Introduction: Artwork Display Stand

About: As an Artist, Author, Coach, I live, work and play in the southwestern mountains of the United States. Through painting, drawing, printing, carving, writing, performing and coaching, my vision is for a more lo…

The challenge: create a display stand for an artshow that would hold my paintings on board.

Time Frame: 2 days.

Materials: only resources that I already had in the workshop. No going to the lumberyard or hardware store.

Step 1: Design and Materials' Selection

Since the designated space for each artist who was displaying their work at the show was only 4x6, I needed to make every inch count. There was only one way to go and that way was up. (I also had prints to display and used a simple set-up of light tripods and PVC piping to hang them from.)

The main vertical frame that would support the art boards was made from 1x2's. (I purchased a bundle that was for "something" else. The base of the display is a 2' in length cut from pressurized 4"x4" treated lumber.

I used 1/4" dowels to lend support to the art board. Twine and wood glue was used to bind the 1x2's together.

Step 2: Constructing the Base

In the pressurized 4x4" treated lumber base I carved (2" in depth) out the dimensions of the 3 - 1x2 stock that will be the vertical piece where the artwork will hang from. Next, I coated the carved rectangle hole with a heavy coat of wood glue and drilled pilot holes for the hex-headed, hot-dipped galvanized screws that will provide extra support.

Step 3: Constructing the Vertical Support

As you can see from the related image, I tied 3 - 1x2" stock together with twine (top, middle and bottom) and then inserted the bundled stock into the base. After the screws where inserted, I poured the wood glue onto the three areas of twine soaking them thoroughly. (I have tried this method in the past and it worked very well. The wood cross-support pieces for a bird feeder I made over a year ago were nailed and then bound in the same twine, glued and sun-dried to lasting perfection.) The base and the vertical piece did not tip over and appeared solid. Putting weight on the stand would be the test.

Step 4: Adding Dowels to Support the Art Boards

To support the hanging art boards, (more about hanging later) I chose dowels over casings or molding again, to save space. I used 1/4 dowels that were inserted in holes that I drilled in the wide side of the center 1x2 stock. Since I knew the sizes of the art boards and how I wanted to display them. I measured the distance on the vertical stock and drilled 5/16 holes where the dowels would be inserted. Using a coarse riffler I made a notch in each of the dowels where the bottom of the art boards would sit.

Step 5: Securing and Painting the Base

Before I applied two coats of high gloss, oil-based paint to finish the stand. I applied and drilled two support struts on both sides of the wide vertical 1x2 stock. After applying and letting the paint dry. I tapped small nails into the stand at a height that would match the slightly above the top of the art board. Next, I looked around my workshop for something could act as cross-supports for the base. I was fairly confident that I didn't need the extra support but could see my stand and artwork come crashing down on a customer or another artist's work. Lo and behold, laying in a pile of dust I noticed metal bookshelf brackets that fit perfectly on the base and provided the extra support and confidence that was needed.

Step 6: Hanging the Work

I used medium sized binder clips to 'hang' the art boards that 'hung' on the small nails that I had previously tapped into the vertical stock. (I'm using sub quotes here, as I don't want to anyone thinking that this type of "picture hanging" is the same as hanging framed artwork on a wall. The premise is the same except using different wall mounting/hanging materials.) One by one, the boards were placed on the stand and voila, a handmade stand designed and built to meet the constraints of a particular art show!

Total material costs: $20

Questions? Ask away!