Organizing my Accessories & Costume Jewelry

antique victorian desk+jewelry organizer-1, DIY ideas on where to put necklaces, organizing jewelry, how to organize jewelry, necklace organizing ideas, where to store jewelry, hang necklaces on the wall, how to store jewelry, where to keep my necklaces, where to store bracelets, earrings, rings, costume jewelry

When we moved into our house in January I knew I would finally get my grandma’s antique desk that I have loved and cherished since I was a kid. Originally an antique, in the late 60’s/early 70’s, my grandpa painted it this olive green with gold leaf accents as well as hand painted the little rose details …to give it an even more antique feel I’m guessing.

My grandma usually kept it in her entry-way and used it to hold mail & bills and pens …like a desk, but not in a way we would use a desk today. My mom’s been kindly storing it for me until I had a house to fit it in and when she brought it over I immediately knew it would be a perfect home for all my costume jewelry and accessories. It’s like a giant jewelry box! {my grandpa hand-built drawers and shelves for all of my grandma’s jewelry but she would be proud I am using the desk in this way …considering many of my pieces were hers}

Until yesterday, however, it was a hot mess …and looked like this

accessory desk before

I was using two silverware holders until I needed one for another project and then everything just became a pile of gold and silver and jewels of all colors.

I wanted to replace the utensil holders with clear plastic trays so I could easily see through everything and find what I needed in a hurry. I found these at Bed Bath & Beyond in the kitchen section …but later found them in the closet organizing section as well. I prefer the depth of a utensil organizer to that of a regular “jewelry” type of organizer tray that is much more shallow and therefore doesn’t hold as much.

drawer organizers+zebra rug -sharp

I first laid them out empty in the desk to get a feel for how it would all fit.

clear plastic drawer organizers+lucite drawer organizers

I mostly organize items by type, then colors: earrings all found a home in the smallest containers {and little drawers} and were categorized mostly by color/style {silver, gold, bright colors, hoops, etc}. I like to join like items together: black and gold, plastic baubles, chains, pearls, vintage rhinestone necklaces. Bracelets, unless they are small and chain-like, are all stored in the white Vera Wang pleather box sitting on top of the desk …and rings find their home in the small set of gold drawers sitting across from it {which was my grandma’s as well}. Fine jewelry has a different & much more secret home which I will never reveal 😉

organizing jewelry ideas+lucite trays, how to organize jewelry, organize necklaces, where to keep my jewelry

costume jewelry+organizing jewelry+organization ideas

Of course I stored the items I wear the most on the top layer of trays but they are all easily & neatly stacked on top of one another and put back in place so as to shut the desk.

costume jewelry+organizing ideas

Fore even more space, I used 3 vintage glass knobs {my mom snagged from a house we lived in at one point before it was bought and demolished to become an extra parking lot for the church across the street} with long screws directly into the wall for hanging a few chain necklaces.

vintage glass drawer pulls as necklace organizer  vintage glass knobs+necklace organizer

glass drawer pulls holding necklaces+organizing ideas

necklaces hanging from vintage glass knobs, how to organize jewelry necklaces bracelets earrings, hang necklaces on the wall, where to keep your jewelry

necklace organizer+vintage glass knobs holding necklaces


The drawers below are filled with fabric accessories mostly: flower pins, bows, silk ties, bow ties, satin belts and a few pieces I keep but rarely wear. I keep my mass of scarves and some belts in a completely different chest of drawers as well as my sunglasses & hats.

antique desk used for costume jewelry and organizing accessories

And I’m in love with the old rusty skeleton keys I’ve found randomly at different houses I’ve lived in that I use to open the antique desk.

antique skeleton keys+jewelry organizing in lucite trays

But my Prada inspired Lucite chandelier necklace gets a home of her very own on the dress form by the window 😉

chandelier necklace+lucite necklace+dress form+studio

You can get a feel for some of my pieces in a post here Layering Necklaces ~ Make a Statement Piece …with what you already have …I’ve been collecting costume jewelery for many years now {my late teens to be exact}, my favorites being anything vintage. Much of my collection was my grandma’s and pieces I’ve had for ages now. {though I’ve gotten quite a few “gems” from Gilt as well as DIY-ing some of my own}

