diy project: jewelry bust


this is the second installment of jewelry storage projects, and this version is for people who love to show off their sparklies. i was very inspired by the lovely bust statue in this article from an old copy of the sadly discontinued blueprint magazine, but i wanted to create something a little more compact and modern. once i found the right silhouette and created a template, this was pretty easy to complete. i painted this version in a clean, simple white, but you could really go crazy with this: bright colors, stained wood, fabric, you name it. have fun!! -kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to (including a standing and wall-mount version) after the jump!

materials (for both versions):

1. piece of wood at least .5″ thick and 12″ x 17″ (i used an ikea wood shelf that was 14″ wide x 36″)
2. jigsaw (with a fine tooth blade for detail cuts)
3. safety goggles and dust mask
4. sandpaper
5. white paint
6. paintbrush
7. table clamps (for securing the wood during cutting. you should have two of these)
8. pencil

for tabletop version:
1. 9″ x 12″ wood plaque (these are available at craft stores)
2. 3/4 inch screws (x4)
3. 4″ metal “L” bracket (usually comes in pairs at the hardware store)
4. two pairs of pliers

for wall mount version:
1. scrap piece of wood (around 2″ thick and small enough to fit behind bust)
2. 2″ screws (x2)
3. cup hooks (x2)
4. nails or screws (for the wall) (x2)

cost:

wood shelf $5
wood plaque $2
paint, tools: free (on hand)
bracket: $2

time:

3 hours (including drying time)

instructions:

1. print out the bust template at 140% the original size (or print and copy at 140%). the final dimensions of the bust should be about 11″ at its widest point and 17″ tall.

2. cut out the template and trace onto your piece of wood with a pencil.

3. clamp down the wood and use your jigsaw to cut out the shape. the key to using the jigsaw for small detailed shapes is cutting in pieces. do not try to cut one long outline of the template. cut away at the shape in small sections, coming at the edges from all different angles to get the best, cleanest cut around the shape. this means you will be cutting out little chunks of wood around the lips and nose, but just work slowly and carefully and you’ll get good clean detail. you will have to stop a couple times to adjust the cutout and re-clamp for better cutting angles.

4. once the shape is cut out, use the sandpaper to smooth the edges and remove any loose splinters.

5. wipe the shape clean of any sawdust and lay on a painting surface.

6. paint the shape and the base white. allow to dry.

(note: the earrings are hung from a thumbtack pushed into the wood)

for tabletop version:

1. while pieces are drying, use the pliers to slightly bend the “L” bracket edges towards each other, to create an angle slightly smaller than 90 degrees. this allows your bust to tilt back slightly when attached.

2. once pieces are dry, screw the “L” bracket into the back of the bust with the bottom of the bracket flush with the bottom of the bust. then screw the bracket into the plaque near the back of the length of the plaque.


3. paint the bracket white. let dry.

for the wall mount version:

1. use the 2″ screws to secure the thick scrap of wood to the backside of the bust, centered in the chest area a few inches down from the neck.

2. screw the cup hooks in on the right and left corners of the outermost edge top of the scrap piece of wood (farthest from from the bust).

3. paint the whole attachment white, and let it dry. it is now ready to hang by two nails or screws in a wall.

YOU’RE DONE!

Sammy

Love this! It would be a great way to display jewelry in a shop too.

Gendy

So awesome! But what if you don’t personally own a jigsaw? I’m not even really sure what a jigsaw is. I presume it is some kind of power tool?

caroline

You are so generous to share this beautiful project. Thank you.

onjewels

Thanks for this great DIY. What a great way to display your favorites, and what nice ones you have chosen to display too.

I was wondering if this project might be interesting done in perspex sprayed on the back with mirror finish spray paint for a reflective look?!

nat

Kate, you have the best jewelry ever! I love every piece… even your perfume bottle and carafe (ok, now I’m just being nosey). Great interpretation of the Blueprint idea. Ingenious!

