D.I.Y Art print display using ikea's rigga rack and felt
why & how this project happened...
Doing art/craft markets can get expensive, especially when you consider the rental costs for a table and gridwall. I vended at my first market in December 2017 and besides the appliation fee, booth fee, there were display costs to consider. I rented a table and 4 gridwalls from the event that ran me around $120. For the one event, I was ok with that as I was just testing the waters. The event went really really well so I decided to take the plunge to show at other art/craft markets. There was one problem. I didn't want to waste the money on rentals. I wanted an art display that was lightweight, cheap, small (would fit into my Chevy Sonic hatchback, along with all of my merchandise) and reusable. Originally, I wanted some foldable gridwalls that I found online but they were $75 EACH!!!, for a single 24"x69" gridwall. Eek! I knew I needed to look at do it yourself display options. I spent hours and hours and hours of looking online at show displays, and looked at some D.I.Y. options. When searching on the Ikea website for ideas, I found their Rigga clothes rack. I thought that maybe it could become a display somehow, as it was height adjustable, lightweight, and it could be assembled/disassembled easily. I went and bought one, just to play around with. I came up with the idea of a fabric "sleeve" made out of some sort of mesh fabric might work. One day I went to Joann's Fabric & Craft store and wandered, looking for some type of fabric that may work. I came upon some 72" wide felt that was on the bolt. It just happened to be on sale for $3.99/yd. That's when it hit me that it needed to be treated like a school project. I ran around the store, found some Velcro and tested it on the felt. Perfect! It was strong and I thought it would hold my art prints well. I bought 5 yards of the felt (I wanted to overbuy so I could experiment). Once home, I measured the assembled Rigga rack. I laid out the fabric, drew on it with chalk, then cut and sewed. I put the "sleeve" on the rack along with my art prints, attached to the felt with Velcro. It was perfect! I'll be using the Rigga rack hacked art display at an upcoming art/craft market.
HOW TO MAKE THE DISPLAY RACK ...
assemble the ikea rigga clothes rack
Follow the instructions from Ikea to assemble the Rigga rack. Don't tighten anything to where you can't undo it. This is essential to being able to disassemble/reassemble it at events. I plan on keeping the base intact while transporting and assembling the upright poles and top pole on site, at the event. You can do it however you like but this just seems more convenient for me.
measure, draw and cut
I had the measurements from Ikea for the Rigga rack but I measured it again just to be sure. The area where the fabric was going, I measured to be 64" tall x 44" wide. Since the felt fabric I purchased was already 72" wide, I just used the widest side to be height of the "sleeve". I made sure the edges of the felt lined up, while still folded in half and measured 44" and drew a line in chalk onto the felt. Next, cut on the chalk line through the 2 layers of felt.
MAKING THE POCKET
Once the fabric is cut, unfold the fabric and lay flat. Measure 10" from the top of one of the longer sides (I'd choose whichever side isn't cut straight) and mark a line in chalk across it. This will be the fold-over piece that'll be going over the top bar of the rack.
Remove the top rail from the Rigga rack. Mark the end of the rail on each side with a marker where the larger holes are on top, this will be where the 10" chalk mark will line up. Drape the fabric over the rail and with your chalk, outline the larger holes with the chalk onto the felt. I found that the chalk stick I was using fit into the hole perfectly so I just twisted it into the hole a bit, to mark the fabric.
Remove bar and fold fabric at the 10" line. Draw a line across the felt (if needed), 2" from the fold as this is where you'll sew a pocket for the top rail to slide into. Start sewing about 6" from the edge of the fabric and continue to sew a straight line until you reach 6" from the other edge of the fabric. You're done with sewing now.
Cut holes into the felt (I used an Xacto knife) slightly larger than the chalk hole you made earlier.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Slide the felt onto the top rail then put it back onto the rack, making sure you line up the holes correctly. Put the screws back in place, making sure you leave enough showing outside of the felt fabric so that the felt won't slide out of place. Put velcro dots, scratchy side up, onto the top of the pole if you'd like some extra security.
You may find that there's a gap between the felt on the front and the back flap. Use Velcro dots (you only need to use the scratchy side of them, as the felt will stick to it) at the end of the flap and up where the rail is. Close shut.
To display my art prints, I already had them packaged up in plastic bags and with hang tags I bought at ClearBags. I used Velcro circles (again scratchy side only) on the back of the tabs and just attached the prints onto the felt.
Voilà! A lightweight, cheap, small. and reusable art display rack is born!
some extra notes ...
I have tested the rack by shaking it and dragging it around my house. The art prints stick and don't fall off. I feel that the felt may need to be replaced eventually but it's so easy to make that it's not a big deal.
I have no clue as to how much weight the felt will hold. I haven't tried putting paintings or framed items up on it yet. I made this mainly for art print display.
You could make the back felt longer and use the rack for display on both sides. Also this would eliminate any light from getting through the felt. The first picture I took, I had the display in front of my window so you can see all kinds of daylight coming through. I don't believe this will happen at an indoor event, like the ones I sell at. I only needed the rack for one sided displays.
Another bonus of using this rack at shows is that you can use the bottom rails for storage of extra supplies. They hide nicely behind the felt.
I must've been aggressive when initially putting the rack together. I pushed the tabs on the vertical poles in too far when trying to lock the rack into place. I found that putting the hex keys into the holes anchors the vertical poles to my desired height. I'm sure Ikea wouldn't approve of this. It works for me. No one'll see it anyway, as it's hidden behind the felt.
Have any other ideas on this? Send them to me! I'd love to hear what you have to say!