* CLICK HERE to See My Finished Home Office/Dressing Room *

LA native & lifestyle blogger Maegan Tintari writes daily at sharing beauty & style secrets, including fashion DIYs, how-to nail art manicures, hair tutorials, recipes & home decorating ideas, as well as a look into her personal life, her journey & battle with infertility & recent relocation to the mountains by a lake in search of a better life with her adorable French Bulldog brothers, Trevor and Randy.


  • ashlina {the decorista}

    July 13, 2010 |

    gorgeous! you have totally inspired a blog post for me!!! 🙂 xo

  • Black is the New Black

    July 13, 2010 |

    Love this! form and function at its best ; )

  • capperson

    July 13, 2010 |

    LOVE this!

  • Lauren from Texas

    July 13, 2010 |

    I love this! I just organized all my jewelry too & thought about doing a post. I don’t have as much as you because in the past I have gotten rid of things I don’t wear anymore… but you have inspired me (in other posts too) to keep more things. I always wish I had kept things anyway, about 5 years too late after I give them away. Clothes too. Thanks for all the inspiration. <3

  • Marie Z.

    July 13, 2010 |

    Wow! What a great (and creative) way to organize your jewelry!


  • Chicago Mom (Heather)

    July 13, 2010 |

    You are inspiring me to keep more stuff too. The other day I went to grab a cleaning rag and realized it was a shirt I wore 5 years ago
    (and chopped apart). It would be in style again now. Why did I go and destroy it? oh well..

    Using clear bins is a genius idea here! Love it.

  • Schnelle Couture

    July 13, 2010 |

    such a pretty piece of furniture! what a great idea! I love the idea of using the knobs to hang necklaces too!

  • Lisa - respect the shoes

    July 13, 2010 |

    I would like to take a lap or two through your jewelry chest. Those pieces are divine!

  • Heather

    July 13, 2010 |

    Wow…I need to do something like that. Although I don’t have nearly as much as you. I’m very jealous!
    *giveaway this week*

  • Lisa Van

    July 13, 2010 |

    absolutely stunning chest of drawers! you have some divine pieces of jewelry

  • fabulous finds

    July 13, 2010 |

    what a fabulous idea! i am forever looking at ways to store all my costume jewelry…and hate to admit…that right now…they are just all over the bedroom in piles…sigh…
    i agree…i think your grandma would be proud!

  • anhesty

    July 13, 2010 |

    crazy cool. i have been working on and off on how to display all my costume jewelry as well. work in forever progress! yours looks great.

  • the Treat in treating yourself

    July 13, 2010 |

    this was amazing and just what I was looking for going to bed bath and beyond to buy those trays jajaja thank you on my blog I have a picture of my jewelry too

  • Leia

    July 13, 2010 |

    This is so clever! I’ve been looking for a way to organise my jewels. Too bad i don’t have an antique desk 🙂

    Also, if you ever make another Prada-inspired necklace I will *totally* buy it for you. Seriously!!

    Leia’s Delights

  • sharonlei

    July 13, 2010 |

    Simply gorgeous Maegan! You have some pretty amazing pieces. I love how you organized everything. And how sweet that antique table is, especially because it used to be your grandmothers. Love it! 🙂

    xx Love & Aloha

  • Rhonda

    July 13, 2010 |

    I have been looking at jewelry organization ideas for about 6 months now, as I try to decide what to do with my tangled mess. This is the best I’ve seen! I think I need to start stalking yard sales and thrift stores for some furniture!

  • drollgirl

    July 13, 2010 |


    SO UNBELIEVABLY FABULOUS!!!! gah! there is no way i can do a jewelry post after seeing this! you have me beat by a MILLION DEGREES! you rule!!!

