Here's my second go at making my own jewelry displays - this time a bracelet display. If you missed it, the first time I showed how to make necklace and bracelet ramp displays using a nice sturdy Lululemon box and upholstery fabric remnants.
This bracelet display is a cross between a pillow and a hump. (does that make it a hillow or a pillump?) And of course, I'll show you how I made it.
I'm not sure whether making my own jewelry displays are really saving me money, but they are at least helping me straighten out my jewelry collections and take better stock of what I have made.
To make this display, I used a sewing machine. My brand new Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine CS6000i, with 60 built-in stitches, 7 Styles of 1-step buttonholes, Wide Table, Hard Cover, LCD display and Auto Needle Threader. I've had this sewing machine in my Amazon cart for about a year and I've always wanted to learn how to sew. Apparently, I decided now is the time. I chose it because I saw reviews that said it was a good machine for beginners.
You can make this display without sewing. I've made it the most of my adult life using iron on hem tape for all of my sewing needs. I'm certain I could have used it for this too.
Here are the details of the construction. I started off thinking that I would use a cardboard insert to make the display hold its shape, but then I realized I had some thin hardwood boards of the same size and used that instead. The board is about 3 inches wide and 8 inches long. I cut my fabric lengthwise, folded it at the top and sewed the seams along the side. I'm guessing it is probably 3 1/2 inches wide once sewn, but I left large seam allowance because a) this is only the second time I've used my sewing machine and b) the fabric tends to fray and I thought it would be more secure.
I don't plan things very well in advance, but I did know that I wanted the open side to be a small edge. I sewed the side with the good side of the fabric facing in. Once I turned it inside out, I ended up with a long sock like piece of fabric that slides over the board.
I knew I had an ancient bag of fiberfill stuffing in the garage and I was very pleasantly surprised that I found it. It literally fell into my hands when I was moving some other crafting boxes. I was about to give up on it and try stuffing with faux fur.
In my mind, making this giant Q-tip looking thing and then sliding over the fabric sock I made was going to work perfectly. In reality, it pushed all of the fiberfill off the end of the stick and didn't work at all.
That was just fine, because it made me realize that I really wanted the flat board on one side and all of the fiberfill on the other side. I folded the cover back in half and used a metal ruler to help push pieces of fluffed up fiberfill into the space between the board and the fabric.
The stuffing process was a little tougher than you might think. Too much stuffing made it lumpy and firm while too little cause dimples. And it wasn't easy to move the stuffing. But I told myself to have patience and just keep at it. As I finished an area, I gently rolled the cover down a little more so I could add fiberfill stuffing to the next section. Leaving it less stuffed makes it easier to re-arrange the stuffing that is there and smooth out dimples.
I'm not sure why, but I made no plan for how I would finish off the end. When I got there, it made sense to tuck the ends in around the board and the stuffing. This is how I like to tuck in my pillowcases around my pillow. I found instructions for how to do it by searching how to fit a king pillowcase on a twin pillow. You need several inches of fabric (at least 2-3) for this type of a fold to hold neatly.
This second picture is after I trimmed the board by another inch and removed some fiberfill to get it super neat. This does have the advantage of making the cover removable and washable in case it gets stained.
The last step was to add my bracelets to the display. The bracelets use Chinese knotting cord and have macrame slide closures. I just tighten the adjustable knot to secure them on the display.
See this link for basic instructions for macrame bracelets and the sliding knot. I still use many of the tools I describe in that post except bought a knotty-do-it-all board and I find it super useful too. Don't buy it from Amazon though - it is much less expensive from Fire Mountain Gems.
One last thought about my bracelet display is that the open bottom means that I could slide some sort of stand into it if I wanted to display it upright. I like that because jewelry displays always look better when items have a variety of height instead of all being laid flat on the table. Flat items also make it hard on your back when you're shopping.
In the future, I'll try to add more information about my experience with the knotty-do-it-all board and the types of projects I've been making lately with and without the board. My initial impression of the knotty-do-it-all wasn't great, but once you take the time to watch the DVD with the projects and try some of the techniques, I think you get a whole new appreciation for the tool and the Artist/Creator, Sandra Younger. Click on the link in this section to see the official website and the types of projects it can be used for.
So, what do you think on my newest display?? I like it. I really, really like it!
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