I must be bad at keeping secrets, because I’m spilling the beans on the hidden jewelry storage behind this art print. Want to see what I’ve got back there, and my advice and sources for building your own secret jewelry storage?
Partly because my necklaces are all out in the open (see my DIY necklace storage racks here), I wanted concealed storage for my earrings. I considered a mirror jewelry storage rack (and actually even started building one), but I already have a big standing mirror just a few feet away from the spot where this needed to go, so adding another one seemed silly. And that’s when I realized that I should hide my earrings behind some art.
I also wanted to be able to store all of my earrings in one spot. Not just the ones with hooks or wires, but also the studs. I searched and searched for the best way to store stud earrings. I wanted something wall-mounted, where you didn’t need to take the back off of the earring to put it on the holder. Those requirements were surprisingly difficult to fulfill. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to find good stud earring storage. I actually ordered, then returned, a couple different candidates before I finally found the solution.
My DIY projects tend to snowball. They start off small, and then I end up adding other parts that I never originally intended to do. Like making this art. It’s my take on one of these cool woodblock prints I’ve been seeing everywhere. I only made it because I couldn’t find art of the right size to put in this frame. I needed something 14 inches wide, so I grabbed a piece of posterboard and some paint (a tester pot I had added to my stash at some point), and brushed it onto the matte side of the board. Then I traced an embroidery hoop to make a circle on some black construction paper, cut it out, and cut it in half. The black paper was actually really faded, so I gave it a coat of black chalkboard paint, let it dry, then glued the circles onto my painted posterboard. Viola, (practically) instant art! Though I thought it might be temporary, I actually like it a lot.
When I started this project, I fully intended to share step-by-step details. But two things happened: I changed my plans a lot along the way, and I realized that if I were building this again, I would do it differently. So instead of a full tutorial, I’ll give you a rundown of what I did, and what changes I would make if I built another.
I started with this shadowbox that I bought on sale at Michaels. I thought it would save me time to buy a box that already had hinges, and just modify it. If I were doing this again, I would instead just buy a white picture frame, add hinges, and build a box to go behind it. This shadowbox wasn’t as deep as I needed it to be, so I had to make modifications to make up for that. (Also, the backing is really wrinkled, so it’s a good thing I wasn’t using it!)
Like I said above, I wanted a way to store all of my earrings, studs and those with hooks or wires. Simple slotted holders like these were surprisingly hard to find, but I finally found these kits. I bought four kits, and I would totally recommend them. They weren’t sized quite right for what I needed, so I added pieces of wood trim I had in my garage to make them fit. I used wood glue and E6000 to attach the trim. I also discovered that if you need to make the pieces smaller, it’s much easier to just bend and snap them than to cut them with a saw.
Here’s what the back side looked like:
To help me decide on the placement of the racks, I measured the lengths of my earrings, and tried to estimate how much room I needed for different lengths by doing a rough count.
The next steps were taping off the glass (on both sides), and painting everything with white spray paint.
Then I also added a new backing, consisting of a piece of plywood, topped with cork that I glued white fabric to. You could just leave the back open, but I wanted to be able to add pushpins to hold hoop earrings. Oh, and the backing allowed me to attach two keyhole hangers, for hanging it securely on the wall. I also added these picture hanging strips to the bottom to keep it from pulling away from the wall when I opened the door.
Lastly, it was time to add my art. After cleaning the glass on both sides super well, I used some washi tape to hold the art in place.
Then I covered the back with a larger piece of marble contact paper, both to hold the art more securely, and to make it prettier. Yes, I put it on slightly crooked, and yes, there are bubbles. C’est la vie.
So here’s the take-away for my DIY hidden jewelry storage. I’m like 95% happy with the end result, but this wasn’t the easiest way to build this. I would buy a picture frame, add hinges, and build a box for the back, like in this tutorial for a jewelry storage mirror. But I would definitely use the same earring rack kits. And surprisingly, I would recommend trying to make your own DIY art. You might end up liking your own art more than you expect!