26 Oct 2015

A slight diversion for me

[…] getting rid of clutter gives a disproportionate boost to happiness. 

Gretchen Rubin

One of the most visited pages throughout my blogging history has been the template for a cardboard necklace display stand and the smaller version for earrings added later.  I was asked to make some earring stands recently and wondered how easy it would be to adapt the design template I already had, in order to cut them on the Silhouette.

Earring display stands cut from my original design, now available in the shop.
Earring display stands cut from my original design, now available in the shop.

I found that I was easily able to make the basic cutting shape from what I already had and thought it was an ideal opportunity to make some design adjustments I’d had in mind.

Having done that exercise and made a batch for a friend, in a quest to reduce the amount of materials I have accumulated, I have made available some pre-cut stands in the shop.

As I have plenty of ivory coloured card of a nice quality, I am offering a dozen in a pack of that one colour or a mixed dozen in random colours, depending on what card I find of the right weight etc.

My earring display stands are an inexpensive alternative for craft fairs. Supplied flat to assemble.
My earring display stands are an inexpensive alternative for craft fairs. Supplied flat to assemble.

I am charging £6 for the 12 stands, which come cut out, pre-scored and flat ready to crease and glue yourself – this saves a big chunk in the postage, to keep the price down.  I supply assembly instructions, but I doubt that’s necessary, they’re very simple to do.  The price includes second class postage.

One of the modifications I made was to cut a tab into the bottom corner of the stand to allow easy placement of a price ticket.  In the past, I cut out my own printed prices and used Blutak to place the price on the stand.

Earring display stand - available to buy, supplied flat and in packs of 12.
Earring display stand – available to buy, supplied flat and in packs of 12.

But cutting a little tab allows prices to be added easily and the stands can be re-used for different earrings that bit more easily by just changing the price ticket.  A card with details of the materials or other information could just as easily be placed under the tab.

I also have an alternative version which could be supplied on request with a little circle tab cut around the earring hole to accommodate closed earwires like lever backs.

You are of course still very welcome to download the original template and make your own, it will remain available.

I’m having a clear out, so bag a bargain:

In line with my current thinking to try and make some more storage space, which I’m getting very short of, I decided that as I now do very few fairs in person, that my range of lower priced designs that I kept especially for events could be cleared to make some space.  So I’ve re-packaged a lot of pairs of earrings and am offering 10 pairs in a Lucky Dip pack for £15.  They could be ideal as stocking fillers, Secret Santas, cracker fillers or just as a treat for yourself – and who needs any particular reason to do that.

I do have a quantity of pairs featuring better materials, such as Sterling silver, freshwater pearls and Swarovski Elements, so will ensure that at least 3 pairs in each pack come from this category.  The savings with these Lucky Dip packs, over the original ticket prices, is considerable.  You can’t choose your own designs, they’re selected at random, but I’ll endeavour to choose a good variety of styles and quality.

Use them for fundraising:

Lucky Dip earrings, 10 pairs for £15.
Lucky Dip earrings, 10 pairs for £15.

I’ve re-packaged these earrings on plain cards and in zip-sealed bags with silicone tube backs to keep them in place, so you could use them for your own festive charitable fundraising events.  Granting this permission and removing my own branding does not infer any rights to the designs or to take credit for the work.


My work this week:

I don’t have much new to show for my time of late as I’ve been re-working older designs, which often requires them to be re-photographed and the details modifying, working on commissions and re-stocking the shop, along with my aforementioned clear-out, both on the site and in my stock.

I did however get some nice new beads to make bracelets and earrings with.  I have some designs that are perpetual good sellers, all using 10mm diameter beads, so I’ve been working on some new variants, including some gorgeous faux amber beads which as you can see in my header image above, are a glorious colour and have lovely light-catching inclusions.  I suspect that they must be a resin that when cooling has created plaques or fractures.  Whatever, they’re very pretty indeed.


