I made a couple more of these necklace stands today. I need them for my market stall to display my handmade jewellery, but the idea struck me that they could look just as good on my dresser at home, as a way of storing and displaying my favourite necklaces.
So I thought I would dig into the archives and pull out this DIY tutorial that I posted years ago, to show how I make them, in case anyone reading this wants to have a go themselves.
When I began selling my paper bead jewellery, I needed to find some suitable display stands for my market stall. I wanted something a little different from the typical black and white leatherette and velvet stands so commonly available – something more natural and earthy in appearance, that better reflected my brand.
After extensive searching on ebay and various online jewellery supply stores, I was struggling to find displays that I liked and that I could afford on my very tight budget.
I ended up making my own using basic paper mache techniques and I’ve had so many positive comments about them since I started using them that I thought I would share how I made them.
While searching for display ideas online, I came across this image by Kotomi Creations and decided this was something that would fit with my style and better still, I could make it myself with materials I already had at home!
Kotomi Creations shared the steps involved in making their stands here but I modified the design slightly so thought I would share my process with you as well and give you a few more detailed instructions.
DIY Necklace Stand Tutorial
- Thick cardboard – I used recycled box board which I already had a supply of in my studio. Mine is about 1.8mm thick so it’s quite sturdy. You could cut up an old packing carton, or even use the cardboard from a cereal box if you glue several layers together to increase the thickness. The size you need will depend on how big you want to make your stand. To make the stand in this tutorial, I use a piece of board that is 16cm x 42cm
- Paper for covering the stand – I used handmade elephant dung paper which has a wonderful texture, but you could also use mulberry paper, other textured papers, or even newspaper. The thinner the paper, the easier it is to mould around corners and edges, but if your paper is very thin, you may need several layers for adequate coverage. Depending on the thickness of your paper, you will need at least three or four A4 sheets per stand.
- Glue – white PVA glue is best, but any paper glue that dries clear will probably do the job.
- Stanley knife or sharp craft knife for cutting the board
- Paintbrush for brushing on the glue
- Ruler or other metal straightedge
- P en for marking measurements
- Masking tape
- Sealer – I use a 50% mix of PVA /water but you could also use proper decoupage sealant or varnish
- old sheet or scrap paper to cover your workspace – this gets messy!
- something to punch holes in the stand such as large nail or metal punch (I use an eyelet setter with a large hole) *
- String approx 40cm long*
Don’t worry if the edges of your stand are a bit jagged – they’ll be covered with paper soon and won’t be seen!
Take your sheets of paper and tear them into small pieces – the size you choose will depend on the look you’re after. I use pieces that are roughly 5-8cm across, with some extra smaller bits for gluing around the angles of the stand.
You now need to cover the entire surface of your stand (front and back) with these torn pieces.
Brush a generous amount of glue onto the board, and apply the paper one piece at a time, brushing more glue over the top of each piece and using your fingers to smooth it out as you go. Overlap the edges of the paper with the next piece and so on. I find it best to start with the edges of the stand – folding the pieces of paper over so they wrap around the edge to cover it.
You may need to do this in a few stages – leaving the stand to dry on one side so you can then turn it over and glue the other side without it getting stuck to your workspace.
Once all the edges have been covered, you can continue with the rest of the stand, paying particular attention to the finished look on the front surface, which will be the backdrop to your necklaces.
Once the glue has completely dried, paint your whole stand with a couple of coats of sealer to help protect it.
And voila! You have your own handmade necklace stand!
If you wish, you can leave the stand as it is, but I like to add a string tie to prevent the two halves of the stand spreading too far apart. To do this, punch two holes about 1.5cm apart near the bottom of the stand in both front and back.
Pass the piece of string from the back through the holes at the front and out the back again as shown.
Tie a knot in the back and cut off the excess string.
Cover the string at the front with a piece of the torn paper. You can do the same on the back but I don’t bother, as this isn’t really seen from the front.
Experiment with different shapes and styles of your own, and if you want to show off your work, leave a link to some photos in the comments below – I’d love to see what you come up with!