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Category Archives: Craft Show Display

Slow Progress and and Update!

I interrupt this update for a quick PSA:

The folks at Plaid are having an awesome sale on all Mod Podge branded products on their site (so, Mod Podge, tools, brushes, melts etc – lots of stuff)! 

Photo courtesy of Plaid Enterprises.

It’s 40% off your order and free shipping if you spend $60 or more.  So, if you need to, now is the time to stock up.  I bought 6 gallons (#holysmoke) of Mod Podge and saved a ton of money.

BUT!!! It ends tonight.

Just go to their site and use the code MPDAY18

We now return you to your regular programming:

I’m baaaack….sort of

OK, so my To Do List for the last three weeks has looked like this:

As you can see my priorities are solid!

But I finally did #1 today.

It took 30 seconds.

May I present my card:

Actually, there is a lot more to do (full-fledged site redesign, shopping widget etc) but I do at least have the space now to do a post.

And you’d think, “David, with all that free time, what with not accomplishing your goals, you must have done lots of stuff!

And you would be wrong….and possibly new here?

Actually, that’s not true. I did a lot.  Just not necessarily in an organized, well thought-out, photographed sort of way.

I had my first in-person show of the season in Pasadena and finally FINALLY! Put together a booth set up that I liked!

I had a nice, corner spot and this arrangement gave me plenty of space for display and for everyone (including me) to move around!

It looks a bit dark in the photos but I actually thought it was welcoming and cheery in real life.

I worked out some new ideas too.

Sticking with my “use your scrap wood theme” I came up with these vintage sign photo holder boards.  Which combine my love of vintage graphics and a certain amount of practicality.

I made a few more for the show:

Pi also finally pulled his weight by looking really cute and luring unsuspecting future customers into the booth:

A long-time “I have an idea but I haven’t gotten around to it yet” project came to fruition with some coaster holders to sell along with the actual coasters.

First up- little Library Drawers to go with my Vintage Library Card Drink Coasters (again, made from scrap wood)

They got a lot of attention at the show:

and I kept working on those scrap wood flower holder crates which are fun to make.

So I guess I was busy, just not particularly focused.

I have my next big show this coming Sunday in downtown Santa Ana and will report back with details, designs and new ideas shortly.

Thanks for bearing with me!


What I Didn’t Do On My Summer Vacation

I seem to have accidentally taken a mini summer vacation.

It wasn’t a plan I assure you.

But do you ever pick up a crafting magazine or watch a craft-oriented TV show and, as the host is talking, think to yourself “OK, why would anyone make that!!!?” or “yes, you can make that but, really…..should you?”

I’ve had that response numerous times and I think I know the answer.


Ever since Midsummer Scream I’ve just making coasters, filling store orders and desperately thinking:

“Any minute now, I will do something really interesting ……”

…..but I haven’t.

I mean, I’ve made stuff – but it’s the stuff you’ve all seen before (or variations thereof)

A customer had me make up a bunch more of my Airport Code Coaster designs (which I really do love to do)

The Mystic Museum requested a set of Fortune Teller Coasters for their shop

I had some new Halloween trays for Midsummer Scream

I did get some new displays made for my local stores.  Hopefully these will help with sales:

But nothing really splashy, new or tutorial-worthy.

I do have at least one very good excuse for my lack of forward momentum

Every time I sit down to have lunch this happens:

(he’s snoring by the way)

I mean, yes, I could sit somewhere else but, seriously, how could one resist this?

But this blog post is my commitment!  NEW (or new-ish let’s not go crazy) is coming!  Interesting is coming!

… soon as I wake up the dog…..

Super Simple Craft Show Display Stand

Simple Craft Show DisplayI know some of you long-time readers saw the title of this post and said to yourselves “OK,  nutjob, that’s it.  It’s time to stage an intervention.”

And while it’s true that I’m sort of addicted to making craft show displays I can totally justify this one (and I can stop anytime I want to!).

See, here’s the deal.

I’ve tried a bunch of different ways to display my candle blocks:Candle Block DisplayHalloween Candle Blocks by Cheltenham RoadDIY Product Display Towers for Cheltenham Road Unique LA Craft BoothEach has worked out just fine at the shows and I’ve used and re-used them.

However each has also posed a transport and storage problem.

