One of the challenges of running a green crafty business is coming up with recycled display ideas.
It would be so much easier to hit up IKEA or Target for new display items, but most of those options are far from eco-friendly and lack the charm of an upcycled display piece. I had a show last weekend and decided to turn a vintage suitcase that I found at the thrift store into a display for my Cup Glove patterns and the craft book that I have a project in. The idea was to group all of my making-related items into one spot so crafty shoppers can find projects more easily in my tent. Here's how you can make one of your own!
1. Prep Your Suitcase
Take a good look at your suitcase, give it a good cleaning, and patch any blemishes.
Luckily, the suitcase I found was in pretty good shape. The only blemish was where the folks at Value Village wrote the price on the fabric lining with an oil pen. Nice, guys. I couldn't get the pen out of the fabric, so I covered that up with a couple of fabric scraps secured with fabric glue.
The cool thing about suitcases is that they help give you some vertical display space. To take advantage of that, I strung a piece of twine across the back, so that I could hang things on it with clothespins.
To string the twine, just grab an embroidery needle, and use it to tie the twine to one side of the fabric lining. Pull the twine across, making sure it's pretty taut, then snip off the excess twine and tie a knot on the other side.
3. Setting Up the Bottom of Your Suitcase
I didn't want things to get lost visually in the bottom of the suitcase, so I grabbed a used cardboard box to create a riser in the bottom, then covered it up with a big piece of stash fabric. Basically, I just tucked and arranged the fabric until it covered up the bottom.
4. Sign Making
Like I mentioned, this was all about grouping my project-based products together, so I whipped up a little MAKE! sign to help customers find what they're looking for. I also made an EAT! DRINK! sign for another suitcase that I modded out to display my food- and drink-related products.
To make the sign, I printed my design onto cardstock, cut it out, then used glue stick to attach it to a piece of reclaimed cardboard. The cardboard was just to give the sign a little bit of support and add a lip that I could use to attach it to the outside of the suitcase.
Attach the sign to top of the suitcase at the back with a couple of pieces of rolled up masking tape. Easy peasy!
5. Dress it Up
This is probably my favorite part. I didn't have a totally clear vision for how I'd display things when I started, and I love fiddling around with products trying to make them look nice. I'm really happy with how it came out!
The coolest part about this suitcase display? Everything, even the signs, fit right inside of it! I love when display pieces double as storage.
Have you whipped up any recycled display pieces? I'd love to hear what you're working on in the comments!