Jewelry Display Ideas for Jewelry Artist in a Wheelchair
Note from Rena: Hi all, jewelry artist Lynda sent in this special request, and I’m hoping you have some great jewelry display tips and ideas for her. Thank you! 🙂
I have been making jewelry for about six years now. It started as a hobby and just grew into something much more.
I have one issue which causes some distress:
I am in a wheelchair and cannot always get someone to come to shows with me.
So I need to have my display be light with not too much to carry, so I can manage on my own if necessary.
Slowly, I am discovering ways to make my table interesting and not too burdensome.
If anyone reading this has any suggestions, I would be appreciative.
I hear you!
Somehow I am getting worse at set-up and tear down. It is crazy. I am disabled as well. Every time I come up with a new idea, it seems as if everything gets more complicated. I wish I had a POP-UP display!
Let’s say you have an 8′ table which is NEVER enough for me, even with those styrofoam shelves for adding height and depth: how cool would it be to press your hand on a pump and have it blow up in a matter of minutes!
I have a friend who sells small jewelry pouches so her set up takes 3 minutes. Then she has a projector that drapes down from a stand, which explains her business. It can be rolled up in one minute and inserted into a tube with a shoulder strap.
EARRINGS are my WORST, WORST nightmare. I have an idea for a display product that would take all of that away.
Let me ask you a question: do you use those earring displays on trees and in rows? Are you always losing one earring, even with the ear corns? Those ear stoppers drive me nuts.
Those commercial earring holders with earring cards make me feel like I am selling low end material. Thus, I have an idea.
Simplifying earring displays
Elizabeth, thanks so much for sharing your experiences!
Also, I love your invention for the entire booth that inflates when you touch a pump. :o) If you ever invent this, you will be a millionaire! :o)
I agree that earrings can be sooooo time-consuming to set up (and take down!) in a display.
However, there are a lot of displays where you can load all of your earrings onto your display at home, and then transport the whole thing all loaded, ready to just set down on your table.
This saves HUGE amounts of your time energy when you do jewelry shows and parties.
Here are just a couple of examples of earring displays you can pre-load at home:
CD rack earring display idea – see Kerri Meier’s cool adapted jewelry display, which she pre-loads at home.
Earring rummage trunk – For lower-priced earrings, this has been a hugely successful seller for me! I just fill it with my packaged earrings at home, close the lid for taking it to the show – then set it on my display table, open the lid, and make sales!
Picture frame jewelry display – depending on how your earrings are mounted to the display, this might be an option for pre-loading with your inventory at home.
Another picture frame earring display system – with potential for loading at home.
Anyway, these are just a few ideas for making earrings easier to whip out and set up at shows and parties!
Possibility for easy display setup from a wheelchair
Here’s an idea that you may be able to adapt to your needs.
It’s the display system I’ve evolved into using for my own jewelry:
It’s based on those standard 8×14″ stacking jewelry trays (with appropriate shaped tray liners or pads), which I keep loaded with my jewelry inventory.
Basically I have every piece of my jewelry ready to go inside the trays, which stack up neatly in a case for transport to the show or party.
When I arrive, I simply take the trays out of my cases and arrange them however I want on my tables, and I’m ready to start selling.
You can do your entire display in this tray system, as I do. Or you can just do part of your display in trays, interspersed with busts, jewelry stands, or whatever other displays you like on your table.
The only hitch in this system is that the rolling cases that hold the trays are quite heavy, especially when they’re loaded with jewelry. They can be really hard to lift in and out of your car.
However, I know that instead of the aluminum cases you can also buy nylon bags in various sizes, that are made just for carrying these jewelry trays. (I’d recommend buying a few of the smallest size of nylon bags, rather than one or two larger bags, so they won’t be too heavy when loaded.)
The trays, liners / pads, and nylon bags are all available from several different suppliers such as Rio Grande, FetPak, NileCorp., and many others.
Another plus is that all these trays, etc. are pretty cheap, compared to many other commercially-manufactured jewelry displays!
This kind of system may give you a starting point for devising your easy-to-set-up-alone display.
Hope this helps, Lynda – and please don’t be shy to let us know if we’re suggesting in the wrong direction for you! :o)
Thanks for the sensational ideas, everyone!
Thanks so much for setting up this letter. EVERYONE: You guys have been fantastic in your ideas and I did think of using my black CD rack, but it is not shaped like the one illustrated.
I have been inspired to bend it. BRILLIANT!
ALL of you have been fantastic and I thank you so very much for your ideas.
LYNDA – please send me your website. Good luck, dear.
You are an inspiration.
I recently went to a craft show and one of the vendors was wheelchair bound. While he was not selling jewelry, I think his display idea might help you. Instead of using the typical 6 ft folding tables, he had a bunch of smaller tables, all different sizes actually–some 4 ft banquet tables and even a TV tray! He said that he often sets ups on his own and the smaller tables are easier for him to manage. It also made for a very interesting display as he was able to divide all of his products by color, then organized the little tables like a rainbow, which I thought was really cool. It definitely caught my attention.
re: pre-show earring set-up
As a glass artist with mobility limitations, I well appreciate the value of having the fewest possible show-time set-up tasks. I set up my dangle earrings on plastic or metal stands at home, then wrap them with a strip of GladWrap press-n-seal. Be sure to pinch the edges at top and bottom, to discourage earrings escaping when being moved. At the show, remove it carefully and your display’s ready. You even can get 2 or 3 uses from each piece before it becomes to much hassle to untangle from itself.
