The longer I do shows, the more I change my booth displays and set up. It is a never ending evolution. When you first start you grab a few folding tables, a couple of table cloths and you go set up at a show. This was my very first show…
It was an indoor event called Revenge of the Recessionistas. They provided me with the table. I had been selling stuff to friends and customers at the hair salon where I worked so this was the next step on my quest for world domination via jewelry! I used stuff I already had and somehow even then knew to go up and varied levels and boy I packed a ton on that one table.
I then added some tables to my next few shows and my display evolved over the last few years….
I get a lot of compliments on my booth design and layout, but I am really tired of the table covers and risers. The covers are always wrinkled no matter how carefully I iron and pack them and to really go to the floor I’d need to add a border. The other problem is that as I go up in the show system they get more and more particular about those tables. Some insist on pedestals, glass cases etc. I honestly could not see how to afford paying $200 per pedestal for Pro Panels.
Yes they look nice… but seriously… I am a starving artist.
Well I am about to show you how to turn two plastic 5 shelf units into 5 pedestals. You can go from this………
to fabulous for under $200. This set is from Walmart but I got mine at my local grocery store. They vary in width, I went with an 18 inch set. Then the fun begins!
This is the naked shelf broken into a pedestal size unit. Debe was lucky and scored her shelves from a Craigslist ad. I am taking the bottom shelf off of each of the 2 units I purchased and adding pvc legs so I can make an extra 2 shelf pedestal from them.
Here is the finished result set up at the first show she used them at. Pretty impressive if you ask me! She got a friend to sew the covers for her and added painted boards to the tops.
Some hints and tips… you will need at least 8 ft of fabric to go around each unit of shelves. I know mine stand about 37 inches tall and I needed 4 yards of 60 inch wide fabric (and I still had a gap in the back) to cover 2 pedestals. Velcro is your friend. I added velcro to the sides of the tables and the covers. I purchased desk tops at IKEA, the Linnmon is the perfect size. Other artists used boards they cut to fit. I am also adding some nobs on the bottom of my shelves so if someone leans on them they won’t move around. Kharisma added elastic to the back of hers to keep them tight. And yes, she used the super professional staples to hold it on. LOL! You also get the shelves to keep your stuff off the ground.
Here are a variety of booths and set ups using these simple yet effective shelf units.
As you can see you get a variety of set up options and whatever style you want you can create by using your favorite fabrics. I also like that at any time I can change the covers and change the look of my set up.
I have to thank Robin Ragsdale of Adorned by Robin if not for her, I wouldn’t have known how to make these. I asked her where did she first hear about it and she told me she started to make these about 7 years ago working a trade show. I therefore crown her Queen of the Shelf/Podiums. She also posted this great little video of setting up a booth. Shelf Booth in Action
Thanks also go out to Kharisma Sommers of Popnicute, Ashley Lozano , and Debe VanderHeide of Deb V Designs… without their input, sharing and encouragement I would have no idea how to do these shelves. So, looking to change your look, step up your booth, climb the ladder of shows? Maybe instead of a ladder you should use shelves!
Here is a sneak peek at my new shelves. The first one is the original box, the second shows the painted tops and the last one is the table covers I made.
And another good thing…. you can store all the displays and art show stuff on the shelves when you aren’t using them!
My husband just asked me… when is off season again?
I used my shelves for the first time this weekend at an indoor show.. I only had a 5 x 8 space and this is what they looked like….