As you know due to the size of my car (Honda Fit) all my stuff needs to be as compact as possible.  My goal is to have everything fit neatly into boxes so that loading/unloading the car is simple.   I needed (see! it was a NEED!!!) a new display that was compact to transport, sturdy, versatile and easy to set up.

I’ve seen great, beautifully made, collapsible display  stands on Etsy but I just couldn’t afford them.

I was getting ready for the Jackalope Show when I had a brainstorm for a simple, compact, pack-able option.

It came together very quickly, it’s sort of embarrassingly simple (I hesitated to post about it because it’s so…..basic) but I think it will serve me well and variations of it would serve others well too.

I used:

  • 4×4 pine post lumber
  • 1×4 pine strips
  • Tite Bond Wood Glue (and clamps)
  • White paint
  • Teacher’s Tape

I cut my 4×4  lumber down into two  4×4 blocks and two 4×8 blocks.Easy DIY Craft Show DisplayTo make the base gs sturdy I just glued the blocks together (using clamps to hold them in place as the glue dried) and then I painted them white (not very well I’ll admit – I was in a hurry and “rustic” was kind of what I was going for).DIY Craft Show Display StandAnd with two more more 1x4s cut to length and then paintedSuper Easy Craft Show Display Stand

I was, essentially, done.Easy to make DIY Display for Craft Shows by Cheltenham Road

I wanted it to be easy to set up and take down but I also wanted to make sure it didn’t come apart if a customer jostled it or something.

Have you heard of Teacher’s Tape?  0012670_removable-teachers-tape-roll-of-2000It’s my big craft-show lifesaver – I never do a show without a big supply on hand.  It’s inexpensive and super strong but also easily removable.  It’s great for sticking up signs or, as as I did here, just adding that little extra grip that will prevent the stand from coming apart until I’m ready to pack it up.  To pieces on the bottom of each end of the the shelves and that sucker isn’t going anywhere.Simple Display Stand for Craft Shows by Cheltenham Road

The display worked out greatEasy to make, portable, Craft Show Display Stand tutorial by Cheltenham RoadIt only takes seconds to set it up and it’s sturdy.   Easy, Portable, Versatile Craft Show Display Project by Cheltenham Road

It’s versatile enough that if I need it to be longer someday I can just cut some longer.

And, best of all, the whole thing breaks down and fits neatly in a box for transport and storage.

I’m looking forward to using it again at the upcoming Patchwork Show in Long BeachPatchwork Long Beach Craft Show

If you’re local please do come out and see me (and see my display in action!).

Jackalope Show Pasadena, New Products, New Booth Set Up and an Unpleasant Search

Yesterday was the first day of the big Jackalope Fair in downtown Pasadena.

Now, you may think that since I did a big build up for the show in Santa Monica but sold almost nothing that I would just cruise into the prep for this one.

And if you think that, then…..

You must be new here!

Welcome to Cheltenham Road – thanks for dropping by.

Nope, I went into full Captain Crazy Pants mode and made a bunch of new stuff!

I had a brainstorm for a new set of Wine Charms – The Femme Fatales of pulp fiction booksPulp Fiction Wine Charm Set

And, of course, there is one for the Designated DriverWine Charm Set by Cheltenham Road

I also thought it would be good to work up some Local Love coasters, for the Pasadena CrowdPasadena CA Coaster set by Cheltenham Road

And a Pasadena themed Subway Art SignSubway Art Sign Pasadena CA by Cheltenham Road

I continued to work on those terra cotta coasters and found some new designs using oil can graphics and, of course, dairy labels (more on those in a second).

And then I geeked out on booth set up – you can skip this part if it isn’t your thing.

I have to confess I’m a bit embarrassed that I keep doing this.  I mean, of course, you have to make adjustments as you go but at this point I really should have maybe two standard booth layouts that I just trot out.  But I keep getting new ideas – or refining old ideas and I just can’t keep from tinkering.

This time I wanted to play with an arrangement of tables that would give maximum surface space but take up minimum room.

I worked on a dummy version in the drivewayTiered Table Arrangement for Cheltenham Road Craft Booth

The different table heights let me fit a bit more product on there but keep the footprint small.

I was pretty happy with the real thing yesterday (sorry – this is A: not quite totally done and B: a phone photo – but you get the idea).Cheltenham Road Craft Booth

And it seemed to work well (I even remembered my banner! which I had made about two years ago but have forgotten to bring pretty much every time).

