What about sharing interesting ways to display jewelry at a show.
I saw some shiny (with lots of stones) brooches and earrings
displayed in a high end hotel jewelry shop display case draped on
dried lotus pod heads. Some were left dark brown and some where
sprayed silver or gold color. This was in Cambodia, Phnom Phen,
where one can find huge lotus pods sold on the street as they eat the
green seeds as snacks and you buy them and usually throw away the
pods that hold the seeds. I bought a bag of them and dried the pods
and am still hoping to find an occasion to use them.
I am sure all you creative people have great ideas that we can share.
Not groundbreakingly creative, but velvet cushions (sale, Rio Grande)
covered in brown suede (3M adhesive spray) work for me - grouped and
stacked for draping and texture. Iron stands and doodads from thrift
stores are sprayed brown and scattered on a perwinkle silk cloth,
'cause those are “my colors”. I also drape my standard busts in a
coordinating fabric so it all looks pulled together. Earrings are
hung on old CD racks (painted brown) or stuck in bowls of rice - I
get A LOT of comments on the bowls of rice (provides support for the
earring cards to stand vertical). I’ve seen more creative ideas, but
I don’t want people to notice my displays, per se; I want them to
notice my jewelry. I also (and this is pretty geeky) usually dress to
match, because I want people to associate me w/ my booth (if I’m not
in it) and maybe associate those colors with my jewelry. Like
Tiffany’s has a signature color - plus it’s easier to have “uniforms”
that match my comfortable shoes.
I’ve worked furniture shows where my boss used long stemmed
artichokes in floral arrangements - that was pretty cool.
I’ve also seen 2X4 scraps whitewashed and stood on end - that made an
elegant display that really highlighted the jewelry. Great thread!
Thanks for thinking of it - I look forward to reading everyon e’s
Like most jewelers who do shows, I’m always trying to improve my
display. Currently, I have orangey-coppery fabric-covered pedestals
with black fabric-covered counters and glass cases, plus a large
variety of black velvet busts and risers. I feel there is too great a
variety, especially all the different necklace busts I have gathered
I am considering trying a rather different approach, and am
interested in feedback. I have noticed some jewelers lay everything
flat, in 3" or 4"-high “cases”, really just a glass cover. I envision
flat black rectangles of various sizes on slightly larger rectangles
of handmade paper, on the black counters.
This would be much easier to light, since everything would face up.
On the other hand, you couldn’t see it unless you are right up to
the counter. And the chains on pendants would get a lot of space
unless wraped to the back.
I have a line of inexpensive jewelry that I take to some of my
shows, and found these wonderful brass fireplace “things” at an old
timey hardware store. Not really sure what they were meant to be used
for, but something to do with fireplaces… Anyway, they are about
2’ x 3’ or so, a wonderful pierced pattern. I put them in poster
frames, screwed on brass L braces to the back to make “feet”, and
they stand up 3’ tall and I use Christmas ornament hangers to hook
into the pierced holes and hang necklaces and bracelets from. Gets
the jewelry up high, easy to see, the brass catches the eye, cheap.
I also use coffee beans, instead of rice, in a neat rustic wooden
tray I came across. I use it to hold up rings - works well and
attracts attention. Had not thought about using it for earring
I have a wonderful wooden rack for earring cards that I’m pretty
sure I got from Rio - very clean looking, holds a ton of card, folks
like browsing through them. Has little slots cut into the wood for
My table covers were custom made for my counter-height tables by
Colonial House (on the internet). Non-flammable with labels. Look
I think at least part of your display needs to be upright - people
can envision the jewelry as it would look on them much better that
way. I combine the two approaches in my booth, with most of my work
on busts of some sort, and some lying flat. I tend to do simple pearl
strands flat, as people already know how they look on.
The other advantage of upright, especially if you can raise it
enough, is that people can see it from a distance, and over heads,
and it draws them to your booth.
Just my opinion - your mileage may vary!
