Craftsman tool chest becomes non-traditional jewelry box

My husband gave me a silver necklace one year for my birthday that had a consistently round shape irrespective of if I was wearing it or not. The necklace did not conveniently fit into my jewelry box, as one might imagine, so I often stored it on a bedroom lampshade.

If you’re observant, you’ll have noticed that I have been discussing the necklace in the past tense. The necklace found an unfortunate demise when my cat knocked the lamp off of its table, I absentmindedly swept up the whole mess into a trash can, deposited my trash can on the curb, and then realized my mistake a day after the trash collector had come. Weeks later, when my husband started talking about replacing the necklace I had inadvertently thrown away, I said that I had to first find a jewelry box that actually accommodate my jewelry.

I quickly discovered that it is difficult to find jewelry boxes that are made to hold non-chain style necklaces. I also was surprised to learn that sturdy, well-built, non-plastic jewelry boxes are a couple hundred dollars. My frustrations increased.

The solution to my jewelry storage problem came while I was visiting the hardware department at Sears. One look at the Craftsman Six Drawer Ball-Bearing Chest and I knew I had found my new jewelry box.

On my way home from Sears, I stopped by The Container Store and picked up a few jewelry drawer organizers and tubes of non-slip drawer liner. Now, all of my jewelry fits comfortably inside my new jewelry box, the ball-bearing drawers open and shut with ease, it locks with a key that I can take with me when I travel, it weighs more than 100 pounds and would be difficult for someone to steal, and it doubles as a side table next to a reading chair in my bedroom. I also think that it looks really cool.

My uncommon solution was not cheap, but neither were more traditional options. Most importantly, though, I no longer run the risk of losing or throwing away my jewelry because of an ill-conceived storage solution. My Craftsman Chest is an organized solution that can contain all possible forms of jewelry. This is a prime example of the Unclutterer motto: A place for everything and everything in its place.

25 Comments for “Craftsman tool chest becomes non-traditional jewelry box”

  1. posted by sharon on

    I don’t have enough jewelry to fit in one of those drawers let alone the whole cabinet. Now if I could find a man to buy some for me, I would gladly pick one up.

  2. posted by Anonymous on

    wow. how about a hook in a closet somewhere? this seems pretty extreme.

  3. posted by Erin at Unclutterer on

    Sharon –
    My jewelry only takes up the top three drawers (1: earrings, 2: bracelets and broaches, and 3: necklaces). My husband stores his cuff links, collar stays, etc. in one of the other drawers, and then the top and bottom two drawers store items not jewelry related (belts, etc.). As I mentioned in this previous post, I inherited a great deal of costume jewelry when my maternal grandmother passed away. And, since I’m a small wardrobe type of person, the jewelry and accessories I have make me look less drab :)

  4. posted by Lori on

    I would love one of these — for my tools!

    Seriously, I make jewelry, and although I sell most of what I make, storage for the stuff I keep is a problem. I use a velvet T-bar that cost about $12 at Nile.com, so I can see all the pretty stuff I made. But if you want flat drawer storage, there are many cheaper and more attractive solutions out there. Most high-end art shows have someone making gorgeous handmade jewelry chests with drawers for less than the price of the tool chest. Ikea has a two-drawer piece for $50: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60107970.

  5. posted by Cameron on

    I bought a mechanics drawer tool chest for my wife’s make up because she has so much.

  6. posted by Peter on

    Unless you put this toolbox into the closet it’s not very attractive on the bedroom dresser. I’ve seen similar chests made of wood in various art-supply catalogs (I’m to lazy to find and post a link. Try Dick Blick.com).

  7. posted by Peter on

    Oh, sorry I did not read the side table part of the article. I still think it’s ugly in the bedroom.

  8. posted by Erin at Unclutterer on

    I wouldn’t put this on top of a dresser, it would rip up the dresser’s wood and most furniture wouldn’t be able to support its weight.

  9. posted by Mugsy on

    I hardly see how buying an almost $400, 93 lbs. storage device is an acceptable solution to a simple problem. How the heck did you wrangle that into the house?

    Geez, Louise! I’m losing my patience with this blog.

  10. posted by beth on

    These are pretty versatile pieces of furniture. A lot of tattoo artists use them to organize their equipment and keep it out of sight.

  11. posted by Erin at Unclutterer on

    Mugsy –

    Why does the price and the weight matter? Living an uncluttered lifestyle is about properly honoring and storing the things you choose to have in your home. I imagine that you paid a pretty penny for your refrigerator and that it weighs more than 100 pounds. I imagine, too, that you value the food you store in it. Under your logic of price and weight being ridiculous factors, a refrigerator would be unreasonable. I doubt that you think a refrigerator is ridiculous, however. So why do you apply a different standard for my jewelry? I greatly value the contents of my jewelry box. Why shouldn’t I store them in a safe, protective environment? My solution is non-traditional, as I stated in my post, and that’s the real point of this post. Seek out the best solution, which may be uncommon, for your storage and lifestyle, and properly contain what you choose to keep in your home. Being uncluttered is not about owning the cheapest thing or the lightest or living an ascetic life. It’s about having a place for everything, and everything in its place.