I mean, it’s a bit busy -one day my booth is going to trigger a seizure in some poor, unsuspecting customer- but it’s closer to what I want.

Also, due to technical difficulties I had to re-order how I usually set up the coaster and HOME sign boards but I like it a lot.Craft booth set up for Cheltenham Road It’s usually the two coaster boards next to each other and then the HOME Board.  The coasters always catch people’s eyes but this set up makes them see the HOME signs too and pulls them into the booth a bit more.

As you can see in this pic I had the ceramic coasters up front and A LOT of people exclaimed “ash trays!” which had never crossed my mind.  Talk about retro!  Of course, I could probably totally corner that market since I don’t think anyone makes ashtrays anymore…….

So, I’m happy to report that the first day of Jackalope was great.  Weather was perfect, crowds were good and I’m looking forward to going back this morning for Day 2!

After that I will take a long – long nap on Monday and then pull everything out of the garage because….something has died in there. Unfortunately that’s not a euphemism for my disorganization.  Some small critter has actually expired and I can’t find it.  It’s either in a wall or underneath and behind some pile of boxes.  Ugh!

I’ll share pictures when I find it!!!!! (just kidding)

Ah the fun of living out in the country in the heart of a city.

Christmas Kicked my Butt 2015! Now with Extra Butt Kickiness!

It’s that time of year when most blogs are doing their “Top 10 Posts of 2015!”

Here at Cheltenham Road the tradition is to review how Christmas kicked my butt.

I think that pretty much sums it up.

In truth, this year I had a pretty great holiday season (sorry).

I didn’t even injure myself in any serious way!

There were juuuuust a few hiccups however, and the major one wasn’t really my fault!

I’ll start with the minor hiccups.

I arrived at the Long Beach Patchwork show without……tables! I had managed to remember everything else, down to tiny slips of paper but forgot the tables that everything was supposed to go on.

OK, fine.  Got through that.

All looked good for the Santa Ana Patchwork show Thanksgiving weekend.

I had a new booth set up that opened on both ends.

So one side could attract customers with Christmas stuff and coastersPatchwork Santa Ana Booth 2015

and the other had Patent signs, Wine Charms and knobs.Santa Ana Patchwork 2015 Patent Sign Display

In the middle there were trays!

Isn’t that kind of a fun way to display them?  Tied to that grid?Patchwork Santa Ana Tray Display 2015

You know what would have been more fun?

If I had remembered to bring the metal shelves that hook onto that grid.senility

The very next weekend was Unique LA. I had big plans! A whole new booth set up. New products! And, of course, four days to make all the restock of things that had sold in Santa Ana along with filling various store orders.

No prob!!!!

One prob!!!!

You see, in an attempt to be professional and relieve some stress I had hired someone to make the blanks for my HOME signs and candle blocks.

I was very grown-up about it. I did interviews and had the candidates make samples so I could check out their work.

One gentleman stood out. He was into the idea, his work was really good AND he looked a bit like Santa Claus. Awesome!

My first sort of “sample” order with him went really well. So I reordered and explained this was for the big holiday rush – my busiest time. He said he understood, took my deposit and all was good!

I took orders, planned and launched on new ideas and generally felt like the Crafting Magnate that I knew I could be.

On delivery day (shortly before Thanksgiving) he texted to ask if he could deliver the next day. I said “fine.”

The next day, around 11AM I texted to see when he was coming.

He texted: “the blocks are all done.”

I said “and the 24 HOME signs?” (that were due in stores in the next couple of days)…..

…..and that was the last I heard from him. He never again responded to texts, emails or phone calls and never delivered anything.

This created a bit of Dominos of Disaster effect. Suddenly, rather than doing what I’d planned to do I was scrambling to make 100 blocks and HOME signs.

Some of the stores got shorted on their orders.

New things that I wanted to roll out for Christmas just plain didn’t get made.

My new and improved booth plan for Unique LA got a bit watered down and I began a very long journey of three straight weeks of 18 hour days (and also a running inner monologue of yelling at my faux Santa Claus) .


The store owners were awesome (I really am lucky to be working with these people).

Unique LA went well and my booth, although not quite what I’d imagined, looked pretty good.

