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Do as the Dutch do! Building a Display Shelf from Cardboard

It’s a Dutch tradition that front windows are used for display. They’re often uncurtained and directly on the street. In former times, it was not considered rude to look in your neighbor’s windows as you strolled down the street. Folks were proud to show their orderly homes. These days, front windows are more often curtained or blocked with film for privacy; but they often display art, plants, cats, antiques or other items that please the residents to show.

Now, I have such a front window, directly on a busy sidewalk. I wanted to do as the Dutch do, so I decided to build a shelf. This was during lockdown, so shopping for something with these specific dimensions was challenging. And, since I was inside most of the time, I needed a project. So – Cardboard to the rescue!

Making My Cardboard Shelf: Components

I wanted something temporary and removable, that wouldn’t damage the walls or window frame of the apartment. I measured and cut cardboard to size and started gluing the pieces together.

Making My Cardboard Shelf: Assembly

Adhesive velcro was used on the wall and on the shelf. The glued edges of the cardboard had to be finished to provide a solid smooth surface for the velcro to adhere to. Then all the pieces were covered with glue and a stretchy paper-fabric I had on hand, and then painted and varnished.

Finally all the pieces were ready! I assembled the pieces and mounted the shelf.

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