  12. posted by Debbie on

    Also people seem to be forgetting that Erin thinks this looks cool, not ugly.

    I store my bead necklaces on a wooden rotating tie rack, my chain necklaces and rings in a flat jewelry box with little compartments, my stud earring stuck into a ribbon that I keep in an open box with my hair scrunchies, and my dangly earrings in film cannisters in a metal lunchbox that was just so darling I couldn’t resist it.

    I also saw someone put chicken wire in a picture frame (with no glass) and then put tiny s-hooks on it to hold many kinds of jewelry. French-hook earrings were just hooked directly over the wire.

    I’ve also heard of people using fishing tackle boxes for beading supplies or sewing supplies–they could be used for jewelry, too. They are durable and inexpensive for all the compartments you get, but most people don’t think they look cool, so you might want to store it on a shelf in your closet.

    Anybody else have unusual jewelry storage solutions that work for you?

  13. posted by Gayle on

    I also make jewellery and my neckpieces are almost always circular. Both the weight and the price of this deter me from this particular solution, but I love the idea of the size of it, especially with the shallow drawers. Good on you for finding something that works in your space! Seems like an excellent solution, especially if you had expensive pieces – the weight would definitely throw off home invaders.

  14. posted by Jenny (Usagi) on

    I kept the net bags (they happened to be a pretty purple) that some baby red potatoes came in, used thumb tacks to attach them to the wall in my closet. I was looking for small s hooks and having trouble finding them, then I noticed a box of paper clips… so now all my jewelry is hanging on my closet wall, no more tarnishing from being in my bathroom when I shower, all easily displayed when I’m getting dressed and not in tangled piles in a box. Plus it was basically free since I had everything at home already to make it.

  15. posted by awurrlu on

    I suggested buying one of the larger five-drawer wheeled versions of these chests to my partner, who’s a photographer, for storing his clients’ slide boxes and locking up camera equipment. He ended up buying two. I first saw them used for non-tool use at my local post office, where they used them for stamp storage.

    I keep threatening to get one for the kitchen, and putting a butcher block top on it, but owning three seems excessive. You do need to have something of the industrial chic look to be able to pull them off, though! The black ones are perfect!

  16. posted by Stephanie on

    I don’t have very much jewelry that I’d need to store it all with easy access, but the stuff that I do wear fits nicely into a nail/screw sorter (also found in the hardware section)…it’s smaller, but has a bunch of compartments perfect for my assorted earrings and necklaces.

  17. posted by Lana on

    Great ideas, Debbie. I especially love that metal lunchbox trick. I have a couple of really cool ones that I’d hate to give away, but they’re not really serving a purpose (other than looking good). Now I can put them to use.

  18. posted by Deep C on

    Cool …
    now I will always think about the jewelery box also before gifting any jewelery item like that. ;-)

  19. posted by Paula on

    Unclutters ARE forced to improvise. My jewelry solution was simpler and cheaper, because my jewelry is simpler and cheaper. I found a little plastic bead compartment box from the craft store with 12 fixed compartments. This is enough for my earrings (sorted by type) and because of its small size, it slides easily into my nightstand drawer. A few more earrings, and I’d probably buy another but still doesn’t take up much room. Effective, easy to use and (best of all) uncluttered for $1.99.

  20. posted by Aliza on

    I use those plastic containers with separators for fishing lures that I buy in Kmart for about $6. I have a smaller one for when I travel. It works for me!

  21. posted by pambamboo on

    Hmmm – well I’m a jeweler too! My partner and I hand craft gold and silver pieces, it’s important that my personal jewelry be not only easy to see but clean and not tarnished! So i keep each piece in a no tarnish plastic bag and attached the bags to the back of our bedroom door with velcro stuff. Doesn’t look too cool but nobody sees it but me and now I not only don’t forget what I have but it’s always clean and shiny!

  22. posted by Charles on

    I like this post. Definitely think outside the box when uncluttering. Although personally, I wouldn’t like my wife bringing a toolbox into the bedroom, it accomplishes what they are after, could be disguised, or fits well into a industrially decorated home.

  23. posted by Kristine on

    The best jewelry box I used was a fishman’s tackle box. It was GREAT when I was traveling back and forth to college.

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  25. posted by Unclutterer » Archive » Reader question: How store earrings? on

    [...] and Accessory Trays, which I bought at my local Container Store, for all of my earrings. I use a tool chest as my jewelry box and the trays set in the drawers [...]

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