Jewelry Display Racks from Hardware Store Parts

© by Beth Millner; all rights reserved.

Jewelry display racks of many types can be made from supplies from your local hardware store.

Example 1:
Wooden Dowels and Copper Pipe Fittings

One fun and easy way to create your own jewelry display racks is by using copper pipe fittings and dowels.

All hardware stores seem to have these supplies. Be creative with the parts; it’s like using Legos.

I usually find the type of fittings that are in my price range, and then look for a dowel that will fit into them.

The copper pipe fittings come in T shapes and L shapes, so the best way to get the display you want is to sketch it out first then buy the fittings and dowels.

I suggest adding in eye hooks that you can thread smaller dowels through, for hanging earrings or earring cards:

If you have trouble getting your new jewelry display rack to stay rigid, hammer the copper pipe fittings while they are on the end of the dowel.

Be careful not to hammer too much so you are still able to take it apart.

To hammer the copper fitting, just put it on a solid surface and hit it with a hammer or a mallet in order to pinch the dowel.

Cutting the dowels into the proper lengths is not too difficult with a hack saw, or any hand saw.

Since the ends on most of the dowels will be covered by the copper fittings, the cuts don’t have to look amazing.

You can also get end pieces of copper that could be stuck on the end of a dowel.

As you can see in the rack above, I did not use any end pieces, only connectors.

I just used a little sand paper on the ends to make them look smooth.

If you are really good at planning out the cutting of the dowels, you could keep the factory-cut ends of the dowel for any ending that is going to be showing.

Example 2:
PVC Pipe Jewelry Display Rack
(The Cheaper Version)

I also think this design would work with small PVC pipe fittings and pieces of PVC pipe, then the entire rack could be painted afterwards.

It would look really nice with a metallic finish spray paint over the surface.

Or you could use wooden dowels and PVC pipe fittings.

The most fun part is doing it yourself with relatively inexpensive materials.

Also, potential customers are drawn to interesting displays, but don’t overdo it.

You don’t want the display to compete with your jewelry.

Example 3:
Copper Pipes and Copper Pipe Fittings
(The More Expensive Version)

I think an entirely copper jewelry display rack would look really awesome, but the price of copper is higher than it used to be, so this display would be more of an investment.

But it would look really great if you are a fan of copper.

Copper can also be cut with a hacksaw – just have a friend help you hold down the copper pipe so you can cut in a straight line.

Helpful Hints for Making
Your Jewelry Display Racks:

Definitely sketch out a detailed drawing with measurements of the rack before cutting up any of your materials. Better yet, make your drawing before you go to the hardware store and then you won’t have a bunch of extra pieces.

Find a friend to help you hold the pieces of dowel while you are sawing. Or use a vise to hold the other end of the dowel; use two pieces of scrap wood on the jaws of the vise so it doesn’t dent your dowels.

Remember that dowels generally come in 1-yard lengths. Example: if you need five 16″ lengths, you are going to have to buy three dowels. There will also be some leftovers, of each of the three pieces.

If you are planning on hanging earring cards that have plastic hangers, make sure they fit over the dowels.

To brighten the copper pipe fittings, scour them with baking soda or Bar Keeper’s Friend and steel wool. This is also a good way to remove any adhesive on the surface of the copper.

PVC pipes usually have numbers printed on the side, so I would seriously consider painting them. You could probably come close to the all copper look with some copper spray paint.

There is also glue made especially for PVC pipe, which you can usually find right next to where the pipes are sold. Beware – the glue smells really bad. Use in a ventilated area.

Also, a great hint sent in by Luann Udell, after she read this article:

“I enjoyed Beth Millner’s directions for an earring display made of plumbing parts and wood dowels–clever!

I just wanted to note that there are many lovely faux metal paint treatments and finishes out on the market now. Even a small bottle would cover a lot of wood dowels, and make them look like more expensive metal rods at a fraction of the cost.

Or the dowels could be painted to go with your booth colors, too.”

Beth Millner is a silversmith and jewelry artist from Michigan’s upper peninsula. Much of her jewelry is inspired by her surroundings, including the shorelines of Lake Superior. Her blog documents her jewelry art and business.

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  1. These are great ideas. My sister made me a matching pair of earrings holders from picture frames. She got them at a yard sale and sprayed them ivory. She covered the backs in fabric and strung wire across. We put them on easels and they looked great. I love the ideas I get here. Thanks so much for sharing with everyone.

  2. Along the lines of the frame earring display – I found 2 matching frames at Good Will. I painted them with a faux stone paint (to match my stone painted vases that I use to display necklaces); spray-glued fabric on the front of the cardboard.

    My husband drilled small holes down the interior sides of the frames to the back at different intervals to accomodate different lengths of earrings (I put the longer ones on 1 side and the shorter on the other).

    Then I attached nylon fabric cord (Joanns) starting at the top back with a large knot then across the front and continued to weave it across and down – using 1 piece keeps it taught. Only use nylon because it will not stretch easily with use.

    I use my business card with info just at the bottom add pinholes for the earrings, fold them in half and hang on the cording. It’s very easy to lift them off the cord for closer observation.

    Just add a small hook/s to attatch the 2 sides to hold them together for transportation. If you choose you can also add a handle at the top.

    The GREATEST part of this display is that the 2 frames stand up on their own in an open V shape (unless it’s really windy and then you just add a weight to the back and/or front), AND when you close it YOU CAN KEEP THE EARRINGS IN PLACE – Easy set-up and take down!

    It has been the PERFECT solution for me! I’m thinking of making another, if I can find matching frames again.
    Sorry this is soooo long but I tried to be as clear as I could in case you wanted to try it.

  3. I love your idea of PVC tubing. An acquaintance recently took me into a hardware store where she bought PVC piping (Note: it comes in different diameters) to use for stands for her dog for agility training. They worked perfectly! It is easy to cut and is so simple to transport and set up with the end fittings. I love your idea of spray painting the piping or dowels. Thank you for including this in your letter to us, Rena.

  4. Becky says:

    Just be careful if you use a copper display. I had one where I could put a rubber band around the width of the display and leave my earrings on cards on the display for easy transport. I didn’t think anything of it until someone wanted some earrings a month or so later. The copper had reacted with the ear wires and changed the color enough that I had to change out the ear wires. Moral of the story — if you have a copper display, take your earrings off!!

  5. Debbie says:

    Great display racks … I made some very much like them using pvc pipes and stay painted them a metallic black. I just love this site and everyone here is always so helpful. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Your ideas have set my creative juices flowing!

  7. I have a ton of earrings and I needed a way to hang them ahead of time. After a few years of trying one thing and another I finally can across the best and easiest thing for me to use: closet shelving. For now I have elected to keep mine white. I have one about 8′ tall I hang in the back of my booth and two 4′ pieces that will fit on my table. I had some wooded feet made for the ones on the table but for the one in the back I can either hang it from the top rail or use the “feet” I bought for it: 4 shelf brackets. I use the long side for the feet and use small bolts with a butterfly nut on the back for easier use. Before a show I load the earrings and using cheap plastic wrap, roll the whole display with it. Just be sure to leave room for the feet at the bottom. Works great and it’s simple.

  8. I found a discarded screen door that was fairly new. There was a good size hole that looks like the screen had been pushed out. Had been repaired with a piece of screen with much larger weave. Perfect for hanging larger items needing hooks etc. will chalk paint off white to match all my other display items.

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