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Make a ‘hide rack’ display for your patches

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

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!

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11 Comments on Make a ‘hide rack’ display for your patches

  1. awesome!!!!!!!

  2. thats awsome

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

  4. Con Buckeye // August 27, 2009 at 1:00 pm // Reply

    Could you use it with other things

  5. historygeek // August 18, 2009 at 2:38 pm // Reply

    This is a nice job

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

  7. it wouldbe great for my merit badges.

  8. cub leader // June 1, 2009 at 12:02 pm // Reply

    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. :)

  9. very cool

  10. Mikethemaster // May 27, 2009 at 7:34 am // Reply

    my patches = woodworking badge=this project

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