Thursday, August 25, 2011

DIY Thursday: Sew a Custom Jewelry Display

"Recycle, re-use" and "love the earth" were favorite catch phrases of my childhood of the late '60's early 70's. I was given a sewing needle when I was 5 years old and taught how to make basic stitches. So the other day when I was searching the internet for mannequin style jewelry displays, it hit me. Why don't I take the concept of one of my collections, hands, and make my own hands for display?

A quick peek at just one of my hand groupings. They're scattered all over my studio and house.


After some searching, I realized I wouldn't be able to purchase a sewing pattern for a hand. I had to jump right in and make one myself.  I don't have any training in pattern making but I had to try. I used regular white printer paper and drew an outline of my own hand. I didn't measure it while I was drawing but I tried to draw the outline 1/4 inch bigger to allow for seams.

The finished pattern on my kitchen table. 

I rummaged through the small cloth stash I have and found a piece of scrap cotton/polyester cloth. I ironed the material to smooth out the wrinkles and fold marks.  I pinned the pattern to the folded material.  No need to place on a fold but you do want two pieces after you've cut it out.


Printer paper pins easily to the material with sharp pins

I cut out the pattern and basted the two right sides together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Just to be clear, you place the right sides together with the wrong side out for basting. I reinforced the base of each finger slightly by backstitching a stitch or two. I wanted to be sure the base of the fingers would be fine because I cut slightly into the "V" at the base of each hand to be sure the material would lay flat when I turned it inside out. 

Once you've basted the material together, turn it right side out. This takes a little finesse and patience with the fingers. Next, I stuffed the hand with eco-friendly filling. I filled each finger first taking stock of the shape of each finger. I found the middle finger is a bit too slim. I'll have to go back and change the pattern keeping that in mind. 

To make the hand stand up, I filled a small plastic bag with dried beans and placed it inside the base of the hand. I hand stitched the base closed. The hand stands up but it still needs a wider, sturdier base. Another alteration for the pattern.  It's a good first try.  I can drape necklaces and bracelets from it or put T-pins and put earrings on it.  I think I'm on to something!

Finished prototype. Pretty good for the first try.

I'm going make the alterations to the pattern and then sew up some more. I can always use another hand around here! ;-)

 

21 comments:

allykat said...

What a great idea! And so pretty! The hand turned out wonderful for a first try :-).

For My Sweet Daughter said...

make one in burlap or something like it and I'm your girl! Such a cute idea.

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Thanks, Allykat! It was easier than I thought. All those years of sewing helped of course :-)

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Burlap! That's a great idea, Sweet! Your idea is sweet, Sweet (ar, ar - bad pun!) Seriously, I'm gonna try that!

Beadbug said...

These are wonderful and I love the wild fabric. I made some hands for my booth out of cheap prom gloves from Clairs. Just cut some 2 inc dowel to go up the arm and used some wire for the fingers. There is a photo on my blog here http://copperglassandrecycledtrash.blogspot.com/search/label/Booth%20Photos Maybe I should do a tutorial for them, there simple and pack well.

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Yes, Beadbug! You should do a tutorial for them! I'm so crazy for hands (I'm a sign language interpreter too) that I'd make those too. I thought about gloves after I started this, maybe they'd make a better pattern if I cut them apart? I'm off to your blog to read the post now!

Thanks for the fuel of inspiration!

Kim said...

it turned out wonderful- very clever! I wonder if it would be more stable if you put a little base of wood the same size as the bottom of the "arm" part on after you were finished? does that make sense? I love the fabric you used- so pretty ♥

My Life Under the Bus said...

Oh love this - an always use a new idea for display!!!

Beadbug said...

Kim that's a great idea.

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Hi Kim, I think the wood would work. I used the beans because that's what I had on hand. Thanks for the comment! :-)

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Thanks, Life! :-)

Andrea said...

I love the concept. However, it reminded me of something quite funny. When I was a full-time school teacher in Charlotteville, Virginia, I had a very smart, sassy student who had a mother with a great sense of humor. For a holiday gift, she gave me a similar hand except there was only one finger up and you can only imagine which finger. She told me to keep it with me for comfort... Lol

Beadroe said...

I love this idea. I have one of the glove molds I found at a flea market, been looking to find some more but have not found any. This would work too. I am curious as to what you filled the hand portion with?

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Funny, Andrea - do you still have the hand? hee hee

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Hi Beadroe - I have a large collection of the old glove molds. They don't work as well as you'd think. With the cloth, you can pin earrings where you want them and not worry about breaking them in transport. I filled the hand with a eco-friendly fiber fill.

Shoshi said...

What a cool idea! I love the fact that it's fabric, so you can stick things into it. You could choose any fabric to colour-co-ordinate with your room and/or your jewellery. Really great! How about making a head for tiaras and hair decorations?

Cindy Gimbrone said...

I really like the idea of a head...hmmmm I'll have to consider how I'd do that one!

Aquariart said...

Great idea I love it!

Marianna said...

Love it! that's so cool! and I love the burlap idea...or even a linen or old feedsack!

DK said...

I like this a lot. And burlap seems like it would look awesome, but I've sewn things with burlap before and it's kind of a pain. If you go that route, I'd suggest putting a muslin backing on the burlap to make it easier to sew up.

Eileen Bergen said...

You're a girl after my own heart, Cindy. I love to make my own patterns - just copying something like a dress I particularly like.

This is a great display idea especially because your collectible hand is still preserved.

Otherwise d├ęcoupage would be really neat.