All Things Inspired By Desert Living & Loving ~ Big Bend Country, Far West Texas ~ Graphic Designs

My Crafty Cardboard Display

My Desert Love Designs Cards for Sale at Big Bend Ranch State Park

I mentioned in a previous post that there was a “Part Two” to my craft projects for the gift shop at the Sauceda Ranger Station at Big Bend Ranch State Park. In “Part One” I used one of my current loves – metallic bronze spray paint to revive a rickety old card display rack back to pretty-look-at-me-now life. It was a lot of fun with paper craft birdies and a mixed media photo surround for the base.

So, I guess they like my cards and my way with a hot glue gun and since I offered to donate a few of my DesertWings – postcards with my sweet desert birdies . . . they gave me a shelf all to my own. So, what to do with an empty shelf and a stack of postcards?

My Desert Love Desert Wings postcards edition one

My Desert Love Desert My Desert Love selling at Big Bend Ranch State Park 01

So what to do? I have a 3-dimensional space with 1-dimensional postcards to display. My mind was tick-tocking. Remember I am on a ranch over an hour from town, over 5 hours from El Paso – do they have a Hobby Lobby there? There is one in Odessa, which is over 6 hours away. The key factor is my budget could hardly afford my donating these cards, so it was not an option to donate more money to create an inviting display for them as well.

No worries. For me, the best crafts are the ones where you make something out of nothing. So, I went to my stash of cardboard – we order plenty online and have you ever googled all the lovelies and handies that cardboard can inspire? It is really an incredible cardboard world – or can be! I have hot glue and my exacto knife and then a need to make this display look “DesertWings”-lovely!

I first constructed the stand with the dimensions I needed to fulfill. I decided I wanted a ramp, where the back of the stand was higher than the front. Then I would need vertical walls, where the cards could lean back upon. I cut out the pieces with my handy utility aka xacto knife – which is actually a Fiskars utility knife. I really love the rubber handle with the angled-flat sides versus being rounded. I cut a lot of paper, so this has been a lifesaver find for me. Getting back to the project at hand . . .

I used a hot-glue gun to get this all set together. When you work with hot-glue, the initial steps fill you with doubt and apprehension – “Am I creating the Bride of Frankenstein with this thing? . . . Wasting my time . . . Going to be the ugliest thing ever . . .” These thoughts really truly run through my head. Then you cross that anxious plateau to the point of giddy exhilaration when everything comes together and you realize that you have “made something out of nothing once again!” Glue stick was used to paper over the cardboard with some lightweight Kraft paper – saved packing paper – to cover up all the glue and clean things up a bit.

The front of the display needed a scene to run across, so I made an image of prickly pear cacti which I printed out on heavy photo paper. My bird cards were also printed out on photo paper along with a round price sign I came up with. {Pet peeve of mine, as a former retailer – as a current shopper, price should always be visible!} I used a glue stick to adhere all the prints to cardboard. Then with the Fiskars knife I cut out the bird profiles. I played with the placement of all the pieces and came up with this . . .

My Desert Love selling at Big Bend Ranch State Park 03

It is not perfect, but I think it serves it’s purpose well enough. Better yet, it was a worthwhile learning experience. Down the road, I would like to participate in craft and/or holiday shows in the area and will definitely need to construct displays out of nothing for such venues. There are so many things I would do differently, but for now I think my birds’ are resting pretty snuggly on their new shelf.

Do you share a love for hot glue? for cardboard?
Please share any reflections that you may have!


Here’s a few essential tools in my paper crafting world. As you can see, not at all fancy, but reliable and affordable options – for me, that’s the only way to go.


@ 2015 Vi Dotter/My Desert Love Designs & Blog All Rights Reserved.

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  1. September 26, 2015    

    I want to see more of your creative side. That stand brought your postcards to live! Love it!

    • September 26, 2015    

      You are so generous. I have a hard time being “okay” with things. If I can jump in and make it work – I do it. Yes, you are so right. I have really put aside my crafts. I have been inspired and need to put out new, less regional paperworks.

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