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DIY Your Own Epic Wood Card Rack

By popular demand, I've got a DIY card rack tutorial for you! We originally spotted a gorgeous plywood card rack at the Moorea Seal shop. We thought, "Hey! That's gorgeous! I wonder if we could build one?" And because Brad is an A+ husband, he helped me craft our very own version.

If you want your very own plywood card rack, to wow your friends and sell your cards, here's what you've gotta do.

Step One: Get yourself down to your local Home Depot. (Or Lowes. Or wherever you shop. But for our purposes, I went to Home Depot.)


Step Two: Buy the prettiest laminated panels you can find. It's super important to find flat boards. If they are warped, it will be tough to add the shelves. (You could also paint the card racks, but we were going for the natural look.) Here's a link to a similar product on Home Depot's website. Apparently Seattle prices are high. Who knew? The boards are a little thicker than 0.5" and are about 2 feet by 6 feet. It makes for a great size (in my opinion). We started out with 2 boards, but eventually bought 2 more boards. (Because no one walked around to the back of the rack in our new shop.) Cost: $25 - $35 per board


Step Three: Get the materials for your shelves. We did 17 shelves. The shelf itself is a Poplar board in the "hobby board" section. The ones we got were 0.5" x 1.5" x 36" - but the ones I found online here will work as well. They're just a little bit wider at 2 inches. The trim for the shelf is in the "moulding" section. The pieces are 0.25" x 0.5" x 4 feet. You can get two shelves out of each piece. Cost: $30 - $40 for 15-20 shelves

Step Four: Bring the materials back to your work space, and start gluing the shelves together. I used Gorilla wood glue and a bunch of little clamps. The bigger clamps were too powerful, but the little ones worked great. The glue dries pretty quick, so we did the shelves in stages. I glued and clamped, and as I ran out of clamps the first shelf would be dry enough for Brad to cut. He used a simple hand saw to cut the shelves down to size once they had been glued together. Cost: $15 - $20 for 15-20 shelves


Step Five: Choose the height of your shelves. We did 17 shelves between the two boards, at varying heights for A7 & 4bar cards and 8x10 prints. The nice thing about DIYing these is that you can customize them completely. You can either nail the shelves to the boards or screw them in. We tried both, and found that screws made them more sturdy.


Step Six: Decide how you want to use the shelves. They work against a wall, or freestanding. If you want to use them freestanding, you can screw hinges to the interior of the two boards. We also added a chain to each side, toward the bottom. We used them outside for a full day, and they were really sturdy. They are light, easy to transport in a normal car, and look pretty amazing. (If I do say so myself.)

Step Seven: Put your beautiful cards on the shelf and show those babies off!

Total Cost: $125 - $150 Total Time Involved: One long evening or a leisurely weekend day. Only one argument ensued. (Pretty good for a weekday evening DIY project!)

DIYSara McNally Comments