DIY Rustic Table Top Art Print Display Browser

I needed a way to display my unframed prints at fairs and shows and also in gift shops where my work is stocked. I searched online for table top print browsers and retail display solutions and looked into old apple crates and custom made wooden boxes but nothing was right …or it cost more than I was willing to pay!

I wanted a rustic style box that was not too deep (so the prints would stay fairly vertical) and that was low at the front (so as not to obscure the prints) and higher at the back (to support the prints from behind) … and the right size for my prints… so quite specific requirements then! I decided my only cost effective option was to make them myself.

Here’s how they turned out…

DIY Rustic wood print browser for art

If you’d like to find out how I made them, read on! I’m a not a skilled woodworker and it took me a day to make 5 browsers.

Here’s the tools I used:

A hand saw, tape measure, pencil, set square and drill (with 3mm drill bit for pilot holes and screwdriver head) plus various wood screws… sizes 3.5 and 4 and 30mm/40mm long.. and some rough sandpaper and sanding block or an electric sander.

Here’s what I did:

I visited my local wood recycling yard where for the princely sum of £12 I picked up some lengths of pallet wood – about 16mm thick and 100mm wide and some 20 x 44mm battens. They were nice and rustic looking!

The internal dimensions of my table top browser are 500mm wide by 250mm deep so for each box I cut the following lengths of wood:

3 x 500mm: 1 front and 2 back lengths

2 x 250mm: 2 sides on the bottom layer

2 x 266mm: 2 sides on the top layer

5 x 282mm: slats for the bottom

4 x 250mm lengths from the 20 x 44mm batten for the uprights

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First off I screwed together 2 x 500mm lengths and 2 x 250mm sides to make the base frame. I drilled pilot holes first to reduce stress on the wood and reduce the risk of it splitting.

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An extra pair of hands is useful to hold the pieces together but not essential. Next I screwed the slats onto the bottom. Again I drilled pilot holes in the slats before screwing them in.

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Then I  screwed together the three sides for the back and sides of the top layer … I used the remaining 500mm length and the 2x 266mm sides… it was a bit wonky but so long as it’s roughly square it doesn’t matter once it’s screwed into place.

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Next I attached the uprights to the box. I placed each one in position and marked with a pencil where to drill the pilot holes… making sure I avoided the other screws that are holding the frame together. I then drilled the pilot holes and screwed the uprights in place with 2 screws per upright into the bottom frame.

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Now turning the box on a short side, I inserted the 3 sided top layer that I made earlier. It didnt sit very square but this was rectified as it was screwed together. I put one screw in… no pilot holes this time… drilling through the frame and into the batten upright. Then I turned the box onto the other short side and holding the top layer into place, put another screw through the frame and into the batten.

I put 4 screws in each end – 2 into each batten – as shown below.

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Now all that was left was to add my logo. I thought the best way to do this would be by stencilling. I had some Mylar (thin plastic used to make stencils) but cutting out the small font and the Dog was very hard, especially as my Mylar was probably a bit on the thick side.

I looked online and found plenty of places who would laser cut any design into a stencil for you but it was Friday afternoon and I didn’t want to wait (or spend the money) so being a printmaker I decided to cut my logo into a scrap piece of lino and use that to apply it to the boxes.

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It worked pretty well though it needed a bit of touching up with a small brush in places where the wood was too rustic!

Hope you like the idea… I’d love to see your solutions to displaying prints at fairs too.

 

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Labradoodle and Lurcher Prints

There are 2 new breeds in the Dog Tag series of prints by The Enlightened Hound. I say ‘breeds’ though neither the Labradoodle or Lurcher is considered a recognised breed – both being classed as a crossbreed. These technicalities however aren’t generally important to Labradoodle or Lurcher owners, who love them to bits regardless!

Each one is hand printed on a traditional etching press.

Labradoodle

Labradoodle Print

Labradoodle Print

Labradoodles are enormously popular family pets. They love to work and are eager to please. They are true companion dogs and thrive best with their people, delighting in being stroked and petted. Many of them are pretty smart and enjoy outwitting their owners – just for fun!

