DIY: Craft Fair Table Display

DIY: Craft Fair Table Display

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This summer I decided to make a table display that had shelves for my craft items to sit on, and that could fit inside the largest luggage allowed by airlines without penalty.  My other requirements were that they would make use of height, since I could be selling from a 4' table space, be clamped to the table to withstand wind, and to be made from materials I already had around the house.  I have gone through so many different displays and selling so many different kinds of crafts, that I didn't want to spend any more money on my next wacky idea.  And since we have been over twenty years in our house, there were a lot of odds and ends that I could use; much of the wood came from a torn down tree-house or remnants from fixing up the old garage.  For this job I needed a table saw, a miter saw, a sander, a drill press, and cordless drills; I had plenty of screws and nails from previous projects, and all of these things I had bought previously.  I don't come from a handy family, and often I don't know the names of things I need or use.  Thanks to YouTube and HGTV, I plunge ahead into my very amateur woodworking adventures.

I plotted out the size after measuring my large luggage case, and decided it could be 27" high and 20" wide, with removable leg stands for clamping to the table. There would be three shelves, and the topmost rung would hold other beads/finials/box toppers.  When you build your own display, you can design it to show off exactly what you make.  For example, I have another display from re-used materials for jewelry, and for that I have rungs that are just right for hanging 16" necklaces on one shelf and 18" necklaces on the one below.

I plotted out the size after measuring my large luggage case, and decided it could be 27" high and 20" wide, with removable leg stands for clamping to the table. There would be three shelves, and the topmost rung would hold other beads/finials/box toppers.  When you build your own display, you can design it to show off exactly what you make.  For example, I have another display from re-used materials for jewelry, and for that I have rungs that are just right for hanging 16" necklaces on one shelf and 18" necklaces on the one below.

Old wood that have been in the yard for 17 years.  Re-Use!  Holes and old paint just add interest!

Old wood that have been in the yard for 17 years.  Re-Use!  Holes and old paint just add interest!

Cutting up all the pieces.  And all my tools are cheap - I'm not making fine furniture, after all.

Cutting up all the pieces.  And all my tools are cheap - I'm not making fine furniture, after all.

Making the boxes for the leg stands

Making the boxes for the leg stands

The assembled leg stand

The assembled leg stand

Adding rims to the upper shelves

Adding rims to the upper shelves

Drilling holes on the top rung.  I will put cut pieces of brass wire to put in them to hold my toppers. 

Drilling holes on the top rung.  I will put cut pieces of brass wire to put in them to hold my toppers. 

Attaching the shelves to the standing legs; because the shelves will fold flat, a strip of wood on the back will keep it in place when folded out, and so the shelf back hangs a little farther out than the leg. 

Attaching the shelves to the standing legs; because the shelves will fold flat, a strip of wood on the back will keep it in place when folded out, and so the shelf back hangs a little farther out than the leg. 

The shelves are attached with screws or glass headed screws (that I'd made for an earlier display - one that failed to work as planned!)

The shelves are attached with screws or glass headed screws (that I'd made for an earlier display - one that failed to work as planned!)

I measured the shelves to open to 90 degrees from the legs

I measured the shelves to open to 90 degrees from the legs

And added stoppers underneath the shelves to keep them in place when in use

And added stoppers underneath the shelves to keep them in place when in use

A wooden strip across the back also keeps the shelf in place and keeps things from falling off.

A wooden strip across the back also keeps the shelf in place and keeps things from falling off.

It works!  I decided I didn't need any rims yet for the lowest shelf.  I may put something there later.  The two top shelves hold very light objects, so they can be on the thin side.

It works!  I decided I didn't need any rims yet for the lowest shelf.  I may put something there later.  The two top shelves hold very light objects, so they can be on the thin side.

I decided to paint the shelves as the different kinds of wood was distracting from my boxes.  Just with gesso I already had in stock.  Note - sometimes I used my glass beads as shelf stoppers!

I decided to paint the shelves as the different kinds of wood was distracting from my boxes.  Just with gesso I already had in stock.  Note - sometimes I used my glass beads as shelf stoppers!

