DIY design: earrings on a wire

earrings on a wire

What do you do when you own approximately a trillion pairs of earrings? …When they’re getting all tangled, mixed up, and separated from their twins in your otherwise trusty jewelry box?

Well, this of course is a very tragic problem and one for which there are only two solutions. 1) You can go out and get more piercings in your ears (or elsewhere on your body) or 2) You can build your very own “Earrings on a Wire” display case, as pictured above. I recommend the latter, especially if most of your earrings are of the “dangly” variety, because wearing more than one set of danglies not only looks strange, but could turn you into a human wind chime as they bounce off of one other.

I got my ears pierced when I was 13. My mother wouldn’t allow me to do so earlier despite all my whiny begging. In order to ward me off of the concept, she assured me that the process would be VERY painful. She said, and I quote, “You know that they’ll have to hang buckets from each of your ears to catch all the blood, right?” This sounds evil, but my mother has always been a jokester, so I knew she was joking. Kind of.

Once I got my ears pierced, on my 13th birthday (no buckets needed), I felt that I had officially become a woman. And I started amassing The Collection: most earrings weren’t all that expensive, didn’t take up that much room, and I derived an inordinate amount of joy from coordinating them with each day’s outfit. I still have most of them, and I am proud to say that my earrings from high school still fit (hey, just humor me – I can’t say that about much else from that time…)

Recently, Rob has turned out to be an excellent curator of The Collection, adding stylish silver danglies on my birthdays and on Christmas from The Clay Pot in Brooklyn. And when he was traveling to Seattle for work he’d often reward all my lonesome pining with some super-cool ear candy from Fireworks Gallery upon his return. Another boon to the collection has been my friend Sara, who is a fabulous jewelry designer here in Nyack. Check out her stuff at SWeiss Designs on Facebook.

Okay, so I have too many earrings. I can admit it. I really needed a way to keep them all straight. When we were living in the South Bronx, we rigged up a wire across a window sill for them to perch on, which worked out very well:

earrings on window sill

Note that, to avoid adding any more furniture to our bedroom, I further maximized the window sill by storing the rest of my jewels in those skinny olive dishes (great for rings!)

In our new house, the window idea wasn’t going to work, so I picked up a wooden tray from Target (I think it was about $12) and a little mirror from there as well. Rob strung some wires horizontally and connected them to the inside edges of the tray with screws.

earrings close-up

earrings close-up 2

earrings close-up 3

And voila! Now I can see my earrings, even if I can’t begin to wear them all. If you are experiencing a similar embarrassment of riches, I recommend that you try this easy DIY project. It would work well with round trays, different colored-trays, and probably with wooden picture frames, as well.


Do you have any other suggestions/solutions for this pressing issue? And on a related note, do you also think that seeing birds resting together on a wire is pretty much the coolest thing ever?

Thanks to The News Journal of the Lower Hudson Valley for doing an article on our house and my new humor book, The Homeowner’s Guide to Greatness! To see some fab photos of our house and an extremely dorky, psychotically-happy photo of me, click here.

31 replies

  1. I was fifteen when I got my ears pierced. (I knowโ€” the level of uncoolness is staggering.) Why did our parents torture us like that? Like you, I ran out and stocked upโ€ฆ lucky for me it was the early 1990โ€™s so I didnโ€™t miss out on monster-sized neon hoops. That would have been a real tragedy.

  2. great idea and i love your earring collection (especially that orange pair!). and i see your preference seems to be smallish disc-shaped doodads! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Yes, it is funny/silly how similar they all are. ๐Ÿ™‚ Those orange discs are so fun to wear – they were designed and made by my friend Sara (her link above…)

  3. When you described a tangled mess of wire and bits… it was oh so familiar!
    First, I love what you did with yours. Awesome idea and so perfectly displayed. I have made my own jewelry for years so I have way too many earrings than one person needs. The funny thing is I usually only wear only 4 or 5 pairs out of a 100. Your wire idea has given me hope and the little olive bowls knocked me over. Stick a toothpick in me… I’m headed to the store for a few of those!!!! Also a great idea!
    Your dangles are delightful. You have some really pretty ones and I think Rob has plans to add more to your tray. YAY ROB!

    • ha ha! yes, it is true that we tend to gravitate to the same pairs over and over, as nice as it is to have all these choices. I have an everyday pair (wearing them right now) then I mix it up a bit when I go out on the town. I do get a bit thrown off by the tarnish that afflicts the silver ones – it’s of course easy to polish them with a cloth but those extra 7 seconds it would take might make me even later to leave my house!

      Those olive bowls work well – I currently l have them holding my rings in what I have deemed a “jewelry” drawer – keeps them nice and organized.

      Not surprised to hear that you have made your own jewels – multi-talented indeed and I am sure they are the epitome of style. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes, nice to have a hubs with good taste ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Mrs. Claus has hers displayed on a Christmas tree year round. Something for you to think about during the holidays

  5. What an awesome idea! I have two piercings in one ear and three in the other, so as you can imagine, my earring collection can get a bit…unruly. This looks like it could be the perfect solution!!

    • Yes, you must have quite a collection ๐Ÿ™‚ I should mention that I also have a so-called “earring tree” but I ran out of limbs on that a long time ago! I have a second piercing in one ear, but out of laziness I let it grow over….

  6. Wonderful idea! I too had all the many, many pairs of earrings I had amassed since high school, until we had a break-in about 13 years ago and somebody stole my jewellery box. With grabby babies in the house after that, I got out of the habit of wearing earrings and now own only about five pairs. I do not recommend this method of culling one’s collection (the break-in, I mean, not the babies!).

    • Oh, ugh! That is awful. I am very sentimental – I am sure that was more than a little tough to swallow – esp with those kinds of things you can’t replace. Then again, we are not our THINGS. I need to remind myself of that sometimes!

      • It was definitely tough to swallow. I’m mostly over it after all this time, of course, but on occasion I still miss certain things for sentimental reasons: earrings my father brought me from his travels; a ring my parents had made for me set with little stones that had belonged to my great-grandmother. Those can never be replaced.

  7. Love the idea with the tray. I had a similar problem with my earrings and some rings that I began amassing as souvenirs from trips (and as souvenirs from visits to nearby towns). I bought an old wooden printer’s drawer with all sorts of square slots then added small cup hooks and eye hooks. I put a picture hanger on the back and hung it on the wall. A picture is worth a thousand words, but I don’t know how to attach a picture to a comment.

    Speaking of pictures…loved the picture of you in front of your beautiful home. Congratulations!

    • Oh! That sounds very cool and innovative. (I’ve never figured out how to put a pic in a comment either, I don’t think you can.)

      Thx for taking a look at the that article. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. This is pretty! I love having collections out for display. ๐Ÿ™‚ But – what do you do with your studs?? Or do you have a rule against them?

    I love the circle mirror.. A lot.

    • My studs live on a little earring tree but I don’t have many and I don’t wear them much.

      That mirror came in a package with four different sizes…it was a good deal. Gotta love “Tarjay”…

  9. I love that idea for hanging earrings! To keep mine organized I hijacked an idea I saw at an art show once and put a bit of screen door material in a pretty 8×10 picture frame where the glass would usually go, and I hang them on that. Not quite as artsy as your method, but it works ๐Ÿ™‚

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