Displaying Your Collectibles

Jon Fesmire | December 26, 2018 @ 8:00 AM

Many of us enjoy collecting something. For some, it’s comic books or action figures. For others, it’s antique plates, Disney merchandise or dried flowers.

Many of us keep our collections in a closet or somewhere else out of sight. The truth is, just knowing you have these things you enjoy can feel satisfying, but it’s much nicer to have them out. Here are some ideas for how you can display your collections as part of your home decor:

End Tables

Get an end table, standing two and a half to three feet tall, and put some favorites from your collection on display there. This won’t work well for flat items, like cards, but it absolutely works for framed pictures, antique kitchenware, dolls and various types of figures.

Cupboards, Cabinets, and Dressers

There’s often lots of room left unused on top of cupboards, cabinets, and dressers. Either that, or we end up tossing things there, creating more of a mess than a display. If you have extra space in these areas, consider putting some of your collectibles there. A collection of pottery may look great up high atop your kitchen cabinets. Your Hummel figurines may look fantastic on your dresser.

Shadow Boxes

Once great type of frame is the shadow box. This is a frame with a bit of depth glass covering the front. You can put various items inside, often attached to the back, and then hang them on the wall. Put several small collectibles, like butterflies or dried flowers, in several shadow boxes and hang them beside each other on the wall. There are also shadow boxes with dividers, like mini-shelves in a frame to hold your small treasures.

Glass Vases and Jars

Do you collect rocks, dice, or something similar, meaning small items that can go together in a container? If so, this can look really attractive.

Get a few glass vases or jars, and this can include mason jars. Pour your items into them. If the jars have lids, put the lids on, then put your collection on a bookshelf, dresser, or somewhere else you’d like to display them. This can look colorful and both chaotic, inside the jars, but also symmetrical and contained.

Specific Display Boxes

Some items have display boxes made especially for them, including Lego figures, comic books, and cards. You can mount these on the wall or display them on a shelf or end table.


In addition to the display methods and spaces described above, here are some additional tips.

Group Like Items - I have a collection of Funko Pop! Figures brightening up my bookshelves. I group them first by fandom, then by theme. For instance, Liv Moore, the main character from iZombie, is next to Daryl from The Walking Dead, while all my Game of Thrones figures are together.

Display by Color - One common way to group like items is to sort by color. If you collect cups and plates, or other items that come in a variety of mostly-solid colors, this can be attractive.

Stick to Odd Numbers - Even-numbered arrangements can look artificial, while odd-numbered arrangements look natural. When possible, group items in threes and fives, rather than twos and fours.

Vary Height and Depth - Place tall and short items beside each other, and have some items behind others. This gives a sense of depth and really using the space.

Swap In and Out - If you have a large collection, you won’t be able to display everything, so display a few items. Later, rotate some out, and others in.

Use Hanging Strips - Hanging pictures and shadow boxes can be a pain when you have to hammer nails or drill screws into a wall, and then fumble with the picture as you try to attach it. Hanging stips, which use a strong adhesive and Velkro, can support quite a bit of weight, are easy to attach, and allow you to put your pictures and shadow boxes cleanly on the wall. Consider using these instead of other picture-hanging options.

It’s fun going through a collection, so have fun looking through yours and making your displays! We hope this brings more joy to your home.

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