How to: Building a Booth Display

A while back I posted a few pictures on instagram about my new wooden booth displays and I've had several question about how I did it.

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So I thought I'd do a blog post on it and share my process.  Let me start by saying that this isn't really a tutorial and I'm not great about giving exact details, dimensions, etc...but I took a few pictures as I built them so I'll at least share those and you can pretty much get the idea.

I scoured pinterest for a while searching for exactly what I wanted.  I was so tired of boring old clothing racks.  And I have those metal gridwalls that you see above but I wanted to be able to use those for hanging pictures and not just clothes.  Basically I wanted my booth to look a little cooler and have a touch of an urban or industrial vibe.  I saw a few pictures on pinterest using crates and some using industrial looking piping.  I liked the look of it and since I can't really "build" things with saws, wood, etc...I figured the crates would be a good option.

So...I made two racks...the bigger one that you see above and a smaller one that is below.  For the bigger one I used 6 extra large wooden crates that I ordered from home depot.  I believe the exact dimensions are 27 x 12.5 x 9.5.  The ones I ordered are not very sturdy.  Two of them had broken slats when they arrived.  But I got a refund and fixed the slats and used them anyway.  I also had to reinforce the wood with a thick wood block on the bottom inside of the two top crates to be able to screw in the bottom pipe.  For the smaller rack I used 7 regular sized crates that I also got at home depot and they seem to be much sturdier. 

To secure all of the crates together I attached latches on the sides in between each crate that can be hooked when the display is put together and then unhooked easily when you need to break it down and transport it.  Here is a picture of the latches I used:

I had galvanized piping cut to size at home depot to create the racks to hang the clothing on.  Below are pictures of the different fitting that I used to put all the piping together..

Overall it was a pretty easy build.  Here are some pictures of the crates in my back yard during the spray painting process:

And a few more pictures of the racks in use...unfortunately I don't have a good one of the smaller one:

I've now used them for several shows and there are for sure some pros and cons.  I'll start with cons.....

1) the larger one is not very sturdy.  For indoor shows it's okay but for outdoor shows if there is any bit of wind it will sway a bit which is worrisome. As you can see in the above picture we remedied this by securing it with rope to the tent frame.

2) Even though these displays break down easily and transport easily, they take up a lot of room in my car.  There are so many and you can kind of stack them up easily but they still end up taking up a ton of room.  I can put some stuff in them to transport so that's a little helpful.

Now for the pros:

1) The main one is that they are super cool looking.  I can't tell you how many compliments I get about them.  They really do add that little bit of an industrial urban vibe that I was going for.

2) For display purposes they really do hold a lot of stuff.  Both hanging clothes and then the shelving for folded things.  And as you can see in the pictures the bottom racks are all turned around so I can hide my personal belongings behind there.

3) They break down really easily and are very easy to put together.  And even though they take up a ton of room in my car they transport easily.

So now after doing several shows this summer with my current set up, I have some goals and ideas to make my booth even better and to simplify the set up and break down process.  Now I want to replace those big metal gridwalls because they are a giant pain to transport!  I have a few ideas spinning in my head so as soon as I have it all figured out, I'll be sure to share!