Honestly, selling jewelry can be pretty simple. You just need jewelry and people who want to buy jewelry. (If only it was really that simple!) But that is how I've been selling my handmade jewelry here and there. People tell me what they like and I bring it by or I set up an impromptu display at a friends house.
But, I'm thinking of doing a few shows this year and stepping out in a more professional way. Like, I'm all fancy and successful or something. I've made a list of the items that I need to do this - and the one that I've started tackling this week is jewelry displays.
I already have a variety of display items that I've purchased. White leatherette busts for necklaces, leatherette and wire T stands for earrings, black flocked boards and ring displays, clear Lucite bracelet stands. These descriptions should be giving you a hint on what the problem is - there is no continuity or vision in what the display should look like. They are just things to hang jewelry on. Since my jewelry itself is not a cohesive set of styles and techniques, I think display continuity is going to be important for my jewelry at a show.
I'm not quite sure why I think making the displays myself or using Lululemon boxes are good ideas, but it's where I've started, and I'm pleased enough with it as a starting point to share my results. If you are not familiar with Lululemon, they are a high end yoga and active wear brand. I usually buy my kids an item from there every Christmas.
First, Lululemon boxes are pretty amazing - as boxes go. They are thick cardboard and matte black paper on the exterior. Here's a faceted aquamarine wire wrap necklace I made displayed on the box top. I even left the tape and the cat fur (unintentionally). I wish I could leave the black paper for the display, but the paper gets stained very easily. Which means it is pretty, but it's not very practical for jewelry display.
Before I go much further, I should describe what I'm hoping to achieve in my displays. I'd like a neutral background, the displays should be easy to travel with and lightweight, and ideally, will fold flat for easy storage. They should also be easy to clean or mask scuffs and marks. If you've ever had black flocked displays and a pet, you can understand what I'm looking to avoid.
My first step was to search the remnants and bargain bin of my local Joann's for fabric for my displays. I settled on some fake leather and beige upholstery fabric. I looked at some linen and other fabrics but decided I wanted something a bit heavier and there was lots of upholstery fabrics on sale.
I searched online for display templates and found several that I was planning on using with the cardboard from boxes. That is, until I discovered that the boxes may need less altering than I thought. I realized a nice sized angled ramp display could be made from just the top and front flap of a box. Note that this is not your typical two piece top and bottom box. It is a single piece box with a fold over top.
Here's the box top laid out on top of the fabric.
A minor issue is the lululemon logo which I noticed would show through the fabric. I decided to paint the entire box top a light color to cover it up. Nothing fancy - just used some acrylic paint.
I don't have pictures of the gluing process - but I used 3M General Purpose Spray Adhesive that I had for photo mounting. It's all I had that would cover a large area, and it seems to have worked very well. After cutting a piece of fabric slightly larger than the top, I sprayed the glue over the entire box top area. Then I pressed it on the fabric. I also sprayed the edges of the back side and folded over the fabric to secure it.
I did all of this pretty quickly because I didn't have enough experience with the adhesive to know how much time I had before it dries. I'll be more careful lining things up in the future. Below shows the back of the box top and how the fabric is folded around it.
For now, I am securing the flap using a ribbon. It is just taped, but eventually I may use velcro to secure it.
With the flap bent, the display can be flipped over and is ready to use. Unfortunately, the necklace display ramp shows some minor issues in two places. First, I didn't trim the base of the box before I started so the bottom edge that is on the table is not straight. Second, the fabric grain isn't totally straight vertically. It's not terrible, but I know I can do better.
Here's a close up picture.
Although I think the overall size is a little too large for bracelets, here is my handmade jewelry display with some wire wrap gemstone bracelets. I still need to add the clasps to these.
Using the same technique and the faux leather, I decided to try my luck using a slightly larger Lululemon box. This time I used a piece of the front section of the bottom. The angled flaps have sticky tape on them because they would normally be used to secure the box together.
By just folding those two side flaps in, you can see how it creates a stand that I can drape my bracelets over. Below are some views from the back - before I've covered this with any fabric.
This view gives you an idea of how thick the cardboard is. It's very sturdy.
And from the front - with earrings and bracelets.
As before, there is a learning curve with covering the cardboard and using the glue. The faux leather is thick and would have been easier to secure if I left the overlap edges larger.
Here is a close up of my folds. After I folded one side of the fabric in place, I trimmed the fabric or cut slit so it would overlap neatly.
The handmade bracelet display ramp from the back. I taped a ribbon to hold the flaps in place temporarily. I will probably use a thinner ribbon when I make more of these.
Here is my handmade bracelet and earring display ramp from the front. I like to be nit picky with my own work - so I'll point out that there's a crease from the original fold of the fabric from when it was on the bolt near the center green bracelet. I'll be more careful about that in the future, but I think it can be covered with jewelry. I'm pretty sure I've purchased displays with bigger flaws than this.
You can also see the other ramp display in the background to see how they coordinate. As I make more displays and come up with a more cohesive set, I will add some more pictures.
For now, I hope this helps give you some ideas. I have been saving these boxes for a while, knowing I wanted to use them for making jewelry displays - just not realizing that it could be easier than I expected.
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