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Tired of tangled chains? Organize your jewelry

 / Updated  / Source: TODAY

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Jewelry boxes can be handy, but they can also turn your prettiest baubles into unsightly nests of knots. Blueprint magazine gives display-worthy organizing ideas for your precious stones and chains.

Stylish jewelry storage Keep your jewelry organized and on display on your bureau by lining a pretty tray with mismatched teacups and placing your baubles in the cups. If you don’t have any mismatched teacups, you can easily find them on eBay or at a thrift or vintage store for about $1 each.

Open drawer policy Or, if you want to keep your jewelry under wraps, use the same idea but do it in a drawer. To set it up, measure the height of the drawer’s side (not the front), then gather dishware that’s slightly shorter. Line the drawer with velvet or felt to prevent rattling and sliding, then position the porcelain. Hook drop earrings on rims of cups, nestle necklaces within them, and stash chunkier beads and bangles on individual saucers.

What you saw on TODAY: Cotton velvet fabric, $27 per yard, B&J Fabrics, 212-354-8150. Similar china, from $1,

Madame curio ”Out of sight, out of mind” has long been your mantra — and the explanation for that “missing” strand of pearls. So why not transform your most-neglected pieces into art? You’ll never misplace a pendant that’s modeled by a faux-marble bust on your dresser — and chains are less likely to knot when they’re stored the way they are worn. If classical sculpture isn’t quite your style, drape jewels over a candelabra or pile bangles on an artist’s 3-D wooden hand model.

Credits: Similar faux-marble busts, from $98,

Boxed rings If surface area in your bedroom is scarce, try a wall-mounted solution on for size. This jazzed-up shadow box, retrofitted with a variety of hooks and knobs, shelters delicate earrings and chains from possible entanglements while turning them into objets d’art. Small decorative bowls perched on the box’s lower ledge corral rings, pins and brooches and complete the charming trinket tableau.

Here's how to make one:
1. Select a shadow box (or a small wine crate) with a back and sides that are at least ¼ inch thick to accommodate the hooks. Sand and prime the box, then apply two coats of semigloss spray paint.

2. Cut a piece of decorative paper to fit inside the box, coat the back of the paper with spray adhesive, and press it into place, smoothing it from the center out to the corners with your fingers. Then lay out the jewelry where you’d like it to hang and screw in hooks at the appropriate points.

3. Finally, add two evenly spaced saw-tooth hangers to the box’s back for a steady mount.

What you saw on TODAY: Shadow box, $12, Similar Berenson “Barcelona” knobs, $6 each, Rust-Oleum “Painter’s Touch” spray paint in Seaside Green, $3, for stores. “Nepal Fish-scale” paper, $5 per sheet, New York Central Art Supply, 212-473-7705

Hook it up A collection of hooks on the wall is a pretty, useful way to store and display chunkier necklaces and bracelets. It frees up table-top surfaces and makes them easier to grab on the go. Using attractive hooks (try the hooks from makes for a beautiful arrangement. Another source for attractive hooks is architectural salvage shops.

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Trunk show Towering trees aren’t the only flora that can sport rings. A few well-chosen branches from your last hike or a couple of dried vines from a florist shop can, too — if you trim them with the 24-karat kind. We adapted this idea from L.A.-based jewelry designer Kathleen Ward, who dreamed it up for a photo shoot and then stuck with it: “A lot of my pieces have delicate shapes and chains, and hanging them on the branches kept them from knotting up,” she says. We found that cuttings with horizontal offshoots work best; just “plant” the stems in a vase filled with rocks or sand (for stability). You can also spray-paint the twigs black or gold for a more striking look.

What you saw on TODAY: Sandblasted “manzanita” branches, $12 each, Dry Nature, 212-695-8911. Similar Alex Marshall Studio vase, from $58,

Board approval With just one trip to an art-supply store, you’ll have all the materials you need to make these peg boards. We pasted decorative paper onto an art board (about $15 at, wrapping the paper onto the board like a present and adhering it using spray mount. Then we placed our jewelry on the board in an arrangement we liked and nailed in basic brass tacks to hang up the pieces. For an even more interesting visual display, make two or three peg boards using different papers, then prop them on your bureau, overlapping the boards slightly.

Travel tip The easiest, most inexpensive way to tote your jewelry when you’re on the go? Take a piece of bubble wrap, lay it flat on a table, and Scotch tape your jewelry to it. Then roll up the bubble wrap and place it in your suitcase. It will keep your pieces free of tangles — and cushioned — during your travels.

What you saw on TODAY:

By Boe at
Dinosaur Designs at
Kathleen Ward at
Melissa Joy Manning at
Laura Costagliola at 212.426.5722

Live Wire Farm at

For additional organizing ideas and more, visit

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