How to make your own diecast display case

Written by sue stepp
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How to make your own diecast display case
Put your diecast car collection in hand made display cases, and keep them in pristine condition. (MM Productions/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Displaying small items is easy when a person uses display cases. Purchasing display cases from stores or catalogues gets expensive quickly, especially if a person owns a lot of collectibles. Items like diecast cars require multiple cases for serious collectors. Building display cases for small collectable items is simple, inexpensive and fast. Homemade display cases cost about £9 each. Create several cases and hang them on a wall, so the cases stay in a safe place while letting people admire the collections.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 2 pieces 1/4-inch thick 2-by-16-inch balsa wood (part A and B)
  • 2 pieces 1/4-inch thick 2-by-19.5-inch balsa wood (part C and D)
  • Wood glue
  • 1 package 1/2 inch long finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • 1/8-inch-thick 16-by-20-inch piece of wood (part E)
  • Staple gun and staples
  • 2 pieces 1/2-inch-thick 2-by-19.5-inch balsa wood (part F, G, H and I)
  • 16-by-20-inch wood picture frame with glass
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • 2 hinges (1 inch long)
  • Screwdriver
  • 4 screws
  • 2 small eye bolts
  • 24 inches picture hanging wire

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Label parts A, B, C and D using a pencil. You erase the pencil lines after you finish the frame.

  2. 2

    Run a thin line of glue on one of the 1/4- by 2-inch sides of part C. Pick up part A. Press the glued end of part C against part A, so it forms an "L" shape. Hold the two pieces together until it sticks. Repeat the procedure with parts D and B, so you have two "L" shapes.

  3. 3

    Tap two nails into the end of each "L" shape, so it holds the pieces together firmly. Position the two "L" shapes into a rectangle shape. Glue the corners together, and let them dry for a few minutes. Nail the corners together. This is the base of the display case.

  4. 4

    Place part E on top of the base. Line up the edges, so it fits exactly on top of the frame. Staple around the edges of the frame using a staple gun. Staple through part E directly into the balsa wood.

  5. 5

    Erase the letters off of parts A through D. Lay the base on the table with the open side facing up. Turn the base, so one of the 20-inch sides faces you. This is the bottom of the case.

  6. 6

    Measure and draw a line going from the front of the base to part E every four inches from the bottom of the case to the top on the inside of the left side. Repeat the procedure on the wood on the right side.

  7. 7

    Run a line of glue across the first line at the bottom left and right side. Slide part F in the opening, and line it up on the glue lines. Hold the piece in place until it sticks. Repeat this procedure with each line going up with parts G through I. Let the glue dry thoroughly.

  8. 8

    Nail parts F through I in place with the finishing nails. This makes the display case stronger.

  9. 9

    Paint the frame with acrylic paint or stain it, so it matches the frame. Let it dry thoroughly before putting the lid on the case.

  10. 10

    Screw an eye bolt into the top of the right and left top corners on the back about 1 inch from the top. Thread a piece of picture hanging wire through each bolt, and fold the wire towards the frame. Wrap the excess wire around the wire going across the frame several times before trimming the excess off.

  11. 11

    Open the hinges to a 90 degree angle, and lay them over the outside of the left side of the case. Move the hinges, so they are evenly spaced. Screw the part of the hinge laying over the outside of the base onto the base. Fold the top part of the hinge, so it points straight up.

  12. 12

    Remove everything out of the picture frame except the glass. Put a dot of hot glue into each corner, so it holds the glass in place without making it look sloppy.

  13. 13

    Lay the wooden frame on top of the base, and line up the edges. Once it is lined up, screw the hinges into the wood on the left side of the frame.

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