A few years ago I decided I needed a way to display my ponies so I could actually see them all. I was tired of messing with dozens of boxes as makeshift risers and I couldn't afford nice acrylic risers so I decided to make my own.
Here's how I did it
Two sheets of 20"x30"x3/16" foam board
Hot glue gun with several glue sticks
Yard stick, T-square or some other kind of straight edge
1 Yard of felt (optional)
First you need to cut out your side and middle pieces. I made a stencil so I can just trace around it instead of measuring it out every time. You could use the back side of a cereal box, store bought pizza box or something similar to make your stencil should you want one. The measurements will depend on the space where you display your ponies but I'll include the measurements I use for my risers in just a bit to give you an idea of the proportions
Here I've traced all 3 of my \"step\" pieces onto the foam board
Here I've got my ruler to use as a straight edge while I cut to make sure I don't wander off the line. Be careful not to cut yourself!
You should have 3 identical step pieces
This shot shows the measurements I used to fit my shelving system
Now take your second sheet of foam board and cut out a strip the same width as your lower step. If you have a large T-square now is the perfect time to use it to make sure everything stays as even as possible
Now run a generous bead of hot glue along the top edge of the lower step and place your strip on the edge. Watch out for the hot glue because it will squish out of the edges when you press it into place
Now repeat that step with the other end piece, then the middle and you should have something like this
Now cut another strip and do the same thing with the upper step and your risers should look like this
Now cut a third strip to close the gap between the two steps and glue it into place along the front edges of the 3 step pieces.
At this point I flip my risers over and apply a bead of hot glue along the seams. In this shot I've glued the seam on the left but not the right so you can see the difference.
Now flip them back over and cut the fourth strip to close the last gap on the front of your risers. Now is a good time to look your risers over and glue up any weak spots. At this point you can call it done or you can pretty it up a little bit
I chose to cover mine in green felt to look like grass. You could also try wallpaper, decoupaging or whatever else comes to mind. I find that the felt does a decent job of hiding the hot glue blobs. The only thing I wouldn't recommend is paint because of the possibility of it rubbing off onto your ponies. In this shot I have my risers laying on their back and I'm starting to glue the felt into place on the lower edge. I'm keeping the selvedge edge of my felt lined up with the left edge of my risers to keep everything nice and even. Glue the felt into place on the front of the lower step in this pattern I___________I It's not necessary to glue the upper edge.
Now you can snip away the excess felt on the right side of the first step
Now work the felt over the step and make sure it's relatively even and smooth and glue it into place in the same pattern I_____________I Keep smoothing and gluing until you get to the back edge. Now snip off all the excess felt
Glue into place along the sides and the back edge
Now you only have the sides left to deal with. If the risers will be in a bookcase there's no need to felt the sides as they won't be seen. For my shelves, I have two risers side by side so I only need to felt one end on this set.
If you have scrap pieces this is a good place to use it. Just glue along all the edges and snip them off even
Here's my completed riser
Now for the fun part! Here's my shelf, packed full of ponies but I'm only able to see the ones on the front row. Ho-hum.
Now here's the same shelf with the riser in use! Way better, no?
My risers were cut to accommodate mostly G1 and G3 ponies so if you're only displaying G4s or babies you could work in an extra level on your risers and have even more room. It all depends on what you're displaying and where you're displaying it. Make a few test patterns on regular paper and hold them up to the spot you intend to put them to make sure of the fit. Also hold ponies up to them to make sure the steps are the right height for the look you want to achieve.
Please post your results in this thread if you make these risers, I'd love to see what you come up with!