The legs were wobbly in the leg stands.  Amateur woodworker me had measured incorrectly and left too much room in them!  But I wanted to be able to make each display moveable on its own anyway, so I lampworked glass fins onto some wood screws, drilled holes into the backs of the leg stands, and used the finned screws to keep the legs in place and steady.  Fins are better than round knobs - they give you a better grip for turning.

The legs were wobbly in the leg stands.  Amateur woodworker me had measured incorrectly and left too much room in them!  But I wanted to be able to make each display moveable on its own anyway, so I lampworked glass fins onto some wood screws, drilled holes into the backs of the leg stands, and used the finned screws to keep the legs in place and steady.  Fins are better than round knobs - they give you a better grip for turning.

The screws dig into the legs of the display and all are soundly but not permanently attached.  Yay!

The screws dig into the legs of the display and all are soundly but not permanently attached.  Yay!

All folded up.  The two displays weigh about 15 pounds together.  Not a light weight display, but that was secondary to my requirements.

All folded up.  The two displays weigh about 15 pounds together.  Not a light weight display, but that was secondary to my requirements.

The finished display stands

The finished display stands

What the display will look like when it is in use.

What the display will look like when it is in use.

Unattached box toppers can be displayed on the very top rung by putting brass wires in the pre-drilled holes.  This is also an effective way to hang necklaces and jewelry for display.

Unattached box toppers can be displayed on the very top rung by putting brass wires in the pre-drilled holes.  This is also an effective way to hang necklaces and jewelry for display.

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How-To: Making a Miniature Artist's Canvas

I have always been obsessed with creating miniature versions of the things I use in my everyday life. I think the extra focus required to make miniature objects imbues the tiny things I make with a special quality--as if they are more charged with meaning than they would be at their regular size. Another reason to spend your time making tiny stuff is that it doesn't take up a whole lot of space, which, if you have friends who live in small apartments and want to give them beautiful handmade things but don't want to burden them with a lot of clutter, is a very good thing!

This tutorial will teach you how to make dollhouse-sized blank artists' canvases from empty tissue, granola bar and cereal boxes, which you can then paint and add to friends' art collections. I am hoping I can spark a whole trendy miniature painting craze!

Here's what you will need:
-empty boxes made from thin cardboard that you otherwise would have tossed into the recycling
-muslin fabric
-white glue
-acrylic gesso
-a normal size brush for applying the gesso, plus teeny tiny ones for doing the actual painting
-acrylic paints
-a gridded acrylic ruler is helpful for making accurate right angles when cutting up your boxes

Step 1: Figure out what size you want your miniature canvas to be. You can just eyeball the size if you like, but if you want it to be the perfect size to fit into a dollhouse, you'll want to do a little math. The standard size for dollhouse accessories is 1/12 scale, which means that you want to divide all your regular measurements by 12. If the full-sized painting would be 18 by 24 inches, then you want to make your mini canvas 1 and 1/2 inches by 2 inches.


Step 2: Once you have cut your cardboard to size, spread it with a thin layer of white glue and stick it to a piece of muslin. Make sure that the sides of your canvas are parallel to the grain of the fabric.


Step 3: Fold the fabric around to the back of the canvas and glue it down.


Make sure the folded fabric edge is glued slightly inside the edges of the cardboard so it can't be seen from the front.


Step 4: When your glue has dried, paint your canvas with a thin layer of acrylic gesso. You want to make sure not to put the gesso on too thickly, because being able to see the grain of your muslin is crucial to having a miniature painting that looks like the full-sized version. If you want to have an especially texture-y canvas, try different types of fabric and see which one looks best.


Paint gesso on the edges & back as well.


That's it! These miniature canvases are so easy and fun to make that you can create hundreds of them in nearly no time, then invite some friends over to have a painting party.


