Display's The Thing

Make the most of your accessories. Make them part of your decor.

By Julai Whipple January 5, 2015

The holidays are well and truly over, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve already translated your holiday bonus/$50 check from grandma—money you saved by not being able to get an Uber on New Year’s Eve—into gorgeous, flashy trash.

If your spendy poison of choice is jewelry, well, what are you going to do with all your new pieces? Dump them in an old Sanka can for safekeeping? Maybe try to cram them into the jewelry box you got when you were twelve, the one with the rotating ballerina under the lid?

I say no. A quick perusal of Pinterest will give you any number of ideas on how to spend more money in order to display the stuff you’ve already spent all your money on. These are mostly some variation on “Find a pretty bowl. Put stuff in the bowl.” But what if the situation is serious? What if you’re down to your last holiday $10 and if you don’t find some way to display all this new bling, you’re going to be reduced to wearing it all, all day, every day? (Not a bad second choice.) Well, here are some organization tips that will cost you less than that $10.

First, your earrings. A friend recently gave me the idea of using a vintage tennis racket as a wall display—the netting is perfect for holding French hooks. This has the double bonus of giving your room a sort of Margot Tenenbaum air of romantic clutter. But if tennis (and unreachable ideals of quirky beauty filtered through Instagram’s “Hefe” lens) isn’t your style, try this:

Look at you, doing some totally butch stuff with nails and screws!

All you need is two o-screws and a dowel rod. Measure the rod, make two guide dots with a pencil where you want the o-screws to land (make sure they’re level, or all your pretties will slide to one side), then use a nail to tap holes where the o-screws will live. Screw them into the wall, thread the dowel rod through, and look at you.

Now, your necklaces. For finer, smaller-chained pendants, I favor suction cup hooks stuck along the edge of my bathroom mirror. But we are living in the era of the tyranny of the statement necklace (and I, for one, welcome our attention-grabbing overlords). My solution? Enter any thrift store’s housewares section and find the ugliest, most brazen piece of 70s wall sculpture on offer. Take home. Spray the holy bejeezus out of it with the spray paint of your choice. Metallic is always good.  Don’t breathe in too much. Unless, you know, you want to.

You can get your own chain-vomiting-Zeus necklace in the amazing Ultra Terrestrial shop on Etsy.

“But what,” I hear you protest, “about my brooches?” Oh, those forgotten cabochons, the crazy aunts of the jewelry world, consigned to the bottoms of drawers. I have two solutions for you. The first—cut a piece of felt the size of your brooch collection and pin it to the wall. Attach brooches. You are done! The second appeals more to my hoarder/organizer nature. Vintage Bakelite lunch trays are modular, stackable, and run from $2.00 -$6.00 on eBay.

Trust, these are the most delicious things ever to be served on this tray.

Now that we’ve done some light DIY and some heavy spray painting, and thrown in a little eBay shopping just for kicks, let me know if you have any jewelry display ideas I’ve missed. I’ll be out waiting by my mailbox for the Chinese clip-in weaves I ordered last week. I’m planning to tack them to my bedroom wall and use them to display my barrettes. Would Margot Tenenbaum approve? Probably not, but I don’t remember her being that great of an accessorizer, anyway.


Show Comments