BL Workshop

Make a ‘hide rack’ display for your patches

If you’re like a lot of Scouts, you’ve collected plenty of patches over the years. Unfortunately, many get tossed into plastic bags or shoeboxes where only dust mites see them.

Don’t let that happen to yours. Use a hide rack patch display. Based on Native American “hide racks” that cured fur pelts, this display lets you show off your souvenirs and practice knots and hitches.



  • Two one-inch-diameter dowels, 42 inches long
  • Two one-inch-diameter dowels, 29 inches long
  • 1⁄8-inch cotton cord
  • 1⁄8-inch bit and drill
  • Wood screws and screwdriver
  • Piece of brown or tan synthetic suede leather, 24 inches wide by 36 inches long
  • 24 inches of self-adhesive Velcro fastening tape, 1⁄2 inch wide
  • Scissors

hide1Step 1: To build the frame, position the dowels (use real branches for a more rustic look) in a rectangle. The shorter dowels should lay vertically on top of the longer dowels. Leave an overlap of about two inches on the corners.

Step 2: Drill a 1⁄8-inch pilot hole about 11⁄2 inches deep at each corner. Be sure not to drill completely through the horizontal dowels. Secure each corner with a screw and turn the frame over.



Step 3: With the cotton cord, tie a square lashing on each of the four corners.


hide3Step 4: Give the entire frame, including lashings, a coat of brown wood stain. You might also want to apply a light coat of satin varnish or a polyurethane finish to the frame. Allow the frame to dry.

Step 5: Trim the hide about two inches smaller than the frame. Save the leftover scraps.

Step 6: Cut a row of 1⁄4-inch-long slits along the edges of the hide, spacing the slits about one inch apart and 1⁄2 inch from the edge.


hide4Step 7: From the leftover scrap, cut 1⁄4-inch-wide strips, as long as possible. Join the strips together using square knots until you have two laces 20 feet long each.


hide5Step 8: Lay the frame faceup on a large flat sur face (The screws should not be showing.) Using a clove hitch, tie the laces to the frame in two opposite corners.

Step 9: Position the hide in the center of the frame and begin looping the laces through the slits—under the hide and over the dowel. Keep an even tension by working in opposite directions. End with a final clove hitch.


hike6Step 10: Cut the Velcro into 1⁄2-inchsquare pieces. Before attaching the squares to the patches, arrange your patches on the rack, which is screwside down.

Step 11: To mount the Velcro, peel off the plastic strip covering the hook side of a Velcro pad and stick it to the patch. Then peel off the strip covering the fuzzy side and stick it to the hide. (Keeping the hook and fuzzy sides consistent will make it easier to rearrange your patches later.)

Step 12: Tie leather strips to the upper corners of the frame to form hanging loops. Attach the rack to your wall using nails or picture hangers. Besides patches, you can also display hat pins, historic trail medals, ribbons or other mementos. What better way to show off the things you’re proud of!

Comments about “Make a ‘hide rack’ display for your patches”

  1. second class scout says:

    This will be a great project and will be a perfect display for my scout patches!

  2. boyscout99 says:

    I made one a couple years ago its awesome

  3. omsbulldog says:

    i am trying to do this and it is turning out to be awesome!!

  4. lolligon says:

    so cool!!I really <3(love) it!! ;-)

  5. vonawesome says:


  6. Venturing Girl says:

    I bet this would work for DI (Destination Imagination) pins

  7. The Only P45C4L says:

    This is a good way I think to display my past leadership position patches, past rank patches, and all of my other various patches from trips with my troop. I could also put my Den Chief Service award ropes and some service stars… Thumbs up for a great display!

  8. spykid says:

    Can’t wait to get the stuff to get started!

  9. Andy says:

    Where can you find a leather hide for the rack?

  10. wild boyz says:

    this will be good for my badges.I’m going to use a douel instead of twigs.

  11. 44128 says:

    great jus’ wondren wot the indians used it 4

  12. BoyScoutTroop85 says:

    AWSOME!!!! :)

  13. Aaron says:

    This is nice!

  14. jaba the hut says:

    my dad said me and him can do this together

  15. joseph says:

    im going to see if i can do this

  16. One Armed Bandit says:

    hey kman, I think it said in the article it was invented by indians

  17. CoinCollector says:

    Neat! Will this work for coins in any way?

  18. bambulbee15 says:


  19. Yo Man says:

    Thats sweet

  20. evan kevin eleven devin says:

    where do you put the badges and pins on my uniform

  21. kman says:

    I think that is a cool invention.I wish I knew who invented that.

  22. Kool Pan says:

    AWESOME! But i really wanna have my badges and patches on my uniform :(

  23. peewee says:


  24. jord says:

    thats awsome

  25. Torch says:

    Perfect, especially for my Weblos pins and badges. (I don’t need them any more).

  26. Con Buckeye says:

    Could you use it with other things

  27. historygeek says:

    This is a nice job

  28. screwie says:

    i got the materials for this and my mom agreed ! best project

  29. hotrod says:

    it wouldbe great for my merit badges.

  30. cub leader says:

    This is one of the projects listed in the cub scout Bear book, except the leather is cut into the shape of an animal hide, the dowels are sticks collected from the out of doors, and they are supposed to tie the corners without using screws.

    My son made one in Webelos to put all his Cub scout stuff on when he switched from the blue uniform to the tan uniform. it is a nice display on his wall. He may make another one to put all his boy scout patches on once he obtains his Eagle–he’s almost Life now. :)

  31. ty says:

    very cool

  32. Mikethemaster says:

    my patches = woodworking badge=this project

  33. taghammer says:

    wow, this is neat….my mom needs to go buy the stuff.

  34. aj says:

    boy scouts is cool

  35. WUZUP says:

    looks fun

  36. coop says:

    I think its cool

  37. icnedec says:

    WOW! THAT IS COOL. I just went to Camporee and got a patch. Ill use that

  38. !@i am gor-eeeeeen says:

    cool!!!perfect 4 my new room

  39. aj says:

    i might do this thanks it would be nice for my boyscouts paches

  40. Boardman says:


  41. robodude2000 says:


  42. spyscout123 says:

    this will be perfect for my brothers hatpin colection

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