Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hardwood vs MDF in the Manufactur of Luxury Jewelry Boxes

solid cherry hardwood jewelry chest
Solid Cherry Hardwood Jewelry Chest

One of the considerations to make when purchasing a luxury jewelry box is the type of material used to make it.  The predominant method the use of a material referred to as MDF, which stands for medium density fibreboard, which incorporates high grade, composite material with wood.  The other method is to manufacture from solid wood.  Why not always use solid wood, and how do I determine which to buy?  I’m glad you asked!

MDF Manufacturing
The main issue when using wood as a luxury, quality material is its longevity.  Wood absorbs moisture (in fact, it needs moisture!) at different temperatures.  This simply means that wood will bend and warp over time due to natural changes in temperature and humidity.  As an aside, this is the original reason for painting wood, to seal in moisture and limit the negative effects of temperature and humidity.

Composite materials that are combined with the wood have a lower density (more microscopic air pockets), which absorbs the contraction/expansion of wood under temperature and humidity changes in the air.  This results in greater flexibility, making the jewelry box less susceptible to warping & bending.  The advantage of this for a jewelry box is obvious:  it is almost guaranteed to hold up over the decades.  The use of ornate inlay, polished finishes, plush interiors, unique designs, and quality hardware, combined with the durability of MDF, is what gives MDF construction its luxurious qualities.  MDF is used by top manufacturers because it is highly resistant to bending or warping, which means the jewelry box is likely to remain as beautiful in 30 years as it was the day it was made, with basic care of course!

Solid Wood in Manufacturing
Most people view solid wood as the highest quality, and this is partially true.  Top quality solid wood manufacturing is generally more expensive, this is due to the extra effort required to make quality wood furnishings from hardwood:  greater emphasis on curing and sealing the wood, along with much tighter tolerances at the seams.

The attraction of solid hardwoods is understandable, especially for luxury jewelry boxes.  Solid hardwood construction leads to jewelry boxes that are much heavier, up to 30%, which implies higher quality and durability. Also, the wood can have beautiful patterns and individual attributes that makes the solid wood box completely unique, like a fingerprint.  And, in the case of cherry, the beautiful smell is timeless and unmistakable.

In conclusion, solid hardwood construction will always have the top appeal (and generally higher cost) for luxurious jewelry boxes, but don’t let this dissuade you from non-solid hardwoods:  they are (practically) guaranteed to last, and will look just as beautiful, especially when inlaid with exotic woods like Bubinga!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Wonderful Little Girls' Jewelry Boxes - Just in Time for Christmas!

 Girls Ballerina Jewelry Box
Little Girls Ballerina Jewelry Box

Little girls love owning a jewelry box – regardless of their other interests or hobbies! As they grow up, they appreciate being able to store their favorite treasures.  And since many girls have their ears pierced at a young age, a jewelry box is the perfect gift to let them store and grow their own jewelry collection. And while many women upgrade to larger (and more luxurious) jewelry boxes as they move from early adult to marriage, they still keep their first girls jewelry box to pass down to their daughter, granddaughter, or niece.

Historically, the pro-typical girl’s jewelry box was white with a pink interior. And many of the popular girl’s jewelry boxes featured a dancing ballerina on top accompanied by a traditional Christmas Carol or popular song. While that style is still sold, the times have changed, and little girls now have many more variations from which to choose.

The Latest Designs

Even though the traditional girl’s jewelry box is still produced, there are newer styles to fit the uniqueness of your own beloved girl. Girls jewelry boxes not only differ in overall look, but they are made with a variety of materials, and have a wide choice of design/style, with many have special attributes that many little girls like, particularly to hide things from sneaky siblings!

-Taller Girls Jewelry Boxes – These typically stand ~1 foot tall, and are taller than they are wide, in a tower style, which is ideal for a dresser or smaller night stand.  These have combinations of pull out drawers (up to five), two swing out sides for necklaces, ring rolls for rings & earrings, and an open top lid with small mirror. This one looks most like Mom’s.
 Girls Standing Jewelry Box
Standing Jewelry Box

-Spinning Ballerina Jewelry Box – This features the spinning/dancing ballerina with accompanying musical tune that gained widespread popularity in the 1960s that continues into the 21st Century.  Celine Dion’s “My Heart will Go On” is the modern song of choice, and “Swan Lake” by Tchaikovsky is the popular classic tune. Always popular!

girls musical jewelry box plays swan lake
Girls Musical Jewelry Box - Swan Lake


Adult women with large jewelry collections likely own standing jewelry armoire, and if you are a mother, your daughter likely emulates what you do. Clearly a large standing armoire is too big (and expensive) for a little girl with a small jewelry collection, however you can buy something similar that is made specifically for little girls. Below are examples of the choices that you have to give a jewelry armoire to your little girl.

