How to Build a Custom Display Case or Cabinet

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If you open your own storefront or have a need for a display case or a display cabinet then I have a very cheap, easy, and affordable way for you to build your own cabinets.

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Go to your local hardware store, Walmart, Sams Club or Home Depot. You will need to purchase a heavy duty metal frame shelf or shelving unit. You will need to see how wide this is and purchase a piano hinge that matches the length, it can be cut down if you need it to be shorter or you can buy a couple of hinges if it's not long enough. You will also need some short screws that will secure plexiglass to the shelves.

Take your shelves and sort the pieces. You should have enough for the unit to be four tiers tall. Now, build the shelves so they are two tiers high (you will have 2 display cases from this one unit).

Now, measure the length and width of the front, the top and the sides.

Go to your local glass shop and order plexiglass in the sizes of the front and top (sides too if you want or I will give you another option for the sides). Make sure it's thick enough to be stable, like glass. If you will be putting things on top, make sure that is thickest.

If you don't want to have glass sides, you can buy paneling (I used wood paneling) in the measurements of the sides and screw this onto the metal frame with bolts and washers and nuts.

When you take the plexiglass home, you'll have to carefully drill holes for the hardware to go through the plexiglass and the holes in the metal frame of the shelves. Next, you'll attach the top piece of plexiglass to the top with the piano hinge. This will give you a top display case for your display shelf. Just make sure that when you assemble the shelf, you leave a couple inches at the top.

Make the height of the shelves the way you want them before you attach everything, it's much easier. Make sure you leave the room at the top if you want the hinged display cast at the top. You can make a divider for the top case if you want it sectioned off.

Tips & Warnings

  • This whole project only cost me about $250.00 for 2 beautiful custom display cabinets.
  • Be very careful when drilling the plexiglass, it's expensive and you don't want it to crack.
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