RSS Feed

Category Archives: Craft and Handmade Shows

Make a Rotating Display for Craft Shows

Tutorial for Rotating Display Cheltenham RoadI must confess I spent last week kind of recovering from Unique LA (which mostly involved trying to figure out where to put all the things I’d built).

I thought I’d do a quick tutorial on how I made my rotating display towers. I honestly don’t know if any of you are interested in making something like this but, you know, just in case.

I had wanted a more efficient way to display the candle blocks that got them up at eye level and also made a good use of space.

I saw these in the hardware storePlywood Rounds for Rotating Craft Show Display

and suddenly the whole display popped into my head!

Of course, how I was going to make the display did not pop into my head but I decided to go for it anyway and figure it out as I went.  (This approach usually ends in tears but hope sprang eternal.)

I knew I needed something to separate the layers, it needed to be strong but I wanted also to keep things kind of on the lighter side. I also needed it to come apart easily for transport. I considered and dismissed wood posts but, while trolling the aisle at Lowes spotted 4″ PVC pipe and suddenly it all made sense.

So, here are the basic supplies:Supplies for Rotating Display


  • Graduated sized wooden circles – I’ve seen them at most big box retailers.
  • a length of 4″ PVC Pipe (in my case cut into three 7″ lengths) (( also see  “note” below about using smaller versions)
  • 4 (four) 4″ PVC flat-bottomed pipe caps
  • 1 (one) lazy susan base (usually found by the drawer slides at Lowes or elsewhere)
  • A chunk of scrap wood for the base
  • Screws, drill, paint etc

The first step, determining the center of the circle, was the second most challenging part of this project. I tried to do the math but eventually ended up just eyeballing it and it came out ok.

Once I had calculated eyeballed the center of the largest circle, I used three screws to attach one of the 4″ caps upside down.Make a rotating display stand

I did the same with the medium circle – attaching the caps to both the top and bottom.

And finally, I attached a cap to the underside of the smallest circle.

After that it was just a matter of attaching the PVC pipes and I had my tower.DIY Rotating Display Stand Tutorial Cheltenham Road

Turntable Display Chelteham Road Unique LAOK, here is the trickiest part.

Apparently everyone but me was born with the knowledge of how to install a lazy susan base because the package comes with no instructions. NONE. ZERO. NADA.

It turns out to be fairly logical and quite do-able once it’s explained to you.  However, I am not the person to do that . This video (by a woman whose last name is Chaney so she must be cool) helped me understand.Cheltenham Road Booth for Unique LA Spring 2014

Tips and post-project realizations:

If they’ll do it, have the hardware store cut the PVC pipe for you to length. I did it on my chop saw and though it was easy, it was messy and (don’t tell my dad) I had to resort to semi-unsafe saw usage to make it happen.

Don’t paint the PVC pipe. Or at least don’t paint the parts where the cap and the pipe come together. I did a very light coating with spray paint and just that was enough to make them stick together REALLY REALLY snugly. I can still get them apart but it’s a lot of work.

For the second tower I made I went down to a smaller size of PVC.  It was a little bit cheaper and seems just as strong – it just depends on the weight of whatever you’re displaying.

So there you go.  Rotating, easy transport towers.  And no tears!!!!! (well, ok, there were some minor tears when I couldn’t figure out the lazy susan base and felt really dumb but it passed).

Unique LA and Booth Design….and swearing

scattered marblesOh those marbles? they’re mine. I recently lost them.

I, um…. went a little crazy (even for me) in the build up to Unique LA.

But first,  I so appreciate all the comments and feedback about what Cheltenham Road is/means. I’m not sure I totally succeeded in transferring all that to the look of the booth but they really got my mind going and I do think it helped me step things up a notch.

As you know I wanted to make my space a like a little shop.  Now the thing with the Unique space is the floor is dotted (randomly it seems) with pillars. Pillars are important since they, you know, hold the building up but they are a total pain! Each time I’ve been messed up by random, unexpected pillar placement.

But this time I got smart! And sneaky!   I snuck into the building (ok, not “snuck” exactly… I walked in the front door and took the elevator up and got lucky cause the floor was open and no one was there but I felt very James Bondy).

The place wasn’t totally laid out but I knew exactly where my booth was. I had an awesome corner spot and, low and behold, there was a pillar! The booth would look like this:Booth Layout

So I measured and planned and came up with a design:The Plan

Tons of display space. Clear site lines.  Lots of  room to move around.  Smart use of pillar! Yay me!

On move in day I loaded up, got to the building, unloaded and proceeded to my spot to discover…..The Reality

What the hell?!  Who puts up walls to make a pillar be two feet in from the front and a foot and half away from the side?!!!!!

All my open air/lots of space plans kinda went out the window but it turned out OK (happily I’d brought supplies for auxiliary plans)Cheltenham Road Booth for Unique LA Spring 2014

Stupid PillarCraft Booth Display Cheltenham Road Unique LA 2014I had some good ideas that worked out – like using an Ikea closet system to create freestanding shelves:Cheltenham Road Tray Display Unique LA 2014

and some good ideas that….didn’t. Actually the whole build up was like some kind of Russian Nesting Doll of FAIL! I kept buying things and screwing it up and buying more things.

I’ll share the details later (Cheltenham Road where I make mistakes so you don’t have to!)Home Sign Display Cheltenham Road Unique LA

I was, however, really happy with these rotating display towers for my candle blocks. They were easy to make (lazy susan base, PVC pipes and plywood) and they come apart for easy transport.Turntable Display Chelteham Road Unique LA

DIY Product Display Towers for Cheltenham Road Unique LA Craft BoothSo, I’ll leave you with a picture my good friend Valerie took of me and my domain!Cheltenham Road Unique LA Spring Show


The Cheltenham Road Story?

Floggings will continue

Counted Cross Stitch by Jealous Moon on ETSY

My morale hasn’t been down but I’ve definitely felt it….flagging? I’ve been busy but factory-mode busy.

Etsy has been slow but my wholesale accounts are stocking up for spring.  It has been great (really!) but  it has had me running around re-making what I’ve already made and I’m finding myself keen to get some new stuff going. However, ideas have been few and far between.

But! The there is no time to wait around for inspiration to strike! It’s time to get going and get going I must.

I’ve been accepted to Unique LA again for the spring show.Unique LA Spring Show

Before every show Sonja (the woman who invented Unique LA) has a vendor meeting where she goes over the rules and also manages a bit of inspiration.

This year her inspiration was to think about what your story is and how your booth can tell that story.

So I’m wondering both what Cheltenham Road’s story is and how do I translate that to my booth?

Now, I think we all know “my story” is that I smack my head into things a lot…….but that’s probably not the side I want to present to the general public.

And although my booth design has been improving over the years

Cheltenham Road Unique LA Booth Spring 2013CheltenhamRoad booth display towers for Unique LA Summer Show 2012Cheltenham Road Booth Unique LA

I think the story I’ve been telling with it is “I managed to make it here in one piece and here’s my stuff!”

So, as those of you who follow me on Pinterest have probably noticed, I’ve been pinning booth design ideas like crazy (because that’s so much for fun then actually doing it!).

The goal is to create a cohesive spot that looks like a little store and tells, or at least reflects, the Cheltenham Road Style/Story.

I also need a lot of new product.

I have two weeks.

So join me won’t you!  I’m planning to post projects as I finish them (this will also force me to actually do it rather than daydream about doing it) and I’ve found that all of you have great insights into things.  So please weigh in with thoughts and ideas.  I may not be able to incorporate all of them but anything that sparks an idea will be incredibly valuable!


Trash To…Well Maybe Not a Treasure but Useful!

I’m still not dead!

However, it kind of felt like it as I ushered in 2014 with a case of food poisoning that left me flat on the couch for about a week.


My first big (interrupted) task of the New Year was to do another garage overhaul and renovation.  So it was time for dumpsters and clean out and……..discovering a new project I just had to do!

This is how it works for me – I’m a bit…unfocused.  I get all geared up to do one thing and then something sparkly catches my eye and all bets are off.

Anyway, I was trying to be hard-core about the garage and my rule for cleaning  was “if I don’t know exactly what I want to do with something it has to go.”  So  while digging through and sorting I came across these shutter things.  Spindle ShuttersDoes stuff just magically appear in your garage?  My garage is some kind of time/space vortex.  I have absolutely no idea where, when or how these  came into my possession but they are perfect for a little project I’ve been imagining…. for like a year……

I need a way to set up my craft show booth that is fast, compact and yet  makes use of vertical space and gets the merchandise up and at eye level.  I’ve been making due with a stair-step display I builtCandle Block Display but they aren’t very big and they are really awkward to pack up and transport.

