I got my copper jewelry in to a new store (yay!) and I needed to build a display. I just happened to get all this great cardboard for free recently and I just had to use it. I usually start with wooden panels, but this time I figured I have to experiment with the cardboard to see how it would work.
First I needed a base, I figured I would attempt to build my first simple table (!). That would be a blog post of its own…but I managed to put it together using a 2×3 stud for legs and a ready made top panel. I cut the legs with a handsaw and bought the hardware to attach them (hanger bolts, square plates). I can tell you there’s a bit more skill involved that you would think just making the legs. There are tricks to get the hanger bolts in the wood and it is not easy to saw totally straight pieces from the post, no matter how much you measure! Sure, if you have experience with woodworking, but I’m just a total beginner. (more in the tips and tricks at the end) Don’t let it intimidate you though, you can redo…and even if the legs are a bit crooked your base will still stand. You need to have two extra bolts that fit the hanger bolt that you tighten against each other to be able to screw them into the wood. (I call it the “two bolt twist and samba” – essentially you need something for your wrench to hang on to, this would be in the “tips and tricks of general woodworking” manual, I guess!)
Now how to attach a panel to this base that would be against the wall? I cut a 20×30 piece of the cardboard and covered it with burlap using carpenters glue in the front and hot glue in the back. Then I had to think a bit how to attach it to the table – I had l-shaped brackets around so I decided to use that. I needed something “woody” to support the panel and sturdy enough to put a screw in for the bracket. So, I glued a narrow piece of wood in the back (Something 1 1/2″ wide I had trash picked…) One piece across the whole panel and then a short piece down to the bottom. I also screwed the short piece to the long piece just to make it sturdier. This actually worked pretty good! The bracket just happened to be a good size and the panel would actually sit straight on it even before I screwed it on.Then I wanted a panel that would hang on the wall, the base was 26″, the back panel 20″ so I was up to 46″ from the ground. Still good room for something at the eye level. I cut a 30×15 piece of the cardboard and covered that with burlap. I wanted a pocket for postcards so I finished the edges of a piece of burlap with my sewing machine and hot glued it in. Hey, nice pocket! How to attach hooks was the next question, this one had no wood in the back so you couldn’t screw them in a tap in nails. I decided to experiment with making wooden little posts out of a thin dowel and glue them in. (Cut them with snippers and sanded the ends a little) They actually seem pretty sturdy!
I wanted to try making my own display necks to attach to the panel. I cut them out from a thinner cardboard and covered with burlap. I decided to use velcro to attach them to the panel. I had adhesive velcro, but the glue on it was not sturdy enough – I ended up pulling the piece off the panel if I tried to remove the neck. So, I sewed them in by hand to the panel – it was hard to get the needle through it in parts where there was glue underneath! (You could just hot glue them in.)
So far so good! After I delivered it to its final destination I realized I do need something to balance the wall display with. It can be tippy unless you have a way to secure the bottom corners to the wall.
TIPS and TRICKS:
- Use round legs – it’s tricky to get rectangular legs to align. I found that using the leg plates is not that straight forward – my legs kept spinning around and you would have to keep tightening them. I ended up reattaching the plates several times.
- If you want straight legs, pay a lot of attention while putting the hanger bolts in and that they are straight (and cut straight legs!)
- You are going to need some “real” tools – power drill, ratchet to attach the legs (I have discovered the reverse button on a drill – it’s awesome!)
- Smooth your hot glue with a piece of wood or plastic – prevents hard bumps on your gluing and burned fingers