My Vintage Jewelry Display

by Lisa Rohrssen.
(Elizabeth City, North Carolina USA)

I was a featured artist on my cities Art Walk and I needed a display that fit my personality and showcased my pieces.

The entire table

The entire table

I really feel like a display in a busy art show can get lost if it’s not distinctive. A friend gave me 5 white jewelry busts that were just too white. My sterling silver necklaces did not show well on them.

I covered them with pages from a very old book I bought at the Salvation Army for .10. Using Modge Podge I was able to change them from boring to something that a lot of people commented on. Everything in the display was from my home.  All we had to buy were L clamps to brace the shutters.

A close up of one of the busts

A close up of one of the busts

It’s a nice alternative to those oh so common jewelry busts. You could use any type of decorative that fits with your jewelry or business. There are a few tips I could share with you about doing this I learned as I went along. Tear all the book pages before starting it’s difficult do to once you start and your hands get messy.

We bought stick on lights at Lowe's for additional lighting inside my large box

We bought stick on lights at Lowe’s for additional lighting inside my large box

To go over the round parts of the bust you have to really saturate the paper and then kind of smush it until it conforms. There are some overlapping in the pages that won’t matter once it’s dry. Go over the edges of the bust a little don’t worry about wrapping it behind. It won’t stick and once the paper is dry it’s really easy to remove the excess.

Lisa Rohrssen
Lisa Rohrssen Designs on Facebook


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  • What a cool way to make your jewelry busts stand out from the traditional white ones. (Also a good way to refurbish displays with scuffs or other signs of wear!) And great that you were able to pull together your whole unique display without having to make any major purchases for it! Thanks for sharing your display at the Art Walk, Lisa – and how to customize a jewelry bust with interesting paper!

  • Beverly Holman says:

    While working a craft fair last year, a fellow jewelry vendor used scarves to dress up her bust displays. It gave customers ideas on what colors to wear with the jewelry. They all looked neat and told her great idea. She thanked me for the comment and went on complaining that another vendor, at another show, seen it and stole her idea. She seem very upset but I thought unless it’s copyrighted or trademarked, showing in public your idea to becomes fair game. Similar to others reproducing your jewelry designs. Mind you, she was reselling mass produced jewelry. It gave me ideas on how to use scarves in my display but not the way she did.

  • Absolutely LOVE your display – unique and a great way to separate yourself from the crowd! Thanks for sharing.

  • Such a fantastically creative way to switch up displays. Your silver pieces are perfectly paired with your newsprint displays.

  • Cindi says:

    I loved your use of the folding shutters in the background to showcase your busts and displays. The different texture and height really works well. Love it.

  • Thanks everyone and I would like to say I started in a Professional Jewelry Program at a local college only 13 months ago having no experience at all and after just a year my skills allowed me to do all of this silver work. It was all from wire of sheet metal. I made everything. If anyone is on the fence and needs some encouragement just contact me. It changed my life!

  • Love your busts covered with old book pages!!! I recently made my own necklace display using a template I found (probably on here) and did the same thing, but with scrapbook paper that is a newsprint design. I love it, but bet it isn’t near as sturdy as yours. What a great gift from your friend!!

  • Hi Lisa

    I absolutely love your booth display! You’ve done a phenomenal job of turning out a lovely vintage themed display. That you’ve managed to do it in a cohesive way without going over the top is a testament to your artistic talents and great design eye, jewelry classes aside! I can sense the excitement in your article that you’ve found your niche which was validated in your jewelry program! Isn’t that just the greatest feeling??!

    I want to offer up another method of changing the original fascade of a jewelry prop if it’s made of fabric. JoAnn Fabrics offers for sale a spray can of fabric paint! I painted a manikin that was covered in flesh colored stretch jersey knit. She’d been through a lot, including having her breasts turn a grey-brown hue from being slid around during packing and unpacking. The rest of her was relatively clean which drew even more attention to her discolored boobs! I purchased a can of black fabric paint, and after a few all-over coats of color she looked both svelte and professional!

  • Pamela, a great tip for easily refurbishing fabric jewelry displays! And I’m sure your mannequin appreciates her restored modesty. 🙂

  • Thelma Long says:

    Thanks for this great idea! A friend gave me some leather necklace forms and they were very worn. This will be a great way to improve their look. I also display all of my jewelry in old vintage suitcases from the 50s and 60s and it will add to the old look.

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