As usual, click any photo to bring up a larger version.  

Easy-Build Jewelry Cabinet


My wife asked me to make her a jewelry cabinet for her. The primary purpose was to hold earrings and necklaces. She also wanted it to be a painted cabinet, so that she could (later) add a painted front to the cabinet.

One of the first things we did was set up a bulletin board and use pins to hold a bunch of necklaces. This helped us mock up the rough size that we thought we needed. Necklaces are quite long, so we quickly realized that we needed something quite tall.

Then it was over into sketchup to start drawing. I mocked up a rough representation of our ensuite bathroom, as that is where the cabinet will be mounted.

We settled on a size of approximately 36" tall by 18" wide. The necklaces would be mounted on the inside of the cabinet, and the earrings on the backside of the door. She just wanted one door that would swing open to the right.

Back on the bulletin board we also mocked up how to hang the earrings. After considering a few other ideas we settled on using a chain. We bought this spool of gold colour curb chain at Michaels. The plan was to cut this in lengths, and stretch it taught between the two stiles of the door. The earrings just hook into the loops of the chain. It seems to work well on the mock-up!

Since this is going to be painted, I picked up an 8ft piece of rough pine from the local big box store, and some 3/16" plywood. The plywood would be used for the door panel and the back, and the rest of it would be made from painted pine.

I cut the pine down to rough length and ripped it to rough width.

I planed most of it to 3/4" thickness, for the cabinet sides. However, the pieces that frame the door panel I re-sawed down to a thickness of 1/2". This gives it a lighter appearance. There's no need for the front frame to be heavy and thick.

The front door is made up of L-shaped pieces. The 1/2" thick front frame is glued and nailed to some 3/4" thick pieces that make up the sides of the door...

... and then the whole thing is glued up into a frame. Since my wife will be painting the front of the door, I kept the panel loose and removeable, which is why I did not glue it into the frame.

I wanted to set the back of the cabinet into a rabbet in the sides. To do this I installed my dado stack in the tablesaw. But I only need a pretty narrow 3/16" rabbet, so I added a sacrificial fence to the tablesaw. The dado blade is partially embedded in the wooden fence, and just the needed 3/16" protrudes.

I used my Dowelmax jig to make pocket holes into the frame of the cabinet for assembly. Like in many aspects of woodworking, there are many ways to build the same type of project. I like dowels, partly because I have this very accurate and easy-to-use jig.

Since it is a painted project, I could have even just drilled holes, used screws, and then added plugs to hide the screws. Either way will look pretty much the same on the finished project!

(Next two photos:) Clamping up the the cabinet... and then gluing and nailing the back into the cabinet.

After sanding the parts, I painted all the interiors of the cabinet white and the exterior black, as requested by my wife. The white paint was kitchen+bath semigloss and came out nice. The black was a bit more dull than preferred, so I sprayed on a topcoat of rattle-can lacquer onto the black sections.

I purchased a package of gold-coloured hooks for hanging the necklaces. These were to be mounted on blocks that would fit inside the cabinet. In this way we could re-arrange the cabinet if needed without having to repaint it. I marked off a line (on painters tape to protect the paint) at 2" intervals, punched all the points, and then screwed in the hooks.

I used a brass piano hing along the side.


The chain was cut to length and fitted into the inside of the door. I just used a small brass screw to attach the chain to the inside of the door stiles. The chain was positioned 4" apart at the bottom (for larger earrings) and 3" apart at the top. (We used several lengths of chain, this photo only shows the first two.)

The cabinet was then mounted to the wall in the bathroom. Unfortunately the wall there has studs on 24" centers, so there was no stud available for hanging the cabinet. Instead I used four drywall plugs to support the cabinet.

I also added a small rare-earth magnet to the frame of the cabinet. There is a matching screw in the door frame. This provides enough strength to hold the cabinet closed, but still open up easily under light hand pressure.

And here are some photos of the completed project!

Some of the Tools/Supplies Used In This Project: (Affiliate Links)

(Some of these are not affiliate links, FYI)
1” Shouldered Cup Hooks (Lee Valley)
780mm Brass Piano Hinge (Lee Valley)
Curb Chain (Michaels — I had to go searching, but I think this is the right stuff.)

Similar items on Amazon:
Curb chain
Brass Shoulder Cup Hooks
Brass Piano Hinge

SensGard ZEM hearing protection
Stanley Leverlocks -- love these tape measures
Other auto-locking tape measures
Hitachi 10.8V Tools
Dowelmax Company
NOTE: at the time of publishing (May 2023) Dowelmax is not currently available on amazon. It has been in the past, so I am keeping the following links, but right now only the link above to "" is known to work.
Dowelmax Dowel Joinery Kit
Dowelmax Drill Guides for 1/4" Dowels
Dowelmax Dowels

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases you make using my affiliate links.


Thanks for stopping by! If you found this useful, please consider supporting my work!   Ways To Support Me ... »

See Also:

Shaker-style Stepstool

Easy End Table

Writing Desk in a Weekend

Umbrella Rack