My latest 30x30x3 project was directly inspired by my new rescued cabinet, with the idea that I might make the top shelf into some sort of jewelry display and storage. I’m still debating whether or not I’ll actually use them in the cabinet, or just have them out on my dresser. We’ll see… But for now, I’m loving how bold and graphic they are!!
The concept is pretty simple. I constructed the formwork out of cardboard, and then covered it in some scrap pieces of fabric left over from my headboard project. I did my best to document the steps in a few process photos, though the color is a bit off since I did most of my construction after the sun had set. I’ve written out a bit of a tutorial, hopefully the steps are simple enough that these three photos will be enough.
1. Sketch out the shape you want onto a piece of graph paper. Make sure to draw a center line first, and then after figuring out one side fold the paper evenly in half and transfer your outline to the other side, giving you a perfectly symmetrical shape.
2. I wasn’t sure how many of these I’d want to make, but I knew that I wanted my template to be sturdy enough to be used multiple times. So before cutting the shape out I used packing tape to cover the edge line completely, on both sides of the paper, before then cutting it out. I figured with the curves this was much easier than cutting the shape out first and then trying to wrap tape over the edges.
3. Take your rigid material (I used scraps of cardboard from delivery boxes) and trace around your template. I knew I wanted one side to bend, so that the base of my stand was thick enough to stand up. I managed to line up my template so that the pre-existing bend line was where I wanted my piece to bend. For each necklace stand I cut out two templates, one with a bend line and one without.
4. Using tape, attach the two pieces together, but only tape the top part above your bend line. For this I used my favorite tape for projects like this, Aluminum foil tape that you can find at the hardware store, I think its used for insulating stoves or something like that, but I love how strong the hold is, but also how structurally strong the tape itself is.
5. Figure out how wide you want your base to be, and cut two triangular shapes to insert between the front and back pieces of your stand. I used the scraps that were left over from cutting out the main shapes, since the way I had drawn my form the bottom part was a straight angled line, which left behind the perfect triangle pieces of cardboard.
6. Tape the whole thing together, including a piece of cardboard to cap the bottom. I realized after the fact that my stands weren’t very stable, they should have had a wider bottom I guess, and had a tendency to fall backwards unless I weighted the front part. So I stuffed some heavier scraps of materials inside the form, before taping on the bottom. Next time I might make my triangles a bit wider or figure out some other way to stabilize the final stands,
7. Take your fabric, and figure out how you want it to be glued on to the formwork, depending on whether or not you have a pattern to follow. I used enough fabric to cover the front and sides and then wrap approximately 1 inch over onto the back. I might go back in and cover the back side with black felt, I haven’t decided yet. Take your fabric and tack it in one spot, at the very center of the neck part, wrapped just over the top. Then stretch it until its nice and taut and tack it down on the bottom. Then pull the two sides around and tack them tautly in place right at the shoulder moments. Once your fabric is completely tacked into place you can glue the rest of the edges down, making sure to pull each edge taut before gluing.
8. Add jewelry, and you are done! You can even use pins to hang up matching earrings.
There was one thing I realized once I started taking photographs. As much as I love the black and white damask, and how awesome and bold the final stands look, given the fact that most of my jewelry is simple and silver in color, I probably should have chosen a more neutral and simple fabric. Oh well. You can see the necklaces much more clearly in person than you can in the photos, and I still really love the look of the damask so I don’t really mind the draw backs. Plus the fabric now matches both my headboard AND these fabric insert panels I did on another dresser I refinished, and I love the cohesive look.
I made these a bit taller and skinnier than the normal necklace stand, because the top shelf of my cabinet is pretty high. But, some of my necklaces are shorter and some of them are even longer than these stands. So if I were to go crazy and make some more of these I could take the same shape and make it taller for the longer necklaces and shorter for the shorter necklaces, and end up with a whole family of necklace stands! I don’t really wear necklaces all that often so I probably won’t bother going to all the trouble to customize the stands to the individual jewelry pieces, but it certainly is a fun option.
But most of all, I love that I was able to use some of the cardboard scraps lying around my apartment. Any project that can reuse a common (and endless) material like cardboard boxes is a plus in my book!!
I’ll make sure to take at least a photo or two of these in place, once my cabinet is finished. Even if I eventually move them somewhere else, I know I want to start them out in my cabinet as I originally envisioned.
Hopefully I’ll have another 30x30x3 project to post soon, time is getting pretty short, only 2 1/2 weeks left! The official end date of my journey is Saturday, May 7th. So I need four more projects by then, including hopefully a fun and exciting final project. Any projects you’ve been dying to try that you think I could try out instead? I’d love all of your suggestions.