Let’s Get Crafty: Easy DIY Jewelry Display

Style Alter DIY Jewelry Display

I’ve been trying to figure out a good way to display my jewelry for awhile now – adding a tray here, a bowl there. My jewelry is extremely important to me (especially since I started making my own) and I need to visually see what I have or else it gets lost in the abyss for years at a time. Plus, jewelry is pretty – it should be on display.

After seeing some great ideas on Pinterest (like this, this and this) I decided to go with a fabric-covered cork board for my necklace collection. Mainly because, I’m sorry, but I didn’t feel like waiting around to stumble upon the perfect vintage frame or trellis ladder at an antique flea market. When I get an idea for a project in my head, I want to do it now. Right. Now. Right this second or never, here is my credit card, where do I sign.

Which also, for the purposes of this blog post, is good because this project is easily replicated. All materials were bought at Joann’s (I’ll list everything I used at the end) and I swear this is insanely easy. I pretty much set aside a rainy Saturday and was done super early. I didn’t know what to do with myself.

DIY Jewelry Display | StyleAlter.com

First, take your cork board/bulletin board (you can use any size, mine is 16 x 36) and wrap the fabric tightly over the front, using a hot glue gun to secure the fabric down at the edges.

The only remotely tricky part about this is the corners. I don’t know if this is the “proper” way to do corners, but it felt right and it worked.

DIY Jewelry Display | StyleAlter.com

Use a scrap of fabric or something laying around to help you press the fabric down as you glue so you don’t burn your little fingers. After your fabric is in place, glue some string so it hangs from the top of your board. Since it’s difficult to hot glue a thin piece of string, you can use a scrap of fabric to sandwich the string to the back of your board.

Add your pushpins and hang your jewelry. That is literally it. Voila:

DIY Jewelry Display | StyleAlter.com

I landed up doing two boards because I had the space.

DIY Jewelry Display | StyleAlter.com

A lot of this jewelry is made by me and some of it’s store-bought. I almost always remember every item I’ve purchased – where, when, why, cost. So if you want to know where anything is from, just ask in comments.

DIY Jewelry Display | StyleAlter.com

I really, really like the addition of the string for sunglasses (though you could also use this for earrings) because mine were a mess before – taking up space on my dresser, thrown into drawers. Just being everywhere while simultaneously being no where when I needed them.

DIY Jewelry Display | StyleAlter.com

The great thing about using push pins is being able to move them around wherever you want to accommodate any necklace. You can hardly see the clear pins. I was worried they wouldn’t be strong enough to hold my heavier pieces, but no problem at all so far.

DIY Jewelry Display | StyleAlter.com

The tray is from The Container Store and I use a bowl for my earrings (hang fish hooks off the sides and studs go in the middle). I use the necklace tree for all of my smaller chains that would get lost on the cork board.

DIY Jewelry Display | StyleAlter.com

Bracelet bar is from The Container Store.

DIY Jewelry Display | StyleAlter.com

The bunny ring dish is from Anthropologie, as is the round blue velvet box, which I use for things I don’t want to display. The other small dishes were bought in Japan.

DIY Jewelry Display | StyleAlter.com

Hedgehog ring by Noir (gift from my sister). He likes to party.

DIY Jewelry Display | StyleAlter.com

Here is a list of materials I used:

– 1 1/6 yards of metallic dot burlap fabric from Joann’s. (You need just over a yard. They’re out of the gold online, but here is silver).
– The Board Dudes Unframed (Canvas Style) 16 x 36 Cork Board. I couldn’t find this particular size online, but it and other sizes are available at Joann’s.
– 2 yards of string or jute cord
– Hot glue gun + glue sticks
– Clear push pins

– Never buy anything from Joann’s without a coupon.
– I suggest using a frameless cork board so the fabric stretches neatly across it.
– If you don’t have a hot glue gun, honestly…no one will know if you use duck tape. #craftingsecrets

On display each and every day,



Curved H Bracelet

My latest adventure in metalsmithing: a bar bracelet I made in copper.

Style Alter Curved H Bracelet

Style Alter Curved H Bracelet

The bars were originally straight. I wore it around for a few days and realized that by curving them, its much more comfortable on the wrist.Style Alter Curved H Bracelet

Style Alter Curved H Bracelet

Style Alter Curved H Bracelet

I like that it’s simple, but interesting. Shined up, it kind of has a nice rose gold finish.

Style Alter Curved H Bracelet

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m calling it the Curved H Bracelet because from the right angle, it looks like an H.

Forge on,

The Backpack Comeback and My Obsession with the Olsen Twins

A couple months from now I will be in Japan, a trip we’ve been looking forward to for so long it doesn’t actually feel real. We have a lot of planning to do still, but at the moment I’m choosing to focus all of my attention on one task: Finding a stylish backpack. One to hold all my travel essentials during the trip, and then my everyday junk in real life.

