Tag Archives: diy

DIY Salvaged Jewelry Display Tutorial

Update: Hey everyone from Pinterest! These DIY jewelry displays have been getting a lot of attention lately, so I decided to give the tutorial a little revamp. Enjoy ;)
Oh! And let me know if I can improve my design, or share your jewelry display with me on the 9000things facebook page.


A few weeks ago I realized all these new products I’ve been making require a new craft show display. So… off to the local flea market to find supplies! I totally love how these came out.

DIY Jewelry Display Tutorial - Vintage Wooden Boxes - by 9000things

I had this rough idea of what I was looking for at the flea market:
Cheap wooden crates (mine were rickety and needed some love and extra nails) $5 each
Small hinges $1 per pair
Scrap wood panels (had these in my stash)
Lots of random mismatched drawer knobs plus hardware $3 for a handful

And I had all this stuff on hand:
Various bolts, screws and nails
Drill and drill bits
Flathead screwdriver

Step 1: score a bunch of awesome crates from the flea market, recycle center and the local wine shop:

Raw wooden crates from a flea market - 9000 things

These ones have already been fixed up a little bit (hammer time!)

In case you can’t find enough wooden crates, the scrap wood panels will act as a cheat. Here I took two 1x10s that are about 28″ long and connected them with 2 small hinges in the back.

Upcycled jewelry display - 9000 things

Wider is better as far as stability. When set at a 90° angle, these panels stand on their own. So simple.

Next, measure a few inches from the top of each crate and draw a level line to make sure that your knobs will line up. Then mark out where you want to drill your holes – where the knobs will be positioned.

Salvaged materials jewelry display for craft shows - 9000 things

I found that between 3 and 4 inches is best for hanging necklaces, and I tried to keep it consistent across all the crates, making sure to center everything. You only need to leave about 1.5 inches on the sides.

Next, match your drill bit with the width of the bolts attached to your knobs. There’s some amount of standardization in knob bolt, with an exception here and there. Drill the holes!

Craft show jewelry display tutorial from found materials - 9000 things

(Those are not MY hairy arms)

Sandpaper those holes real quick to get rid of any splinters. And then, here’s the fun part… Check out this medley of mismatched salvaged drawer knobs:

Salvaged vintage drawer knobs for a jewelry display - 9000 things

I collected these all in one day at the flea market and I spent a grand total of $13! Here’s a tip: check out the guys who have a huge amount of old tools and hardware in various crazy boxes. The vendors I talked to were happy to offload this stuff and I just had to do a little digging. Basically anything less than $1 per knob is a great deal!

Last step is to find the right size bolts for the drawers and put them all together. It’s helpful if you have a rando bolt stash to go through. You’ll probably need to use a flathead screwdriver to make sure the knobs are secure.

DIY Craft show jewelry display tutorial - 9000 things

Don’t they look awesome?! I’m so in love with this project and it only took ONE day from start to finish!

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Earth Day is Every Day!

Okay, Serious Post for a second here.

9000things, the small independent business is just over a year old now, but the idea behind it has followed me around since forever and ever. I’m not exactly sure when I first realized that far too many useful things make their way to die a lonely death in a landfill far before their time.

Maybe it was influenced by my father’s questionable habit of taking hand-me-ups from my sister and I as we were growing up. He can still be found chopping fire wood from the forest behind our house sporting my mother’s stretched out floral turtlenecks, wide leg jeans from when I went through my grunge phase, and a red and pink hat with knitted hearts that belonged to my sister in the 90s.

Perhaps I grew up a little too close to my mother’s light hoarding of broken things, just on the edge of being functional, that became open ended repurpose projects.

My grandmother, who grew up in the depression, felt perfectly comfortable passing off plastic milk caps, empty glass jars, calendars from years gone by, quality control rejected tshirts missing a (fairly essential) neck hole, and dead june bugs from her Florida winter home as totally normal kid’s birthday presents.

There’s my aunt, the first person to introduce me to the idea of early morning trash picking for furniture from the neighbors.

Another aunt got all of her clothing from thrift shops and did not mind telling us all about it.

As kids, my best friend’s dad woke us up at 5am on Sundays and threw us in the minivan in time to be the first at the flea market to scour for valuable antiques that were priced far below the market.

In short, I’ve been indoctrinated my whole life.

Most of the projects at 9000things involve some amount of upcycling or reuse or repurposing. But I’ve been at this for a long time and I strive to make the most beautiful new things out of the old and ugly.

