Vintage Estate Jewelry Shadowbox

by Melinda Jernigan.
(Muskogee, OK)

Vintage Estate Jewelry Shadowbox

This is a design that I developed with a friend to showcase her grandmother’s, mother’s, and aunt’s large stash of beautiful vintage, antique, and estate jewelry.

I used a store bought shadowbox and then cut out a piece of foam core and wrapped it with fabric. This allowed for the jewelry to really stand out.

I collected the pieces and created the Christmas tree design (which could be a heart or something else) then started fitting the design and securing each piece to the board with 18 gauge wire.

I had to pierce the form core with a pin to allow the wire to go through and the twisted the pieces secure being careful not to go too tight and break the board.

It took quite a bit of time to get the design just right and had to remove the backs from many of the pieces so they will not be usable as intended which she was fine with.

I filled in with pearls and pieces from a necklace my friend took apart.

Her mother loved it… I think it is stunning!

She had enough in her jewelry stash to do one for her sister and then maybe for herself.

Melinda Jernigan
Melinda Jernigan’s blog
MP Designs Jewelry


Beautiful vintage jewelry display
by: Rena

This is such a neat idea, and so well done!

I can see why your friend’s mother was delighted with it. I’m sure every time she looks at the collection gathered in this lovely display, it sparks memories.

It’s kind of like a jewelry version of preserving treasured fabrics together in a quilt.

Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful project and how you created it, Melinda!

Forgot to say …
by: Rena

I bet it was a lot of creative fun to decide how to arrange the various pieces in this collection – trying out various placements till everything looked just right!

That could become an addictive form of artistry in itself!

Placement of jewelry
by: Melinda

Yes, it was a lot of work to figure out how each piece should lay…it took quite a few hours to make and was pretty rough on my hands but so worth the final product..

Here’s a twist on the collage.
by: Barbara herndon

Lovely work Melinda!

A few years ago I was asked to create collage pins for daughters of their departed Mom’s costume jewelry. Rather than destroy any part of any piece, I carefully sewed the pieces onto a stiff backing, and added a large pin/bail mount to that. The sisters were so appreciative of the extra care taken to preserve each precious piece of Mama’s jewelry. A collage for each daughter turned out to be a lovely way to preserve the memories. If the granddaughters wish to wear the individual pieces someday, they’re able to do so by simply pulling stitches.

Lovely display
by: Patricia C Vener

I’ve been looking for a large shadow box like that (for an entirely different project. Where ever did you purchase yours?

More to the point, I love the whole idea and display. It reminds me of a hat of pins and brooches I saw once (a long time ago) on Antiques Roadshow. All the sparkly beauties were like bits of shimmery collage! Just as yours is. 🙂

by: Melinda

My friend had the shadowbox, I think she got it at a craft store called Hobby Lobby. They do have a full webs8ite you can order from. We covered the black backing with fabric and foam core..Have fun! Melinda J

by: Patricia C Vener

Thank you for sharing the resource and your technique. 🙂


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