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Vintage Necklace Holder Stand DIY

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Fall is here which means it's our last chance to get some spring cleaning and organizing done. Why not start with your jewelry? Keep your necklaces and bracelets tangle free by hanging them on this elegant vintage jewelry stand. Note: this project is recommended for someone with basic woodworking skills and equipment or access to a friend with power tools who can help. I have made two projects previous to this one with the (very patient) guidance of my sweet husband, Mark.

 DIY Jewelry Stand

Scroll through for the DIY instructions...

DIY Necklace Stand Supplies

Supplies (makes 4 necklace displays)

Lumber and Finishing Materials

  • 2 - stair railing posts (I scored my 3-1/4" wide by 4' tall posts for $1 at a garage sale, but any size found at a local hardware store can be used to achieve a multitude of heights. My posts were symmetrical allowing me to create four identical stands.) 
  • 1 - 1x11 board, at least 4' long
  • Old Fashioned Milk Paint in color of your choice (I used white) 
  • Watco Danish Oil in color of your choice for base (I used Cherry purchased at Lowes) 
  • Daddy Van's Furniture Wax in Shadow Black and in Clear (This is my absolute favorite wax finish for woodworking and bringing antiques back to life - a little goes a very long way.) 


  • 8 - 3" wood screws 
  • 12 door hinge bolts in your of finish (I used brushed nickel) 

    Power Tools

    • Power drill with one bit large enough to create holes for door hinge bolts and a second bit to drill a pilot hole for the wood screws
    • Sander with 220 grit paper
    • Miter Saw
    • Radial Arm Saw

      Miscellaneous Tools and Supplies

      • Paintbrush
      • Bowl, small measuring cup and water for mixing milk paint
      • Wiping cloths or old t-shirts cut into squares and rubber gloves for applying Danish oil and rubbing the wax finish in
      • 0000 Steel Wool
      • Measuring tape
      • Safety gloves and goggles
      • Paper and pencil
      • Clamps
      • Phillips head screwdriver for the wood screws (or a bit that fits into your power drill) 
      • Small pieces of wood or lifts to rest boards on while applying Danish Oil (optional, but helpful) 

         Woodworking Steps for DIY Necklace Stand

        Woodworking Steps

        1. Cut posts to desired length. I was able to cut mine exactly in the middle as the posts were symmetrical. 
        2. Measure and mark 11" sections on the 1x11 lumber for the number of bases you are making. In my case, I made 4 11x11 bases as I had four cut sections of post to work with. 
        3. Sand the edges of the base as well as the post. I wanted a 'more rustic than not' feel to my piece, so I used only the 220 grit paper instead of finer grades for further finishing. 

        DIY Jewelry Stand - Apply Milk Paint Finish

        Finishing Steps - Apply Milk Paint

        1. Mix the milk paint according to package directions. I mixed this batch to a consistency similar to school glue.
        2. Paint 1 to 2 coats of milk paint onto posts. When using milk paint, the finish will be a naturally streaky look unless you add an extender. Milk paint has been used for thousands of years to provide a rustic finish to many surfaces. 
        3. After the milk paint is completely dry, lightly sand any bubbles or imperfections from the surface and bring out the natural sheen of this beautiful paint. At this point, you can leave your post as is, apply a coat of dark wax (described below) to achieve an antique look or seal with clear wax to add an additional glow to your finished piece. 

         DIY Vintage Jewelry Stand - Apply Wax Finish

        Finishing Steps - Apply Wax (optional)

        I wanted to achieve a weathered look to my garage sale find posts, like they had been sitting in a barn for a century and a half. To do this, one of my favorite techniques is applying Shadow Black or Antique Brown wax over a milk paint finish. Because I went with white for my base, I decided on Shadow Black to add depth to my piece. I've included a photograph showing three finished posts next to one with bare milk paint so you can see the difference between them. All beautiful, just in their own way. 

        1. Apply a generous amount of black or brown wax to the post, without leaving large clumps. Think about waxing a car - just the right amount to provide coverage, but not too much which makes rubbing the wax down a nightmare. 
        2. Be sure to get into the grooves well with the black wax. This is where the magic comes in with this finish.
        3. Using a clean cloth, rub the wax back to the desired level of color. Then, let the piece harden overnight. 
        4. (not shown) Apply clear wax over the top of the finish to seal everything in. Let dry overnight, then rub to a gorgeous sheen the next day. This is a very classic finish. 

        Vintage Necklace Tree - Apply Danish Oil

        Finishing Steps - Apply Danish Oil and Wax

        As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I am fairly new to woodworking. This happy accident was one of my favorite parts of the project. I had some Watco Danish Oil in Cherry from one of my first projects on hand, so applied it to my cut bases. However, when I laid my 'look like they've been in a barn for a century and a half' posts next to them, the look was not what I had envisioned. Pink and grey can be a good combination, but I wanted something that looked old - the whole thing. Adding a coat of Daddy Van's Shadow Black and finishing with clear did the trick! 

        1. Apply Danish Oil according to package instructions. I applied two coats. One trick I learned is to lay small pieces of wood or buttons under the side you are not working on to lift the piece up slightly from the table. This allows a nice way to finish the edges. 
        2. After Danish Oil dries completely, apply Shadow Black and Clear wax as described in the section above. 

        A special note about Danish Oil. The ingredients in this product have been used for centuries to finish woodworking items. The finish soaks into the wood and provides a beautiful sheen without much fuss like you will find with polyurethane finishes that sit on top of the wood. To this end, there is a risk of spontaneous combustion when rags or brushes soaked with oil are left to dry in sunlight or warm spaces. I keep a small coffee can filled with water to store my used cloths, then dispose of them properly. 

         Necklace Tree Assembly

        Assembly Steps

        1. Using a sheet of paper to make a template, place one of the posts in the center and draw an outline of the post bottom. 
        2. Remove the post and draw circles for the placement of two wood screws. 
        3. Lay the template on one of the bases. Using a wood screw as a punch, add a placement hole for each screw to the base. 
        4. Drill a pilot hole all the way through the base using the small bit for each wood screw.
        5. Using the counter sink bit, create an indentation in the base for each wood screw. 
        6. Using a clamp to hold the post against a work surface with the end overhanging the edge, place the base onto the post and fasten with the wood screws. I used a power drill with a screwdriver bit to do this and save time. 

        DIY Necklace Tree - Add Hardware Add Hardware Steps

        1. Mark placement of door bolts. I wanted three per stand so the stands could be used on display tables at local venues I participate in. 
        2. Using a piece of electrical tape, place a marker for a half-inch depth on the large drill bit. Using this as a guide, drill a hole for each bolt. 
        3. Add the bolts to the drilled holes. 

        DIY Necklace Holder Instructions

        Now, add your favorite jewelry to the bolts and a few pieces on the base and you're ready to go play! 

        Here's to you and power tools,




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        • Marica Zammit: September 08, 2016

          What a wonderful project Chris!

          Really like how it came out, so elegant and professional. Great job!

        • Chris Kemp: September 08, 2016

          Great blog Chris. The pictures are very well done!

        • Allison Murray: September 07, 2016

          Love it! Great step-by-step pictures!

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