Wrapped carefully, earring stands actually nest well for transport.
Artist in Wheelchair
Thank you all so much for your responses. I am going to read through all of them slowly and see which ones will be the best for me. Earrings have been a real problem but I think that problem has now been solved. I love the trunk idea! I have a great wicker trunk with a handle very similar to the one shown that will hold a lot of earrings. It’s it’s light and definitely will work for me and it’s been on the shelf in my closet all along. Now, all I have to do is get some plastic bags and start filling! Elizabeth, I think this may be an idea that you might want to consider. In the past, I’ve had my earrings stuck to a flat white board which took up a lot of space and they were always falling off. Now, I can use the trunk, and even put it on a small table next to my bigger table. Thanks again to all of you!
Hair clips idea
by: Glenda Munguia
I have not quite finished developing this idea in my head, but there is this lady who sells hair accessories and she has the easiest display ever. All of her hair clips or bows are attached to a nice cloth. She simple unrolls the fabric and uses it as a table cloth and all her product is in display at once. I was thinking of a way for you to adapt this for jewelry. It might become easy to set up, but it will probably require some previous work. If you make your own earring cards, perhaps you can add some velcro on the back (the one that is adhesive) and then use some fabric to which velcro becomes easily attached. This would keep the earrings attached to the cloth. It would make a flat display though, however, if you bring empty cardboard boxes, you can bring them flat and put them together at the show. I still have not figured out how to display necklaces this way though. I wouldn’t want to attach anything that would make it hard for customers to grab or handle the pieces on their own. Perhaps this would work for a section of your table, and then you can see how it works. Wishing you all the best!
One of my favorite displays because it’s cheap, easy, lightweight, and nearly instant to set up, is using full sized louver doors to hold earring cards. Since you are in a wheelchair, I recommend trying this system by having louver doors cut in half. They will be a more manageable size, and you can customize their height somewhat. With a small ledge of wood fastened to the back of each, you would be able to clamp them securely to your table. I have used this system with small shutters, but it is so much easier to do with large shutters or half-sized louver doors.
The beauty and ease of this display is that you set it up at home, and close your loaded shutters onto bubble wrap or other padding. Wrap the entire shutter in a cardboard sleeve or cloth bag that you can make easily. Stapling thick plastic sheeting to the door backs keeps earring cards safe and dry, and keeps them from falling off in the wind or when packing. When you get to a show site, set up your tables, open your loaded louvers doors, stand them on the tables (corners work really well), and clamp in place from the back with a squeeze clamp or c-clamp (more secure).
I rarely loosse earrings using this system. you can paint the doors any color to match your booth. Even if you change your booth look in the future, this is a relatively inexpensive versatile solution that can provide a bridge to your future lightweight, independent set up.
Lots of luck!
by: JoAnne Green
I suggest choosing a size of bulletin board you feel you can handle. I covered the cork with a velveteen cloth. Then I hinged two of the boards together with 2 or 3 small hinges. Since you will be transporting them with the jewelry attached I suggest a cloth between the folded sides that you can just flip to the backside when you set up. I used black elastic 1/4 inch wide to hold the earring cards. To keep the elastic from sagging I used those u-type security pins. I hung my necklaces and bracelets from brass picture hooks, the kind you press into the wall (be sure to check for sharp points on the back and snip them off with a heavy duty wire cutter). Once there I just openned the boards and they held themselves up.
LIGHTWEIGHT JEWELRY DISPLAYS
I had not much capital, so went to the dollar store for foam board, then went to JoAnn’s or Michaels for felt and scrapbook paper, and covered the fronts of the foam board with that.
I also saw at JoAnn’s some easel backs in cardboard – you get six for a couple bucks, so I put those on the backs of the foam board to stand up.
I pinned all my jewelry to the fronts of these boards and then being the size of the felt rectangles it was perfect to fit each from the bottom up in gallon storage ziplock bags.
Putting them away is easy also, and earrings I put in smaller zip bags pinned to the boards with one earring out of the bag.
I make a lot of sterling and i hate tarnish, so it saves me.
Set up takes ten to fifteen minutes and it is wonderful for me to set up alone and be ready.
All i have to center on is decorations for the holiday on the table which is usually garland and candle lights.
Let me know what you think!
have a great day!!
by: Lynne Cirillo
I had a back injury in October, and was using a walker, then a cane, so I was in need of lighter weight tables. I found small ones that were really easy to set up at wal-mart. They also adjust in height and were easy to put in the back of car. I used those round table cloths- the small floor length ones- very affordable. Tables were under $20.00 and the cloths about $10.00- $15.00.
Another jewelry artist who uses a wheelchair
Hi again Lynda,
You may want to connect with jewelry artist Tara Hutchinson. You can read her story here:
… and connect with her on her blog here:
Tara Hutch Jewelry Blog (there’s a “Contact Me” link at the top of her blog)
Tara is a super-nice gal who’s easy to talk to, and I’m sure you could glean some great ideas from each other.