Intro: PEZ Dispenser Display Support
I came up with this idea after getting tired of my PEZ dispensers with feet constantly falling over no matter what type of shelf they were on or how they were mounted. Of course if one fell it caused the domino effect and all of them fell. This clip should work on every standard sized PEZ dispenser with feet in existence. By adjusting the bends it also works with the small party favor PEZ dispensers and the small ones I got out of cereal boxes. So as long as the dispenser has feet it should work.
I'm not covering how I built the cabinet shown in the later pics in this instructable, but I will address some of the design aspects that affect how the clips can be used, namely the dimensions or measurements between screw holes.
Disclaimer: If you are male, and you ever hope to get married, do not tell your wife to be that you have any kind of collections you ever hope to display in the house you will eventually share. It may not go over well. This is especially true if your wife is an interior designer. I speak from personal experience.
Step 1: Straighten Paper Clips
Get and straighten enough small plastic coated paper clips to make as many supports as you need.
Step 2: Bend Them Into Their Final Shape
Starting at the middle of a straightened paper clip, bend it around something small and round. I chose a small screwdriver. I was careful to always wrap the same side over the top so they all looked consistent.
I wrapped them all the way around once until the ends met, so I could compare the lengths of the sides. If one was noticeable longer than the other, then I corrected it as I opened it back up to about 90 degrees.
I then took each side and bent them about 1/4" away from the circle so the remaining parts were parallel, about the width of the base of a PEZ dispenser. At this point I held the clip flat, and bent each side down about 45 degrees about halfway down the remaining straight portion, then back up on the remaining portion closest to the ends.
The clips can be bent further once mounted, if they are not straight or parallel. With the circle and bends where they are, there is downward spring pressure once they are screwed to something flat and rigid.
Step 3: Mount to a Shelf
I had taken careful measurements to group as many dispensers as I could in the smallest amount of space. I found that 1 7/16" was about perfect for all but the widest of heads (some of the bugs with antennas were the widest, but I really had no trouble with any at this spacing).
Because I wanted to display them in a few rows as well, and have each row higher then the one in front, I came up with ideal measurements for that as well. I cut 3/4" plywood in strips at 1 3/4" and screwed them onto strips at 3 1/2", so that each tier was 1 3/4" deep. The screw holes are 1 1/2" back from the front of each tier, and 11/16" in from the ends. These are about the minimum measurements that would work without the PEZ dispensers hitting each other.
I used pan head #4 screws at 3/8" long. You wouldn't want to use a countersunk/flush head screw because it would spread the circle part. Regarding screw length, I figured I'd start as short as possible, and if I stripped any I could always go to a longer screw since I was using 3/4" plywood.
Step 4: My Design Considerations (and Mistakes)
1. I predrilled all the screw holes before painting. That helped immensely.
2. I chose to make a display case (not going into much detail in this instructable) that I could put glass sliding doors on, and the depth of the case I made allowed for 3 tiers. I put in 3 shelves, with the additional tiers removable on the top two shelves but fixed to the bottom shelf. I also made each tier piece only half the width of the shelves, so I could leave one or two out as desired to display other sorts of PEZ items that couldn't go into these stands. You can see in the first pic here the shelf goes straight across but there is a gap at the middle of the tier pieces. They just sit on the shelf with nothing fastening them. In the second pic you can see I left one out to show an example of how I could display other items by removing the tiers.
3. I had originally meant to have each dispenser facing straight forward. However, after mounting several, I felt I got a better view of each back row if I turned them slightly to see a side profile. This meant that when I turned them to the right, only dispensers with narrow heads would fit all the way to the right side when placed in the case, as the larger heads would now bump into the sides of the case. Not a big deal, but if you were to do something similar you could adjust the distance in for the first hole in each row.
4. Early on I thought I'd try to color coordinate each clip with the dispenser base. I gave up on this early on, as it would mean I'd have to move clips any time I'd buy a new PEZ dispenser. For instance, Garfield and Spongebob have so many variations of their dispensers, that if I found one I didn't have and kept them grouped together, I'd have to try to match the clip to the base and move a lot of stuff around. I'm not that OCD.