How to Build a Basketball Display Case

It could have been your first 3-pointer or a Harlem Globetrotter ball bought on e-Bay but whatever the sentimental value, you will want to build a basketball display case to show off your treasured possessions. Due to their round nature, building a basketball display poses some unique challenges. 

Tools and Materials:

  • Pencil
  • Measuring Tape
  • Square
  • Workbench with Clamp
  • Circular Saw
  • Drill
  • Drill Bits
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Compass
  • Jigsaw
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint Brush (x2)
  • 4 Foot Lengths 1x6 Pine (x5)
  • 4 Foot Lengths 1x2 Pine (x12)
  • 8 Foot Lengths 1x8 Pine (x2)
  • Brass Screws
  • 4x8 Sheet of ¼ inch Plywood
  • Finishing Nails
  • Drywall anchors
  • Wood Stain
  • Verathane


Step One – Prepping Display Shelves

Select four 1x6 pine boards to be shelves (the fifth will be the top of your display case). Make sure the boards are all the same length, within ¼ inch. Measuring lengthwise on one board, mark off 1 foot, 2 foot and 3 foot measurements. Use your square to center these marks on the board’s width. Use a compass to draw a 5 inch circle (2 ½ inch radius) centered on each mark. Secure the board to your workbench. Drill a pilot hole inside each circle large enough for your jigsaw blade to pass through. Cut out each circle using your jigsaw, cutting on the outside of your line.

Use your first shelf as a tracer for the three other shelves. Drill pilot holes and cut out circles the same way for each shelf. It is important to cut on the outside of the line to guarantee that shelf holes are the same size. Remember to sand any rough edges.

Step Two – Assembling Shelves

Begin by measuring and marking the shelf heights on the 8 foot lengths of 1x8 boards. Measure the larger width of a 1x2 and use a square to mark this across the foot of the 1x8 boards. Add the thickness of a 1x6 board to this same measurement and mark off the head of the 1x8 boards. Measure the distance between your two marks and divide this number by 3. Mark this new measurement working from the bottom mark of your 1x8.

At ½ inch below each line, pre-drill screw holes at ½ inch from each edge, as well as at the 2, 4 and 6-inch marks. With the display unit lying as though it were face down on the floor, attach the 4 foot lengths of 1x2 (butted against the 1x8) so that the 2 inch side will face out from the display unit.

Before standing up the display unit, use finishing nails to attach the sheet of plywood. Making sure the edges stay square to the 1x8 lengths of pine, attach one side and then the other. This will stabilize your unit, as well as keep it square.

Stand up your display unit and measure the distance between 1x4 lengths at each level. Cut pieces of 1x4 to these measurements and attach to the 1x8 sides. Slide your shelves on top of the 1x4 brackets and fix into place with finishing nails. Use the uncut 1x6 as a top piece.

Step Three – Stain and Verathane

Working from top to bottom, stain your basketball display case. Stain joints carefully to ensure proper coverage without drip lines running down the display case. In the same way, apply at least 2 coats of verathane to protect your work. Let dry overnight after final coat.

Step Four – Attach to Wall

Move your basketball display case to where you want it against a wall. Drill a hole through the display back in both the top left and right hand corners. Remember to drill straight into the drywall as well. Move the display unit to the side and hammer drywall anchors into each hole. Return the basketball display unit back to its original position, lining up the holes in the back with the drywall anchors. Use screws to attach the display unit to the wall.