I saw this post on the blog at Twice and in celebration of Earth Day, wanted to share:

Twice Blog - Used clothing saves the earth

Read about what they do here!

This stuff is so fun! Yay Earth Day!

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Learning to Weave on a Loom

By the way, I’m also taking a weaving course right now. Here’s my very first attempt at weaving!

Learning to weave on a loom - 9000things

I’m going for an ombre effect, from cream to mint green to turquoise with a bold pink salmon/peach stripe at the neck of what I assume is going to be a scarf?

Weaving is fun! Highly recommend.

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Making An Ugly Christmas Sweater “Better”

The boyfriend and I are participating in an ugly sweater contest on Christmas Eve this year. There will be a prize, possibly a crowning ceremony, so we’re taking this dead seriously.

Make Your Ugly Christmas Sweater Better - 9000 things

Ugly Sweaters are a hojillion dollar industry, but we’re thrifty over here with our one-use-ever clothing items. Salvation Army had these beautiful pieces (on sale!), but they needed a little extra flare.

Ugly Sweater DIY before - 9000 things

Note that the sweater on the left is actually not a christmas sweater. We’ve got to figure out how to make that lame heart look a little jollier.

Here’s our suggested materials list:

Ugly sweater diy supplies - 9000 things

1. 25 feet of cheap gaudy garland for $1.99
2. buffalo snow or similar
3. moderately ugly thrift store sweaters
4. puff paint in white, red and green (mandatory)
5. glittery buttons and other random craft cast offs
6. sewing thread (plus a few needles)
7. googly eyes in various sizes
8. plastic beads I found in a drawer?
9. hot glue gun, loaded and ready

Not pictured:
an old red t-shirt
scissors like you used in elementary school (for effect)
your unbridled imagination

The idea here is to ATTACK with more confidence than you deserve to have. Everything you think of is pure gold and doesn’t need to be second-guessed. Trust me.

Big D has never sewn anything in his life. Is that going to stop him from sewing buttons onto his sweater? What do you think the answer is.

Ugly Sweater DIY - 9000 things

The following is a list of hints and tips. Everyone’s sweater is going to look different, but that doesn’t mean we can’t leave you with some inspiration.

If you don’t have glitter or something shiny on your sweater, you might as well give up.

Ugly Sweater DIY - 9000 things

Googly eyes are always better than no googly eyes.

Ugly Sweater DIY - 9000 things

Add puff paint. And when you’re done, add puff paint to the puff paint.

Ugly Sweater DIY - 9000 things

Thematic words always look good written on clothing. Especially in puff paint.

Ugly Sweater DIY - 9000 things

Just remember: When it comes to making something tacky and hideous, MORE is more.

And, we’re done! Look how gd happy we are.

Ugly Sweater DIY after - 9000 things

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DIY Googly Eye Magnets

This is probably the best, and the easiest thing I’ve ever made in my life.

DIY googly eye magnets 9000things

Materials list:

googly eyes
hot glue gun


1. Hot glue a googly eye onto a magnet.

2. Repeat.

Finished project:

DIY googly eye magnets - 9000things


Side note:

Googly eyes come in handy in many situations. I always keep some on me, especially the ones with an adhesive back.

When my boyfriend was in the hospital for a month last summer, I knew he was lonely during the day while I was at work. So, I invited some friends to spend the days with him à la Christopher Walken on SNL.

DIY googly eye magnets or friends - 9000things

Don’t worry, he was on so much morphine, I doubt he even noticed.

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Formica Floor: Upcycle Project

I’m not a huge fan of the word “upcycle,” but I recognize it as a necessary part of my life. This is an ultimate upcycle project.

Formica floor upcycle project - 9000things

Interior design businesses get Formica sample chips by the truckload, and once their board gets low, they get an entire board replacement. That means SO many Formica samples being thrown away constantly. This makes my eye twitch.

Material list:

roughly 2,500 rectangular formica samples (1.5 x 2.5 inches each)
tile grout
flooring trowel (with teeth!)
acrylic lacquer (topcoat sealant)

This was a pretty simple project! We stuck the samples straight onto our subfloor using regular tile grout from Home Depot. We started in the far corner and by keeping everything tight together, it stayed really straight.

Formica floor upcycle project - 9000things

Oh wow my outfit. We were installing the floor on a lofted bedroom of our studio. Check out those sexy power drills ;O

Formica floor upcycle project - 9000things

We started by grouping five or six sample colors together and arranging them into a roughly 12×12 square- a lot like organizing a quilt.