So, I had long planned to build a folding, portable shelving unit that would display a lot but not take up much room while packed.

But kept dragging my feet about buying the wood and doing the math.  And then these shutters popped up!

I had to use my scroll saw to remove the spindles – leaving the frames.

I cut some plywood down to 4′ long by 10″ wide shelves and cut little notches in the corners.

A quick paint job and

Easy, portable, BIG display shelf. Easy DIY Craft Show Display Shelf

Perhaps a bit too big because I didn’t have enough merchandise on hand to actually fill it for the pictures.  But you get the idea.Simple Display Shelf made from Shutters

Here is a close up of the notches on the shelves.  The notches allowed me to have deeper shelves and also provided some stability (I need to touch up that front corner).fitted shelf

And it packs up small and flat which is awesome because real estate in the Fit is tight.Fold Up Display for Craft Shows

(Honesty:  this photo is a bit of a fake as there is one shutter missing….I put the hinges on wrong so you can’t close it….which I will fix)

So there you go.  A year in the imagining and about an hour and a half in the execution cause that’s what efficiency is all about.

Thank you Garage Vortex Gods for making this project possible.

Happy 2014 Everyone! (don’t eat chicken quesadillas at dubious Mexican restaurants)

Christmas Is Kicking My Butt: 2013 Edition

Mine is a close and loving family but not a “chat on the phone” family.  I actually told my sister Phebe if she ever did call I’d probably panic as it could only mean some disaster had occurred.

Last Thursday I received this text:

 “I’m going to call you.  Nothing is wrong.  Love – Phe”

 She was calling because I hadn’t blogged in a long time and she was worried.

The next day my dad called (equally shocking).  Due to my lack of blog posts he had become worried that Zen: Cat Assassin had finally succeeded in making me jump into my table saw and that I had bled out on the driveway unnoticed by neighbors.

So, to my family:  I’m not dead!!! Happy Holidays!!!!

However, Chirstmas is Kicking My Butt!

When I wrote CiKMB last year I didn’t realize I was starting a holiday tradition.  But, apparently, like watching It’s a Wonderful Life or attending The Nutcracker, butt kicking is now part of my holidays.

It started about three weeks ago with the launch of Unique LA.  I had a great show.  I tried out some new designs and my booth locations  was perfect.Cheltenham Road Unique LA HOliday 2013

Custom Trays Cheltenham Road Unique LA 2013 Holiday ShowCandle Display Cheltenham Road Unique LA Booth 2013Now, while I assure you that I think very highly of the folks that run Unique LA  I’m also convinced they have a sign at the entrance that look something like this:The Management

Coasters I had made a ton of sat there while others that are seldom purchased were, apparently, the “Tickle Me Elmo” of the coaster world.


OK, if everyone has a superpower then mine is the dubious ability to misspell words in ways so subtle that the naked eye (or spell check) never notices.  And when I’m under pressure and trying to churn out a lot of product my powers truly kick in.  How else to explain a woman’s custom subway sign detailing her worldly travels and whose last line was to read: “Wanderlust”

The sign went through several drafts back and forth.  It was finally approved and produced and only when she got it from the store did she realize the bottom line read :OOPSWhich, as you can imagine was not, exactly, the inspirational message she was hoping for from her wall decor.

Naturally I took the sign back and fixed it.  I contemplated replacing the last line withALTERNATE 1


But in the end just made the correction.

Good News, Bad News, Good News.

Good News.

I managed to make it through Unique LA without banging my head into anything or cutting off my thumb (again).

Bad News:

You should probably stock up on canned goods because me getting through holiday shows without some self inflicted disaster is a confirmed sign of pending apocalypse.Nostrodamus

Good News:

I did manage to smash my skull into the underside of a kitchen cabinet while emptying a dishwasher a few hours before my big, annual holiday dessert party so I may have bought us all some time!

You’re welcome!


Speaking of the party it went well.