Then you and your friends can have a miniature art show:



Stella (lookcloselypress)

Tutorial: Use Heat Transfer Foil to Create a Stylish Laminated Pendant

This tutorial will show you how to create a super stylish pendant using heat transfer foil and watercolor paints to embellish a photocopy. In the spirit of the DIY Wedding idea, I decided to ask my friend Phil Guie to draw an image for his girlfriend, my friend and fellow NewNew team member Kari Love, something that he knew she would find very romantic. I took Phil's drawing, an adorable depiction of the eternal love between the Unicorn and the Narwhal, and put a frame around it, then shrunk it down to the right size to be worn as a necklace. With no further ado, here are all the steps you will need to follow to make a shiny, uniquely romantic laminated pendant for the one you love.

Step #1: Assemble Your Materials! You might not have all of the materials for this project just lying around, but the're all things that are good to have on hand and should come in handy for millions of future projects.


Materials:
1. Black-and-white photocopy of an image you would like to make into a pendant. A black-and-white laser print should also work. It's fine to make your copies on regular 20 lb copy paper.
2. Gold foil joss paper or other decorative paper for the back of the pendant.
3. Heat Set Laminate Pouches, 10 mil thickness. You should use small pouches, such as those made to laminate business cards, for this project, because when you are laminating small items, a small pouch is less likely to trap ugly air bubbles that will cause you trouble.
4. A regular home iron.
5. Metallic heat transfer foil. Transfer foil can be purchased in New York City at the Pearl Paint Craft Center on Lispenard St. or online at one of my favorite suppliers, Dharma Trading Co.
6. 1/16" eyelets and an eyelet setting tool. 1/16" eyelets can be hard to find. I ordered mine online from this company.
7. A 1/16" hole punch. You can find these at most art supply stores.
8. A hammer.
Things not pictured that you will also need: A glue stick, scissors, Metal jump rings, and a necklace chain to put your pendant on.
And, finally, you will need access to a laminator.


Step #2: Transfer the foil onto your image. Set your iron to the Cotton setting, no steam. Place the foil on top of your photocopy with the shiny side facing up. The foil should transfer after a few seconds of heating with the iron. After you peel the foil sheet off of your image you may want to gently rub the image with a finger to make sure all the foiled lines are clean and crisp.

The photo below shows the copied drawing pre- and post-foiling.

Step #3: Make your image beautiful by painting with watercolors. You could also color it with colored pencils or markers.

Step #4: Glue your image to the back of the joss paper so that the back of your pendant will be an attractive gold color instead of just white. Any decorative paper or magazine image will work to make an attractive back for your pendant.

Step #5: Cut your image down to its final size.

Step #6: Laminate your image. You can laminate multiple pendants together, but you should leave around 3/8" of space between them to make sure the laminate seals completely around each one.


Step #7: Cut your pendant out, leaving about a 1/16" seal of laminate all the way around.


Step #8: Make a hole with your 1/16" punch. For rectangular pendants, it helps to measure and make sure your hole is in the center so that the pendant hangs straight.


Step #9: Insert an eyelet into the hole and set it with the eyelet setting tool and a hammer.

Step #10: Add a jump ring, slip your pendant onto a chain, and give it to the one you love!



DIY Centerpieces


Weddings are expensive, which is all the more reason to do as much as you can on your own. My sister is getting married in May, and even though she lives in Florida, the land of flowers, her centerpieces are going to cost about $400. I can't imagine spending that much on cut flowers that will end up dead and unappreciated, so I wanted to share an alternative for those looking for "greener" (and cheaper) options.

Last summer, my friends Coleen and Beth had a commitment ceremony at the lovely Full Moon resort in the Catskills. Though most of the details were taken care of by the planners at the resort, the ladies came up with some great, living centerpieces on their own.

First, they found small metal containers at Ikea, and baby palms at Lowe's.

Because they chose very small plants and containers, the centerpieces were able to do double duty as take-home favors for the guests.

The addition of some inexpensive vases filled with river rocks and candles (all from Ikea) emphasized the peaceful, natural atmosphere of the resort.

If you want to be both greener (ecologically-speaking) and more colorful, consider using plants from your local NYC Greenmarket.

All in all, Beth tells me they spent about $120 on centerpieces/favors for fifty guests, which is reason enough to skip the flowers (no offense to my sister, whom I love and adore).

--Ashley
nycrochet.etsy.com
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