Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuestorial: Display Case

So, I have a few (or more) crafty things I like to collect. Most of them I want to organize and display, but a small apartment limits this. After researching everything from nail polish racks to shadow boxes, I decided my best course of action would be to make my own. I was inspired by a recent trip to Goodwill and hope this project inspires you to make yours too!

Materials Needed:
  • tray (make sure it fits on the wall space you want to place it on)
  • small pieces of wood to use as shelves (I used yard sticks from the local hardware store)
  • pencil or pen
  • paint of your choice (spray paint is the easiest and fastest!)
  • paint brush (if not using spray paint)
  • sandpaper (optional, depending on the material of your tray)
  • wood glue (I used Gorilla Glue)
  • saw or scrap knife to cut thin wood with
  • binder clips
  • level
  • 4 long screws
  • screwdriver drill

Step 1:

Going to town with gold paint!
Prep your tray for painting. If your tray has varnish or a top layer of coating, use sandpaper all over so your paint will stick. Wipe down with a damp washcloth to clean. Now you are ready to paint! If you are using acrylic paint like me, lay down some newspaper (OK, I used bubble wrap cause it's all I had on hand), get your paint brush and go to town. If you are using spray paint, give it a nice coating outside and let dry. You will probably need at least two coats of paint for good coverage.

Step 2:

Once your paint is dry and you have a nice coating, take your wood pieces, a pencil or pen for marking and saw or sharp knife (I used a serrated knife since I didn’t have a saw). I went to my local hardware store and found wood yard sticks to use as my shelves. They were a $1 each and the best material I found at a city hardware store. Since they are about an inch tall and one of my trays is deeper, I will be gluing two together to make a deeper shelf. Go with whatever you have available!

Before cutting your wood, decide how you would like to layout your shelves. On the tray pictured right, I measured how tall I would like to have each shelf and did standard shelves across. On the tray on the left, I wanted a more interesting layout so I played with laying the shelves different directions.

Once you have your layout decided, measure your piece of wood and cut.

Step 3:

The magic of making shelves
Once all your wood pieces are cut, glue together pieces that need it. On some shelves, I needed to double the width to fit the deeper tray. Some shelves needed more length to fit and since I wanted to use all of my yard stick wood, I pieced them together to fit. You also might want to cover the handles on the side of the tray (I did not do this for one tray since I knew the pieces would not fall out on the side). I used leftover pieces of the yard stick to fit over these holes.

Once the glue is dry, paint the shelves to match the tray. I did two thick coats of paint since I needed to cover the numbers and red lettering from the yard stick. I did not need to sandpaper since there was no coating on these.

Step 4:

Once your paint is dry, it’s time to build (finally!). Apply glue to the edges of your shelves and place on your tray. I used binder clips to hold the shelves in place while they dried. Since binder clips are smaller, they were easier to work with. Also apply wood pieces to the handles on the side if you are doing this.

You will probably need to adjust and measure while you glue to make sure the shelves are level and fit correctly. Also, be sure to check on your shelves as they are drying to make sure they didn’t move or fall over.

Step 5:

Drill, baby, drill!
After a few hours, your shelves should be dry and ready to use! If you need to do any paint touch-ups, do this now.

Take 4 screws and your drill. One of my trays was actually a lap tray so there were legs folded underneath that I decided not to remove. I didn’t want the screws to hit them when I drilled so I marked where my screws should go. Before I screwed it to the wall, I drilled the screws slightly in to make it easier.

Place your finished tray on your wall with a level on top. Once it looks level, drill into the wall.

Step 6:

Once it’s on your wall and secure, it’s time for the fun part. Place your items on your shelves and admire. It’s pretty! It’s organized! Now you can see all the items in your collection and enjoy.  

Glitter heaven
Random stamps to look at all day

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Chelc said...

Those came out great! You could add skinny dowels across the lower portion of each shelf to keep things like the glitter bottles from falling out too. Great idea!

Troy Stengel said...

Great idea!

Lisa Spinella said...

Oh.. Now I want more stamps!
How great is this!

Frances Marin said...

That's such a great idea! I've built some shelves before, but not quite like this!

ChunkyPineapple said...

That's A LOT of glitter you have there. This is a great idea. I need to think about building a decent looking display case for cards that I can take to shows.

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