Cost effective displays

As a metalsmithing hobbiest, I have decided to enter a local craft
show with my jewelry. My question is what should I purchase to
display the necklaces, bracelets and earring I made? I obviously
don’t want to spend a lot of money, but want the pieces to look good.

Thanks!! Karen

I’ve had great experiences with Nile Corp ( as a
wholesaler of cheap but good looking displays. My advice is to keep
things fairly simple for your actual display pieces, white, black or
grey depending on your jewelry, with a nice cloth and ONE other
strong visual element. I use a lot of interesting and organic stones,
so my table has some citrine geodes. Others use seashells, or smooth
black or white worry stones, or branches, or driftwood. Keep it
simple. I also found an ezup white show canopy, usually 300 plus
dollars, for less than a hundred at a local Ocean State Job lot.
Found an 8 foot table at Staples for 80 bucks with free shipping.
Look around, do your homework, and it’s usually fairly simple to put
something together that looks like a million bucks without breaking
the bank. Usual disclaimers, no connection to any businesses
mentioned, your mileage may vary. Best of luck!

For more guidance and details, here’s a link to an article I wrote
about making craft shows as painless as possible:

Bekka Ross Russell
R Cubed Jewelry

I have seen people using things such as shutters,pasta drying racks,
wooden clothing dryer racks, acrylic cubes with driftwood,glass
blocks/bricks,mannequin arms, heads and torso’s ( waist or belly
chains), even pvc pipe that is modified with dowels running through
to display rings and then with one curve sliced off with a hot knife
to display bangles…the possibilities are great with found objects
and anything, in my opinion is better than the standard flocked ring
tray, or abs molded displays available from Rio to Fetpack…there’s
nothing a can of hammer finished spray paint wont stick to and gives
what ever you choose a uniform look- for example, don’t leave the
pvc pipe white with wood dowels sticking through at varied intervals-
spray the whole with the hammered spray paint in a nice matte copper
colour for instance to show you a) put a bit of effort into it and
b) have an eye for design and the unusual…and before you go into how
to make the price tags…please research the various threads over the
years on Orchid that beat the issue to death!..rer


Inside my case, I used suede cloth that I bought from Joann Fabric.
I have seen many people arrange different sized blocks of styrofoam
(sp?) or wood and drape the cloth over this…then artfully arranging
different pieces on top. It’s tricky to get things to stay put, but
you can if you are patient. For myself, I made flat bottoms for my
case out of wood (well, I won’t fib…my husband did) and tightly
fitted the cloth over it, stapling it on the underside. This made a
nice, warm-looking display area. I display my pieces of leatherette
necks, rolls, and earring hangers.

Good Luck

p.s. Check out Ikea for “cool” looking things (at low prices) to
incorporate into your display.

Kim Starbard
Unique Jewelry Designs

Karen, I think that for a local craft fair, card tables covered in
black or dark blue stretch velour can be simple and effective. To
make your display more visible from a distance, take a piece of
alligator board and cover it in the same velour, set it in a wire (or
other) stand and pin necklaces on it, or buy some of those big wooden
embroidery hoops, for the same purpose. Brighter colors of velour are
nice, but the jewelry needs to be more striking than the velour!

All the best,
Judy Bjorkman

Fish tanks make great inexpensive showcases.

Foam core board, available at hobby and craft stores, is an
inexpensive and versatile material for displays. It can be covered
with fabric or decorative paper (use spray glue) and used to make
all kinds of nifty displays that you can stick pins into, to make
arranging things easier.

On an easel stand; hinged with tape to make accordion-style folding
vertical displays; or as a base for a covered table case made of an
inexpensive plastic box picture frame. Lots of possibilities, and
pretty inexpensive.

Janet Kofoed

I’m just getting my feet wet entering shows and this works great for
me. I found that normal height (36") tables were a little low for
me.I have flat cases from Arizona Case, so I bought 12" high bed
risers from Bed Bath and Beyond (I think) and they work very well,
$12 for a set of 4.You can also get tables that have adjutable legs.

I hope this helps you out.

PB Jewelry Designs


There are a few sites out there with instructions for creating your
own necklace bust. My most recent ones are made using a regular
flocked easel bust as a template. I bought a couple sheets of black
core black matboard and cut the same shapes from it- easel included,
which I glued the easels on the back. I bought paper from the
scrapbooking aisle & covered the easels with it so the colors
matched my overall display. Solid color, of course. For rings, cut a
1-3/4" circle from cardstock & roll it around a pencil or such to
curve it, then just slide the ring over it midway & the ring will
stand up nicely. I saw them in the Rio catalog & couldn’t imagine
paying that much for something soooo very simple to make. They work
well, though. You can also make little cardstock tent cards with
holes or slits in them to hold pendants & earrings. There are a
gazillion other things you can do, too, of course, but those are some
ideas for you. Oh, and gather up some various sized cartons & cover
them with fabric that matches your case liner to add varying height
to your display. Or, go to Staples & get a set of 3 nesting acrylic
risers. A few sets, actually. I think they’re $5-ish per set. They’re
nicer than the covered boxes in that you can have things under them,
too. Plus, they stack much smaller.

Designs by Lisa Gallagher