Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Better Booth Display: DIY at Urban Ore

This is the first in a series of posts focused on helping you build a Better Booth Display.

Holiday show season is here! Part of preparing for the shows is coming up with ways to display your items. One must consider, table type, table covers, backdrops, signage, seating, displays, etc.- not to mention easy packing and keeping the weight light.

Hardware stores are fabulous places… but have you considered salvage yards and thrift stores? You can save a small fortune on base supplies and ‘ready to wear’ displays.

The other week I went to Urban Ore in Berkeley for inspiration. If you haven't been there yet, set aside a bunch of time- it's 3 acres of recycled goods!

I now take you on a photo tour of the nearly endless possibilities…

‘Ready to Wear’ Displays

Ok- maybe you aren’t so handy with tools or don’t have the space or the time to create your own. No worries! There are many ‘ready to wear’ displays available- baskets, glass/wooden/metal trays, shelves, glass front cabinets, window shutters, fireplace screens, mannequins, and even sections of actual retail display racks.

‘Some Assembly Required’ Displays
Have you ever thought about using an old wooden chair on top of the table for height? It’s an instant shelf and with some screws or hooks around the seat edges etc. you can hang plenty of items from it. How about using an old paned window with screws in the framing to hang items? Same thing goes for old cupboard doors and odd items like vintage washboards. How do you make them stand- screw a couple hinges between them to create a folding screen type of unit. Use old frames (you can even do a quick coat of paint) but use fabric or printed photos and some corkboard underneath it where the photo goes and create mini free-standing cork boards to pin your items to.

Seating, Lighting and Backdrops

Many salvage yards and thrift stores have tons of options here. You can find everything from retail and home lighting to room screens and folding chairs for you booth- even in painted colors! Maybe you aren’t into a rattan folding screen, but think of it spray painted apple green behind you with a sign hanging from it. It can help create a ‘booth’ feel even with just a table top display.

Raw Materials

Need height on your table- use old floor boards with old books or cement blocks between them. Want instant flat backgrounds under your items on the table- use old tile or mirrors.

Look For Inspiration

You can search online for inspiration on how to use these materials. Use a search engine or check out Flickr or other photo sharing websites for these keywords:

Salvage display
DIY Display
DIY Craft Display
Show Display
Craft Display
Booth Display
(enter items you show) Display – i.e. ‘Quilt Display”

A Final Note - Putting It All Together

You can have a very pulled together look even with salvaged items. Pick one or two materials and use only items with those materials. Example: Glass and Iron- You can use dark iron wire racks and towers for hanging and a mix of glass trays on the table. Even if the trays are different styles, if they are all glass they will look consistent.

Enjoy creating!
Tara Evans -Velvet Otterhound - online store - blog

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