Big ol’ bowl of bracelets

I love bracelets, whether they are beads, bangles, cuffs, or chains.  I display them on my arms and on my dresser too. 
I didn’t have masses of bracelets before stacking them became so popular because I have tiny wrists and hands, so many would (especially bangles) just slide off when I put down my arm.  Then my sister-in-law introduced me to the stretch bracelet by giving me a set with clear faceted beads and faux potato pearls tied together with a cute ribbon.  I wore them and was hooked!  I had to have more of these things.  Why are stretch bracelets so popular?  I heard the best answer from a lady one day when I was perusing the fashion jewelry at a local department store.  She said something like “I just love stretchy bracelets.  They are so easy to put on and mix and match.  They are perfect for work because they don’t make noise like bangles do.”
Vase of bangles and
bowl of stretch bracelets.
Now there are so many options and sizes to buy that a bracelet collection can quickly outgrow the little drawer in a jewelry box.  My fashionable bracelets were tucked away in various places.  Sometimes I would find one when looking for something else and think, “Wow I forgot I had that – it would look so cool with <fill-in-the-blank>.”  So I decided it would be better if all my fashion bracelets were in one place.  Thus began my quest for how to display or store bracelets.  I did not think a regualr jewelry box be big enough, since they are designed for expensive jewelry storage.  Plus some of my bracelets are so pretty I want to have them out for everyone to see like a boutique display.

I wanted more than a quick fix for the storage need.  I thought a large pretty glass bowl might work well for the stretchy ones, but not a punch bowl size since that might make me think about cutting back on some.  Maybe I would try a fishbowl or vase for the bangles since I don’t have as many of those.  When I need decorating inspiration I go to lots of different shops trying to find a great idea.  Here are a few ideas I came up with that you might want to try out if you are starting a bracelet collection you feel should be out in the open:
  • Use a clear ice bucket or candy dish with a lid, as this will keep the dust off but still show off the collection.
  • Hide them in matching tins or boxes with a pretty design that matches the room colors.
  • Put them in a pretty open glass container or simple fishbowl with a scarf draped over the top for decoration as well as dust cover.
  • Consider a large flower vase or a very small waste basket with an interesting motif as an alternative to a bowl.
  • Get a bright-colored chip-n-dip tray; use the outside section for bracelets and in the center where the dip bowl goes add fun and funky rings.
  • Hang them up on a mug tree or unusual metal sculpture. 
The inspiration for the last one was an open wire angel seen at a thrift store.  I saw her and thought she would look so cute with bracelets hanging off her wings and off the circle in front that likely once held a glass votive holder for candles.  But how to hang bracelets like bangle or stretch which do not have clasps?  I rounded the corner and saw the solution.  Shower curtain rings!  Many bracelets could be placed on the shower rings and then it clipped over the bottom of the wings.  Or you could clip them over a thick plastic hanger in the closet or hang thinner towel bars on a door and clip the rings to those (see next post on bracelet storage ideas for photo).  Another alterative clasp alternative might be multi-colored carabiners for hanging them or tie them on with pretty ribbon bows.  If using a sculpture, pick one with a heavy base or consider stabilizing it somewhat by putting an unbreakable bowl or basket with marbles and rings at the foot it to keep it from toppling forward.
With all the great colors and shapes of bracelets out there, feel free to collect ones that will go with items already in your wardrobe.  If your collection begins to outgrow your jewelry box, or you do not have a box, come up with creative ideas on how to store or display the bracelets.  Come back to this blog post and share your idea with everyone one else.  If you have a photo showing your creative solution, please include a link to it so we can see it too. 

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