by Lisa McGrimmon
Here's detailed information about how I designed my custom display risers, with photos, so you can design your own for your craft booth.
When I decided I wanted risers for my craft booth, I knew I wanted something that was designed well enough to be highly flexible and functional.
I wanted them to be able to fit my booth perfectly, and I also wanted to be able to use them to store my jewelry and other display items when I wasn't at a show.
I quickly realized that in order to make them extremely functional, I would need to do some smart planning, and I would need to have them custom made to my specifications.
Because I wanted them to function as both risers and storage boxes, I decided that the best design would be several open boxes (i.e. boxes with no top) made of wood. Because the boxes would be open, they could be used for storage, and the boxes could simply be flipped over (open part facing down) when I wanted to use them in my display.
I wanted to ensure they were high enough to provide some variation in the height in my display, deep enough to function as storage boxes, but not so high that I would become lost standing behind the table if I set the booth up as a front counter display.
I needed to take into account:
Taking all of that into account, I figured I needed risers that were about 6 inches high.
I was quite surprised to discover that the risers couldn't be much taller than 6 inches high. I probably would have chosen taller ones if I hadn't carefully worked out all of the math.
When you design your own risers, do be sure to think through the dimensions carefully. Once you factor in the table height and the height of your display stands, it doesn't take much for the height to add up.
6 inch risers sitting on top of a 33 inch high table would create a display height of 39 inches (3 feet 3 inches). Plus my display stands would add a little more height.
That height seemed perfect for getting my items displayed in the ideal comfortable reach zone that falls from about waist to shoulder height.
The width of the risers was fairly easy to figure out. I decided to make them 12 inches wide. My craft tables are 26 inches deep, so 12 inch wide risers divide the display space approximately in half, allowing some items to be displayed lower, on the table in front, and others to be displayed behind and higher, on the risers.
Do remember to account for the thickness of the wood if you are building wooden display risers that also need to function as storage boxes.
Although my risers measure 12 inches on the outside, because of the thickness of the wood, the opening inside is less than 12 inches.
My display is for small items (jewelry) so I didn't have to worry about ensuring my items would fit on the risers. However, if you make larger items, you'll need to ensure your risers are sized in a way that allows for enough continuous space to display your work.
Finally, because I wanted to use my risers as storage, I had to ensure that the inside width would be wide enough to accommodate my jewelry trays. The jewelry trays I use are about 10 inches wide, so they fit perfectly into the 12 inch wide boxes.
My display risers are 16 inches long. This length seemed to work well with the length of my craft tables, which are 4 feet long. Three of the 16 inch long risers fit perfectly across one of my four foot long tables.
16 inch long risers are large enough to hold my display items, but small enough to be manageable and not too heavy when I'm setting up or taking down my booth.
Decorating the Risers
I simply cover my display risers with fabric. Sometimes I use a blue slipcover that my mom sewed specifically to fit the risers, and other times I just fold fabric neatly over the risers.
At times, I think it would be easier if I just painted the risers a pretty color, but I like the soft look of the fabric; it seems to work with the rest of my booth, so I haven't bothered with painting them.
I am not handy at all when it comes to carpentry. However, the risers are just simple boxes, and they would probably not be difficult to make for someone who has a bit of woodworking skill.
I had my risers custom made by a great person who I met at a local craft show that I did when I first started selling my jewelry.
It was a small show in a community center, and the man next to me was a woodworker. We got talking, (Turns out he knew my grandfather - one of the perks of living in a small town.) and I asked him for his business card and whether he would be interested in making some custom risers for me. He gave me a very fair price for some excellent, very functional risers made to my exact specifications.
Whether you build your own risers or find someone to build them for you, there are a few things to think through to ensure your display risers meet your needs.
Answer the following questions:
Although, on the surface, they are just simple boxes, I put a lot of thought into the design of my display risers, and as a result, they are multi-functional and perfect for my needs.
With a bit of careful planning you can work out exactly what you need and create your own display risers that function perfectly for your own needs.
My Custom Display Risers and How I Designed Them