I posted a video that Duncan put together after we returned from the POOL Trade Show back in February, but I just realized I never shared anything else. I put a lot of thought and sweat equity into my booth display this year so I'll start by filling you in on that.
I had a vision to turn the cork covered table that is supplied for all Cash and Carry exhibitors into an upholstered masterpiece that resembled a booth at a swanky bar or a headboard in a well designed bedroom. I was a bit nervous about executing this big idea since I would have to ship the supplies straight to Las Vegas and roll with the punches once I was there with no practice run. I ordered some black vinyl that I was really happy with as it was mistaken for leather a few times and it held up well to the abuse I ended up putting it through. I also ordered a huge rectangle of upholstery foam, a heavy duty staple gun and a bunch of upholstery nails. I tried to think through the process as much as possible beforehand, but knew it was just going to take throwing myself into the project and that's exactly what I did.
Set up day was Monday. Duncan didn't arrive until the first day of the show on Tuesday so I headed out to the Las Vegas Convention Center from my sister's house on my own. Here's how the cork table looked before the project began. I started by attaching the massive piece of foam to the cork board with my trusty staple gun. The foam was much thicker than I anticipated so this step was much more difficult than I imagined it would be, but it was eventually secured. I shaped the the edges with scissors so there would be a a nice smooth edge where the table top attached to the front of the display. Next up I marked up the foam to plan where the buttons would be. I stapled these areas in hoping that the indentation in the foam would take some of the pressure off of the upholstery nails. Again, this was not very easy with the thick foam so by this time I was breaking a sweat and giving myself a staple gun blister. I was making progress though so I was still very hopeful at this point. I laid the black vinyl over the table and weighted it down from above to see how this was all going to pan out. I knew pretty quickly that the upholstery nails that I had attached Vivi Dot buttons to weren't going to come close to cutting it so I headed to Ace Hardware. I grabbed an electric screw driver, screws and washers and headed back for round two. I decided to put a washer between the foam and the vinyl and another in front of the vinyl to do the job the button covered nails would have done. I quickly realized that my dinky electric screwdriver was not going to cut it and borrowed a hand held to put my muscles and blistered hand to use instead.
It was impossible to get the screw through the foam because it would just wind up and unwind after I took the screw driver away. I ended up having to pull out all of my staples and cut holes in the foam where the screws needed to go. Lining this up wasn't easy, but it all ended up working out with just a few unwanted tears that were covered by the washers. Each screw took at least three tries before I could get it to catch and remain secure. I didn't think it was going to come together at this point, but people started to walk by and compliment my progress so that gave me a little bit of hope. I was never able to get the very middle screw in as far as the others. It just wouldn't catch, but it wasn't that noticeable and not worth risking ripping the vinyl to try it again and again. At this point I was more than happy to live with it as is. I glued a black ribbon to the edge of the vinyl that would cover the top and my hours of labor finally felt worth it. The silver washers weren't as polished as my pretty Vivi Dot Button Nails would have been, but overall I think it turned out really well. Here's how it looked with the products present.I really wish I could have salvaged the whole thing and transformed it into a headboard, but that just wasn't in the cards. I do plan to use this experience to do it again for a more permanent piece for my house some day.I had to rearrange the contents of my luggage on the way home because one was over the weight limit and one was way under. I needed two pounds out of the heavy bag and Duncan instantly suggested the staple gun. I found it and sure enough, it was just over two pounds. I said to the lovely Virgina America employee that a staple gun really is a must have for all travelers. She said she wasn't there to judge, but I'm sure she thought we were crazy.