Introduction: Upcycled Home Organizer

Turn your old jewelry box into a chic new organizer to help you keep everything you need all in one place. This project can easily be modified to fit the shape and size of the jewelry box you will be upcycling, and leaves plenty of room for personal taste and creativity!

Materials Needed:

1. Recycled jewelry box

**Check out craigslist, garage sales and your local thrift store if you don't already have a box.**

2. 1/4” thick scrap wood or particle board. Minimum size of of 10"x10"

3. Wood glue

4. Band saw or handheld electric saw

5. Painters tape

6. Paint primer (Optional if the color paint you choose is darker than the original color of the box).

**I used left over interior paint primer; recycle if you can! You don’t need much.**

7. Paint in color of preference (I also used interior paint from an old painting project).

8. Paint brush (larger one for painting the box and smaller ones for details, knobs, hooks and decoupage).

9. Newspaper

10. Craft paper scraps/magazine clippings

11. Scissors

12. Mod Podge

13. Hooks (recycled if possible)

14. Utility knife

15. Hot glue gun

16. Ruler

17. Cork Board

18. Acrylic paint in color of choice (Optional only if you want to paint your knobs).

Assembly time:

This project will likely take you up to two days to complete simply because of the time needed to allow the glue and paint to dry.

Step 1: Defining the Shape

To begin, collect all materials and prep your work area. A well ventilated space is ideal as we will be using paints, and you also want to have a safe area to cut your materials with a saw.

The first thing we are going to do is to define the form of our organizer by creating a letter holder to add on to the side of the box. For this step you will need: wood, glue, a band saw or electric saw, and tape.

  1. Measure and cut your wood. To assemble the letter holder you will need:

One 4 1/2” x 7” rectangle

Two 7” x 3/4” rectangles

One 4 1/2” x 1” rectangle

*Tip: When cutting your wood, be sure to mesure before and after each cut, as the saw will shorten the actual length of your piece of wood.

2. To assemble the letter holder, use a small amount of wood glue to adhere the smaller rectangles to the larger one to form the box as shown in the images. Be sure to align the edges carefully and press down firmly.

3. Use a few pieces of tape to hold the pieces in places while the glue dries. Allow to dry over night; you can continue working on the next steps in the mean time.

Step 2: Prime and Paint

  1. Prep your work area. If you are working on a surface you don’t want to get paint on, use old newspaper or a drop cloth to protect your space.
  2. Prep your box. If there are parts of your box you want to avoid getting paint on, use painters tape to protect those areas. As you can see in the photo, I taped off the mirror on the inside of my box.
  3. Prime time! Use the primer to cover the surface of your box and anywhere you will be adding paint to. This step is optional if you already have a solid or light colored surface, but in my case the original paint was very bright and would take too many layers of paint to fully cover.
  4. Let dry for 2-4 hours.
  5. With the paint in the color of your choice, paint over the primed surface in long even strokes. I chose to use white paint so its difficult to see the difference between the prime and painted areas.
  6. Once your paint has dried, you may have some areas where the paint has dripped down the side of your box. If so, use a small piece of sand paper to smooth out the area, and then use a small brush and some paint to touch up the area.

**You may also apply several layers of paint in place of the primer, but it will require more layers and drying time.**

Step 3: Detail, Decorate & Decoupage

This next step is really where the fun begins. Feel free to add your own spin on this step and really personalize and customize your box to match your decor and personal style.

  1. Begin by removing the knobs from your box. In my case, they were screwed in and very easy to unscrew and remove.
  2. Select a variety of paper scraps or magazine clippings that you want to use to collage the faces of your drawers, letter holder, or any other part of your box that you'd like.
  3. After you've carefully cut your pieces to fit how you would like, use a paint brush to paint on a thin layer of Mod Podge to your paper and press it onto the surface of your box. Continue until the area is covered and you are happy with the look.
  4. Paint a layer of Mod Podge over the paper-covered surface in long smooth strokes. Don't worry, it dries clear! Leave to dry for 1-2 hours.

**You can use a blow dryer to speed up the drying process if you'd like.**

Step 4: Updated Knobs and Hooks

For this part, you may choose to update your original drawer knobs or replace them with fresh and exciting new ones. Recycled knobs are preferred, and are great to mix and match. If you don’t have any spare knobs lying around, thrift stores and vintage or antique shops are a great resource for finding fun and unique knobs.

If you would like to update your old knobs, painting them is an easy way to give them a brand new look.

1. You should have already removed your knobs in the previous step to decoupage your box. I chose to paint my knobs with a gold acrylic paint which I found works best. Alternatively, you may also use paper scraps and Mod Podge to decoupage your knobs, or replace them with new ones altogether.

2. Once you have painted them, set them aside to dry.

3. Add a second coat of paint if needed.

Step 5: Cut the Cork Board

Next we will be adding cork board to the side of the box. This will be used as an area to pin notes, pictures, reminders or anything else you want.

  1. Begin by measuring the side of your box where you would like to place your cork board.
  2. Trace the dimensions onto your cork board and with a ruler and utility knife, carefully cut the cork to the correct size.
  3. Test that the strip you cut fits how you want it to.
  4. Apply your cork to the box with a hot glue gun. I found that it works best to glue one edge down first and then continue on to glue the rest of the cork board. Be sure to work quickly so your hot glue doesn't dry before it is properly adhered.
  5. Press down firmly and let rest for several minutes to dry.

Step 6: Attach the Hardware

First we will be adding the letter holder.

  1. Lay the box on its side and position the letter holder where you would like it to go. It may be helpful to use a pencil and lightly mark the corners to help with placement.
  2. Using the wood glue, apply a thin line of glue to the edges of the letter holder as shown in the photo.
  3. Firmly press the glued edges to the box in the desired position.
  4. Use a paper towel to wipe away any excess glue that seeps out.
  5. Stack books or place something heavy on top to hold it in place and apply pressure while it dries. Leave to dry for 6-8 hours, or over night.

Once the letter holder has dried, we will add the hooks. The hooks will be used for holding keys or whatever you like.

We will be using hot glue to attach the hooks on top of the side of the box where we just placed the cork board.

  1. Use a ruler and pen to evenly mark the spot where you would like to attach your hooks.
  2. Apply a generous amount of hot glue to the back of your hook and press it firmly against the side of your box.
  3. Let dry for several minutes.

Step 7: Final Details

Once everything has fully dried, stand your organizer upright. Reattach your knobs, and place drawers back in their places. If there are any spots that need touching up, use a small paint brush and paint to fix any small spots you may have missed earlier.

Step 8: Congrats, You're Done!

You're finished! Enjoy your new organizer and never lose your keys or forget to send your mail. Everything will be in one place and easy to find, plus you have an entirely unique and sustainably made conversation piece to proudly display in your home.

Trash to Treasure Contest 2017

Participated in the
Trash to Treasure Contest 2017