How to Build a Holiday Display Shelf Unit

This portable shelf unit is a great solution to display holiday decorations, but the design can be used for a variety of purposes.

  1. The project begins with two sheets of 3/4-inch cabinet-grade plywood. Cut a 6×4-foot piece from one sheet before ripping that piece into a pair of 2×6-foot pieces. These will be the vertical side supports.
  2. To make the shelves resemble a mountain, draw and then cut a gradual taper on each piece to make it narrower as it goes up.
  3. Join the two sides without the taper with a piano hinge. Band the plywood with solid dimensional lumber to better hold the hinge screws.
  4. Cut 3/4-inch wide notches in the front edges of the vertical pieces to create support for the horizontal shelves. The notches should stop about 6 inches short of the back edge of the piece.
  5. Cut the horizontal shelves shorter and more narrow as you go up. This continues the mountain theme but also prevents the unit from being top heavy. The shelves should fit snugly in the notches.
  6. After sanding and testing the pieces for fit, paint the shelf unit.

The result is an attractive display stand that can be folded flat for storage at the end of the season. Watch the video for details.


  1. Could you tell me the dimensions of each of your shelves, please? I would love to build this but need a little more detail! Thank you

  2. Good morning,
    I really like this stand for my sister but what size are the shelves and how far apart are they.
    Thank you for all of your shows with really helpful information.

  3. Hello Mr. Lipford,

    Thank you for all the wonderful tips you share with us. I am home on disability and my husband is busy taking care of me and working 12-18 hours day. I asked him to make the Holiday Display Shelf Unit for me but he just has no time. I know. He always up his village, (country because it is so large) and I do the snow globes. That is my favorite to do. I wanted to use this display unit. IS THERE SOMEWHERE YOU ARE SELLING THESE NOT TOO EXPENSIVE OR SOMEWHERE I CAN PURCHASE ONE.
    Thanks again for sharing great ideas and if you have any suggestions.
    Thanks, God bless, and Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas

    Gina Sanders

  4. LOVE what all of you do! i did notice some electrical cords in your picture so I’m curious how you can hide them since if one has many villages it means many cords? Thank u!


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