Mary Kay Give Away Display
A couple of years ago, I had a client who sold Mary Kay cosmetics. She wanted me to build her a display that she could place near the cash registers at local businesses. People could fill out an entry form and place it inside the display in order to win prizes.
She wanted the display to be a little nicer and have more class than the usual cardboard box or fish bowl that you normally see for these types of things. She also did not want it to have a very large footprint. Business owners would be more likely to let her place it on their counter if it didn’t take up too much room. It also couldn’t be too small or else it wouldn’t be noticeable.
The display also needed to have some sort of “back” to it so that a pad of entry forms could hang from it. Above the entry pads, their had to be enough room for a sign explaining what the entry forms were for.
I decided that even though this project was not going to be a very large one, I really needed to go through the entire design process. The design needed to be more than just a rough sketch before I started building it.
The first thing I did was to make a prototype out of some cardboard. This was just to determine the overall size of the display. I wanted to get a good visual of the size to show my client. I ended up making a couple of different sizes to present. This part of the process really only took about 1/2 an hour. I basically cut up a few pieces of cardboard and taped them together to form a box for the different sizes. I also mocked up the “back” with some cardboard as well.
Once this was done, I began modeling the design in my CAD software. This allowed me to get all of the joints figured out, as well as give a nice visual representation of the style for my client. Between the cardboard mock-ups and the 3 dimensional CAD design, I felt that I had enough to show the client and see if she wanted to move forward from there.
From the very beginning, I had a certain image in my head as to what the box should look like. I didn’t consciously design it with an Asian flair, but that is how it turned out. The curved legs, and curved edging of the top accomplish this. I also wanted to add some marquetry to it as well. I decided on a very simple rose pattern for the front of the box.
I have always liked the contrast between walnut and maple and decided to use them on this project. In this case, I would use some curly maple that I had left over from another project. I would also use purple-heart and cherry on the rose.
My client loved the size and design that I had come up with, and gave her approval for going ahead with the project. It was at this point that I decided I would need some jigs and patterns made up so that I would be able to make several of these. In order to come up with the jigs and patterns, I built a prototype of the box out of MDF and pine.
The prototype allowed be to work out some of the challenges of creating some of the curved pieces and the joinery. The legs of the piece are curved on two faces, not just tapered. Once the prototype was complete, I began making boxes.