Wednesday, October 19

Easy Vertical Stand Displays More at Midtown Market

I've discovered that I love being at the Midtown Market and introducing people to solar cooking -- and, my crafts! But, in a 10'x10' booth, space is severely limited without going vertical. Problem is, my booth is located at the end of what can only be called an air tunnel between two rows of commercial stores. Not a heavy-duty wind tunnel, but enough power to cause lots of vertical stands and items to fall over. With crafts being added, I needed something that wouldn't cause a heart attack every time Mother Nature did her thing. Look hard at the stand on the left. While not the most attractive, it more than did the job and my items barely moved while other vendors were kept busy replacing signs and product that would get caught in a blast of air.

On Friday, we enjoyed a very blustery day, giving me an opportunity to test it out. I was delighted with how steady the whole set-up remained, letting the wind go through the mesh. It's very inexpensive and done with PVC pipes, plastic hardware cloth, and 5-quart buckets. I've decided to make a few more for the other side of the booth and my Christmas ornaments etc. There's very little I'm going to change in the design (it's so easy to set up) beyond making the edges of the hardware cloth more precisely squared -- or, I may not!

Here's a terrible fast drawing of how it was done, in case you want to try it, yourself. If you are involved in selling any crafts at local fairs, etc., it's well worth doing.

3 pcs. - 1.75' PVC 1.5" (magenta)
3 pcs. - 2' PVC 2" (gray) wrapped in tinfoil or plastic
2 pcs. - 5'6" PVC 1/2" (green)
1 pc   - 5.4" PVC 1/2" (green - corner)
2 pcs. - 5' PVC 1/2" (green - crossbar)
2 - 1/2" PVC elbows (attach to top of 5'6" pipe
1 - 1/2" PVC threaded connector (attached to 5'4" pipe)
1 - 1/2" PVC 90-degree corner piece with threaded base (attach to connector on 5'4" pipe)
Dark Green Krylon Fusion paint for plastic or acrylic* paints
3 5-quart buckets with handle (for ease of carrying/moving)
Sand/concrete (or plaster of Paris)/shredded paper combo for holding*
Extra bucket/container for pre-mixing aggregate
1 Roll of Green Plastic Hardware Cloth
2 - hardwood sticks for bottom edge (optional)
Forest Green 4-ply acrylic yarn (optional)
Crochet hook Size P (optional)

1. Foil wrap the 2" pvc pipes carefully so that the hole placed against the bottom of the bucket won't let water seep in.  Prepare a mixture of equal parts of sand, concrete (or plaster of Paris), and shredded paper. Holding pipe against bottom of bucket, gently pour the setting mixture around the pipe so that it remains centered and upright. (The foil is so that you can remove the pipe for transport and easy storage.

 2. Using fifty percent water to the amount of concrete mixture in each bucket, slowly pour it around the pipe and mix carefully, keeping the pipe centered and upright. Set aside to let the mixture harden. Do not attempt to remove the pipe until mixture hardens but you can gently turn it, every now and then, to make sure it doesn't lock in place, too!

[NOTE: If using concrete, water can be added to mixture in the prep bucket before pouring around pipe. It takes longer to set so you'll be able to pour the mixture around the pipe in plenty of time. Be sure to clean the mixing bucket thoroughly before starting your next mixture. HOWEVER, if you're using plaster of Paris, pour the dry combination around the pipe, first, then add fifty percent water and gently mix it. This will set very fast so you want to plan on doing just one bucket at a time. (A few years ago, I did a similar tabletop stand and made the mixture in two steps because the bucket was so deep. That's when I found out that pouring a fresh plaster of Paris mixture over a fresh set will cause it to harden twice as fast as the first pour! Be ready for this, if you decide to do it in two steps).

3. Painting the pipes is really optional but they will look so much better, if you do. If you use acrylic paints, you will need to retouch fairly often, as it doesn't adhere to the pvc pipe, very well. Using Krylon Fusion plastic paint gives you a permanent finish that will look quite beautiful for a very long time!

4. You can use the hardware cloth in a single layer, but I chose to fold it over and make it doubly strong for all types of crafts. The roll is 36" wide and available in both black and green. You don't have to crochet around the edges but it will make it sturdier. If you can't crochet, simply slip-stitch it together. Crocheting around the edge let me make 'buttonholes' all around so that I could lace it to the side and top pipes. I inserted wooden dowels across the bottom to keep it straight. Using the yarn, I made rope lengths to use for lacing. Each 'rope' was attached at the center of each side to prevent loss and make it easier to lace during set-up. 

5. Insert the 1.5" pipes into the 2" pipe in the bucket, and then the 1/2" 5'6" pipes into each end bucket. Attach an elbow to the tops, facing toward the center. In the center bucket, attach the connector to the top of the 1/2"  5'4" pipe and then the corner piece. (If you use a straight corner piece, it will extend your stand but work more like a sail. Great for indoors; bad for outdoors. The angled corner piece gives more strength and stability, I think.

6. Slide each top pipe through the top loops of the hardware cloth and then connect to the center and side pipes. Lace together, trying to keep display portion well-centered between pipes.

Voila! A vertical display stand for all crafters that's easy to build, transport, set up and dismantle. With a gazillion holes, there's no problem attaching craft items. Hope I've helped some of you, out there. And, there are many other uses for this type stand. Why don't you make one and share your uses. We'd love to hear from you.     

I've linked up with Workin' On It Wednesday, so I hope you'll check out all the other crafters who might inspire you to make some changes around your house!

Creative Kristi Designs


  1. The wind is tye worst enemy for anyone selling things on a market. But Your idea seems working very well :-)

    Have a great day!

  2. What a great idea! Seems like it would be really affordable and easy to make.

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