the wood (If you want to do this, just make a criss cross pattern that is super tiny using the tip of something sharp).”

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  81. I love them so much! Great stylish idea.

  82. Love the clean modern look! Great idea!

  83. Rae

    Love this! I was looking for the brass dowels & the link just takes me to the True Value website where I can’t find them. Is there someplace else I should look for them?

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  88. Dee

    Hey Emily , Beth ? How did you mount them on the wall ? As u mentioned I used similar sawtooth hangers on the blocks , but when I try to use a regular picture hanger wall , it’s kinda drooping down a bit. I absolutely love the look of these on my wall , but need to find the a way that makes them stick closer to wall .

    • Courtney

      Hi Dee – I am going to drill a hole into the bock of wood and hang it directly onto the wall like that – Maybe that is the option for you? I might even drill two holes, so that it’s anchored and won’t teeter with unbalanced weight as mentioned above.

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  90. Mimi

    I LOVE this wall color! Any chance I can get the name and brand?

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  96. As I am very much crazy for buying necklaces, earrings, rings and many more jewelry for me from various jewelry shops, it’s the big question where to store all these ornaments.So,I decided to think of a game plan and discover a way to store my jewelery in an easier and better way.The box which I always use is a wooden board box with a beautiful cut-out pattern around the lid along with the sides. You can use any box you could possibly have lying about. Cardboard boxes function just fine.

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