I took horrible pictures as always but mom’s sugar cookies were a hitsanta in a box

along with caramel apple pie pops, mini grasshopper pies, cake pops, layer cookies, brownie shots and red velvet cupcakes in ice cream conesRed velvet cupcakesAnd now, happily, my kicked butt and I shall retire for a bit as I’ve made my last delivery,  sold out of almost everything and have no desire to make another coaster/candle block/sign for quite a while.

Happiest of Holidays to all of you!  And thank you so much for joining me in my adventures this last year.

How to Build a Hanging Display Wall for Craft Shows

Easy Hanging Wall for Craft Show DisplayThere is probably a 12 step program for people who keep making and remaking ways to display the same thing.  And I should find it and join it.

So, as you may recall, last week was the big Abbott Kinney Festival.

Everything went perfectly in keeping with the standard Cheltenham Road Playbook.Cheltenham Road ChecklistThat last one is the one I want to share.

I had previously built this portable wall for Unique LA.  You can see the original tutorial here.Easy To Build Wall Display for Craft ShowIt is 8’ long by 6’ high and it works beautifully.  But it takes a bit to set up and take down and with Abbott Kinney I only had a couple of hours to unload, repark and set up.  And tear down was going to be after nightfall.

So I needed something that was quicker.

I took three of the slats from the original wall (they are inexpensive furring strips from Home Depot) and linked them together with scrap wood and screws creating a 16” high by 8’ long “mini-wall.”Assemble simple Hanging Display WallI added a large hook and eye assembly to the topPortable Craft Show Display Wall and BAM – instant hanging wall.Tutorial for Easy Craft Show Display Hanging Wall Cheltenham Road

 (these pics are not from my actual booth and I apologize for the funky lighting)

 I made two of them – one for the small signs  and one for the large.Hanging Display Wall for Craft Shows

It was perfect because it was up and out of the way but still highly visible and it worked like a dream because all I had to do was stick it up there and I was done!

And then I had another idea!

What if I wanted more of a wall?  Maybe to cover the back of the booth and provide more room for hanging?

So I just added another two sets of hook and eye hardware and linked them together.S Hooks to connect Craft Show Display WallCraft Show Display Hanging Wall Cheltenham Road

 Allow me to present my card:wylie e coyote business card


I think I may make a few more of these – that way I can choose exactly how much “wall” I want for each show (of course, I’m playing by Cheltenham Road rules so I won’t actually make the extra ones until the night before my next show).


New Stuff!

As you may recall CoOp 28 is one of the first stores that carried my wares.  Marci, the owner, has now taken over the space next door and is expanding yet again!   The new wing is really coming together and Marci set aside wall space for a unified display of my HOME signs (I’m making it now pics to follow) and another 6’ table to fill with Cheltenham Road creations.  The trick is she (understandably) wants new creations.

My sister Paula and I brainstormed on some ideas when I went home recently she thought of these bud flower holders.Simple Block Bud Vase Cheltenham Road Read the rest of this entry

Renegade Craft Fair and More Fun with Really Useful Boxes

Renegade Craft Fair and More Fun with Really Useful Boxes

I finished Renegade Craft Fair on Sunday and sorta collapsed.  With Unique LA happening the weekend before that was a lotta craft fair in a short period of time and I was dog-tired. Read the rest of this entry

Unique LA Summer Show and a Valuable Lesson

Unique LA Summer Show and a Valuable Lesson

It was an exhausting week last week.  I was in full court press to get ready for Unique LA’s Summer Show in Santa Monica (yesterday and Saturday)  and for the Renegade show which is this coming weekend.

The Unique LA Summer Show has a special place in my heart. Read the rest of this entry

Easy Dimensional Map Wall Art Tutorial

Vintage Map Wall Art TutorialI had an interesting discussion with a friend the other day about the danger of reading too many Home Blogs like mine.

She confessed that, after a while, she started to feel inadequate.  The authors of the blogs appear to have spotless homes and churn out a seemingly endless number of projects without ever breaking a sweat.

I totally get what she’s saying.  And although I think I’m pretty upfront about  my more bozo-ish moments  I too tend to present the “magazine/fairy tale” version of my life sometimes.

However, at the risk of upsetting her further, I must confess, I did just whip up this project this morning (you know, after the bluebirds finished dressing me but before the dwarfs left for work).  It was so dang easy! Read the rest of this entry


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,377 other followers

%d bloggers like this: