Making a Craft Show Display

How do I display my products at a show?

This is probably one of the most asked questions. It’s one I have been asking myself plenty of times.
While there are plenty of displays out there if you make a more “traditional” product (finished jewellery, cards.) the options are more limited for other types of arts and crafts.
For years I have sworn by my really useful box trays. I still do, they are, as the name suggests, really useful. But on a stall they can look a little bland, or your item can get lost in them.

Custom shelf displays

Craft shelf displayThese are one of my better ideas. So I thought I would share with you the process for making them.
1. You will need
– A3 Card (210gsm)
– 9×12″ Stretched Canvas
– Pine Decorative profile moulding
– Scissors
– PVA Glue
– Ruler
– A3 Printer (optional)
I mention that the printer is optional because if it isn’t possible for you to print on A3 card or you just want an un-branded display you may want to skip parts 2 and 3.
2,3. Designing your backing and faceplate
I use Photoshop but any image editor will do the job. I’m using a landscape A3 format. Depending on your canvas the measurements will be slightly different so I will omit them but measure the inside of the back of the canvas to determine how large you need the backing section. Align this to the middle of the document and add in any branding you wish. Make sure you add lines in for cut and fold guides that extend to the edge of the document and around the edge of the backing section. It’s best to do these in colours that match your branding.
Next measure the width of the wooden frame on your canvas and on a new layer in the same document add guides from the edge of your backing lines to the width of the frame. This section will become the face plate. Again add in any branding you desire and add cut lines.
You will need to print the two layers separately.
If you aren’t printing grab a ruler and a pencil and mark out your cut lines manually.
4. Cut out the printed sections
Fairly self-explanatory cut the four corners out of the backing card and cut the centre and the edges off the faceplate.
5. Fold the backing card
Use the ruler and make a slight fold along each of the lines around the backing card.
6. Insert the backing card
Line the backing card inside the canvas, use the edge of the ruler to press in the edges and make the final creases so the folded edges stand upright. Then fold the excess over the wooden frame. Trim so there is an overlap on the frame and secure down.
To secure the flaps I originally used the PVA though I found opening up a stapler and stapling it down a much faster approach as you don’t have to wait for this section to dry. The choice is yours. Though I don’t recommend double-sided sticky tape, it doesn’t seem to be strong enough.
7. Glue on the face plate
Spread PVA over the wooden frame of the canvas, take your faceplate and line it up over the frame. Turn it upside down and apply some weight until the glue is fully set.
8. Add the bottom shelf
Cut a length of the moulding to fit inside the frame of the canvas. Use PVA to glue it to the card that is against the wooden frame, allow to dry.
9. Add other shelves
Cut additional lengths of moulding for the number of shelves you require (I have 2 further shelves) and two 0.75cm lengths of moulding per shelf. Fix the smaller sections of moulding as supports for the shelves into the sides at the distance you need (6cm gives three shelves equal distance apart.)allow the supports to dry before securing the lengths of moulding for the shelves to them.

Other options

These really work for me because I mount my products on 5x5cm cards. The moulding provides a groove for the card to rest in.
You can get deeper framed canvases and wider moulding if you want a deeper shelf and there are plenty of options for shape of the moulding. Larger canvases mean you can fit in more shelves, or have more clearance between shelves.
I am currently making another variation for charm beads where instead of a shelf there is a plastic rod that the beads can be slotted onto.
If you go larger, you will need larger card and unless you happen to own a print shop you may want to look into a stencil or ordering decals for any branding.
Have fun with it, experiment, try other variations to best suit your product type.

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