Sunday, August 22, 2010

Second Saturday Display Ideas

Testing the setup at home
If you’re considering beginning to sell at Second Saturday Sacramento, you may be thinking "darn, if only I had a display booth that was cheap to make and quick to set up and tear down, yet small enough to fit in my car!" Well, no fear, fellow Etsians- I’ve converted this how-to write up I made awhile ago to this handy blog post. The following is a suggestion for creating a display that’s easy to make, take and adjust with bolts and pegboard. (Please forgive the poor quality photos. :)

Cost: About $40-$45 for the basics

Tools you will need:
-Small drill bit/drill to pre-drill screw/nail holes
-Screwdriver/hammer (I suggest a motorized/power one as opposed to standard)

Materials you will need:
-2 or more panels of pegboard [Home Depot sells these in four foot tall by 2 foot wide pre-cut panels in plain, white and silver]
-(2) 1 inch square by 4 foot tall wooden "dowels" per pegboard panel
-At least 2 small hinges per set of 2 pegboards
-1/4" bolts and nuts

Home Depot sells pegboard and these square "dowels" (I don't know what to call them, but they are squared off and not rounded) in four foot lengths in the wood section, so no cutting is necessary, and four feet will fit in the back of most sedans. Pegboard can be flimsy, so the majority of the work here is taking these "dowels" and screwing/nailing them onto the back edge of each tall side of the pegboard for stability.

Find fun ways to display your items that will add height to tabletops.
I bought a small drillbit and pre-drilled the holes because I didn't want to crack the dowel. I actually ended up using these ribbed nails that hold better than regular ones because I already had them. You can use screws or nails (as long as they are not too long and won't go through the one inch dowel) and even glue the dowel in place first if you have some c-clamps. I nailed it in every few pegholes or so, with the nail head on the presentation side. Make sure the dowels are as close to the edge of the board as possible and straight, because when you put your hinges on, you will be affixing them to the dowel wood. Put the dowels on what you want the "back" of your display to be. (For example, I bought the silver painted pegboard, so I put the dowels on the non-silver side)

I mainly use my displays for canvases.
Once your panels are fortified with the dowels, you can connect them with the hinges. I suggest buying thin hinges and they are cheaper in packs, plus they come with the screws. You can use two or three (I used two) to connect two fortified pegboard panels. Check the way the hinge moves before attaching them. The hinge will close flat in one direction and then open to an angle in the other direction. You want the faces of your pegboard panel "sandwich" to meet flat so that it's easier to store and set up/take down, so make sure you are putting the hinges on so that they close the right way.

You can connect 2, 3, 4 or more panels this way. I used four panels, then connected them in pairs so that I could take them apart and make them easier to carry. (You may get crappy parking and need to walk a long way.) When affixing the hinges, trace them onto the wooden dowels first, including where the holes are, and preferably pre-drill the holes with your small bit again to avoid cracking the dowels. The round pin part of the hinge should rest in a small space between the panels as you put them together. Your "booth" should stand on its own when at least two panels are hinged. It will be sturdy when open as long as it's on semi- level ground.

Now, I don't suggest buying tons of the pegboard hooks specifically made for that because they are expensive. I bought 1/4" by 1 1/2" inch bolts. The 1/4 inch bolt should fit through the pegholes perfectly (either by twisting in or just pushing it through with a bit of force). The bolts will droop, however, so you can either use a washer/ nut system or just two nuts (putting one on the bolt first, all the way down, then pushing it through the pegboard hole, then putting another nut on and tightening to keep it straight), depending on what you are displaying. These are quick and easy to use, and cheap if you get them by the box/bag. And since bolts have a head, you can also display items on the rear of your display.

Coincidentally, the 1/4" measurement is also what a standard hole punch uses, so those of you with tags or jewelry, this is an easy way to make your items fit nicely and orderly onto the bolts.

Easy display with a hole punch and bolts.
Use business cards instead of blank tags!
Bear in mind that most people do not want to bend way down to look at stuff. A small table (like a tv tray- $9.99 for a nice wood one at Walmart) can be placed in your 90 degree angle of pegboard display, and you can place items that need to lay flat on it. You can also get a table runner or tablecloth or make one and put that over the table for added display panache. This will also allow you to potentially put boxes under the table while hidden by the cloth.

Set it up at home with your items before you head out into the world to make sure you can fit what you want. Make sure you can put your most eye-catching goods at eye-level so people will want to walk closer. Make sure you have places to display pricing or other signs. Walk back and forth as you look at your display- people will be coming from both directions and you don't want to miss any opportunities. You can even leave the bolts in if you want to save yourself some setup time, just be aware that they could scratch painted pegboard if you handle them roughly.

Remember that since this happens between 6-10 pm, it is DARK most of the time. Home Depot also sells battery operated lights (flourescent tubes and room-style emergency ones). The fluorescent tubes are $10- $14 each depending on the length you want and even have sticky backing plus nail holes. They could easily be added to the top of your pegboard display to provide some night light. A larger, room-light (also around $10) like people have in their emergency kits can be placed on the ground and pointed at your display as well.


I displayed bracelets for sale on this cool vintage wood shoulder-press thing, and made a display for rings by gluing felt to dowels in the top of a shoebox. I've seen the fun and interesting setups of several team members- if anyone else has any suggestions, feel free to share them in the comments! Happy selling!


Betty Atkins Dominguez said...

fantastic how-to

barbaraK said...

I found this easy and with delicious varieties. Last time I made it my husband came into the kitchen and said, “Oh GOOD!” There’s no higher praise than that. Have to try another delicious and popular recipe ideal for nearly any occasion –…Best of all it’s easy to prepare!

Glass Mermaid said...

I love this idea. I use peg board in my studio, and I never thought of taking it on the road! Makes alot of sense :)

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