-Standing Jewelry Armoire in Oak Finish – This top selling smaller jewelry armoire is unique in its combination of traditional & modern design.  The traditional nickel hardware with ivory suede felted lining are why this is so popular. The top lift lid has open storage as well as ring rolls, along with a large mirror. A top feature of this design are the side cabinet doors with multiple hooks & catch panels per side.  Four fully lined gliding drawers & cabriolet-style legs complete this beautiful piece.

small standing jewelry armoire
Small Standing Jewelry Armoire

-Classic Armoire – Chasing Treasure also recommends this splendid girl’s jewelry box. Traditional white with complete hand-trimmed ivory felt lining. It has antique hardware & handles for the gliding drawers with a tapered column legs. The opening top lid has a central line of ring rolls and six open compartments, four gliding drawers, a large mirror, and two necklace cabinets.

classic girls jewelry armoire
Classic Girls Jewelry Armoire

So as you shop for a little girls jewelry box, keep the above in mind…not only will she have it for many years to come, she is very likely to hand it down to her daughter!

Monday, September 15, 2014

5 Inventive Places to Keep Your Jewelry

Luxury Jewelry Box
Luxury Desktop Jewelry Box

Generally speaking, dressing tables are difficult to keep neat and tidy. During the mornings before work, no doubt finding the perfect piece of jewelry causes quite a bit of unnecessary stress. There are, however, plenty of organizational solutions; and you probably won’t even need to fork out any cash on a nice jewellery box. 

By following this guide you’ll be able to craft some very original storage devices that not only look great, but are highly functional.

Picture Frame Hanger

The picture frame hanger is perfect if you have a bit of unused wall space that needs jazzing up.
Sift through your attic, basement, or wherever you might find an old picture frame. Remove the backboard so it’s completely empty. Get some packaging string and tie each end to the frame leaving a gap of a few inches between each line. Use drawing pins to keep the string secure.

Hang up your jewellery, but be careful not to overload each string!

Basket Hanger
Image Credit: College Fashion

This design is perfect if you don’t actually have a dressing table and regularly prepare yourself sitting on the floor in front of a mirror.
Get an old basket and simply place it on a miniature easel. If you don’t have an easel, lean it against the wall.
The best thing about this jewellery holder is that it’s ready made. Just prop it up and away you go!

Wooden Necklace Holder
Don’t let the picture fool you, you can make this wooden necklace holder as big or small as you like.

Just get two flat pieces of wood – balsa wood is great for small bracelet holders – and either glue them together at the base with wood adhesive, or screw them using two right angle pivot hinges.
Cut out a few level slits on either side of the wood so your jewelry can slot into place.

I’ve seen some great examples of these wooden jewelry boxes placed outside in open plan kitchen spaces, such as the ones seen in this case study from Nicholas Anthony.

Coat Hanger Necklace Holder

Image Credit: Brit + Co

You could probably make this coat hanger necklace holder with just a few bits and bobs from around  your home.
Get a wooden coat hanger and insert a bunch of hook screws. If you don’t have any in your garage you can pick them up from most DIY stores for just a few pence.
When you’re hanging up your jewellery just make sure that the weight is evenly distributed to prevent the hanger from tilting.

Twig Necklace Holder

Image Credit: Brit + Co

This quick and easy design is ideal if you enjoy frugal living and recycling.
All you need to do is find a nice thick twig, screw in some hooks, and tie a piece of string to either end so you can hang it up.
If you don’t have any hooks you could attach a few drawing pins instead.

In conclusion, jewelry boxes come in many different kinds of designs, from desktop jewelry boxes like the one shown at the very top, to large, standing jewelry cases that act as a piece of furniture, to the unique & chic ones shown here.  Whatever your taste, you can make your own, or purchase an heirloom quality one!

Companies mentioned:

College Fashion
Nicholas Anthony
Brit + Co