  • Nickie Frye

    July 13, 2010 |

    Brilliant! It is so hard to find a good way to organize costume jewelry. I got a cute earring stand & bracelet stand at Marshall’s, but the long necklaces are tough.

    I once saw someone use a large bulletin board for their necklaces. They had cute thumb tacks & it sort of looked like a work of art because the board had a cool frame.

  • Amanda

    July 13, 2010 |

    Organizing my crazy sporadic collection of jewelry: the bane of my existance (…tence?)…

    …anyway…great ideas, but that’s why we love you!

  • JKreids

    July 13, 2010 |

    Your niece is going to love rumaging through this one day!

    It makes me want to put it all on at once!

  • Daniela

    July 13, 2010 |

    LOVE the glass knobs

  • J-Diggety

    July 13, 2010 |

    xoxo J

  • esther

    July 13, 2010 |

    maegan this is so lovely, i will be looking for some hooks ! as you have inspired me… anthro has some nice ones. Can you please do a post about your living/family room


  • LaiLacerda

    July 13, 2010 |

    love it

  • sj

    July 13, 2010 |

    what a gorgeous desk! and even your screwdriver is super cute!

  • Victoria

    July 13, 2010 |

    You’ve got a looooooooot of jewellery 🙂 x

  • Anonymous

    July 13, 2010 |

    Hi Maegan,

    Parabéns pelo seu site!
    Adoro Tudo!

    Beijos do Brasil

  • Katie

    July 13, 2010 |

    I love it! So nice and creative. My jewelry and accessory organization is so boring lol.

  • Catherine

    July 13, 2010 |

    That’s a lot of jewellery! I have just one small drawer full and then longer chains draped over the end of my bed. It is starting to look a little messy now. Can’t wait unitl I get my own place and can organise them properly.

  • Juanette

    July 13, 2010 |

    Fabulous job Maegan, I adore that desk! I have an inspiration photo of similar knobs used as necklace hangers but I didn’t want to do it here because of apartment living. Now I may just have to throw caution to the wind and spackle over the holes when I move! It looks great!

  • Andi

    July 13, 2010 |

    Looks amazing Maegan! Like a chic boutique 🙂

  • Violet

    July 13, 2010 |

    i would love to dive in your jewlery box…. there are so many little treasures in there.

    Vi from Cali

  • Pauline

    July 13, 2010 |

    Wow and I thought I had a lot of jewellery!! You’ve organised it so well…love the little handles so cute!

  • Cara

    July 14, 2010 |

    I love seeing how other people have used organizers designed for other objects for jewelry! My father-in-law was so excited to see a fishing tackle box in our apartment the last time he was over, until he opened it and realized that it was full of earrings!

  • Anonymous

    July 14, 2010 |

    Bless you for always thinking of your Grandma and Grandpa. What a tribute to them! Your inspiration comes from wonderful people. I can’t say enough about you and your genuine rememberance of the past. Enjoy the sunshine, Sunshine! Ro (Northern Calif.)

  • Erin Egleston

    July 14, 2010 |

    OMG…now I know what to do with my antique secretary! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • ShoesForDessert

    July 14, 2010 |

    That desk is so cute and I love how you used it for your jewelry. I love how you organized/ hung jewelry on the top, and how you stored it in the containers. Makes me want to organize my jewelry now (although I have not as much)

  • Jessica

    July 14, 2010 |

    I love this idea of repurposing a piece of furniture to suit a jewelry collection. It’s beautiful, I want one just like it!

  • Tina

    July 14, 2010 |

    what an amazing collection of jewelery! i love the organization now! 🙂 gorgeous!

  • Ana Sloane Street

    July 14, 2010 |

    wow! is marvellous!!!

