Sunday, May 1, 2011

DIY Art Show Booth

This weekend I was so excited to unveil my brand new art show booth! My initial set up was, in a nutshell, a pegboard on an easel and a table or two. Not all that snazzy. I began to need more and more hanging space and I knew I needed a new, more professional-looking booth set up. I like the look of ProPanels but they are too darn expensive on my starving artist budget. So what's the second best thing? Having a handy dad to hook me up!

We went to Lowe's one night last week to come up with an idea. That's usually how my family functions-- instead of having a plan to buy materials for, we just go to the store and hope that inspiration hits. Luckily, it did. In the form of a utility shelves frame, pegboard, and some creative thinking.

So, what did I use?

1. I used a heavy duty steel shelving storage unit as a frame. I saved a bit on cost because I didn't by it ready-made, rather I bought just the individual pieces I needed. I decided I only needed to go with two 18"x72" side panels, and two 6ft connecting beams to connect the two panels at the back. I didn't buy any to connect the front or tops because I not only wanted it to be open but I also knew that having a table pushed into the display would also add support. Also, by using a metal frame I was able to hang signs, my bio, etc. directly to the frame with magnets! (genius!)

2. I bought a 6ft x4ft piece of white pegboard. I went with white because I thought it would look cleaner and I didn't feel like spray painting it myself. The white finish was only a couple bucks more than the regular old brown.

3. To connect the pegboard to the frame, I used simple 14" zip ties. I just looped two (one on either end) through the holes and around one of the cross beams and it held very well. Most of my canvases were held on by your typical pegboard hooks. Framed pieces that needed to hang flush with the wall were held on by stringing twisty-ties through the frame's hooks and through the pegboard holes, serving as an anchor.

Once the frame was built and the peg board attached, I simply pushed my table back into the frame, covered it with a classy black floor-length table cloth, attached my banner with some velcro so it's detachable, and voila! A brand new display!

Please note that I did make two different walls for this display so all of the things I listed above I actually did twice.

After I set the walls up corner to corner, I used fishing line to connect the two displays at the end panels and hung prints from the line with binder clips as a sort of corner display.

Finally, I had some pegboard hanging baskets leftover that didn't fit on the board itself this time, but they managed to fit quite nicely into the holes that were in the steel frame beams. This was exciting because it not only allowed me to display more prints (in this case my new greeting card line), but it also helped cover up as much of the actual structure as possible and fill that space with artwork!

Here are some of the photos I took from the weekend. What do you think??

My full display! Notice the hanging prints in the corner and the baskets hanging on either side.

Banner-side. Hanging corner display can be seen a bit better here (on the left)

A close-up of the debut! They were a big hit!


  1. Your booth looks really great and very professional! Nice job!

  2. Your booth and the explanation of how you achieved it is fantastic!!

    I'm going to see if my husband can figure it out and once our local farmer's market moves to its new indoor venue this September, hopefully he can create something similar for me :)

  3. Thanks for all the lovely comments! Please feel free to share photos of your own booths! :)

  4. I love your display. I'm trying to get someone who is handy with DIY stuff to help me build something similar. I love it!