DIY Salvaged Jewelry Display Tutorial

Update: Hey everyone from Pinterest! These DIY jewelry displays have been getting a lot of attention lately, so I decided to give the tutorial a little revamp. Enjoy ;)
Oh! And let me know if I can improve my design, or share your jewelry display with me on the 9000things facebook page.

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A few weeks ago I realized all these new products I’ve been making require a new craft show display. So… off to the local flea market to find supplies! I totally love how these came out.

DIY Jewelry Display Tutorial - Vintage Wooden Boxes - by 9000things

I had this rough idea of what I was looking for at the flea market:
Cheap wooden crates (mine were rickety and needed some love and extra nails) $5 each
Small hinges $1 per pair
Scrap wood panels (had these in my stash)
Lots of random mismatched drawer knobs plus hardware $3 for a handful

And I had all this stuff on hand:
Various bolts, screws and nails
Drill and drill bits
Hammer
Flathead screwdriver
Ruler
Pencil
Sandpaper

Step 1: score a bunch of awesome crates from the flea market, recycle center and the local wine shop:

Raw wooden crates from a flea market - 9000 things

These ones have already been fixed up a little bit (hammer time!)

In case you can’t find enough wooden crates, the scrap wood panels will act as a cheat. Here I took two 1x10s that are about 28″ long and connected them with 2 small hinges in the back.

Upcycled jewelry display - 9000 things

Wider is better as far as stability. When set at a 90° angle, these panels stand on their own. So simple.

Next, measure a few inches from the top of each crate and draw a level line to make sure that your knobs will line up. Then mark out where you want to drill your holes – where the knobs will be positioned.

Salvaged materials jewelry display for craft shows - 9000 things

I found that between 3 and 4 inches is best for hanging necklaces, and I tried to keep it consistent across all the crates, making sure to center everything. You only need to leave about 1.5 inches on the sides.

Next, match your drill bit with the width of the bolts attached to your knobs. There’s some amount of standardization in knob bolt, with an exception here and there. Drill the holes!

Craft show jewelry display tutorial from found materials - 9000 things

(Those are not MY hairy arms)

Sandpaper those holes real quick to get rid of any splinters. And then, here’s the fun part… Check out this medley of mismatched salvaged drawer knobs:

Salvaged vintage drawer knobs for a jewelry display - 9000 things

I collected these all in one day at the flea market and I spent a grand total of $13! Here’s a tip: check out the guys who have a huge amount of old tools and hardware in various crazy boxes. The vendors I talked to were happy to offload this stuff and I just had to do a little digging. Basically anything less than $1 per knob is a great deal!

Last step is to find the right size bolts for the drawers and put them all together. It’s helpful if you have a rando bolt stash to go through. You’ll probably need to use a flathead screwdriver to make sure the knobs are secure.

DIY Craft show jewelry display tutorial - 9000 things

Don’t they look awesome?! I’m so in love with this project and it only took ONE day from start to finish!

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Washi Tape Price Tag Tutorial

Make Your Tags Less Boring!

Time to spice up the lame white price tags on your products. I have a whole bunch of those plastic price tags on string from the store and I decided they needed a little makeover. This is super easy with lots of benefits.

DIY Washi tape price tags tutorial - by 9000things

 

 

First, the materials:

Washi Tape Price Tags Tutorial - 9000 things

Just plastic price tags, scissors and bright neon washi tape.

All you do is cut the washi tape into little rectangles and stick them onto one side of the tags.

Make your plastic price tags way cuter with washi tape | DIY tutorial by 9000 things

And now you have adorable, eye catching price tags that are reusable! Pull the tag off after every sale. I also use this method to track inventory, making notes of the tags I’ve collected when I get home. Then, just remove the marked up washi tape and repeat.

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Ringgg: How It’s Made

Make Something Awesome!

[Update: Ringgs will be available on Sundays starting May 5th at the SoWa Open Market in Boston as well as regularly on my etsy site.]

