Modular Display Frame

Introduction: Modular Display Frame

About: Andrew is a designer and researcher, raised in rural Maryland before cultivating new interests and ideas in Montréal, London, and New York. Always looking for better ways to tell stories -- through writing, im…

To build your basic display frame -- the pegboard easel -- you'll need a short list of items from the hardware store. Keep in mind that experimentation with different sizes and proportions is very welcome! In fact, it may suit your purpose even better. The dimensions here simply worked best for my use of an outdoor, exhibition-style display.

Materials list for one display frame:

(4) 4" x "3/4" wooden boards, cut to 84" in length

(2) 48" x 72" x 3/16" pegboard panels, with 1/4" diameter holes

(32) short screws for connecting the pegboard panels to the wooden boards

(32) nuts and bolts to go with the short screws

(2) 3/4" wide door hinges, with short screws

Rope -- of any desired color, weave, or diameter -- to connect the wooden legs through tension near the base of the frame

Paint if desired for the visible surface of the pegboard. They can also be purchased as white on one side (shown here)

Hole punch for the papers you wish to display

Additional screws, nuts and bolts, less that 1/" diameter to attach you work temporarily to the finished display frame

Step 1: Assembling the Display Frame

Take two of the wooden boards and lay them on a hard-surfaced floor, end-to-end, creating a 14-foot long board. Then take your door hinge and screw it to this joint between the two boards. Repeat this step for the other two boards, leaving you with hinged pieces.

Lay both of these hinged, 14-foot boards on the hard-surfaced floor, parallel and side-by-side, with the hinges facing down. The spacing between these boards depends on the desired look and stability of your frame. If your pegboards are 48" wide (as shown), then you'd probably want the wooden boards spaced about 3-feet apart, inside edge-to-inside edge. The farther apart the boards, the more lateral stability your finished frame will have. An interesting design experiment (not shown here) would be to have the boards outer edges flush with the edges of the pegboard. Who wants to try it?!

Next, lay the pegboards onto the wooden boards with the intended display (finished or colored) surface facing up. When they are positioned as desired (make sure they are symmetrical!) use a pencil to trace in two side-by-side holes near the bottom of the pegboard. This will leave circles drawn in pencil on the wooden board beneath -- your drill marks! For stability (the pegboards, as you will have noticed, are quite heavy), I recommend using 8 screws on each segment of wooden board, which equates to 16 screws for each side of the display frame and 32 in total for the whole project.

Once these drill points are traced, remove the pegboards and drill the holes where you've marked. Then return the pegboards in place, and use the screws, nuts and bolts to secure the pegboards to the wooden boards. When ready, stand it up!

Step 2: Experiment With Displaying Printed Pages

Now that your frame is in place, you can experiment with different ways of displaying pages on the pegboard. In my opinion, the bigger the sheet of paper, the better in looks on the board, so go big! Also keep in mind when printing that the pegboards usually space their holes 1" on center, so the top two corners of your printed page will be disrupted by the screws that will attach it to the pegboard. As long as you plan for this and it doesn't punch through your image, it will look great!

A hole punch should allow you to align your pages with the holes in the pegboard gracefully, and you'll need to attach it with screws that are slightly smaller than the 1/4" diameter of the pegboard holes. This will preserve those clean edges of your punched paper. The images here show the front and back sides of the pegboard with an image attached.

Step 3: Display Your Full Composition

Before assembling your full work on the display frame, make sure you drill a hole in the bottom of each leg, about 12" off of the ground. Run your rope through these holes and tie the ends to keep the frame at the desired angle -- you can easily adjust by retying your rope to be longer or shorter, so feel free to experiment!

Once you have your desired display composition in mind, start assembling it on both sides of the display frame. Remember that you'll need to keep at least one row/column of holes in the pegboard free on each side of your pages, so they don't overlap. You may want to photo document your work, so that you remember how you displayed it before you take it down and display something else.

Later on, simply reuse the frame to display different work in a new composition! If you really want to switch things up, you can buy hooks to hold tools, creating a free-standing tool organizer.

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    8 years ago on Introduction

    Nice, simple display. Thanks for sharing this!

    Andrew Wade
    Andrew Wade

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Glad you like it! It's easy to construct and adaptable, which lets it reappear again and again for different displays ...

    If I were to do it again, I'd line up 3 or 4 frames side-by-side, and stencil in some text/design directly onto them, creating a kind of graffiti/art display on the board as well.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    That would be cool.. a little more visually interesting than blank holey white boards!