When you have a collection you’re proud of, you want to show it off. However, it can be hard to find ways to display your collectibles in a suitable, visually appealing way, especially without having to spend a massive amount of money.

How to Grade and Value Your Collection

However, with a bit of ingenuity and experimentation, you can create a display for your collections that won’t make you go broke. To get you started, here are four display hacks for collectors.

Double Row Shelving

A lot of people have way more books, games, or Blu-rays than they have shelves to put them on. However, if you have a deep enough shelf, you can effectively double your storage space. There are two ways of doing this: the first, and easiest, is to put all your larger books – like hardcovers and coffee table books – toward the back of the shelf and then smaller ones, such as paperbacks, in front of those. This way you can store twice as many books on your shelf but still see what’s at the back.

Of course, this method isn’t going to work if you have books that are all the same size, or indeed for games or Blu-rays as their cases tend to be similar sizes. In this case, you’ll want to put something on the shelf for the back row to stand on; a small block of wood or sturdy box can work perfectly for this. The main concern is that whatever you place in the back row will raise the items up high enough that they can be seen above the front.

With this done, you’ll have an easy way to store twice as many items and still be able to find whatever you’re after easily.

DIY Angled Stands

Have you ever been into a store and seen those small plastic display stands on the countertop advertising their latest sales? Well, these make brilliant DIY stands for all kinds of items. The stands come in various sizes, from A5 to the size of a poster. They work as a stand by being laid with the longer, angled end (the part that would hold the advertisement) pointing downward, raised up by the smaller section that would traditionally be the “foot” of the stand.

Can a Clearance Sale Collectible Ever Become Valuable?

Figure out what size works best for you (this will depend on the space you are going to place it in and how big the items you wish to display are – A5 or A4 are generally the best) and purchase a few stands. When the stands arrive, it’s a simple matter of fixing your items to them. I’d recommend an adhesive putty like BluTac that’s reusable as there is less risk of it damaging your items. Then, simply place the stand with your items attached somewhere people will notice them.

Due to the stand being angled the adhesive putty on their underside will be hidden by the items themselves. It’s best to place the stand so that people have to look down at the items and won’t be able to see it.

Ad-hoc Postcard, Promotion Card/ Advertisement Holders

It’s no secret that the world is becoming more and more digital and traditional photography paper and film is all but extinct. 99% of people now take photos digitally, and for the most part, they store all but their most favorite images on a hard drive or in the cloud. People are now digitizing their older photos as well to save them for prosperity.

5 Best Ways to Store Stuffed Toys

But if you’ve digitized all your photos and don’t need to keep the physical prints, what do you do with all those photo albums that housed them? Throw them away? Heck no! Photo albums are perfect for any kind of print collectible that is larger than a trading card but smaller than a poster. Postcards, cinema lobby promos, artist sketches, signatures, there are a multitude of items that can find a new, safe home within old, no-longer-used photo albums! Even if you missed the age of printed photos, photo albums can still be bought cheaply now so go wild and grab a few to store your precious prints!

Cheap Display Case

Have some cool items you want to show off, but you don’t want them getting covered in dust? Well, you need a display case! Unfortunately, display cases can be quite expensive, so if you’re on a budget, why not try out this idea: a fish tank. Turned upside down, our aquatic friends’ homes can make the perfect protective barrier between your collectibles and the evil denizens floating in the air.

Collector Shaming, and How to Avoid It

While fish tank prices can reach up into the hundreds, most stores should also have a selection of cheaper options, around £20 or less. Of course how much it’ll cost will depend on the size, which will depend on your collectibles, but it’s a lot more affordable than buying a whole cabinet (and I hear in the US megastores like Petco do a $1 per gallon sale at least once a year). I’d also suggest going for a glass or perspex tank as plastic will result in a “cloudy” view of the item inside.

Once you have your tank, put your items on a sturdy shelf or surface with the tank over the top and – voila – a lovely display case that won’t cost you a fortune.

Written by Joe Douglas
When Joe's dad gave him a bunch of his old comics to read in 1992, little did he realise the hardcore geek this simple act would unleash. Since then Joe has dedicated his life to collecting comics, toys, books, stationery sets and all manner of things emblazoned with his favorite characters. In 2006 he started writing about his hobby and has had articles featured on various comic and retro game websites. An Aussie living in the UK, Joe has elaborate and intricate plans to bring his collection over. If you'd like to read more of his work, you can do so via his blog: http://jmdworks.org/