by Pamela Prichard.
(Bend, Oregon, USA)
I have been selling my jewelry at craft fairs for over five years now. I’d say 95% of my shows are outdoors.
Displays must water/sun/windproof. They must be able to set-up and tear down quickly and be portable not mention lightweight! And of course they have to look nice too! 😉
I’ve stopped using earring cards for several reasons.
Paper is easy to personalize, BUT get a little rain and you’ve got to replace them. Also they quickly get dirty, bent, folded, worn and it only takes a little moisture for the ink to run.
Plastic cards warp in our hot summer sun, they get dusty and scratched. And then you have to have the appropriate racks to hang them from. Earring cards like to fly away when that brisk breeze comes through.
As I create dichroic fused art glass earrings which are usually longer than 1.5 inches I am constantly frustrated by most commercial displays intended for an earring card only 2 inches long or earrings under 2 inches long!
These earring racks evolved from crossing paths with some hardware cloth at a local dump and some different ideas I’d had using picture frames as the base.
I didn’t know what they were called then. Once I did I headed to the hardware store.
My first idea was to cut out pieces in the size I wanted and then to bend the cloth into the shapes I desired. That didn’t work as the cloth was to “soft” to hold its shape.
Then I walked past some floating picture frames at my local craft store. Using 40% off coupons I purchased two.
I removed the glass, measured and cut the hardware cloth to fit the frame. I then spray painted the cut pieces. When they were dry I put them into the floating frames.
My ex took some 2″ x 2″ x 6″ blocks and cut grooves for the frames to fit into creating feet which were also painted black to match.
I have had many compliments on these and a lot of ladies who wouldn’t mind having them at home to keep their earrings on!
The mesh allows me to hang my earrings how I want AND allows the wind to pass through! They are easy to put up and take down.
I plan to sew a traveling bag to put them in one of these days sandwiched with rubber foam.
I tried using an old, and very large, fireplace screen but the wind didn’t like it. I think it stood too tall. I really like your display. I have what may be a dumb question though. What exactly is a floating picture frame?
I’ve been looking for something like this.
I can’t wait to try it for myself.
I started using picture frames with mesh screen a few months ago to display earrings. I like to find old vintage frames since they have more style. I have also made some to sell at shows. The ones I had seen had cardboard on the back, but they were designed for personal use. I like the idea of leaving the backs off for booth display purposes.
Thanks so much for sharing this. I’ve been perusing the web for unique, easy to use jewelry displays and this is awesome.
Thanks again for sharing.
Pam, your creativity gave rise to mine…
by: Silvered Leaf
I love office supply stores. I could wander around Office Max for hours looking at all the cool stuff but on a recent trip, I found something special. The perfect mesh earring holder in the desk accessories section. Its actually a metal mesh document holder but it works on the same premise as Pamela’s floating mesh frames. You can see a picture of it here:
and it costs under $10.00.
I found a whole line of mesh desk accessories that could be converted into jewelry displays.
If you are setting up your display outside, you might want to have your hubby make some wooden anchors for you like Pam’s hubby did for hers.
Great Idea! Couple of Questions
Wind and dampness are the worst, and I love this idea, which addresses both! It also saves a ton of real estate space on your tables, and display a lot more items without looking cluttered! No more wet cards, running ink, or picking up blown-over displays.
I just have a couple of questions on how this works, and how I could switch from my current setup.
With no earring cards or tags marked with inventory numbers or some ID mark for individual designs, how do you keep track of what items you have sold? (The way I do this now, is that each design has an identifying number, and this is used in my inventory list, with the quantity that I have available. These numbers are on the back of the hang cards, and I jot them on the sales receipt, so I can then use the carbon copy to update my list when I get home.
Also, are your earrings (on the screens) all priced the same? If not, how do you (or your customers) know the individual prices? (I just had a funny vision of using a map, like the inside of a Whitman’s Candy box top!) 😀
I would love to switch away from the cards, but not quite sure how to do this using screens or other “non-tagged” displays.
