If you’re an artist and you do shows, you know how expensive it can be to get all the things you need for a professional looking booth. Art panels are one of those expenses and after considering different options for my first official juried art show, I decided to cut the costs and make my own.
Unfortunately, I did not take enough photos of this process so please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. I have one panel left to make and hopefully will make a video of how we did it.
Let me preface this by saying I had help. I could have done it myself but it wouldn’t have been easy, and my sweet and gracious husband and son-in-law were a huge help! Each of these panels cost less than $100 (we made 7 of them), vs. $350 or more for professional ones.
Here’s how we made them.
Tools You’ll Need:
Table saw to cut 2” x 4”s in half to create 1” x 1” pieces.
Drill for pre-drilling holes.
Screws and screw gun or screwdriver to put the pieces together.
Staple gun (we used a pneumatic one with an air compressor which makes the job go much faster).
Materials for Each Panel:
(3) 2” x 4” x 8’ studs.
Staples for staple gun.
Screws for screwing the framing together.
There are less expensive wheels on Amazon but I wanted to go with metal, heavy duty ones I knew would be strong enough to hold some weight. That said, these panels are lightweight enough that I can carry them myself.
We removed the wheels for transport so the panels would fit in our SUV.
Packages of Upholstery Hooks. I found some for 98c a package at my local Walmart.
Directions Per Panel:
- Using a hand or miter saw, first cut (1) 2” x 4” down to 7’.
- Using a table saw cut that same piece in half down the middle so you have (2) 1” x 1” x7’ pieces. These will be the sides for your panel.
- Cut (2) additional 2” x 4”s down the middle again (leave 8’), to create 1” x 1” pieces and cut into (5) 29” pieces for the top, bottom, and support braces.
- Screw the top bottom, and support braces onto the inside of the 7’ side pieces so you have a frame like the photo below.
5. Lay one of the 6’ x 8’ pieces of carpet on the floor or a large table and place the frame on
top of it so the 8’ section is going the long way, and the edge of the carpet can be stapled
up to the edge of one side of the frame.
6. Staple the carpet along this edge starting in the middle, and working your way out to the
7. Flip the whole frame and carpet over on it’s side so that the frame is completely covered by
8. This is where it will be VERY helpful to have a friend. You’ll want to pull the carpet as tight
as you can on the opposite side, fold the carpet over to make a nice clean edge, and staple
again from the middle out, keeping it as taut as you can. Trim any excess carpet if you
need to with scissors.
9. Trim and excess carpet at each end to just enough to fold over the edge of the wooden
frame and staple in place. Remove any bulk in the corners and staple, staple, staple to
make it neat looking and so it will stay in place. Fluffing the carpet with your fingers over
the staples helps hide them a bit.
10. Attach the feet according to the directions.
Tips: When attaching the feet, pay attention to how you will set the panels up so that the stapled edges are on the inside of each panel, and the nicely folded edge (where you flipped the frame over on the carpet, is on the outside).
You can also hinge the panels together on the back.
Use the upholstery hooks to attach your wired artwork.