10 Jan 2009

Bonus earring display stand:

I’ve added a new page to the original necklace display bust template/tutorial to include a smaller, freestanding display card for a single pair of earrings. As I outlined in my previous blog (7th January 2009), I have found that customers seem to like being able to pick earrings up individually, on a card or in a box, to view and I developed a smaller display card for this purpose.

The new display template has been added to the original necklace bust template and this has been replaced with the latest version.

Latest modification: January 2009.

Template PDF (700+Kb): http://www.boo-jewellery.co.uk/etsy/NecklaceStandTemplateJan09.pdf

7 Jan 2009

My jewellery bust templates in use

Just a quick – and very long overdue – update to the previous post with some new photos of my jewellery busts in practical use.

It is my aim to hone my craft stall display down even more to a cohesive colour scheme, which I hope will result in a more elegant look overall and allow my pieces to add the ‘colour’. By a process of elimination, this will be black and cream – black because many events I’ve attended have specified black table coverings and although I’ve always adhered to it, I’ve never seen it enforced and usually find myself much in a minority. So having bought black table coverings and found they work well anyway for highlighting jewellery, I am happy to continue with them.

As a side note; my main covering as shown in the following photos comprises a decent length of crushed velvet fabric – used as it came, cut from the bolt. It’s the synthetic, slightly stretchy jersey-knit-based crushed velvet that’s used for little girls’ party dresses and trousers and it has proven to be ideal. The synthetic knit base of the fabric does not fray, it has a heavy slinky feel which drapes nicely over tables. The velvet type pile is very good for things staying in place, it acts in a soft Velcro type manner to prevent things slipping. The crushed finish hides a multitude of sins and finger marks without it looking at all shabby.

But perhaps the biggest single bonus is that it’s synthetic and doesn’t crease – I’ve used it for a couple of years and it’s not actually been introduced to my iron yet, nor do I expect it to. I can scoop it roughly into a box at the end of an event and it doesn’t take any harm left like that. I don’t want you to think I’m slovenly, I do remove it and fold it carefully for storage, but on the odd occasion that boxes don’t get properly unpacked immediately – when looking after stock is always my priority – it doesn’t actually come to any harm or look any the worse for the experience.

Many people advocate using cheap plain dyed bedding sheets for stall coverings – they can be had cheaply per area of fabric, but even polycotton fabric will crease if left folded and is likely to need ironing for every show. My crushed velvet perhaps cost me around 20 GB Pounds when I bought it – I seem to think it was £6.99/m and I bought 3 metres. I feel that it was very well worth the investment. I supplement this for larger stalls with 2 small black fleece blankets – bought from Ikea for under 3 Pounds each – polyester fleece has many of the same attributes that I like in the synthetic velvet.

Why was I telling you that . . . oh, that’s right, my black and cream colour scheme. The complimentary cream was arrived at for similar practical reasons; some pieces look good against a dark background, some need a light display to show them to their best and as I always keep a supply of cream vellum card for my photo greetings cards and also bought some riser shelves that happened to be already painted cream, this was an obviously complementary light to my dark. The photos show one or two busts of different colours – only used on this occasion as I ended up with gaps on display as pieces in boxes sold and happened to have them with me. By next time, I’ll have a fuller compliment of matching display materials.

At the event illustrated, I ended up making more of the small earring variants whilst at the event, as they seemed to prove popular with buyers. They show the earrings off well and can easily be picked up for closer inspection or to hand to me to parcel up once they’ve made a selection.

Over recent events, I’ve gradually moved away from having earrings on communal displays with lots of items together – observing customers, they do like to pick them up to look more closely – or to put a few different items together for comparison when making a selection. I do use some larger display busts based on the necklace ones that hold a dozen or so pairs, usually in themes, but found that I sold more on the individual free-standing cards – or on pierced cards inside gift boxes – that they can pick up and look at. I will gradually move towards putting most of my earrings either in individual boxes on single displays if this assists customers to make a purchase. It has become very evident over recent fairs that customers prefer this format of display and I’ve gradually mothballed my larger display boards.

I later updated my free necklace display bust template to include the individual earring bust, which can be found in this earlier blog.