My favorite part of making Ringggs is explaining to people how they’re made and watching as they register the familiar material that they’re holding in their hand. Then we have a conversation about how cool it is to transform something old and discarded into something new and beautiful.

Ringgg - Upcycled Jewelry from Discarded Telephone Wire - by 9000things

It starts with a plentiful and mostly obsolete material: coiled telephone cord. And a lot of it.

Telephone cord is recyclable. However, the amount of copper inside coiled phone cord is so small, it’s barely worth the energy to separate it. And I think this is a better solution anyway!

Ringgg - Upcycled Discarded Telephone Cords - 9000things

I get these cords everywhere! I have friends at recycling centers who will save them for me. I’ve gotten cords from many universities in Boston. Also: thrift shops, yard sales, FreeCycle and, straight up, the trash.

First, I cut the cords into smaller, Ringgg-sized coils. This part is fun because I find endless combinations of bright colors on the inside.

Ringgg - Upcycled Telephone Cords Stripped - 9000things

Most follow the standard: black, red, green and yellow seen above. But some are clear, some striated, some matte. Then there are crazy tropical colors, neutral pastels, 80s neons, sparkly copper… pretty much everything you see on my blog. (check out here and here and my shop here)

The rubber is stripped off of both sides, leaving one coil of sheathing intact in the middle to serve as an adjustable ring band. Wrap the band under one finger…

Ringgg - Upcycled Telephone Cords as Jewelry - 9000things

…Pull and twist the wires and VOILA! You’re ready to wear your Ringgg!

The curliness from the telephone cord is permanently fixed in the Ringgg, making it fun to play with, but durable. It’s like having a tiny interactive sculpture on your finger.

Ringgg - Upcycled Jewelry from Industrial Materials - by 9000things

And that’s how it’s made! Awesome, right?

*Just a note: I’m posting this ‘how it’s made’ as a kind of Open Source technology. Feel free to learn from my ideas, to make a Ringgg for yourself or your friend, and to draw inspiration for your own DIY upcycle projects.

It would be awesome if you don’t steal my original idea and try to sell it. This is my baby, and I’m really proud of it. If you’d like to sell Ringggs, contact me for wholesale or a license agreement. Don’t be that guy.

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Earth Day is Every Day!

Okay, Serious Post for a second here.

9000things, the small independent business is just over a year old now, but the idea behind it has followed me around since forever and ever. I’m not exactly sure when I first realized that far too many useful things make their way to die a lonely death in a landfill far before their time.

Maybe it was influenced by my father’s questionable habit of taking hand-me-ups from my sister and I as we were growing up. He can still be found chopping fire wood from the forest behind our house sporting my mother’s stretched out floral turtlenecks, wide leg jeans from when I went through my grunge phase, and a red and pink hat with knitted hearts that belonged to my sister in the 90s.

Perhaps I grew up a little too close to my mother’s light hoarding of broken things, just on the edge of being functional, that became open ended repurpose projects.

My grandmother, who grew up in the depression, felt perfectly comfortable passing off plastic milk caps, empty glass jars, calendars from years gone by, quality control rejected tshirts missing a (fairly essential) neck hole, and dead june bugs from her Florida winter home as totally normal kid’s birthday presents.

There’s my aunt, the first person to introduce me to the idea of early morning trash picking for furniture from the neighbors.

Another aunt got all of her clothing from thrift shops and did not mind telling us all about it.

As kids, my best friend’s dad woke us up at 5am on Sundays and threw us in the minivan in time to be the first at the flea market to scour for valuable antiques that were priced far below the market.

In short, I’ve been indoctrinated my whole life.

Most of the projects at 9000things involve some amount of upcycling or reuse or repurposing. But I’ve been at this for a long time and I strive to make the most beautiful new things out of the old and ugly.

