Recent Comments

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!


Check out these photos of the completed project sent to us by Scout Life readers. If you have a photos of a SL Workshop project, please use the form below to send them to us.

Submit a Photo of Your Project

Important Note: Please only upload photos of your project. Because of privacy rules, we can't post any photos that show people's faces. Always ask for your parent's permission before uploading anything to a website.

53 Comments on Make a ‘Hide Rack’ Display For Your Patches

  1. looks really cool!

  2. frosty_badger // September 30, 2019 at 5:27 pm // Reply

    am i seeing this or is this thing REAL

  3. Packysaurus // July 16, 2015 at 11:57 am // Reply

    I’ll have to make one.

  4. spoon...102 // July 9, 2015 at 8:33 pm // Reply

    a great idea…my 2 sons have loads of patches from troop events…now they are Eagles and are out of Scouting…I thought about making the poncho and putting the patches on it…or a vest for each of them…I think your idea is better…thanks for the post…

  5. backpacker // July 9, 2015 at 2:04 pm // Reply

    Only problem, I have been in scouting for 35 years. I have 4 or 5 binders with several hundred patches. I would need several walls. Nice idea if you only have 40 or 50 patches.

  6. second class scout // May 24, 2013 at 11:09 am // Reply

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

  7. boyscout99 // July 5, 2012 at 9:36 pm // Reply

    I made one a couple years ago its awesome

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

  9. so cool!!I really <3(love) it!! 😉

  10. sweet

  11. Venturing Girl // June 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm // Reply

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

  12. The Only P45C4L // April 20, 2011 at 7:38 am // Reply

    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!

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

  14. cool

  15. Where can you find a leather hide for the rack?

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

  17. great jus’ wondren wot the indians used it 4

  18. BoyScoutTroop85 // May 8, 2010 at 9:57 pm // Reply

    AWSOME!!!! 🙂

  19. This is nice!

  20. jaba the hut // December 4, 2009 at 6:25 am // Reply

    my dad said me and him can do this together

  21. im going to see if i can do this

  22. One Armed Bandit // November 25, 2009 at 6:27 pm // Reply

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

  23. CoinCollector // November 24, 2009 at 3:50 pm // Reply

    Neat! Will this work for coins in any way?

  24. nice

  25. Thats sweet

  26. evan kevin eleven devin // October 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm // Reply

    where do you put the badges and pins on my uniform

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

  28. AWESOME! But i really wanna have my badges and patches on my uniform 🙁

  29. awesome!!!!!!!

  30. thats awsome

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

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

    Could you use it with other things

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

    This is a nice job

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

  35. it wouldbe great for my merit badges.

  36. 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. 🙂

  37. very cool

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

    my patches = woodworking badge=this project

  39. taghammer // May 26, 2009 at 7:16 pm // Reply

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

  40. boy scouts is cool

  41. looks fun

  42. I think its cool

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

  44. !@i am gor-eeeeeen // May 20, 2009 at 2:58 pm // Reply

    cool!!!perfect 4 my new room

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

  46. AWESOME!


  47. robodude2000 // May 15, 2009 at 7:50 am // Reply


  48. spyscout123 // May 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm // Reply

    this will be perfect for my brothers hatpin colection

Leave a Comment

Please don't use your real name.