Sonja

This is gorgeous. I am looking for a nice way of displaying my jewellery at the mo, and this is so much more original than all the frame-with-chickenwire gizmos. Stylish and cool!

sarah

That is an awesome idea. I really love the little bowls and how you can create whole vignette out of your jewellery display.

Kate

hey everyone!
you can find jigsaws at hardware stores for pretty cheap, the lowest price is probably a ryobi saw around 30 bucks. they are worth the investment if you like to take on these kinds of crafts. OR: another possibility would be to take the template to a plastics shop (like TAP plastics) and have a piece of acrylic cut into the shape (this might be kinda pricey but i’m not sure). less “Y” in that DIY, but it would look cool!

stephanie

LOVE this! THis is so random….but where did you get that darling green scalloped bowl?

Nicole

rather than buy a tool and possibly slice off my digits, i might try this with matboard and an exacto. i am thinking of lightly padding it and covering it with fabric, then i could jab earrings right into it.

three critters

this is fantastic – but I think I would do it with a much more simple design (because I am clumsy with wood and anything but fabric)

Aansy

this is what we need cheap in price but perfect in utilization, satisfies in both ways. thanks for sharing

Paola

Stunning!!! And very clever idea! Guess I’m changing the design to make one in papier maché (which I work with) to finally put my necklaces in a proper place. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Lisa

lovely…could you please tell about the acorn hanging around her neck?

cyndi

this is awsome. have been looking for a new way to display my work

Zalina

This is a really cool idea. I made my jewelry display mannequin using paper mache technique.

But I really like the ability this because can hang on the wall.

JoyAnn

This is FANTASTIC I am going to make more than one of these. This is a great way to display my jewelry for festivals. Thanks for posting!!! Can’t wait to get started:)

Linda

What a wonderful idea! I want to make some to use in my jewelry shows. I may try making it out of foam-core board.

Sham

I LOOOOVEEE this idea , and the profile is superb!!!
This is my project for the weekend with help from my ‘design gened’ sis!
Though we will be trying it using thick black mount board on the wall against a white wall. It will help me not waste time at 6am every morning rummaging through my drawers for the right necklace to wear to work!

Debra

Oh thank you! I’m going to see if I can get the hubby to cut this out for me this would be so helpful he’s got a jigsaw.

Thank you

Sandra

I had something like this in mind for myself, but now with this step- by- step instruction I had a flow of inspiration. When I make it I will post it on my blog and show your link. THANK YOU, thank you, thank you!!!

Lindsey

The link to the bust template doesn’t work! Can you re-post it please?

amya

Hi Lindsey – We’ll try to get the template back up asap – it will probably be by later tonight or tomorrow. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Thanks,
amy a

grace

hi guys! the templates are all up- sorry for the down time!

grace :)

Allison M Schneider

I have a tray already that might look really nice but I’m not sure about the dimensions. How wide is the bust at the bottom?

Look Hotter Accessories

H, Looks amazinG! Link for the template doesnt seem to work :(

Shalini

So pleased to have found this tutorial. It gave me just the push I needed to make my own displays.
I have been thinking about it for over six months but having read what this I feel more confident that I will be able to make them :-)
Thank you so much for writing this.
Shalini

Jasmine Neeno

I love this idea so much! But I can’t get any of the templates to open. Not to inconvenience you but I’d really love to be able to make this! Thank you!

zee

made this last week but using old heavy duty box ( its really hard almost like plywood).
instead of paint it using normal paint, i used mod podge mixed with black glitter! it turned out super gorgeous and sparkly. made 2 sets already. tq so much for the idea and template!

Nina Gibson

I made a version of this bust, using my own drawn silhouette, thinner plywood covered in cork and fabric (so I can pin earrings to the silhouette). Instead of the L bracket, I used a heavy hinge so that she can fold for easy portability. I hide the visible hinge with an old wood spool that I sometimes lay bracelets across. I also made her in two sizes. https://www.flickr.com/photos/ninadesigns/13936369819/

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