Building a Display in 10 (or so) Easy(ish) Steps

So, this has been a journey…PVC displays are easy to make.  I’ll give you step by step instructions (along with amateur photos) documenting the process so you can make one the next time you need one! (this would also work great for a photo backdrop).

Step 1:  Scour Pinterest to get ideas.  Sketch out the dimensions and pieces you’ll need. 


Step 2: Go to Home Depot to buy the things you need.  Discover they won’t cut the PVC pipe for you and buy a pipe cutting tool that the salesman assures you that you will be capable of using with your bare hands.  Be grateful your car is just barely big enough to fit slightly bend-able pipes inside. Lay all necessary pieces on the floor of your very messy house.  

3- 10 foot 3/4″ PVC pipes (six year old included for scaling purposes)

Step 3: Measure PVC pipe and mark where to cut.  Double-check because you cannot mess this up without having to go back to Home Depot and you’re not really a fan of Home Depot. 


Step 4: Use the PVC pipe cutter to cut the pipe.  Be amazed that you are indeed strong enough to cut through the pipe. 


Step 5: Sand every nook and cranny of the pipe so that the spray paint will stick well.  You got these instructions from Bob Villa’s website.  Thanks, Bob, for being a name we can trust in the DIY partnership development process. 


Step 5 1/2: Get bored and, if you’re six, start drawing with sidewalk chalk…on yourself.  If you’re an adult, keep sanding.  It’s your job. 


Step 6: Wash the PVC dust off the pipe.  LeYanna helped with this since she had to wash the chalk dust off herself anyway. 

Step 7: Prep the spray paint area with the very large dropcloth that you got on clearance.  It’s too long, so cut it in half. 


Step 8: Paint the pipe with spray paint.  You chose “flat iron grey” because you’d originally wanted to buy real metal industrial looking pipes but they were too heavy and expensive.  Go to the store to buy two more cans because the first can was not sufficient. Also, buy a salad for your friend’s birthday party while you’re there.  


Step 9: Prep photos for printing.  Print.  Cut off the edges so they look nice. 

Printing. Cutting.

Step 10: Assemble the pipes.  Hang string from pipe to pipe.  Hang pictures.  It’s done!  Good work!  Now, try to take it apart and realize that the paint makes pipes stick together. 


If I hadn’t had to buy the tool, and if I’d chosen a cheaper spray paint, we could have completed this around $30.  As it was, we got it done in less than $60.  Still not bad for an eye-catching display.

As I look at it, I’m most excited about the people and places it represents.  I can’t wait to tell their stories and to invite others to be part of what God is doing in Mongolia!

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