Thanks much – LOVE your display – not only attractive, but simple and easy to transport and set up! Great time saver and weather remedy!
pricing on mesh
by: Silvered Leaf
Pam, my pricing is not unlike your method. Each piece (earring set, bracelet, necklace) is assigned an item number, and its own price. I use “bar-bell” tags to write the item number on one side and the price on the other and hang it on the jewelry piece.
you can find those tags here: http://www.firemountaingems.com/details.asp?PN=H201087PK
What’s really cool is that all my component inventory, piece inventory, and sales info is cataloged in a computer program made specifically for jewelry designers. Its called Jewelry Design Manager. I’ve been using it for several years now and I really couldn’t do without. One of its cool features is that you can run reports that lists the item numbers, prices (retail, direct, wholesale) and a whole bunch of other things that you would need to keep track of. You could run a report of all the earrings that you brought with you to a show and keep that in a binder for easy reference.
Ok, I kinda got off the subject but I think the easiest way to mark prices on your jewelry is by using those bar-bell tags. If you make sterling silver jewelry, then I know you keep the pieces in their own individual Zip-locs and the bar-bell tags wont interfere with storage. The only draw back to using them is that regular pens wont write on “shark skin” tags. Not sure why, but I think its because they are made out of this non-tear paper that feels like cloth. I remedied that by using a ultra fine point permanent BIC marker. Sharpie pens bleed too much to use. Hope this helps.
Question about cloth.
I have to ask, what is ‘hardware cloth’?
by: Mermaids Purse
This is genious!! So Easy to do and so practical for fairs. Great thinking.
Fair Winds and Calm Seas,
What an amazing response! I have to honestly say with all the chaos in my life this past year I had completely forgotten about this post. I see I need to answer some questions! And apologize for not checking back and replying before this.
1. Floating frames..hmm..a type of picture frame where you sandwich a picture between 2 panes of glass leaving several inches of glass open between the picture and the frame. Main difference is the use of two panes of glass vs one.
2. Hardware cloth is a type/style of wire mesh. One could even use metal window screen. Imagine screening with bigger holes.
3. Pricing-I used thin tape to section different price categories on my fireplace screen which I do clamp with c-clamps to my table. If you get them too tight they will rip holes in your tablecloth. On the floating frame earrings I have 2 different tags. One frame is all the same price. The other I had a tag stating $15-$25 and all my earrings have a sticker type price tag on the back. I write them down as I sell them.
As for tracking and inventory I have names/nicknames for pieces and that’s how I track them. I also don’t make duplicates other than post earrings. I don’t sell enough at one time to not remember what I’ve sold by what I’ve written on my notebook that I use to track my sales. Honestly I don’t have a very fancy inventorying system.
I love your idea for displaying. Do you find it difficult when a customer would like to purchase earrings from your mesh screen display? How do you package the lose pieces to sell? Do you use plastic bags, boxes, cards, etc?
floating frame “slips”
by: Annie LePage
Just a thought, you don’t need to sew slips for the frames. I just buy pillow cases at my second hand clothing store and voilà!! just fold and off you go…
by: Nancy G
I buy the size screen that works for my display spaces. I sometimes spray paint one or multicolors. I keep my earrins set up at all times. With screens, I can place them by size, color and design. Sometimes I add a 2/3 inch ribbon to make the screen look like a present. Easy to transport. Dress them up or down according to you theme. Easy to see what your inventory is at all times. Take a picture of each screen and you can see what earrings sold. Easy to pack and unpack. To stand. an easy handmade wooden tabletop easel works. To give weight, I bought weights at the local hardware store. There are all different sizes. Spray painted all black with black easel gives a rich professional look. Good luck and enjoy.
by: Dusk 2 Dawn designs
The office supply store is great for ideas.. All the mesh storage items are cool for displays.. I found a metal mesh waste basket at Five Below… For $5… And it was purple to go along with my logo and labels.. I flip it upside down and I am able to hang several pairs on each side.. And use the ‘bottom’ which is now the Top, to display a few bracelets.. Then when I’m done and put the earrings back in their bags and into their storage case, I can flip the waste basket back over and use it to hold my other display items and its one less box or bag I need to take with me.. Dusk2Dawndesigns on facebook…
Just a little more on the floating frame. Some people have always known them as shadow box frames. So, if anyone is still confused about a floating frame, maybe this will help. (Of course, maybe I’m telling my age…)
Wishing you all many blessings.