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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Spinner Display Made from Old Shutters

As you may know, I take my artwork to a few shows during the year.  Two years ago when I started to sell my Shrink Art Pendants, I just laid them on the table for people to see.  I didn't have many so I didn't see the need for a display more complicated than that.  They next year, I got a jewelry bar and hung them all up.  This worked as I could put all of my necklaces out, but it required customers/ browsers to get up close and pull the necklaces out of the "pile" as it were.  Some were interested enough to dig around, but I think that a few didn't feel like making the effort.  Keeping the idea of a better display in mind, I have spent the "off season" thinking of something better.  I looked at some online spots for a ready made display to buy but I couldn't find what I wanted.  In December, we had new windows put in at our house and I decided not to put the stutters that were in the bathrooms back up.  I got the idea that maybe I could recycle them into a display.  I searched on line again and saw a lot of people have had this idea as well.  There are some really great ideas, not only for display at craft shows but for around the house.  Again however, I really didn't see an idea that I liked.  I thought that I might put the shutters on a chain and hang them from the sides of the tent, but I didn't want them to fall and hit someone.  There are some great ideas to have the shutters stand up on a tabletop, but I have a lot of things to display and need to maximize my tables.  In moving the shutters about, I set them in a square and thought "Hey! that's a good idea" but I needed the display accessible on all all sides.  Then I thought about the lazy susan and knew that I had found an answer to my problem.  I can make a display, secure it to a lazy susan base and then I would have a turning display.

In the spirit of sharing, I thought that I would share with you how I made them.  They are (mostly) completed and work like a dream.  Hopefully they will make things better at shows.

Supplies are as follows:
--8 shutters
--Wood filler to fill in holes. One set of shutters had been cut out spaces for the hinges so I wanted to fill those.
--24  - 1 1/2" screws to secure the shutters together
--Cup hooks  I used about 80-90.  How many you need will depend on what you are hanging and how many you want per side.
--Boards for the lazy susan base. I bought a MDF shelf and had the very nice man at Lowes cut it into 12" squares for me.  I think that it was 12"x 48"x 3/4" If you're doing the math, not all the squares are equal but I just put the smaller on the bottom.  If it bothers you, get 2 shelves, they are not expensive (about 4 dollars) and then you can have exact squares.  
--2 Lazy susan spinners and 16 screws.  I had to order mine from amazon as there were only 12" round at my local store and that was too big.  I ordered a 9" size.  It didn't come with screws or directions.  You can find directions online (how to assemble) and got 16 screws .  I don't have the size but they can help you find what you need at the store.
--Paint.  I bought already mixed small jars at lowes and only used 2 (maybe a quarter of a quart) but I'm keeping them all for touch ups.
--Chalkboard paint.  I used this up at the top so I can write pricing on them as needed.  No need to make a sign.
--Sand paper
--Tools: drill, screwdriver, glue gun

So where to start?  First you need your shutter and supplies.  I had 2 sets of 4 shutters.  As you can see in the photo. They were a yard (36") tall and about 7" wide on each individual shutter.  I took the hardware off the the shutters, the knobs and the hinges.  I did consider leaving the hinges on them but I wanted a tighter square.  I gave them a good cleaning and a light sanding to help prep them for painting.  Next I made my list for the hardware store.  I needed my paint, hooks for hanging, screws and stuff to make a couple of lazy susans.

The first thing I did was put a small bead of hot glue on the shutters to keep them in position.  I didn't want them to move on me while on display.  One set was in bad shape, so glue was a necessary evil.
Those white ones were a bit of a trial.  I pulled off the bar that runs along the shutters.  I opted to leave them on the brown.  Once you get them glued,  give them a good sanding and cleaning to prep them for painting.  
Next I positioned where the cup hooks needed to go.  I opted to paint over my hooks.  I bought brass ones but you can also find them in white.  I don't guess that you have to paint them, but I wanted a solid color.  I'm sure noone will care but me.   To determine spacing, I found the center of the shutter, and laid the display card (a paper craft tag) at the top, left a little space and then marked the next one.  I laid out all the cards so I could tell where they fit.  After I got them marked in general, I took a straight edge and marked the spots so that they would be even on each side.  I staggered the center a little.  
Once that was done, I drilled small holes so that the cup hooks could be attached.

I then painted the shutters with several coats of paint.  If you are good at spray painting and you can find the color you want in a spray, it might make it easier in painting.  I am not a good spray painter though so I just used a small brush.

After the paint dried, my dear husband helped screw the shutters together. This is a 2 person job to be sure.  We used 3 of the 1 1/2" screws on each side.  One in the center and one at each end.  Screwing into the paint didn't cause any problems for the painting I had already done and I just painted the screw heads over.  The final configuration looks like this from above. 

One set didn't make a perfect square but no matter, when they stand up, no one can tell.

Next came the lazy susan bases.  I will be honest here, it is a bit of a pain.  But, there are directions and youtube videos galore to help you out.  I highly recommend watching/reading up before starting this.  I wanted a square base but I am sure that a round would be fine should you have one already made.  

For the base, I first screwed the top of the lazy susan to the bottom of the shutters.  This way the base is directly attached to the shutters.  Don't want an over zealous kid spinning them and the whole thing go flying.
Then the lazy susan hardware is attached.  We did this by drilling 4 bid holes in the bottom square, screwing the bottom of the hardware onto the bottom square, then turning it over on to the top and using the holes, screwing the top of the hardware onto the top square.  That is confusing I know. Watch the videos and don't be afraid to walk away when you want to smash it to bits.  There may be an easier way to to this.  Build or buy your lazy susan and then attach the base to the top with L brackets at the corners.  It will all depend on how you feel about the assembly of the lazy susan and if you mind the L brackets showing.

Lastly, I marked off sections at the top of each shutter and painted them with chalkboard paint.  I don't change my prices much but I am good at forgetting a sign at home, so this way the sign is attached and I just need to throw a chalk pencil in my show box.

In the end you get this!
Finished Display
Pendants hung on the display
I made 2 units.  One is for hanging pendants and the other for ornaments.  For the pendants I can get as many as 16 on each side.  I will have plenty of space now.  The other is for ornaments and will only get 4 or 5 per side.  Being porcelain, I didn't want to crowd them.

I think that I will have to add a loop at the top of my pendant cards. A small one out of ribbon will do the trick I think.  The cup hooks curl up close and the hole in the paper just a little too deep on to the card to hang without bending the paper.  Not a problem though.  I thought that might be an issue so I picked up some to have just incase.

Are these directions clear? Helpful?  I hope so.  I would love to know if you make some.  Please share a photo or two!


  1. Your interesting work is showing your devotion with work. Its awesome thanks for share your interesting work. Faux Wood Shutters

  2. That was a good representation on how to use the old shutters for interior decoration.I love the color and how it goes with the pots and the succulents just give it that perfect Mediterranean feeling.The decoration was simple but looks pretty nice.
    shutters houston