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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).


Portable Wall for Craft Show Display

Portable Wall for Craft Show Display

As I returned home from loading in for Unique LA last Friday I found myself happily thinking “wow – it’s all loaded in!  Booth looks good, most of my work is done AND I haven’t hit my head on anything like I usually do before a big show! Read the rest of this entry

Craft Booth Set Up For the Little French Market

Craft Booth Set Up For the Little French Market


I left the corporate world for the bucolic life of a crafter.

So how is that I am currently sitting in an airport with my laptop desperately trying to catch up on work during a layover?

I have to confess what I imagined life would be like as my own boss is very different from the reality.  There are times when I think my boss is out to get me. Read the rest of this entry

Another Easy DIY Craft Show Display

Another Easy DIY Craft Show Display

I woke up late and tired yesterday because all my dreams had been about not being able to fall asleep.  Does dreaming about not falling asleep qualify as ironic?  (Alanis Morrisette has screwed me up on how to actually use that word).

However, often in that not awake/not asleep state I get good ideas for projects and even though I couldn’t tell what was true or not I did have a brainstorm about making a display. Read the rest of this entry

Storage Wars

OK, I realize it’s Wednesday but I had to talk briefly about my weekend.  It was one of those where you get a million things done but don’t feel like you’re running around like a crazy person.  Do you have those?

This is seldom how my life goes and I wish I could figure out how to make it like this all the time.  I kept doing stuff and looking at the clock and thinking “how can it be only 2:00?  This is awesome!”

Actually, I had to get a lot done because the really terrific people that run Angelo Home ordered 50 of my candle blocks…..and they wanted new designs. Retro Wallpaper Tea Light Holder for CoOp 28 Vintage Wallpaper Candle HoldersI  had a lot of fun putting all these together.  Let’s hope they like them.

Retro Metro Subway Art Candle HolderBut the title of this post is Storage Wars and I wanted to share my new favorite storage boxes (perhaps not the most scintillating blog post idea I’ve had but I hope it’s useful)

I’ve been on some kind of personal quest for the Perfect Storage Box for quite a while.   I needed durable, versatile boxes that could hold a lot, travel easily and use space wisely.  For years I’ve made due with a kind of hodge podge of unsatisfying boxes but I have found…..THE ONE!

They are called Really Useful Boxes and here is why I love them.Wide Range of Really Useful Boxes

  • They come in a bunch of sizes.
  • They are super sturdy.
  • They lock tightly, stack securely and…..

They don’t slope on the sides!!!!11 ltr Really Useful Box

When packing for a craft show I always got so annoyed with the sloping sides of other boxes.  It wastes space and,because they are wider at the top than at the bottom, I’m forced to layer different things together in each box so I’m always digging through boxes looking for things.21 ltr Really Useful Box with trayAlso, with my small Honda Fit where packing space is at a premium these guys fit neatly next to each other – once again no wasted space.

As an added bonus I like things that pull double duty.   So, since they boxes lock together pretty snugly when stacked, once I’ve emptied them of their contents they work beautifully as the riser supports on a craft show table.Storage Boxes as Craft Table DisplayCraft Show Table set up with levelsPlus the company recycles and the boxes are recyclable.

I confess I went a little berserk and bought, like, a million of them in different sizes.

I will now always be completely together, organized and calm!

I found the best selection at Office Depot (they have buy two get one free sales on them) but they are available all over the place or via the web site.

No, I am not being compensated for this praise-singing.  Just wanted to share a useful product.

Easy Craft Show Display Tower Tutorial and an Upsetting Personal Realization

I’ve had a few questions about my new craft show display tower thingys.  So I created a tutorial…. and had an upsetting personal revelation.

These are not complicated (or revolutionary) designs but they are versatile and I  think they could be adapted by anyone for their own needs.

If you want to be exactly like me (and, according to my mother, everyone does!) here is the first step

Step 1:

Carefully measure the cargo capacity of your Honda Fit – take note of height and depth of storage

Step 2

Totally ignore those measurements and make something that doesn’t fit.

Curse….A lot.

Step 3

Find yourself wondering if, maybe, David Bull (1st grade frenemy) wasn’t correct when he said that you were “dumb and your mother dresses you funny.”

Turn to photo archives for solace and make upsetting discovery.

Step 4

Suck it up and try again

Gather Supplies!

Gather your materials – my displays are 6’6” tall and the measurements reflect that but you could make them any size

You will need:

  • Two pieces of 2”x2” pine lumber cut to 78” each (select carefully make sure they are as straight as possible).  Sanded smooth
  • Two pieces of 2”x2” lumber cut to 21” each.  Sanded smooth.
  • 1 piece of thin backing material (luann, melamine, it could be cardboard if you liked) cut to 68” high by 24” wide
  • Shoe Molding cut down to 1.5” pieces for shelf supports
  • Carpenters Glue
  • Screws
  • Paint (green – don’t even think about another color)
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Carpenters Square (optional)
  • Clamps (optional – not pictured)

Step 1 – Mark for Cross Pieces

I chose to give my display boards legs so, laying them next to each other, I marked each side 10” up from the bottom.

I then used the cross piece as a guide and marked that and put an X where I wanted to drill my pilot holes.

I repeated the process at the top of the frame as well and then drilled my pilot holes (pilot holes are key here to keep your wood from splitting when you insert the screw).

Step 2 – Mark and attach the shelf supports

Before I assembled the frame I wanted to get the shelf support in place – that way I knew the shelves would be level.So I carefully marked where I wanted each shelf and……went and had lunch and forgot to attach them.

 Later, when I realized this screw up, I found my thoughts returning to David Bull and his cruel taunts.

I tried to reassure myself that the first photo was an anomaly

It was not

I then called David Bull and apologized for thinking poorly of him all these years.

Step 3 – Assemble the Frame

When you’re working by yourself clamps are your friend (sounds sadder than I meant it to).  If you clamp them to a carpenters square you not only get a true 90 degree angle you leave your hands free to drill the screw into place.Repeat this on all four corners and you have this!

Step 3A Painting

Here is where my tutorial gets a little goofy.  It’s, like, 103 today and painting ain’t gonna happen.  But if it were, now is the time when you would paint the frame and the backboard (green!).

Step 4 Attach the Backboard

After the paint dries just a screw every foot or so will do just fine.And, voila!  You have this!(OK I am cheating – that’s a picture of my original displays– since the new one wasn’t painted I wanted to show you these.)

My goal was to make something versatile.  So, as you see I’ve attached the two of them with a piano hinge.  This allowed me to set them up in an accordian style for my Renegade booth as you can see here:For Unique LA they were set up as four sided towers and I connected them at the top with L brackets

They could also be hinged along the top rails to create an A Frame display.

I backed two of them with peg-board so I could hang my letters and magnets


You’re probably wondering why I haven’t talked about the shelves.

What I’ve learned and what I’ll do going forward

My original shelves were simply two thin strips of wood glued together at a right angle and paintedThey worked just fine and held the coasters in place when wind would kick up or during the occasional customer jostling but I decided that I’m going to retrofit them using something like thisIt’s hard to get a good picture of it but this is simply a strip of wood with a strip of plexiglass attached to it.  This keeps the items more visable and you can create a higher “retaining wall” so-to-speak.

The shelves are just glued in place onto the toe kick brackets.

I hope this is helpful and if I’ve left any steps out or been vague don’t hesitate to ask questions.

I’m very happy with the displays  and comforted by the fact that, though I may be dumb occasionally, I was not the only one my mother dressed funny.

Love you mom!

Unique LA Summer Show Follies

I needed a recovery day.

Unique LA was really awesome and just a weee bit exhausting.

Why would standing there selling things for two days be exhausting?” You may ask.

Well, it wasn’t the “standing there” part – it was the mad, crazy dash to get to the “standing there” part.

In my vast wisdom I decided that with two shows in a row, a huge wholesale order due and numerous Etsy orders due that  NOW would be the ideal time to create a totally new look!  Now would be the time to build new displays.  Now would be the time for new signs, new selling methods!

Now” also turned out to be the time to have a small, nervous breakdown.

The Friday before the show was filled with six, yes six, “last minute” trips to Home Depot.  I’m not sure how one can have six “last” trips….it seems like after the first last trip you’re into last trip overtime and a new phrase needs to be coined.

And Saturday, the day of the show, included yet another Home Depot trip

(I’m losing your sympathy aren’t I?  You’re thinking to yourself “dude, make a freakin’ list!”  I had lists!  I swear!  I just didn’t anticipate broken and/or missing drill bits, peg board holes that were a different size than all other peg board holes in the known universe and a sudden, distinct lack of glue among other things).

But everything got set up – more or less – and I was pleased…..more-or-less.

I had a primo corner spot right near the entrance and created two towers to display coasters, HOME signs and letters.

I know….  Green!  What a surprise that is for all of us.  Who could have foreseen this choice on my part?! (also they aren’t quite as GREEN!!!!! as they look in these pictures and the tablecloth in the back looks more matchy in reality.  Nor was the world slightly blurry that day)

They were also supposed to display magents!  If I hadn’t accidentally left them at home……..

I had a slightly modified display for coaster packs and candle blocks

And added a shelf for trays and such.

The folks attending were great (I even met a blog reader who stopped by to say “hi” – how cool is that?!).  I love that so many people are up for buying original designs made locally.

Sales were brisk – I actually sold out of several things on the first day.

Good problems!

Bad problems?

  • Coming up , on the second day with a nifty new way to display HOME signs that looked swell until they fell and I broke two letters.
  • Discovering that the subway signs were selling fast

and that people were waaay into the idea of customizing them.  So, in a true Wylie E. Coyote Super Genius moment I raced home Saturday night and came up with this!

And in an equally Wylie E Coyote move…..forgot to bring it with me on Sunday.

But, bottom line.  Sales were sold.  Lessons were learned and the hungry maw of Home Depot was fed.

And now it’s time for Renegade!

Mark your calendars!  Come on by!…….. See what I forget to bring! (we can totally turn this into a drinking game!)


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