Labradoodle Print Detail

Labradoodle Print Detail

Labradoodle Print Unframed

Labradoodle Print Unframed

Labradoodle Print Framed

Labradoodle print in reclaimed wood frame

Lurcher

Lurcher Print

Lurcher Print

In the Middle Ages only nobility were allowed to own purebred dogs but accidental crossbreeds of these nobility owned sighthounds were snapped up by the commoners (peasants and gypsies) as stealth poaching dogs, who hunted by scent and sight to put meat for the cooking pot on the table. Rabbit and hares were the usual quarry and hunting usually took place at night.

Lurcher Print Detail

Lurcher Print Detail

Lurcher Print Unframed

Lurcher Print Unframed

Lurchers are the perfect combination of intelligence, speed, agility, hardiness, temperament & trainability. It was essential that the purebred Greyhound hunting instinct was tempered so that the dogs could be stopped from chasing prey if someone was watching. The penalty for detection was death, so dogs had to be loyal, trainable and live out of sight in the family home.

Framed Lurcher print

Lurcher print in reclaimed wood frame

Hand printed individually on an etching press, both prints are available from The Enlightened Hound

Yorkshire Terrier Print

The diminutive Yorkie is the 21st breed in my Dog Tag series of prints.

Yorkshire Terrier print unframed

Bred in England as an expert exterminator of vermin in 19th Century mills, mines and factories, this feisty terrier was also a handy pocket sized hunter’s companion, with enough guts to flush out badgers and foxes from their dens.

Yorkshire Terrier print -hand lettered detail

Originally known as the Broken Haired Scotch or Toy Terrier the Yorkies were re-named after a reporter at a show was heard to exclaim that the breed had much improved since it had been in Yorkshire!

It was not long before this tiny and devoted breed made the transition from its working class roots to high society, when it caught the attention of Victorian well-to-do ladies, for whom it became a playful companion and pampered pet.

Yorkshire Terrier print in reclaimed wood frame

Keen of eye and sharp of tongue, what the Yorkie lacks in size it certainly makes up for in spirit. Sprightly and self-important, with a silky steel blue and golden coat, the Yorkshire Terrier remains a terrier at heart.

The print is available framed or unframed from The Enlightened Hound

 

French Bulldog and Poodle Prints

I am excited to have reached 20 breeds in the “Dog Tag” series of prints with these two new additions – the French Bulldog and Poodle. Next, I will be taking a little break from this series to pursue some new ideas but as I still have many requests for other breeds (think Yorkie, Boxer, Great Dane, Bulldog, Pointer… and the list gets longer) I will be returning to the series next year!

There’s a lot of hand lettering and illustrating involved in these prints…

Poodle sketches French Bulldog sketch

Hand lettering hand drawn letters

Telling the story of the breed in an original and quirky way can be a bit of a challenge in around 30-35 words!

french bulldog print poodle print

french bulldog print hand lettering poodle print detail

framed french bulldog art framed poodle print

The French Bulldog print is hand printed in a dark sepia black and the Poodle print in a soft french grey ink.

The French Bulldog has a colourful history accompanying the rather politely named Parisian Belles de Nuit on their evening sojourns. Apparently they were a useful way to break the ice with potential customers to start a conversation! They were also the dog of choice for the french in-crowd arty set and cafe owners in the 19th century. They were bought over to France from England when the Industrial Revolution forced traditional lace workers to flee to France to find work.

Also with a colourful history, the poodle was a popular feature of the travelling circus. Like the Frenchie, the poodle was the a la mode accessory for high society. The poodle’s frou frou reputation belies its origins as a dog bred to retrieve waterfowl from muddy swamps and rivers!

Here are all 20 breeds in the Dog Tag series of prints…

Dog Tag Series of Prints

Prints are 30cms square and each one is individually hand printed and signed.