Beth Wicker - in SC where we were actually colder last night than
where my daughter is in college in Ohio! brrrr…we seem to have
skipped fall entirely!
Someone mentioned displaying earrings on rice. I have been thinking
about this for a future show but then I started to think, “what was
the rice in?” A basket, wooden box, ?? I would like the container
holding the rice to be attractive or at least suit the color of the
rice. Any suggestions? Remember I am currently living in a 4th world
country and there are no fine quality woven basketry crafts made
here. I know some African countries would have lovely things to use
but not here.
Sharron in Dhaka where the rains seems to have stopped for the year.
I have done just that. Cast aside my big glass display cases for
these cool black boxes from Hobby Lobby.
The are actually 16x20 shadow boxes but I use them as flat cases. I
prop the glass lids open with chop sticks in the corners. A dowel
rod (very small in diameter) would work also. They have very nice
magnets that keep the lids closed when not propped open. I put all my
items in them, cover w/ a thick cloth and close the lid. When I get
to the show, open them, pull out the cloth, tidy up the items and I’m
good to go. Oh, make sure if you go to see these, that you look at
the ones with hinges! There are two styles and I purchased the wrong
ones one time. I also use short black velvet neck stands and a
variety of risers. I also use hand made paper to line them because
the fabric that comes in them is not great. If you want any more
info…email me off list ok? I’m happy to help.
I have been trying to tie my look together, to attract to my booth.
and have a western motif so to speak. but I wanted my things to be
associated with dress and working cattle (yes I have had on gold
working cows AND used to feed in heels, just be smart about it, lol)
So anyway i draped cheap soft denim overmy busts and have been using
fabric stiffener to help them stand on their own, next i am going to
apply varnish i think, unless I think of a better permenent way, to
finish it off. One problem is the creases, I have to watch how
material drapes and creases so as not to interfer with my pieces
being the center of attention. My daughter has moved home to be with
her daughter and now hopefully I will have the time now to get this
tied toget her and finished.
A word about rice in displays. My first displays were these
attractive boxes with rice. I really liked the look but later I quit
using the rice: it’s really heavy, kids can’t keep their hands out of
it (really - it’s a kid magnet), if you store it to reuse, it
eventually gets bugs in it, and last, I got so many comments about it
that I began to feel it was more of an attraction than my jewelry.
I’ve seen lots of natural seeds, beans, etc in displays and some are
very attractive. It will be interesting to hear what others have to
say on this. I’m always trying to improve my display’s appeal and
ease of set up.
One of the most attractive displays I’ve seen at a show used a base
of some organic material - can’t remember whether beans, rice or what
but I’m thinking brown beans, as it was all muted colors. Little
“islands” were built of irregular slabs of slate (sort of the muted
green and brown type). Some times they were one large slab, others
were mounds of smaller slabs, for variety of height. Earring cards
were in similar muted colors, so the work really showed well. The
most interesting was that some type of leaves were rolled up to
display rings, sitting atop the slate. It was a truly beautiful
display. I got to thinking, how much it must weigh to pack all those
slate slabs - but then look at what ceramic artists have to haul
After much thought and some bungled ideas, I settled upon using navy
panne velvet fitted table covers. I use a silvery grey slightly
textured toppers over them. So, my color scheme is navy and silver.
All of the display busts, easels, and trays are silver- but not shiny
more of a matte finish. I feel my booth is now tied together in a
pleasing color scheme. I have about three levels on each of my
24"x48" tables. I decided to use grey covered busts that are two
heights but have a small footprint so they take up little table
space. I used some silvery spray paint for the little boxes I use as
My biggest issue now is earring display. I have tried a revolving
tower (looked to cheap) a divided tray (people did not notice the
earrings) and now I am currently using some hanging wire racks. They
seem to be noticed but the ear wires tarnish quit easily. So, I am
contemplating making grey cards from card stock and standing them in
some little individual stands from Rio.
