In the past, I've hung things from the ceiling in order to get more display space, but that makes the fire code guys nervous. I'm also super clumsy, so even though the custodians have given me my own ladder, I still have to climb on bookcases to get things just right -- I'm just waiting to topple off of one.
After the pipes were cut to length and threaded, they were connected using 90-degree fittings. Though, note that depending on the opening of the carabiners you select, you may wish to hang the carabiners from the pipe before connecting the sections using the fittings.
The edges of the sheet metal can be sharp, so you might want to sand them down a little bit. My collaborator created little tabs that he riveted around the pipe to keep the sign from swinging and reduce the chances of someone cutting themselves on a sharp edge. I don't know that this step is necessary, but if you feel like going all out, you can attach your sign this way.
Last year I set out to devise some kind of display sign that I could rest on TOP of the bookcase to give me vertical surface area to expand the displays without having to use the ceiling. Here's my Pinterest board for or the sign project if you want to check my inspiration.
Ultimately, here's what I ended up with:
|This sign normally rests on top of a different bookcase, so the wooden "feet" are longer than the top of the shelve when it's used in this location.|
These hanging display signs have a fun industrial vibe that works with the coffee tables in our library space. The sheet metal portion of the sign is magnetic, so it's super easy to use magnetic letters to create a sign. I've purchased multiple styles of magnetic letters (I like the 3" or 4" size the best) like these and these from Amazon.
I also bought a bunch of heavy duty magnetic clips on Amazon. These are strong enough to hold cardboard or other demensional objects to the sign.
I don't always use the magnets - sometimes I cut letters out using the Cricut and just masking tape them to the surface or print out colored posters and tape those up.
I wish I could say I built these display signs entirely by myself, but I work with an AWESOME tech department. They're more than willing to take on unique challenges. So I bought the materials and gave them drawings of what I was looking for, and a few weeks later - voila! Two amazing display signs!
The finished signs are about 41" tall and 38" wide.
I used the following materials to create each sign:
- 10' length of 3/4" Black Pipe ($16.75)
- 24" x 36" piece of Galvanized Sheet Metal ($8.98)
- 2 3/4" 90-Degree Black Iron Elbow Fitting ($2.12 each)
- 2 3/4" Black Iron Floor Flanges ($5.98)
- 2 carabiner style fasteners of your choice ($2.98 each) (A note: make sure the diameter of the fasteners is large enough to fit over the 3/4" black pipe)
- 8 screws to fasten flanges to the boards or bookcase
- 1x8 board scraps cut into two 17" lengths (the length should be slightly less than the depth of your bookcase)
You'll need to cut your 10' pipe into three lengths for the sides and top of the sign holder, and then create threads on the ends so you can screw them into the elbows and flanges. This requires a special tool, which we were able to borrow from the building and grounds department in our district. As an alternative, Lowes will cut and thread your pipes for free.
|We used 90-degree elbows to join the pipes together. I remember correctly, it takes some muscle to attach the fittings.|
My "builder" was way into the project, so he added some features that weren't in my original design. If you notice, I didn't use carabiners to attach the sheet metal to the frame but instead went with these o-ring things. The o-rings didn't allow the sheet metal to drop down far enough from the top of the frame, so he created metal tabs that he riveted to the top of the sign to get a longer drop. If you choose more appropriate carabiners, you won't have this problem.
Instead of creating these tabs, you'll be able to just put two holes directly into the sheet metal using either a drill bit or a portable hand punch, and then suspend your sheet metal from the pipe using the carabiner. There are some good tips here for making holes in sheet metal.
Once the frame and sign were assembled, bottom flanges were threaded onto the pipe and then screwed into wood "feet." The signs are pretty stable up on the bookcases this way, but you may wish to screw or clamp the signs directly to the top of the bookcase for added security.
|Once the flanges were threaded onto the pipes, they were screwed into wooden "feet" to add stability to the shelves.|
|Riveted tabs to keep the sign from swinging back and forth.|
Have you built anything to make displays easier? I'd love to see photos!