My lovely wife has been collecting vintage jewelry for most of her adult life. Some pieces she considers “too good to wear” and keeps stashed in jewelry boxes, waiting for those special occasions that never seem to come. Others she keeps in rotation, wearing favorites often, then switching them out for other favorites. One of her longtime complaints — the lament that inspired this design — was that she wanted an easy place to park her jewels at the end of the day where she could quickly grab them the following morning, a place where she could see them, but without them getting tangled or piling up into a big mess. Since she has a weakness for low-end Hawaiiana and a love for all things aquatic, I made her a jewelry stand that’s a little bit Mary Ann and a whole lotta Ginger.

Project Steps

Cut the bamboo.

Using a miter box, cut the 1 1⁄2″ bamboo to lengths of about 20″ for the necklace stand base and 9″ for the bracelet stand.

Cut the 1″ bamboo to 2 lengths of 6″ (1 for the bracelet stand base, 1 for an arm on the necklace stand) and 1 length of 10″ (for the second arm of the necklace stand).

One end of the 6″ and 10″ lengths may be cut at a diagonal for style’s sake, or all cuts may be straight, it’s up to you. Sand the edges of all the sections smooth of splinters. To keep bamboo from splintering, always sand away from the cut, never against.

Fit the bamboo pieces together.

Take the 20″ bamboo necklace stand base and stand it upright on a table. If it doesn’t stand straight, flip it and try it the other way (you might find that one of your crosscuts is straighter than the other).

Once you’ve determined which end works better as the base, mark the base pole 2″ and 6″ from the top — these spots will be the levels at which the arms of the necklace stand extend.

To establish the directional positioning of the arms, imagine that the top end of the base pole is a clock face. The arms of the necklace stand will correspond to the 3 and 7 o’clock positions.

Vise the bamboo securely, and drill a hole 2″ from the top at the 3 o’clock spot, drilling only through 1 side of the bamboo.

Reposition the bamboo and drill another hole 6″ from the top at the 7 o’clock spot, again drilling through only 1 side. Mark a spot dead center on the 9″ piece, vise it securely, and drill a hole through 1 side.

Sand the edges of the holes. Fit the necklace stand’s arms into their holes, and the bracelet stand onto its base. Secure with wood glue, and allow to dry.

To keep the drill bit from sliding, put a piece of masking tape over the spot to be drilled.

Place the stands and ring tray.

Place the plastic drip tray on a flat work surface.

Position the shell (ring dish) and the necklace and bracelet stands within the drip tray at comfortable distances from one another, and mark the stand positions with a Sharpie.

Set the shell aside, and remove the stands from their spots. Run a thin ring of hot glue on the bottom edge of the necklace stand and secure it in its marked spot within the drip tray.

Repeat with the bracelet stand and other pieces you want to place. Fill the tray with aquarium gravel to just below the brim. Push the shell into the gravel.

Pour the resin.

Work in a well-ventilated, dust-free area — one that you can leave for several hours while the resin is setting (seriously, this stuff is intense!).

Following the instructions, mix the resin in a clean, disposable container. A 1-quart yogurt container is ideal.

Carefully pour the resin over the gravel, being sure to coat the entire surface, and coming as close to the bamboo bases as possible without splashing them with resin.

Pour enough resin to saturate the gravel bed, stopping just short of completely submerging it. Let sit undisturbed overnight.

Release the base from its mold.

With a pair of sharp scissors, snip into the edge of the drip tray at spots about 5″ apart around its circumference, and peel the sections of the tray away from the resin base.

To keep the bottom of the stand from scratching table surfaces, glue a piece of felt to the bottom, cut about 1⁄2″ smaller than the resin base.

Add extras like plastic foliage and ceiling glitter to the gravel for a tacky souvenir look.


This project first appeared in CRAFT Volume 07, pages 112-114.