The art of retail display is constantly evolving. While some businesses do just fine lining up a few products on risers, other stores prefer to cultivate a more rustic, modern or artistic feel.
If you’re a retailer looking to boost visual interest with minimal expense or need to set up a last-minute product display, doing it yourself might be the ideal solution. Follow our suggestions for bringing your retail displays to life and the tools you should have on hand to make them happen.
One popular DIY display option is the painting frame. Mounted on a wall, a good frame can easily house prints, jewelry and other small hanging objects. Try looking at garage sales and online auctions where inexpensive paintings are sold, and then sand down the frame you find and paint it to match your display theme. Presented in groups or on their own, eclectic, old frames can be effective for drawing in the eye and creatively displaying small, delicate objects.
Another popular DIY choice is the flowerpot. Take a standard earthenware pot and repaint it in high-gloss lacquer to create a brightly colored, clean display container. Consider placing an assortment of these in similar shades on a tabletop for extra flair. Decorated pots are a great way to showcase everything from fans to flatware, evoking an artisanal vibe while enabling easy interaction.
Raiding secondhand shops and garage sales for found objects you can use to hang your merchandise will inspire exciting new ideas. An old chandelier, for instance, can be stripped of glass and lowered to eye level as a unique hanger for necklaces, scarves and handbags. On a smaller scale, you can do the same thing with coat hooks or spice racks.
Tiered displays can be another great way to showcase products. Old crates, camera tripods or interesting tables and chairs can create unexpected levels in your display areas. And don’t forget about depth — even simple plastic plates and mats can be tiled together to create a nice, clean mosaic to sit behind your products. "One of the ways we caught people’s eyes was to create displays featuring things at different heights," says Lulu Davis, the former owner of a children’s boutique in Somerville, MA. "Creating multilevel displays is great for that, as are movement — for example, having a fan going — bright colors and shiny objects.”
With a few essential tools, you can create the looks above as well as a variety of other extraordinary looks. Here are some must-have items for your DIY display toolbox:
DIY display ideas are as much about creativity and knowing your brand as they are about craft skills and visual flair. Stick with a few simple techniques, and remember to make your products the hero of every display.