Friday, August 5, 2011

Tamara Spills Her Show Secrets

The secret is I have no secrets. I have an ever changing conglomeration of ideas. I am constantly on the lookout for new and interesting jewelry display ideas. Here are some of mine. I suppose you could call this a tutorial, but in creative display rather than jewelry making. Here goes!

*******Please note that this is my one day show setup. I would never leave my stuff overnight anywhere unprotected.*******

Everybody, these are Bob, Sue, and Joe. Bob, Sue, and Joe, meet everybody!

These are Bob's legs. Use short lengths of PVC to elevate the table about six inches above the ground. This allows the items displayed on the table to be seen better without having customers bend over too far. We don't want to promote bad posture, do we? No slumping!

Next, we're going to take some adhesive velcro and cut out little squares. Peel off the back of one side and stick it to one of the tables. Use three or four squares for the long side of one table. Use one square on each of the short sides of the table as well.

Then place one of your table cloths over the table. Peel off the other side of the velcro squares (still attached to the squares on the table). Press firmly to the table cloth.

Here comes the fun part! Heck, on a hot day, none of this is fun. But make sure to arrive at the location in plenty of time to set up your booth to your liking. Also bring lots of water.

Next, I fold the table cloth on the sides of the short tables up to keep it off the ground. I pin it in place with decorative brooches at the back:

I put a greenish brown cloth evenly draped over the center table (Bob). Since Bob is taller, there is no need to fold the edges of the table cloth. Mine doesn't reach the ground and won't get tripped over.

I used teal ones for the side tables and draped them at an angle to direct the eye to the center of the booth:

I picked up these handy plant stands at Wal-Mart a couple years back. They're perfect for elevating your art to the next level! (*snickers at totally intended pun*)

This is a collapsible corner shelf that I picked up at an antique mall where I live. I wrapped a sheer window curtain around the edges to dress it up a bit.

Place shelf between the plant stands, and voila! Triangular display with plenty of height! There's nothing sadder than seeing beautiful jewelry displayed flat on a table. Hand crafted work deserves better.

Arrange the remainder of your displays in whatever way looks good. I have a couple more plant stand and what my Big Lots receipt claimed were magazine racks. *shrug* I thought they were pretty. (I sold the mannequin at this show, which suits me fine. Often, I will get offers for people to purchase my displays rather than my jewelry. I used to be upset about this, but now I figure it gives me a chance to remodel!)

Time to dress up the plant stands! (Chances are that you will be the only one who notices how much better this step makes your booth look, but it can be our secret, okay?)

Want to see how it's done? Guess what? Paper! Take two long strips and tape them together in the size of a circle that fits the specific plant stand you are decorating. I used wallpaper samples! (I got the wallpaper samples by dumpster diving. Never underestimate a college art building dumpster. :-) Use more than one color if desired.

Go ahead and plop a plate on top! Tada! Instant pretty display or some such contraption. Repeat for the other plant stands.

Why not just use more plates for the magazine rack thingies? I placed mine upside down and then put the plate on top. Or is it the bottom?

Set your necklace pedestal and jewelry on your new displays. Horray! Beautiful work at eye level.

Don't forget to have a sign of some sort that prominently displays your business name. Here's a cute idea: painted suitcase. Jenna did this one for me. Wait. This was done with markers. AND it doubles as a curtain and/or table cloth carrying case. Functionality is key, especially when traveling a lot.

I love those little green chairs! Too bad they take up a lot of space. The following are images of my finished booth. Enjoy!

Mirrors to display pieces on. Bargain basket for thrifty shoppers.

Here is a mirror prominently placed in the center shelf right at eye level. Customers can easily view how your creations look.

Full shot:

Guest book and business cards:

And finally, but definitely not least: sketch books and a portfolio of your work. I went overboard here on sketch books. I usually have one hanging around, especially if you place it in front of a finished piece. Customers find it amusing. (Or they chide you for sketching during English class.)

I hope this helps a bit. It should spark a few ideas. My two and three day show setup is quite different. To see that, hop over to my Evolution of a Craft Tent album on my Facebook page.

I did this blog post because I see some people asking for advice about jewelry setups. I am by no means an expert, but am always willing to share what I do know! I also have a really hard time when it comes to finding inspiration for displays. I guess my best advice is to go shopping at thrift stores, discount stores, home and garden places, and antique malls. You never know when an idea will pop into your head. Just experiment and have fun.

Always remember that a booth setup is a constant work in progress. I am tweaking mine all the time and am actually planning a complete overhaul to match my de-cluttered take on life. Or not. Who knows? Until next time......

Is it safe to blog and cook at the same time? Probably not.


  1. Thank you for sharing your one day set up it has given me a few ideas.

  2. WOW that set up would sure draw me in to look further! Gorgeous!

  3. This was so helpful--I especially love the creative repurposing of the plant stands. So much more original than using the jewelry stands in the wholesale jewelry catalogs, and makes your table stunningly different from others.

  4. Thanks ladies! I'm glad you approve. Giving ideas is what I'm here for. The setup does draw in a lot of people. I've seen countless cases of bee lines directly towards my tent for no other reason than an inviting display. :-)

    Anything can be used to help display your jewelry.

  5. Thank you for the post. I used pvc tubes to raise one of my tables too. I love the velcro idea and just the whole fun feel and sense of who you are in your set up. It would definitely draw me in and make me want to stay a while if I were walking by.

  6. Wow, some great ideas there. Love the displays you set up. Gorgeous!!

  7. Thanks Jessie! I try to always keep bright and cheerful because I know too many people who are constantly sad. I want to make people smile. That's a lifelong goal, and my display is part of it.