Portable Jewelry Display Cone


If you travel out-of-town to do craft fairs and shows, you are probably already hungry for ways to make the stuff you have to lug with you as light and durable as possible.  If you aren’t hungry yet, do a couple of shows with bulky or fragile display furniture, and that will whet your appetite :).  If you are ready to make your display furniture eminently portable, collapsible, and unbreakable, read on!

First, you need some 1/4″ thick plain black neoprene sponge. I had to do a LOT of sleuthing to find a local source of neoprene sheet, and when I finally found some, I discovered that this material is used for gaskets. That wee bit of information would have made my search WAY easier!  If you do a Google search for “neoprene gasket material” you’ll find various online purveyors who will, I imagine, be happy to sell some to you.


Materials & Tools

  • 1/4″ thick black neoprene sponge (about 1 foot square per necklace cone)
  • Permanent marker
  • compass (or a thumb tack & string)
  • Ruler
  • Glue gun (with glue sticks, natch)
  • Velcro (black, non-adhesive)
If you don't have the cool compass, pin a string to the center of your circle, and tie a loop in the other end for the point of your marker.

If you don’t have the cool compass, pin a string to the center of your circle, and tie a loop in the other end to hold the point of your marker. The Velcro was truant for this photo, but it’s critical to the success of the project, so make sure yours doesn’t get away.

1) Decide which side of your neoprene will be the “back”, mark a center point, and use a compass (or pin-and-string) with your permanent marker to draw a neat circle on the back side.

Put your permanent marks on the back side only!

Put your permanent marks on the back side only!

2) Cut out the circle carefully, doing your utmost to make the edges clean and crisp.


3) Draw a narrow wedge from the center to the circumference. The wider the wedge, the taller the cone will stand up.  You might want to experiment with heavy paper first to decide on the exact shape you want to create…

Sharper cone = wider wedge

Sharper cone = wider wedge

4) For a symmetrical cone, with the point in the center, you’ll cut away the whole wedge.  I wanted to make a cone with an off-center point that would display a necklace with a pendant to best advantage.  To do that, I shortened the wedge, and drew on a new curved end for it.


A wedge that doesn’t extend to the center will produce a cone with an off-center point.

5) Cut away the wedge neatly.


6) Whack off a couple of 1″ pieces of Velcro (hook and loop fastener tape) and position one piece close to one of the corners on the BACK of the neoprene (the side with the unsightly pen marks).

Oops! Forgot to include the velcro in the materials photo...

Oops! Forgot to include the Velcro in the materials photo…

7) I found that the Velcro that comes with adhesive on it wasn’t sticky enough to adhere firmly to the neoprene, so I had to ratchet things up a notch with hot glue.  You’ll have to work quickly, because you want to spread a thin layer of glue as close as you can to all the edges of the back of your wee bit of Velcro.

Try to keep your glue volume to a minimum and spread it evenly all the way to the edges.  Tall order, I know.

Try to keep your glue volume to a minimum and spread it evenly all the way to the edges. Tall order, I know. I actually have a bit too much glue going on here…

8) Press the Velcro into place and before it sets QUICKLY remove any excess glue that spooges out. You may find yourself peeling this excess glue off your fingers, but your deft haste will pay off in a tidy necklace cone at the end.


9) Flip the circle over so the front side is facing up, and overlap the edges of the cut, with the Velcro sandwiched between the layers of neoprene. Mark the location of the corner of the Velcro, taking care that your marks are small and tucked under the top edge of neoprene so that they won’t show on the finished cone when it’s in use.

The first piece of Velcro is  immediately under my left thumb.

The piece of Velcro I just glued on is on the other side of the top piece of neoprene, under my left thumb.

10) Position the other side of your Velcro, apply hot glue, and quickly press into place.

Lowther.11Neoprene-Display-Mark-Front-Velcro Lowther.12Neoprene-Display-Apply-Glue-Front-Velcro Lowther.13Neoprene-Display-Press-Glued-Velcro11) Once glue is fully set, stick the Velcro hooks to the loops, and you are done!



12) Apply jewelry.


The earrings have posts that stick easily into the neoprene.

Now it’s time to let your hair down, grab some old file folders or heavy paper, and experiment with shapes and sizes to find the ones that will best show off your jewelry work.

Save the small pieces you cut off from around your circles. Any number of small clever shapes will hold up a ring. Try a circle, a wedge, or an arrowhead.


Signature - Lowther

P.S. The jewelry in the first photo is a pair of Persian Drop Earrings, and a Persian Wave Necklace. The pieces in the last photo are part of my bat themed “Victoriana” line. Josephine Earrings and a Frond Torque with an Isabella Pendant. Better bigger pictures on my jewelry web site, www.JuliaLowther.com

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2 Responses to Portable Jewelry Display Cone

  1. Where do you get the neoprene?

    • julialowther says:

      I bought mine from Gardico in Seattle. Try an online search for “neoprene gasket material” + your area of the world if you want to try to buy in person. Seems like there are lots of places online to buy it through mail order. I haven’t bought any that way, so I don’t have any particular purveyor to suggest.

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