If you recall, baby backpacks were the thang in the 90s. I have a theory that backpacks fell out of favor in the early 2000s (lost to the messenger bag) but now the Olsen twins, princesses of the 90s, have created a surge to bring them back.


I am fascinated by the twins. “You got it, dude,” and “Oh puh-lease,” are like, ingrained in my psyche. Now they’re these full-blown designers who love fashion so much they literally engulf their itty bitty bodies in it. And they’re not sorry. Ashley and Mary Kate don’t care about looking “cute” or “classic” or “cinching in their waist,” they are DED-I-CATED to fashion.

And the twins love a good backpack.


That alligator number by The Row costs $39,000. Yeah no, that comma is in the right place. A few months ago the alligator backpack morphed into an even more expensive bag with pharmaceuticals glued all over it:


It kinda makes you question what world we live in. Those Olsen twins!

All this is to say, I want a backpack. Maybe one of these?


1. Alexander Wang  | 2. Nasty Gal 3. Nasty Gal  | 4. ASOS  |  5. DVF  |  6. Top Shop

Guess what? Politeness week is OVER,


The Not-So-Revealing Warby Parker Reveal

So remember when I asked you all to help me chose which Warby Parker glasses to get? I know you’ve all been in utter suspense ever since, but there have been two little problems that have come up and kept me from blogging about it.

WarbyParker13Problem One: I realized I needed to go back to the eye doc first to make sure my prescription was up to date before ordering new glasses. Sidenote: It’s the same. This should be good since I suppose that means my vision is not deteriorating, but I was a tad disappointed. Both of my eyes are the same prescription and have been for awhile now. I find this suspicious because in the past, my eyes were always two different prescriptions. How did they even themselves out like that? I had this theory that the eye doctor was just generalizing the state of my eyeballs. Like, “Eh, close enough. Just make them the same.” And that maybe if I had the correct prescription,  I would put on my new glasses and it would be like a whole new world of crystal clear shapes and colors and I’d get that amazing feeling of seeing the leaves on the trees again. Anyone who has ever had glasses understands the “leaves on the trees” thing – the car ride home from the eye doctor when you get your first pair of glasses, and you’re like, “I can see EVERY SINGLE INDIVIDUAL LEAF on every single tree!” So, I explained my suspicions to my doctor last weekend questioned if it was weird that my eyes were the same. She said it’s common to have the same prescription in both eyes and said I was completely normal. (But her laugh said otherwise).

Problem Two: I asked you guys to vote for the pair you liked best, and, this was the biggest problem: You all chose wrong. No one liked the ones I liked best! Wa wah. My favorite are these, a frame called the Bensen:


This is probably not the best picture and the reason you didn’t vote for them. I think we all know that I should have used a controlled variable and had the same face in every picture. Science fair fail. They’re really cute in person though, trust me. Todd, who is the only person to see the glasses on me in real life, liked them best. They’re oversized but not obnoxious, have a cute tortoise shell pattern, and are thin and lightweight (as I said in my last post, I’ve had a problem with thick, heavy glasses hurting my nose in the past).

But you liked these the best:


I can tell you for a fact my “Oops!” Coppertone baby face are what sold you on this pair more than the actual glasses. Unfortunately, these particular frames are actually not right for my face in real life (a little too narrow). But, I LOVE the round frames and think they’re so fun and different and obviously you guys like that style too, which is awesome and made me really excited.

There is an obvious solution here: Buy two pairs! I am going to start with the square Bensen’s and then eventually get a second, round pair (there are a few I’m choosing between that are wide enough). I like the idea of having two pairs so I can switch things up, and at $95 per pair (includes prescription lenses and shipping) I can actually afford it.

Problem solved. Thanks, everyone!


Where to Find Me



Though I would love nothing more than to fill your inboxes and readers with my daily blubbering, in between posts I’ve got to make a living (because other than self-satisfaction, this blog pays me jack). So when that pang of sadness from missing your favorite blogger hits you, just hop on over here to find me:


Sales Check is a shopping and fashion events column that focuses on local sales, boutique openings, and retail news. I write a weekly online column on chicagomag.com and a monthly print column in Chicago magazine. You should sign up for the weekly newsletter here because I find out about the BEST sales that could legit save you $1,500 a year.*

*A theory not supported by actual math.


And introducing: Chicago magazines brand new blog, Style Sheet, devoted to all things stylish. I cover the beauty beat, which you can find here every Thursday.

Of course, I will still be blogging right here for all of you–not for profit, just for funnsies!