Tutorial: Necklace Organizer

As requested, from my Jewelry Organization post, I have created a tutorial for transforming a wooden utensil tray into a necklace organizer.

Here’s what you need:
– wooden utensil tray (works best if all of the compartments go the same direction)
– sand paper (optional)
– spray paint (optional)
– ruler
– pencil
– drill with 5/32 drill bit
– assorted scrapbook/wrapping paper
– glue
– awl
– assorted knobs, one for each compartment (I found mine at Hobby Lobby and Home Depot)

Here’s the utensil tray I started with:

I found it at a thrift store, and the wood was a little scratched up, so I sanded and painted it. Feel free to skip these steps if you like the way your wood looks – I left it natural on my previous organizer:

So, go ahead and sand down the wood if you need to:

Wipe it down with a damp rag to get the dust off, and when it’s completely dry, go ahead and spray paint it.

I painted mine almond first, covered it with black, and then used a little sandpaper to let some bits of the almond show through on the edges. Don’t worry about covering the bottom of the compartments, because we will be covering them with paper later.

When your paint is totally dry, it’s time to drill the holes to screw the knobs into. Measure your tray from the front to figure out where the center of each compartment it. I found it was easier to use centimeters rather than inches for this.

Next, hold your biggest knob in a compartment to figure out how far down they should be from the top. Make sure to leave room to slip your jewelry over the knob. Mine was 2 inches from the top of the tray to the center of the knob.

Flip your tray over to the back, keeping track of which side you want to be the top, and mark where your drill holes need to go. Drill the holes using a 5/32 drill bit.

Wipe out the sawdust from your tray. Pair up your knobs and papers, and decide which set should go in each compartment. Cut the paper to size. Spread glue over the bottom of the compartment (I used plain old white glue), and lay down your paper.

After smoothing down the paper with your fingers, you can gently push any air bubbles out with the edge of your ruler, being careful not to tear the paper. Repeat for the rest of your compartments.

Once the glue is dry, poke through the paper from each drill hole on the back of the tray.


Screw your knobs into the holes. You may need to get some shorter screws or cut off the ends of your screws (depending on the type of knob you are using) if you don’t want them to stick too far out from the back. Here’s what the back looks like with my shortened screws:

And here’s the front:

Hang your necklaces up, and stand back and admire your handiwork!

The organizer should stand up on a flat surface, but you can also add a couple of eye screws and some wire to hang it up!

Let me know if you make one of these. I’d love to see what you come up with!

Note: As I mentioned in my Jewelry Organization post, this was not my original idea. The blog I found it on is no longer online, so I made my own tutorial to share with you.

6 thoughts on “Tutorial: Necklace Organizer

  1. OUh!! What a cute idea! Love it!I came over from take-a-look tuesday and am excited to be your new follower! Can't wait to see what other creative things you come up with! 🙂

  2. This is fabulous! I may steal it. In fact I probably will! I have a few random knobs lying around AND an old silverware drawer! You are brilliant woman!!

  3. Christa,I'm making a necklace holder on a large sheet of plastic canvas. Actually it is a jewelry cabinent with the first layers as earring holders. I'm stuck on what to use through the plastic canvas holes for the necklaces to hang on. I was originally thinking of paperclips but they are too big I think. Most of the necklace clasps are too small to hook through the holes. Since you are so creative, maybe you can think of some ideas for me. Thanks.

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