Then we took one group, spread our tile grout down over a 12×12 ish area and placed the tiles without any gaps between them. Over, and over, and over, and over…

Formica floor upcycle project - 9000things

…Until we had an entire patchwork floor. I like how it looks a little like pixels.

We let the floor dry for a couple of days before topcoating. We used a clear acrylic lacquer-like finish and did at least two coats. Another 2 days letting it dry and we were ready to move into our bedroom!

Formica floor upcycle project - 9000things

This is an old project, but still one of the most ambitious I’ve attempted. Would love to see other uses for Formica tiles!

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Awesome DIY Craft Show Display

Wanna learn how to make this homemade jewelry display?? Read on!

homemade craft show display

In February of this year (2012), I launched a project called Ringgg and it has been really fun! Everything under the Ringgg brand is made from reused coiled telephone cord from tag sales and Goodwill and recycle centers. And I started an etsy store and all that, but I have deep roots in craft shows and wanted to get back to that.

So I needed a display and I just wasn’t finding anything that worked for me. I want the look to be clean and white and design-y. Think apple store but lower tech ;)

I love love love making things, so I just decided to make it myself!

I went to Urban Ore in Berkeley to get some supplies. I was thinking wooden frame, painted white, with dowels to hold the ringggs. I couldn’t believe it when I ran smack into these:

jewelry display crate

How perfect! Two halves of a shipping crate, each measuring roughly 22″ x 22″ x 8″ deep. (Seriously, do this. My display breaks down and folds together into it’s own shipping crate. So much win.)

Next, I sketched what I wanted – a frame inside the boxes with diagonal dowels. Let me pause here to suggest: Never go diagonal. The only reason that this worked is a) I am a perfectionist b) I’m good at problem solving, and c) my boyfriend is a math expert. Here’s what I sent him:

display sketch

Super easy.

I started by sanding off anything that could potentially splinter. Being sure, of course, to follow the clothing recommendation on the back of the sandpaper… haha!

sandpaper illustration instagram

I taped off the edges of the crates. I wanted the entire inside to be white and the outside to retain the raw wood. Then I primed and painted two coats of just slightly off-white semi-gloss.

handmade jewelry display tutorial

Easy part done! While that was drying I pulled out my trusty mitre saw and got to work. I built a simple frame that would fit inside the crate and got to cutting the diagonal dowels. My math was specific to the size of my crates, but if I were to do it again, I make the dowels vertical. So, just cut a bunch of dowels at the exact size of the inside of the frame!

I put my frame together with finishing nails and wood glue and let that dry. Then I laid the dowels inside and marked off where they would hit the frame. I marked the top and bottom of each dowel, found the center of those two marks and brought them down the inside face with a speed square. I also marked the vertical center of the legs of the frame to get little cross marks where I drilled.

homemade display unit

You can see from this photo that I left two opposite corners tacked in but not finished. That’s because with the diagonal dowels, I needed to be able to get to the inside with a power drill, so I had to pull the two ‘L’s apart. Not necessary with non-diagonals!

And now for the biggest manual hack I’ve ever done! Using a speed square as a fence, I drilled a 45° angle through each cross mark on the inside of the frame. (Always drill from the inside out)

drilling at an angle hack

My sincerest apologies to people who know how to do this correctly! Just working with what I got :)

Final step in frame building is to glue and nail everything together. I used corner vices to hold the 90° angle while I hammered everything together, otherwise it can get a little parallelogram-y…

I didn’t predrill the dowels, just stuck the nails in the frame and then hammered them the rest of the way and into the dowels.

diy jewelry display tutorial

Don’t worry, I didn’t leave all those little nails hanging out everywhere like a fool! A nail setter and some wood putty and a final sanding made everything look beautiful. Last step was to prime and paint and paint again and VOILA!

DIY wood display unit

Looks awesome, right?!

Not going to lie, this was a major undertaking. This thing took me multiple days of work. But here’s a materials list :)

1 x 2 stock (enough to line crates)
4 4″ pine dowels
hand sander and sandpaper (100 grit)
painters tape
paint brushes
1 qt of primer (water based)
1 qt of off-white acrylic semi-gloss
finishing nails
power drill and small bit
mitre saw
speed square
nail setter
corner vices (2)
wood putty
a level work surface (similar to the cobble stone of my back patio)

And here’s an instagram shot of the finished display at my first show at SoWa!

“>jewelry display tutorial instagram

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