Sunday, January 15, 2012

A couple of quick and inexpensive salvaged fixture rehabs

As I've previously mentioned, I'm vending at Midwinter Gaming Convention next weekend. In preparation for this, I'm doing an assessment of the booth fixtures I have and figuring out how to display everything.

I'm always looking for objects that I can repurpose, not only for my shinies, but also for use in displays. While I do have a few of the standard black velvet-covered-intended-for-jewelry-display geegaws, most of my fixtures are found items. (Technically, a few of the velvet bits are salvage too, since I bought them at a mall jewelry store's going out of business sale.)

A while back, I found this clippy stand that I believe was originally intended for pictures. It's a bit over 2 1/2 feet tall (depending on how the wire tentacles are arranged) and I snagged it from my local Goodwill for $2.99.
While the chrome finish wasn't bad, I wanted it to look a bit more steamish/vintage laboratory. I painted the base and wire arm socket a matte black and wrapped the upward shaft in a coil of 18 gauge copper wire (Since I knew this was going to take a lot of wire, I used the inexpensive $2.99 for 25 feet wire from Menards. I'm glad I did, since it used precisely the whole package.). I think I might also add either an etched brass plate on the base or use a metal label frame to give it even more faux science flair. It'll make a great holder for some of my X-ray image necklaces.
Remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about hitting the after-Holiday clearance sales for recyclable items? These enameled metal cans were among this year's spoils. They're about 12 inches tall and were $2 each after an 80% markdown.
I'd bought them to serve as stanchions/pillars to elevate part of one of my displays closer to eye-level. While the "before" picture shows them upside down, they're very sturdy right side up too, so I decided to decorate them that way. I still had quite a few of the medical quackery ads left over from my torso project, so I decopaged the cans with the paper scraps, then added a layer of sealant.
They're also a great size for packing smaller items into/creating protected sections in my big tote boxes when transporting everything to and from events.


  1. They look great!

    I have a small piece like yours above. I take it to some shows. I use it to display cards.

    Best wishes for success!


  2. Great stuff... btw i love the design of your blog..