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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Hyde Bark Dog Show and Fundraiser

On Saturday I had a stand at the Mayhew Animal Rescue Home’s fundraising event – the “Hyde Bark” in London’s Hyde Park.

The Enlightened Hound at The Hyde Bark

My pitch right by the Serpentine was lovely and the day was hugely enjoyable – more fun than the art/craft fairs I have done in the past – all due of course to the variety of 4 legged attendees!

I am happy to say that my hand-made stands and hand-painted signage worked nicely for hanging my prints and everything remained in place despite a few gusts of wind!

The enlightened hound's stand at the mayhew fair

the enlightened hound craft fair stand

 

It was great to meet some of the members of the Cockapoo Club who persuaded me to add Cockapoos to my series of “Dog Tag” prints. More pictures of me, the cockapoos and the event can be found on the cockapoo blog “Miss Darcy’s Adventures”.

Some other highlights included a huge Great Dane (named Jarvis) sniffing a tiny mottled Dachshund (named Blue Cheese!) … an elegant Afghan (which took me back to my childhood as an aunt of mine had one) … two little dachshunds named Beatrice and Audrey (such great names) and a lovely Catalan Sheepdog (who reminded me of my own Portuguese Water Dog).

It was lovely to meet everyone who stopped by my stand (both 2 legged and 4 legged). Thank you all for your your interest in my work and for the many people who signed my book with requests for “Dog Tag” prints of their breeds… most popular requests were Yorkie, French Bulldog and Beagles – they are all now on my list!

There was lots of entertainment to keep everyone amused… from agility to dog shows and heartwarming rescue stories from the Mayhew Rescue Home. Lots of fun had by all and all for a good cause!

The Art of Dogs at The Cooper Gallery

The Enlightened Hound’s prints are part of The Art of Dogs exhibition at The Cooper Gallery in Church Street, Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

Cooper Gallery Barnsley

Celebrating all things canine, the gallery is hosting a series of dog related events and exhibitions from now until the end of May 2014.

The Enlightened Hound at The Cooper Gallery

The Art of Dogs exhibition looks at the diverse roles that dogs have in our lives as seen through the paintings in the Cooper Gallery permanent collection.

Canine Wisdom prints at The Cooper Gallery

There is also a selection of British artists whose canine-inspired art and craft is for sale.

The gallery is open Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturday from 10am to 3pm.

Call them on 01226 242905. Admission is free.

New Galleries for The Enlightened Hound

A few more lovely new galleries and stores are stocking The Enlightened Hound’s prints this month.

Church Street Gallery Saffron Walden

Church Street Gallery in Saffron Walden. Essex

Whippet Grey Store

Whippet Grey in Old Amersham, Bucks – Also featured in their beautiful mail order catalogue:-

Whippet Grey 2014 catalogue

Whippet Grey Catalogue

and The Mere Gallery on Lake Windermere who specialise in British printmakers.

Mere Gallery

Pattern & Print Exhibition at Jam Factory

My Canine Wisdom prints are currently part of the Travelling Tube’s Pattern & Print exhibition  on display at the ultra cool Jam Factory in Oxford, England (Jan -April 2013)

jam factory oxford
The Jam Factory is Frank Cooper’s old marmalade factory and is now a favourite destination for fresh food lovers and art enthusiasts in the historical city of Oxford.
Pattern & Print Exhibition
The Travelling Tube Gallery is the inspiration of curator Clare Eguchi and her Pattern & Print show is a touring exhibition which brings together a diverse group of nationally renowned artists displaying their latest works in the medium of print, from screen print to linocut, letterpress, and dry point. I am excited to be part of it.