My wife has had a jewelry box on my “to make” list for quite some time. The very first woodworking project I made was a small, simple jewelry box that she’s simply outgrown. All of her jewelry just sits in a tangled mess with absolutely no organization. I finally gave in and decided to make her some type of jewelry organization project but when I mentioned the idea of her making it she surprisingly said she would.
After searching the internet for ideas we both concluded that the Shanty-2-Chic DIY Jewelry Organizer (tons of other free plans too!) would be the best solution for her. It’s a larger wall mounted cabinet that has a LOT of storage for necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Jamie (my wife) really liked the overall concept of the project but didn’t want to use a mirror for the front. Instead, she came up with a simple barn door look that was easy to make.
Very rarely do I get to work on something with my wife. She just isn’t into woodworking that much. That’s not a problem though. I understand that we can’t all like the same things. Nevertheless it was a very fun experience to be able to guide her through her first project. The goal was to let her do as much as she was comfortable with and help her out in areas where she wasn’t.
The case of the cabinet was to be made from 1×6 pine material. While Jamie has seen me work with all of these tools countless times she hasn’t actually used any of them herself. So to gain a little confidence and familiarity at the miter saw we were able to use the built in clamp to hold the work piece down as she cut. Notice she isn’t wearing safety glasses here. That was a huge no-no and was quickly corrected. Always wear safety glasses, folks. Always wear safety glasses.
To make the construction go by faster we decided to hand cut half blind mitered dovetails with a pocket knife. Just kidding. We used pocket holes.
Due to scheduling conflicts and some crazy weather we had the project ended up being spread out over way to many days. But actually building the project went by pretty quick. Especially since we were both able to team up on it. Here’s a perfect example of our teamwork. I loaded the pocket hole screws while she applied the glue. Teamwork, folks. Teamwork.
With the frame done we can get a good idea of the size of the project. I didn’t realize how large the cabinet was going to be until this point.
The next piece after the frame is the top back board. This will have a row or two of cup hooks as well as the mounting screws to secure it to the wall.
Not only did my wife not feel confident using the table saw but I didn’t want her to use it at all. So I made all of the table saw and bandsaw cuts.
Three more back pieces strategically spaced for hangers.
With the frame done the door can be assembled. The outer frame only is assembled with pocket hole screws.
I wanted the interior slats of the barn door to be thinner than the rest of the door so I split a few 1×4 pieces right down the middle on my bandsaw.
And to remove the saw marks my wife sanded them smooth. See, folks….more teamwork.
The door will basically be a large glued up panel on plywood. I ended up using way too much glue here. I never seem to pour the right amount of glue on large panel glue-ups like this.
And then we could fit all of the pieces starting from the outside. We made a dry run first so this went without any problems.
Because the panel was so large my clamps were pretty much pointless. Instead, we just stacked a bunch of cans and junk on top of the pieces to hold them down while the glue dries.
And speaking of “while the glue dries”…I ate a green apple and my wife ate some Flaming Hot Cheetos. I’m going to say I got the better end of that one.
While the door sat we went back to working on the inside of the case. The original plan calls for a few pegs on a shelf to hold bracelets. We used a 1” dowel rod for this but first a few holes needed to be drilled. Jamie didn’t want to mess up the holes by drilling them on an angle so I drilled them for her.
A little bit of glue and these pegs won’t go anywhere.
After drilling 3 million holes we had to install all of the cup hooks. I still don’t understand why anyone needs that many necklaces. Screwdrivers I could understand…but necklaces? (kidding)
And the lowest storage option in the case was a removable dowel rod for more bracelets and watches.
With the door upside down I could place the case on top of it and mount the magnetic latch. This made it super easy to get it right where I wanted it.
Jamie picked out three overlay hinges to use. Like I said previously, the project was spread out over a few days due to scheduling conflicts. Jamie is also in the Army Reserves so she was gone at a battle assembly most of this day. I couldn’t stand not making any progress so I helped her out with a little bit of the hardware.
To hold a lot of earrings she picked out some white plastic mesh from the craft section. A couple cup hooks is all that is needed to hang it.
And finally, a billion more of these cup hooks. I’ll be perfectly happy if I never touch another cup hook again after this build. Tooooooooo many cup hooks!
The door pull was the last piece of the puzzle.
The most boring part of any woodworking project is easily the sanding process. And because this is Jamie’s project it was only fair that she was responsible for all of the sanding.
We both ended up staining the project and I applied the final coat of Polycrylic to finish it off.
While my wife didn’t make 100% of this project I can still consider it one she made as she did the vast majority of the work. Not only is the outcome quite rewarding for her but she did learn a few things along the way. We really like the look of this and want to continue to use this style in future projects around the house. I suppose the biggest take-away from this build is that if you are given the opportunity to guide a first time woodworker through a project, DO IT! Being able to watch someone who has never attempted a project like this actually produce a really cool project is incredibly rewarding. Now if I could only persuade her to build my workbench for me…..