Mother's Day Jewelry Display




Introduction: Mother's Day Jewelry Display

About: I started a wood shop during the Summer of 2009, and have been teaching myself techniques and skills through the project's I've built, both for myself and for others. As a mechanical engineer, I love workin...

A relatively quick and extraordinarily cheap Mother's Day gift that she will appreciate, and actually use!  

Its really easy to build, took me two hours of labor, and I put it together in my shop out of spare materials.

Materials I used:

1/2"x2" wood stock
1/4" dowels
Mesh screen
Wood Glue
212 x 15/16 Screw Eyes (from Home Depot)
Aluminum Bead Chain (optional)
4 3/8" screws


Drill Press
Power Sander/ Misc. Sandpaper
Miter Box and Saw
Screw Driver
12" Clamps
Paper towels

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Step 1: Find the Wood

I found some old 1/2"x2" solid board in my shop inventory, and thought they'd do nicely for a frame.  Any wood of similar dimension would do.

Step 2: Miter the Frame

For speed and simplicity sake, I went with mitered, 45° corners.

Thus, I cut two 9" long and two 12" long pieces, as shown in the images.

Step 3: Sand the Frame Down

I used my power sander to sand down the edges and faces of the four frame pieces.

I only used 100 grit at this step, finer sanding can be done when the frame's assembled.

Step 4: Cut the Screen to Size

I've had this stuff in my shop for forever - its super handy both in the yard and for hobby shopping.

I cut a section of it out with scissors, then eyeballed it to fit comfortably along the frame, as shown in the image.

Step 5: Make the Dowel Hangers

I cut my 1/4" oak dowel stock into 1" lengths, and sanded down the ends to give a nice chamfer.

Then, on the bottom frame quarter, I draw out a symmetrical layout of the dowel's postions.  (Optional: after marking the hole positions, I used a hammer and nail to indent the pencil marks, so that the drill bit would not stray from the correct drilling position).

You could definitely do more or less hangers, or in different orientations - I just found four to be the ideal number in terms of form and function for this frame.  

Use your imagination!

Step 6: Drill the Hanging Holes and Glue the Dowels

I realized that, in order for the necklaces/bracelets not to fall off the dowels, they would have to be oriented at an angle.  Thus, I adjusted my drill press to a 15° angle.  Don't forget to drill holes that are respective to your dowel size! (1/4" drill bit for 1/4" dowel)

I also set up the depth drilled to be approximately 1/4".  

After the holes were drilled, I filled them with dabs of glue, then clamped the frame piece to my workbench, and lightly hammered the dowels in.

Step 7: Install the Screw Eyes

Now, I used screw eyes just because I had a few lying around - there are an infinite amount of ways to go about hanging this display on a wall, but I find screw eyes to be more versatile - you could hang them on two nails, or have a length of rope (or in my case, bead chain), go between then, and hang them off just one nail.

Anyway - I marked their approximate locations on the other short piece of the frame, and drilled the pilot holes with a 1/16" drill bit.  At this point my drill press was back at a level 0°.

Once the holes were drilled, I screwed them in and tightened them with pliers.

Step 8: Assemble the Frame

If you have a frame clamp, then lucky you.  I've been doing it old school for years.

I laid out some paper towels on my bench, so as not to get wood glue on the surface, and applied the glue to both angled faces of the longer frame pieces.  

Then, as quickly as possible (before the glue ran too much), I tightened the clamps and readjusted the miter matings until it looked right, as seen in the second picture.

Once it looked good to me, I tightened the clamps a bit more, and cleaned off the excess glue with more paper towels, and left it to dry overnight.  Almost done!

Step 9: Sand Down the Assembled Frame

Now that it was one piece, I sanded down the edges, corners, and faces by hand with 150 grit sandpaper till there were no rough surfaces or sharp corners.

Safety and comfort are two very important design considerations when making something that people are supposed to touch and interact with, and in cases of woodworking projects, a good sanding job is key to fulfill both.

Step 10: Staple the Screen to the Frame

Turns out a regular stapler is strong enough to go through hardwood - perfect!

I stretched the screen out as much as it would let me, and stapled down the first two corners, and went from there.

Whatever staples ended up sticking out, I just hammered down flat.

Step 11: Install the Offset Screws

One thing I noticed was that if the frame is hanging flat against the wall, there wouldn't be much room for inserting earrings into the mesh, and either the earrings or the paint on the wall could get damaged.

Thus, I decided to put four screws into the back of the frame to offset it about 1/4" off from the wall.  I found these in my hardware drawer and don't remember the exact dimensions, but the gist is:

Mark the screw holes, indent the marks with hammer/nail, drill the appropriate sized pilot hole (1/4" deep), screw the screws in with a screwdriver.  Straightforward and simple.

Then I adjusted the screw heights so that the frame would lay evenly on a level plane.

Step 12: Hanging Bead Chain (optional)

I have lots of bead chain hanging around (pun completely intended), and it's always good to give a gift that has installation options, so why not, right?

I eyeballed the length, cut it with pliers, and threaded it through the screw eyes, and attached the ends with a connector.  And that's it.

Step 13: Done!

And that's it!  

Well, not exactly - there's still the option of painting or staining it.  I didn't end up staining it for two reasons:

1) The wood has a really nice, natural contrast to the grain, and

2) Didn't really have the time since I wouldn't have access to my shop by the time the finish/stain would completely dry.

Other considerations:
  • The wood could be thinner, but this was what was in my shop (aka gratis), and it's pretty, so I went with it.
  • I would have liked to wood burn or etch designs into it, but again, no time (and not nearly enough experience)
  • Bead chain looks better than expected, but it is less stable than having the screw eyes hanging on nails.  To each his own.

In either case, fantastic and wicked easy project (this took me about 2 hours of labor, not including dry time for the glue), and I hope my mom will like it when she opens it up tomorrow!

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