  • Gabby / Gypsy*Diaries

    July 14, 2010 |

    WOW LADY!! You surely have an amazing collection…. using an antique table is a great idea! I hope to have one soon!!! 😀

  • Idee Fixe (

    July 14, 2010 |

    I’ve been trying to bring together my disparate mess of jewelry boxes and you’ve given me some inspiration, thank you! You also brought back memories of the 70’s “antiquing” craze. They sold paint kits that were supposed to recreate an antique finish, consisting of a base colour, and a sort of brownish sheer top coat that was to be painted over in wide brush strokes mimicking a grainy, worn look. I remember my mom and aunt revamping furniture with these kits! Decals were also popular but your Granddad took it to a much more creative and personalized level by hand-painting the flowers! (Yeah, I’m old enough to recall this stuff first hand!) Such a lovely old piece of furniture with a rich family history! Keep up the inspiring work, I love your blog!

  • Tere

    July 14, 2010 |

    wow! incredible but true things you show us here!
    great blog, is the first time i visit it (but not the last) hehe
    kisses from

  • Deborah

    July 14, 2010 |

    I’ve done something so so similar, but why is it when you do something it looks ever so much better?


    Your house posts are brilliant and I’m enjoying them so much. I’m a HUGE fan of blue and white and white shutters.

  • Lu Lu in Los Angeles

    July 14, 2010 |

    Looks great!! My grandma had a desk similar and in her entry too, wish I had it (I don’t know who has it now), such a great idea to use for your jewels.

    LOVE the Prada Chandelier Necklace!

  • Out of the Blue

    July 14, 2010 |

    Wow…love it! What an amazing collection and it’s even more special because you are able to keep a little piece of your grandparents with you. My grandmother inspired my love of vintage costume jewelry as well.

  • Gwen

    July 14, 2010 |

    I love that you are using such a fabulous piece passed down from your Grandma for such a great storage piece. My plan is to change things up a bit when I finally move and add some more traditional pieces in with my modern style and many of your posts are becoming my inspiration!!! XOXO

  • {this is glamorous}

    July 15, 2010 |

    how utterly fantastic! especially adore the glass knobs

  • bravegrrl

    July 15, 2010 |

    amazing post. i’ve been organizing my clothing/accessories and this is very inspiring 🙂

  • Jo

    July 15, 2010 |

    I have to say that is just freaking brilliant. I see these desks at secondhand stores and garage sales all the time. They are so pretty, and you’ve found the perfect use for them. Great job!

  • L

    July 15, 2010 |

    i love your squash blossom necklace. truly lovely. (also a great post, as usual, and a wonderful homage to family history to boot.)

  • FashionJazz

    July 15, 2010 |

    I love posts like these! It all looks fabulous hun! Hope you are well and having a good week! xxx

  • FashionJazz

    July 15, 2010 |

    I love posts like these! It all looks fabulous hun! Hope you are well and having a good week! xxx

  • Down and Out Chic

    July 16, 2010 |

    oh this is fantastic! love the organization and the knobs holding the necklaces are a great idea. looks great.

  • Danielle

    July 17, 2010 |

    WOW! These pictures are so incredibly inspiring!!!

  • Tamara Jans

    July 28, 2010 |

    This is ‘super-hero-like-impressive’ for someone as organizationally challenged as I am. But maybe I can achieve a ‘break-through’ (lol) by following what you’ve done here. I collect vintage fashion jewellery too… looove me some ‘sparkle’!! Thanks for this great and useful post… If I can emulate this with my jewellery, I’ll have to come back and see what you’ve done with the rest of your things! 🙂

  • Laura

    September 16, 2011 |

    Who makes those amazing cutout sandals on the floor in the first photo??

  • Crystal Jewellery

    July 2, 2013 |

    I’m a fashionista, who follows and keep updating myself about the latest fashion trends. Fashion accessories, literally, are the most stylish items that can brighten up any dull outfit and show your personality. Your blog is very informative and useful.

  • best online jewelry store

    September 5, 2013 |

    I like the way you have stored your jewellery collection, and I must say you have tremendous collection of stunning jewelery.

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