Speaking of: A DIY Necklace Rack

I mentioned in my March wrap-up post that I want to write the occasional non-bookish post. I’m a reader, but like most well-rounded people, it isn’t my only interest. I’m also interested in style, organization (see my nerdily in-depth reading graph and blog planner), and DIY, among other things. I love to knit and cross-stitch and make nice little objects for myself and my apartment, and I would like to share some of those things in this space from time to time.

I was a bit worried that having “books” in my blog title boxed me into writing exclusively about books, but I love seeing other bloggers branch out. (And thank you to everyone who encouraged me in comments and tweets!) To tie back into my blog name, non-bookish posts will be titled “Speaking of.” You might see a few “Speaking of Style” or “Speaking of DIY” posts (like this one) from time to time!

DIY Necklace Rack

Since moving into this apartment in August, all my necklaces have been hanging from a single hook in my closet. Locating the necklace I want and extracting it from the tangle of chains has been no easy feat, and I knew I needed a better way to store my jewelry. I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted online, so I decided to make my own wall-hanging necklace rack! Here’s how I did it. (Of course, I didn’t take any pictures while I was working on it, so please bare with my text-only instructions!)

DIY Necklace Rack

Supplies:

 Directions:

1. Stain the dowel rod. Dip a rag into the stain and rub it all over the dowel, making sure to apply evenly. (As a small-apartment dweller, I don’t have many rags laying around, so I just used a paper towel to do this.) Let dry for a few minutes, then wipe off any stain that hasn’t been absorbed.

2. Measure and mark the placement of the hooks. Using a ruler and a pencil, I marked the spots I wanted to place the four hooks. I placed them 2″ apart, starting 3″ from each end.

3. Screw in the hooks. Since my dowel was too hard to screw directly into (DIRTY!), I used a hammer and nail to start each hole. (Helpful boyfriend held the dowel steady while I hammered.) Once I made a small hole on all four pencil marks, I screwed in the hooks, using a wrench to help when they became too difficult to turn by hand.

4. Wrap the white string/twine around the dowel. I started 2″ from the end of the dowel, wrapping the end of the string under to secure it. When I reached 2″ from the other end, I simply cut the twine and tied it off.

5. Tie the leather lace to each end. I doubled my lace, using the loop-and-pull-through method to secure it to the first end of the dowel. I then just tied the other end, cutting off the excess lace.

6. Hang it up! I hung mine from a thumb tack next to my closet, where my necklaces are now lovely and accessible!

Thoughts after finishing:

I wish I could have made a longer rack with a few more hooks, spaced out a tiny bit more. However, the only dowel lengths JoAnn sells are 12″ and 36″, and I didn’t have the tools to cut down a larger dowel. The rack is also a tad difficult to keep level; I have to be careful to make sure necklace weight is distributed evenly — hence the one really heavy necklace being hung across all four hooks. But overall, I’m really happy with it! My necklaces are easier to get to, less likely to get tangled up, and attractively displayed!

DIY Necklace Rack

How do you store your necklaces?

Five Characters I’d Like to Check In With

Because sometimes you finish a book but you aren’t finished with the characters, here are five* characters I would like to check in with:

(Warning: Vague spoilers ahead.)Five Characters I'd Like to Check In With

1. Naoko from A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. I loved getting to know Nao through her diary, and I really want to know what she did with her life after she finished writing it. What does her life look like when Ruth finds the diary on the beach?

2. Nick, Amy, and their kid from Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I thought this book’s dark, twisty shocker of an ending was perfect — but I’m dying to know what growing up in the Dunn household will be like for Nick and Amy’s child. Let’s check back in 15 years.

3. Offred from The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. The ambiguous ending of this book is part of why I love it, but I still want to know what really happened to Offred!

4. Peggy Hillcoat from Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller. When the novel ends, Peggy has only recently returned home from her years in the wilderness, and she’s still pretty raw. She has a hard road ahead of her, and I’d like to see how she’s doing a few years down the line.

5. Ava Bigtree from Swamplandia! by Karen Russell. I could really have used the Socratic Salon when I read this book three years ago. So many feels! The ending tied things up nicely — at least for the moment — but I’d love to see how things work out for Ava in the long run.

*I know this was supposed to be Top Ten Tuesday, but I’m a rebel, so five it is!

What characters would you like to revisit?