Picture Perfect Jewelry Organizer 2.0

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One way to upcycle old, ornate picture frames is to upcycle them into fun jewelry organizers. I made a couple of these for my nieces a few years ago, and they were big hits! 

See my previous blog here: Picture Perfect Wooden Frame Jewelry Organizer.  

But since posting that tutorial, a question I have been frequently asked is, what about post earrings? With chicken wire or hardware cloth, you can really only hang hook-type earrings. This afternoon project offers a solution that works for just about any style of earring.


You will need:


The Habitat ReStore is a great place to find picture frames, which is where I purchased these two for $8 total. I chose them based on their solid construction and decorative detail.

To get started, flip over the frame and remove any backing paper. Then remove the staples or clips holding the picture and/or glass—I used needle-nose pliers. Discard unless you can recycle.


The finishes I used were:

  • Ballet Pink – I painted the entire frame with two coats of Ballet Pink, making sure to get down into the crevices and covering over all of the gold finish. I used Painter’s Pyramids to hold the frame up off the table so I could get the edges better.
Products Used: General Finishes Ballet Pink Milk Paint, Winter White Glaze Effects and Champagne Pearl Effects

Shop GF

Two coats of GF Ballet Pink were painted over the frame to transform old into new.

Shop GF

After the pink was dry, I taped off the inner part of the frame (which was kind of a weird felt material). I wanted to keep that area pink but give the rest of the frame some special effects.

  • Winter White Glaze – Working on one side at a time, I applied a pretty liberal coat of white glaze with an inexpensive chip brush, getting it down into all of the recesses. I used a cloth to quickly wipe off the excess, which gave a really pretty effect over the pink. I have used other glazes before, but not the white, and I have to say, I really love the look against the soft pink. I will be using the white glaze a lot more often!

  • Champagne Pearl – To kick up the glam factor, I next went over the frame with the Champagne Pearl Effects. The trifecta of the Ballet Pink, white glaze and champagne pearl is a soft and beautiful winning combo.

For yours, select a color that appeals to you or with the intended recipient in mind. Between General Finishes Milk Paints and Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paints (plus recipes to achieve even more colors!), there are tons of colors from which to choose. Make more than one!


The next step is to create the notched slats for the earrings to hang from. I purchased a few pieces of thin maple stock from Woodcraft in the perfect thickness and width – 1/8" x 3/4". These are actually made to be accent strips for cutting boards, but the size works great for this project without a lot of work. If you want to make a bunch of these, I would recommend getting the laminating strips pack, which has 12 pieces of 1/8" x 7/8" x 24" in a variety of exotic and domestic hardwoods.

Other ideas for slats:  upcycle old wooden rulers, paint sticks, wood blinds or a set of wooden shutters you can take apart.

Measure the width of the frame where you want the slats to go.

Measure the ends of the slats in approximately 1".
  • Measure. Determine which way you want to orient your frame, then measure the width of the area where the slats will go. I measured from the inner lip of the frame so the boards wouldn’t be flat against the wall when the organizer is hung. Next, measure the ends of each slat in approximately 1" or enough room for the first notch to clear the edge of the frame. Now, measure the usable area of the slat.

  • Mark. I had 10 usable inches between the edges of the frame, so spacing out the notches every 1/2" gave me 20 notches per slat. (Thankfully, because I wanted it an even number since earrings come in pairs, haha.) Make a mark for each notch. I also marked a guideline along the length of the slat for a depth of 1/4" per notch.

  • Cut. To make cutting the three slats quick and easy, I first bundled them together with tape, making sure not to cover the area for the first cut. The stock was 16" in length so I needed one end cut down a little as well. My dad then cut everything on his bandsaw in no time, following my guide marks. The width of the blade worked perfectly for creating a slot for the earrings to set down in. I sanded off any little burrs with a small piece of sandpaper.

  • Finish. Paint or stain the slats to coordinate with the frame. You could use a contrasting color or stain, or paint them to match the frame like I did in Ballet Pink.

  • Attach. Evenly space the slats inside the frame where you want them to hang. I eyeballed it to get a general idea, then measured and marked so each slat would be straight. Attach each end with some E6000 adhesive or some epoxy. Note: If your frame is very wide, it may be a good idea to add a support behind all of the slats to keep them from bowing, especially if the owner wears a lot of heavy earrings.

Measure slat placement.

Glue slats into place and let dry.


To expand the usability of your jewelry organizer beyond just earrings, add some cup hooks, knobs and/or a dowel rod to the wooden edges of the frame.

I spray painted some cup hooks with a sparkly Krylon Glitter Shimmer paint in Shimmering Silver. I stood them up on a cardboard box to make it easy to paint them from all angles. Looks like a bunch of question marks!

I added two of the larger hooks on each side of the bottom edge of the frame to rest a dowel upon. I spaced three of the small ones on the left and right ends of the frame. I drilled a small pilot hole for each and then tightened them by hand.

For the bracelet rod, I used a 1/2" birch dowel, but 3/8" would work well too. Be careful going any smaller though, or your dowel could bow with the weight of the jewelry. I cut the 36" dowel to length and gave it a test-fit once I had my hooks in place. Well, I realized the dowel wouldn’t quite slide down onto the hook, so I used needle-nose pliers to open it up enough for it to fit. Voila!  

The cup hooks required a little adjustment for the dowel. 
Dowel is painted to match the frame in Ballet Pink with a touch of sparkle. 

A small recess was created on the dowel ends for stoppers made from beads. 

Next, I painted the dowel Ballet Pink and sprayed on some sparkle with Krylon Glitter Shimmer. I used two ceramic beads on the ends of the dowels to act as stoppers. I scooped out the ends of the dowel a little bit with a Dremel tool so the bead would have a little saddle to sit down in. Then I glued them in place with E6000. Once dry, I filled in the little holes with some Timbermate Wood Filler and then painted and shimmered both ends.

The last step is to add a sturdy hanger on the back strong enough to hold the completed organizer loaded up with jewelry. I recommend two hangers, so the frame remains level even if the jewelry is heavier on one side. I used two HIGHPOINT 42mm x 7mm sawtooth hangers. You could also sit your organizer on a dresser or vanity. 

We selected Highpoint Sawtooth Hangers.

Explore Highpoint

Attach a sturdy hanger (or two) to keep the organizer balanced.

Explore Highpoint

And its ready for jewels! 


I made a second jewelry organizer with the other frame I purchased using General Finishes Coral Crush Milk Paint, Winter White Glaze Effects and Champagne Pearl Effects. The slats were walnut so I left them the natural color but added a protective topcoat.

I added some clear sparkly knobs on the bottom of this one. The construction of the light pink frame didn’t give me the space to use them. Customize these any way you like!


A jewelry organizer makes a great gift to keep earrings, bracelets, necklaces and the like tidy and uncluttered. And one can be made in an afternoon (minus paint drying time). Find an old frame, paint it, add hangers as needed and just have fun! Stop by your local Woodcraft store or shop online at woodcraft.com and let us help you find everything you need.

We hope you’ll be inspired! 

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