Portable Shelving for Craft Shows

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Shelves are a great way to help a display look professional and organized. For craft shows, transport and set up can be a cumbersome task.  Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to purchase or DIY portable shelving units for craft shows and other events.

If you are using a canopy and have items that aren’t heavy, one simple idea is to use cloth accessory shelves that normally hang in the closet.  You can hang them on your canopy.

Have them face out the front corner to instantly catch people’s eyes as they walk past.

If you have heavier items; you’ll need something sturdier.  I’ve used wine boxes and scrapwood to create shelves like the ones below.  Paint or stain and use a cool fabric to cover the bottom inside.

The nice thing about these is that they are crates so I load them up with my soaps and scrubs and set up is simple.  I’ve actually had people want to buy my boxes.

If you can’t find a supply of wine boxes, you can always build simple crates yourself if you’re handy.  It’s inexpensive and completely customizable.

You can also bring a 2 x 4 board to lay over the top of the crates for additional shelving.

frugal craft display wine crate shelf

When I sell cat toys I use portable clothing racks, but what if you want something to hang items and shelves? I love Whitmor products because they are easy to assemble and light weight.

This closet organizer is perfect because it’s tall enough to display items well, but not so tall it becomes burdensome.  It offers side shelves next to a hanging rod and is basically a closet on wheels for under $40.

Other ideas include stacking crates, putting boards between rungs of ladders, and collapsible wood shelves.

If you’re looking for riser shelves for table tops, there are many sets of plans for building your own, or you can support another small business by purchasing on Etsy.  I’ve seen beautiful riser sets for sale at reasonable prices.

Well made wood risers will last a lifetime.  Here are a couple that I think look very well made.

Collapsible riser portable display stand
collapsible table risers are convenient and easy to transport/setup


What clever ideas can you come up with for portable shelving?

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