I saw this post on the blog at Twice and in celebration of Earth Day, wanted to share:

Twice Blog - Used clothing saves the earth

Read about what they do here!

This stuff is so fun! Yay Earth Day!

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Suede Fringe Necklaces

Another sneak peek of new necklaces coming to the SoWa Open Market – which opens in just 2 short weeks!!

These tribal-inspired fringe necklaces are made with brightly dyed suede cord and strung on reused mashup chains from vintage, old and broken jewelry.

Suede Fringe Necklace Sneak Peek - 9000 things

Perfect upcycled necklaces for summer!

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Boston Marathon 2013

Yesterday’s events on Boylston Street are still unbelievable to me. My beautiful city is permanently and physically scarred. The trauma sustained by one of the most positive and inspirational public events in the country is devastating, and my heart goes out to every single participant and spectator of the Boston Marathon who had their day – a gorgeous early spring day in the city – utterly ruined by shock and sadness.

Heart Boston - 9000things

Photo of downtown Boston at dusk, including the two Hancock towers – old and new – taken from the Mass Ave bridge.

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Learning to Weave on a Loom

By the way, I’m also taking a weaving course right now. Here’s my very first attempt at weaving!

Learning to weave on a loom - 9000things

I’m going for an ombre effect, from cream to mint green to turquoise with a bold pink salmon/peach stripe at the neck of what I assume is going to be a scarf?

Weaving is fun! Highly recommend.

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Geek Chic Pixelpaper

Spoonflower, in partnership with Robert Kaufman Fabrics, is holding its 2013 Fabric8 Contest this month on the theme of “Geek Chic.”

I’m pretty excited. I’ve been working on a collection of patterns called Pixelpaper for a while now – I’m pretty obsessed with pixelation and all the things that go along with it; computer icons, space invaders, 8bit simplification, digital glitches and the cliff effect…

Pixelpaper Geek Chic in Pale Yellow - 9000 things

(click to see the Pixelpaper Collection on Spoonflower)

It’s a little like an I Spy

I spy a keyboard, a hashtag, and pi, an invincible star, a frog, and a tie,
A really hard cube, a building block, two cameras, their chip, and one tiny lock.

One of these days I’ll post a tutorial on how to make repeating patterns like this. It’s super easy! Deadline for contest is April 23rd. Check it out!

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Junk Jewelry Score #1

Seeking old/broken jewelry for reuse!

Huge score with this assortment of vintage, broken and junk jewelry from a friend in Somerville, MA.

Here’s the trade agreement: a big bunch of old/broken/out-dated jewelry in exchange for one finished necklace made from the pieces (as well as other things I have laying around).

This awesome trade has crystal chandelier teardrops, funky vintage wood slice beads, bejeweled buttons, some old chains, two 70s looking clay earrings and lots more!

Junk jewelry for upcycle necklaces - 9000things

Junk jewelry in ombre pink and gold - 9000things

These vintage faded pink wooden beads, when arranged from high fade to low, make an ombre gradient that will make a nice one of a kind recombinant necklace.

UPDATE: Here’s Amanda’s finished necklace made from some of the things she gave me!

Remix Necklace from old and broken jewelry | 9000 things

This box of goodies had a lot of loose beads, vintage buttons and silvertone chains. The jeweled leaf on the left hand side is a piece from a vintage bracelet. The blue and green beads and the clear button with the crystal were all in there too!

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Sneak Peek: New Remix Necklaces

Vintage Beads + Repurposed Chains

Check out these colorful new Remix Necklaces from our Spring 2013 Collection which we’ll be showing at the SoWa Open Market in Boston starting May 5th.

Big Bead Remix Necklaces 1 - 9000 things

Big Bead Remix Necklaces 2 - 9000 things

Big Bead Remix Necklaces 3 - 9000 things

Each necklace is about 26″ and combines large spherical vintage beads in bright, cheery colors and a recombinant chain made from old and broken jewelry. We’re ready for spring!

 

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