Sniff them out at The Enlightened Hound

German Shepherd Print

After a brief hiatus (redesigning my website to look good on mobiles as well as desktops) I am happily back to printing. Here is the 18th print in the Dog Tag series which tells the story of the German Shepherd in a dog tag design.German Shepherd Print

As always, each print is printed by hand on my etching press – this time I chose a deep blue, inspired by military and service uniforms to reflect the GSDs reputation as an outstanding service dog.

German Shepherd print detail

What is clear from researching this awesome breed is what an enormous contribution they have made to society and community over the years in a huge variety of roles, including Red Cross work, search and rescue, security, police work, military aides, detection dogs and guide dogs.

Framed German Shepherd print

Prints are available framed and unframed from The Enlightened Hound

Border Collie, Beagle, Westie & Schnauzer Prints

I have been busy with more prints in the Dog Tag series based on the most requested breeds from people I meet at shows and online. So here are the next 4 in the series which brings the total to 17 breeds!

Border Collie: Hand printed in a soft blue-grey ink

Border Collie Print

Detail of Border Collie Print Framed Border Collie Print

Beagle: hand-printed in an earthy khaki-brown ink

Beagle Print

Beagle print detail Framed Beagle Print

West Highland White Terrier (Westie): hand printed in a light sky blue ink

Westie print

detail of Westie print Framed Westie Print

Schnauzer: hand-printed in a sophisticated dark grey ink

Schnauzer print

Detail of Schnauzer print Framed Schnauzer print

The next three breeds in the Dog Tag series, to make it to 20, will be ready in the next couple of months and then I’m taking a break form the series for a few months to work on some other printmaking ideas that I have been thinking about. So many ideas and so little time!!

To purchase and find out more about the prints, visit The Enlightened Hound’s website

Greyhound and Dachshund: New Dog Tag Prints

If you are not familiar with my “Dog Tag” series of prints, these hand lettered prints tell a quirky potted history of a particular breed of dog in the design of a dog tag. They are individually hand printed on my traditional etching press, with hand mixed oil-based inks, then each one is signed by me.

The Greyhound and Dachshund are two of the most requested breeds that people have asked me for at fairs and shows this year, so here they are (just in time for Christmas!)… they join the other 11 breeds in the series.

Dachshund Print

Despite their cute and comical appearance, Dachshunds are incredibly brave little hunting dogs that were bred to chase and flush out badgers.

Often significantly larger and heavier than a dachshund, badgers are a fierce and formidable opponent, yet the tenacious dachshund with its indomitable spirit is a fearless and efficient hunter. Their long, low body is perfect for getting into the dens of rabbit, fox, wild boar, badgers and other burrow dwelling animals that have gone to ground.

The origin of the dachshund is still debated as there are etchings and statues of similar long, low dogs dating back thousands of years, however 16th century German hunters were responsible for selecting and cross breeding dogs to create the dachshund we are familiar with today. The name Dachshund literally means “Badger Dog” in German.

Known affectionately as Sausage Dog, Hot Dog, Doxie, Dashie and Weiner, these adorable and amusing companions are a favourite the world over.

Greyhound Print

At least 4000 years old, the Greyhound is arguably the oldest purebred canine. Combining speed, grace and exceptional hunting ability with loyal and devoted companionship, the greyhound has been used in the sport of coursing (the pursuit of prey by sight instead of scent) since ancient times. It can reach speeds of between 40 and 45mph.

There is plenty of amusing greyhound behaviour terminology to learn. These big-hearted hunters like to alternate between the “Zoomies” (galloping with abandon on winged feet) and the “Snoozies” (lounging and dozing in comfort and warmth). Many delight in hoarding food and toys in their beds where they may practice “Roaching” (rolling onto their back and spreading their legs at odd angles in all directions, like a dead cockroach) and they may also enjoy a spot of “Roo-ing” (singing or howling).

detail of dachshund print detail of greyhound print dachshund print unframed greyhound print unframed  framed dachshund print framed greyhound print

hand mixed ink rolling out ink for printing pulling a print etching press

For more details and to buy (£40 plus shipping, worldwide) please visit The Enlightened Hound’s website