Just thinking about improving the display for the next show season
gives me a headache. I think my next task will be a new banner and
possibly some posters made from digital photos of me working in my
shop. I have mixed feelings about this because I want peoples eyes
on the jewelry not the posters. I have learned at an art show it is
crucial to direct peoples eyes where I want them and not somewhere
else like on the tent walls. I also want to decide on whether to
invest in a good quality tent and sell the Caravan.
Thanks for a fun thread. I have enjoyed everyone else’s ideas and
I have 40" tall display cases and I make mostly brooch/pendants. I
bought 2 yards of black dupoini silk for one case and put my forms
underneath the silk. I can also crunch it up for different
elevations. I have a 6" mirrored turntable with mirror top, it works
on a battery, and I put 4 of my best pieces on it. As it revolves,
the mirrors flash and people come to see what’s happening and why
it’s moving. I look on auction sites for unusual things and found a
10" frosted glass tree and I hang my leaf earrings all over it.
Sturdy tubes can be covered with the silk tucked into the open ends
to display bracelets. For items with a patina I use white silk noil
(when it gets dirty it can be machine washed and dried) in 2 of the
3 display cases.
Just a word of caution to those who plan to use rice, coffee beans,
jelly beans etc. in their displays. Be sure that the case is closed
so that little children cannot reach in and get to these items. A
friend was using coffee beans, and a little child reached in and
stuffed one up her nose. There was panic and concern. The mother was
able to get the bean out, but was furious that her child had been
put in peril. Luckily it all ended well
Also, rice spilled on an uncarpeted floor can be slippery, so be
aware that none is spilled.
One show that I participated in some years ago forbid the use of
such props for fear of accidents and law suits.
Hi Noel - my first question is why are you thinking of changing your
display? Have you gotten feedback that it looks “busy” or are you
just sick of looking at it? Either reason is valid, it just might
make a difference in how much $$ you are willing to lay down. My
second thought is I have noticed a few jewelers with flat glass
cases using T bars placed on top the case, to draw the eye and
maximize space. One booth I saw used a horizontal bar, hung from the
front horizontal bar of the tent, to hang longer necklaces front and
center above his flat cases. Not sure if you’d rather keep glass
between the piece and the customer (that’s a whole other thread, I’m
sure) but some ideas to consider.
One comment on display materials: if you use organic materials
consider allergies. Many people (myself included) are allergic to
rice. Same could be true of other materials. Many people are allergic
to nuts, to peanuts (not a real nut, a legume), and so forth…so
just be aware.
My biggest issue now is earring display. I have tried a revolving
tower (looked to cheap) a divided tray (people did not notice the
earrings) and now I am currently using some hanging wire racks.
They seem to be noticed but the ear wires tarnish quit easily.
I’m using some wood earring racks that my husband built out of oak.
The racks come apart to fit into standard jewelry trays for
transport, but the earrings remain on the rack when it’s
disassembled. I got some Pacific cloth (tarnish prevention flannel)
and cut pieces to fit over the racks in the trays. The fabric keeps
the earrings from tarnishing between shows, and also provides some
protection during transport.
my first question is why are you thinking of changing your display?
[snip] Not sure if you'd rather keep glass between the piece and
A reasonable question. My first motivation is that I have a mixed
bunch of necklace busts that I’ve decided need to be replaced with a
more unified look. And I guess I liked the flat look when I saw it
somewhere. What I have now is classic. Actually, you can see it at
though I have since made new covers so it is copper-colored, not
blue. But I think maybe a change to flat would look more… artistic.
It might also be a bit lighter to haul (less glass) and less bulky.
As for glass between the piece and the customer, it is sadly
necessary. I always have a few things out where they can be played
with, but I must watch them closely.
Notice the corner pedestal-- white, in the image, though it now
matches the rest. That has rings on “leashes”-- strings run through
holes and down to weights. People LOVE this display.They get to play
with the rings as much as they like, and I have never had anyone cut
the string and steal one.
Always trying to improve on what I have, I guess.