Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Markets

Upcycling for jewellery display

I’m constantly working on my display options for markets and shows. Recently I have been inspired by Tammie Everly‘s upcycled suitcase display, which she blogged about in April. And then a group I belong to, Bead Swap USA, held a Facebook challenge to “think outside the box”, for us to take a plain box and decorate it. As the challenge description said:

You know those little wooden boxes available at all the big box craft stores? Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to go get one and decorate it with whatever medium or mediums you what. You can paint it, decoupage it, felt it, bead it, and mix media it up to your hearts content. You can choose whatever size box you like, with or without a clasp. 

Well, some time ago (maybe a couple of years ago), I picked up a wooden box on the side of the road, someone had put it into hard rubbish. It had a broken clasp and the inserts inside it were also broken, but I thought that I would be able to do something with it. Of course, it then sat there, and sat there, and sat there …

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When I started doing shows about 18 months ago, I started to paint it, and then went on to easier things, like trays and papier maché busts. So it sat there some more. And then this challenge came along and I thought, aha!

So I painted it inside and outside, first with a colour called Eggshell (it’s kind of a greyish off-white), and then with a lovely aqua blue called Sea Breeze, which I watered down a bit and also wiped with a sponge to get a streaky translucent effect. In retrospect, I probably should have sanded the outside of the box down, but it’s fine for the intended purpose.

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I took some foamcore board and cut it just a bit smaller than the inside of the box—two pieces, one for each side—and covered it with burlap. The pieces just pop in nicely, although I think I will get some double-sided tape and stick them in a bit more firmly. And voila!

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I’m undecided what I will display in this box, but bracelets are a good possibility. Or perhaps my collection of resin cufflinks and earrings. I will have to experiment before The Handmade Show next month. And I’ll need to rework my table to fit it in too. Currently my display looks something like this:

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Would you like to see some of the other elements of my display sometime?

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Beads, Markets

Setting up at a craft show (and another Bead Soup delay)

A couple of days ago I did my first craft show with my jewellery—The Handmade Show, a monthly market for handmade goodies. While it wasn’t a roaring success—I sold four pieces, all to friends—I was really pleased with how I set up my stall and I got some lovely compliments from people about both my designs and my display! So I thought I would show you how I set things up.

But before I get to that, I need to update you on my Bead Soup Blog Party reveal. Our gracious hostess Lori Anderson has had some pretty serious health issues this year and with great reluctance, she had to delay the third reveal by another week. So it is definitely, definitely going to happen this Saturday 27 April—come back then to see, finally, what I made with the beads that Jane Pranata Lim sent me.

Back to the show. The internet is of course a great resource for seeing how people display jewellery at home, at craft shows and in galleries, and I have a Pinterest board set up for jewellery display ideas to save images that I like (feel free to follow it!). I also wanted to keep the boho feel that I think my jewellery designs have in the way I displayed them, so I have been collecting bits and pieces here and there for a few months now. Happily for me, the vintage-y, boho look is quite in at the moment, and some of our local chain stores had some good props.

Here is a picture of the whole table, just before the show opened. My sign is on a little chalkboard—I have no banner as yet. The table covers are seersucker tablecloths in a somewhat lighter seafoam blue than in this photo (which has a lo-fi Instagram filter on it).

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After I took this photo, I put a little blue bird (about 6 inches high) at the back, behind the display tray in the middle, with a bracelet draped across it. It had been moved behind the other displays by accident.

The tray in the middle comes from Kaisercraft, a local scrapbooking and craft company that has an outlet in my local shopping centre. Here’s a closer, although slightly blurry picture. It comes as a bare frame, which I painted with acrylics and lined with scrapbooking paper (isn’t the faux wood cool?). It’s meant to be hung on a wall, with interesting knobs to hang your jewellery from, but I think it works well for my purposes lying flat. I might have to make another one to hang on my bedroom wall though!

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I found paper-maché busts at the local big-box craft store and painted them for necklace displays. I also had several clipboards lined with scrapbooking paper as necklace displays. That was an idea I came across on Pinterest. I propped them up on metal display stands I got for $5 at a discount store.

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The earrings in the picture above are pinned using mini clothes pins onto one of those wire jewellery trees that are so popular in the shops at the moment. It worked quite well, but the other earring display I had was even better:

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This was from a chain of hipster stationery stores called Typo, and is for hanging on the wall to stick cards and photos into for display. I first thought I could dangle each pair of earrings from the little hearts, but then I realised that my business cards, which double as earring cards, would fit in very nicely! It holds 24, although maybe it’s a bit crowded with one pair in each slot, what do you think?

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Kind of behind and next to the earring display, I had a wooden mini-crate (also from Typo) which I stood on its end so I could put a small display of bracelets inside it and also one of necklaces on top. It also came in handy for putting all of the display bits and pieces in when I was carting stuff to and fro from the market. Did I tell you it was literally around the corner from my house? I walked there in less than five minutes! Here’s a picture of me all packed up and ready to head home at the end of the day.

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All in all it was a fun day, and a learning experience. I already have ideas on how to improve things next time (I’m doing it again in June and August). Any suggestions will of course be gratefully received! Hopefully next time I won’t be right in front of the entrance—I found that people walked in and either turned down one way or another and never really came back to see me. Sigh.