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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