I created a center table and a little cash desk and a new display wall across the back.  Sales were solid and people seemed happy.Unique LA booth Xmas 2015Craft Show Display Cheltenham Road Unique LA 2015

I got all my Etsy orders out in time!Christmas Delivery

And collapsed on Christmas Eve.

And what have I learned?checklist

I do want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you for hanging in there with me on my sporadic blogging journey and for all the awesome notes, comments and suggestions. Unless you blog you have no idea just how much all that means to a guy and I am so very appreciative.

Happy New Year to all of you!


Boo! Halloween in August

Cheltenham Road Scare LA BoothWhew!

Made it through Scare LA and had a great weekend (except for, um…. breaking my toe. Because I think we can all agree I needed a new extremity to smack into things. Bashing one’s head is sooooo 2014).

And now, NOW I’m totally psyched for Halloween!…

In August…..

Which seems a bit early frankly.

I have several project I want to share but….

Would you look at them and think, “interesting but I’m not ready to think Halloween yet David?”

I wouldn’t blame you.

I wasn’t ready either. The show forced me.

I very much appreciated all your insights about the Glowing Eyes Candle holders (I get it! No glitter! What can I say? I was going through an experimental phase!”) – thank you very much!

And after some more toying around (paper, paint technique and color) they really worked out well.

They look suitably Victorian and grim in regular lightHaunted Halloween Candle Holders by Cheltenham Roadand suitably creepy in dim light!Glowing Eyes Candle Holder for HalloweenI can so see these in rows along a mantle or clustered on a table at some really cool Halloween party.Glowing Eyes Candle Holders for Halloween by Cheltenham RoadOne of my customers said she was going to leave it in her bathroom to freak out her guests. Glowing Eyes Candle Holders for Halloween by Cheltenham RoadAnd, best of all, they sold out at the show!

Happily, I took pics along the way for a tutorial but…..too early?

I also worked up some new displays.

The tea light holders got a new little cubbyhole display.Halloween Candle Blocks by Cheltenham Road

OK there are a few finishing touches for it that I ran out of time to complete such as, you know, a back……but I’ll get it done!

And this… whatever it is….mail sorter? from MichaelsGalvanized Metal and Wood Mail sorter

was easy to change over into a display for my magnets and labels with a little paint and some hinges.Magnet and Label Display Rack by Cheltenham Road

So it’s all “on deck” so- to- speak. And my brain is stuck in Halloween mode and new ideas are coming.

But it’s August!

Hanging Wall for Craft Show Display….the saga continues

I’m not entirely sure when I ceased to be aware of where my head was in relation to other solid objects.

I don’t recall a childhood filled with embarrassing encounters with monkey bars, desks and other seemingly very avoidable obstacles.  (of course “not remembering” could be the first sign of the problem I guess)

But it has become an……issue.  Which brings me to my latest craft show display idea.  Or rather a revision of an older idea.

You may recall that, a while ago, I came up with this plan that allowed me to display my subway signs by hanging them across the top of the tent.Easy to Make Craft Show Display It looked great!

It worked great!

I smacked my head on it!


I would say to myself “there’s that thing there don’t hit your head on it” and promptly hit my head on it.

I think we can all agree that nothing says “trust my skills and craftsmanship” like greeting your customers with a trickle of blood rolling down you face having just run into your own display.

Sooooooo a change was needed.

(Also I discovered that while it was great it was also a bit long to fit easily in the Fit)

This time around I wanted to display my new, large, Patent Image signs but I also wanted to survive the experience. So, out came the saw and a redesign.

The goal was smaller pieces that would fit in the car and could also be put together in various combinations.

I cut the slats shorter to make a 3′ squareEasy Craft Show Display Cheltenham Roadand, as before, used hook and eye connections to hang them from both the tent and each other.Craft Show Display Wall Cheltenham Road

It worked pefectly!

They are easy to fit in the car and can either be 6 ft. tall or separated into 3′ long pieces.  Craft Show Display Cheltenham Road Project

But best of all they create a very solid looking wall of stuff. No one could possibly run into it.


OK, I ran into it.

But just with my shoulder! That’s totally different! (It sounded like the world’s worst designed wind chimes – all clanking wood). Didn’t hurt! Didn’t break (me or the product)!

Craft. Show. Display. Nirvana!


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