toot TOOT! Forgive me while I toot my own horn.
Spoiler Alert: I'm beyond happy with how these turned out!
It has come to my attention that I've had my online shop for a whole year now. It feels like last month and 5 years all at the same time. It's been a struggle and half sometimes, but I've stepped out of my comfort zone and pushed myself to do more with my skills. Because of the online shop I've been working on getting into more in person shows and art festivals. Last weekend was the first one I've done this year. I had one fall through earlier this year, so I've been feeling like I've been trying spinning my wheels for awhile.
Side Note: I feel like it's so hard to find shows earlier in the year, so if anyone knows of any in Iowa please send them my way! I'm trying to do at least one show every couple months.
Anyways, last weekend I set up at the Humboldt Art Festival! I've known for awhile I needed a better way to display my cards and stickers. Ideally, I wanted them to be able to hang on my wall and still be able to display at least some of my product. I live in a tiny house so any way I can save space and easily organize the chaos of inventory is greatly welcomed. I had Googled some ideas and kind of saw some things, but nothing online seemed to be set up for display then hung on the wall when not in use.
Woodworking has been a little hobby of mine for 8ish years. I've refinished furniture and built some of my own. I don't think I'm the best of the best, but I've built some good stuff that I'm proud of and every project gets better. I've collected scrap wood since I've started this hobby, so I knew I'd have something I could use in the garage. I was determined to use what I had in the garage and not spend any money. I succeeded and I couldn't be more proud of that. I've attempted to do that many times and immediately had to run and get supplies.
With my mental note of what I thought I had in the garage I sat down and sketched the design and tried to figure out the measurements before ever going outside. (see above image) I envisioned using 2x1's for the top and bottom and knew I had thin lathe to use for the sides and shelves. I ended up not having enough 2x1's so I used wood that was about 1x1. For the front of the shelves I wanted to use a piece of trim just big enough to keep the products from sliding off but not hindering the ability to see them. I didn't have enough of one kind of trim for both shelves, but I did have a boat load of dowels from leftover wedding decorations. I also wanted to use a dowel in the back for the kickstand piece to be easily put away and have it sit flush with the back. I did get that to work with a little trial and error, drilling a hole big enough without cracking the smaller pieces of wood was a challenge. I made the sticker display (the smaller one) first; it leans back a little too far and I only used on piece of wood for the kickstand. When I used the smaller one for display last weekend I put a small scrap piece of 2x4 under the kickstand piece to lift it up a little bit. When I did the bigger one I used two pieces of wood for the kickstand and had them attached higher up, so I think it's more sturdy. My measurements ended up being pretty spot on and what I first envisioned to what I ended up creating stayed pretty consistent.
It took me quite awhile to tediously glue and hand nail everything together. I don't own a nail gun and the the only staple gun I own is a cheap manual that about kills my hand to use. Hand nailing it together wasn't super hard, but it did take awhile. After finishing them I still wasn't sure if I wanted to paint them or leave them raw. When I was researching what other people use they were all left raw wood. Nothing wrong with that, but I really wanted my products to POP off the displays and ultimately thought that spray painting them black was the way to go. Plus, I already had a full can of spray paint on hand so why not!
I think I made the right call! I've yet to add sawtooth hangers and get them on the wall, but I'm sure that'll be easy enough. The only foreseeable issue would be that I need to add some thicker, small pieces of wood on the backside towards the bottom so the display leans back a little on the wall so I can actually have my inventory on the wall. That would be an easy fix.
Anyone who has ever set up for events will know that the more things you can make lightweight the better. That's why I used lathe, 1x1 boards (maybe that'd be classified as trim?), and 1/2" dowels. I wanted these displays to be as light as possible while still being able to hold the weight of what I wanted to display. While writing this I paused to weigh the larger display (the smaller one is in a tote somewhere) and it weighs just shy of 5 pounds.
I loved this little side quest project! I'm hoping to get into more in person events and knowing I have these displays on my side makes it less overwhelming when it comes to setting up. If you're in a similar boat as me I think it's worth trying to build yourself before buying pre-made. I haven't been able to sit down and create for awhile. I've been doing a lot of behind the scenes stuff, but I'm hoping to get to sit down and create more soon. There's been a lot of ideas swirling in my head but not a lot of time to try them out.
I did make a little TikTok about this project if you want to check that out. Full disclosure: I didn't document every step along the way.
If you made it to the end thanks for being you!