If your Star Wars action figures are outgrowing your shelf space, or you’re the type who just likes to be a little more organized, you can make your own custom display stand in almost no time at all! Spray paint and decals can turn a boring, tiered wooden spice shelf into a scene straight out of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
This action figure display stand is inspired by the duel on the steps of Bespin’s carbon-freezing chamber — as seen below in an animated short from Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures. (We won’t judge you if you decide to use it just to re-enact the iconic lightsaber battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader.)
What You’ll Need*
- Wooden spice shelf (3-tier)
- Black spray paint
- Black acrylic paint
- Red adhesive vinyl sheet
- 5/8” circle paper hole punch
- Paint brush
*The activities in this article should only be done with adult supervision.
Step 1: Begin by spray painting the wooden shelves black. More than one coat may be needed. If it’s an extendable rack, be sure to gently pull the shelves out as far as you can for best coverage.
Let the paint dry completely.
Step 2: Use the 5/8-inch paper hole punch to cut one circle from the red vinyl sheet. Cut around the hole in the sheet of vinyl to save the circle as a template.
Step 3: Using the grid on the back of the vinyl sheet as a guide, trace one circle, and then trace another circle about 1-inch to 1.25 inches next to it.
Step 4: Draw two lines connecting the top and bottom of the circles, using the ruler to keep them straight. Cut out the rounded oval shape. Don’t peel the backing just yet — this one will be your template for the other ovals you’ll be cutting out!
Step 5: Cut out six holes in the red vinyl with the 5/8-inch hole punch. Remove the backing and stick the circles to both ends of the “stairs” on all three tiers.
Step 6: Trace the template several times and cut out multiple ovals. For the shelves in this how-to, we used nine ovals total. Punch additional red circles as well.
Step 7: Arrange the ovals and circles on the bottom step to get the spacing just right and to create a pattern of circle-oval-circle. Once you’re confident in the spacing you’d like, begin removing the backing and sticking the red shapes on front side of the stairs.
Note: You’ll have to remove and re-stick the red shapes if you notice the spacing isn’t working or the shape is crooked. Keep the black acrylic paint on hand for any touch-ups if the black spray paint comes off with the adhesive.
Step 8: Continue cutting and sticking shapes until the pattern is complete. If you have a larger collection, don’t forget to extend the shelving on an expandable rack to continue the pattern.
Your display stand is finished. Arrange your favorite toys on the shelf or tabletop to show off just how impressive it is—and then share it with Star Wars on social media so we can ooh and ahh!
Kelly Knox is a freelance writer who loves creating Star Wars crafts with her daughter. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox.