Calling All Collectibles: Inspiring Ways To Display Your Treasures

published Oct 18, 2017
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(Image credit: Hannah Puechmarin)

Whether you collect Pez dispensers, straw hats, heart-shaped rocks, or anything else on earth, you probably want to corral your treasures in an attractive, efficient fashion. These 15 examples, including detailed DIYs, might inspire you to put your beloved collection on display at last.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Use A Frame As A Shelf

The upper edge of this large-scale frame is the perfect spot to line up an impressive collection of Pez dispensers. As long as the items in your collection don’t dominate the scale of the art, they’re not too breakable, and they somewhat coordinate with the palette of the artwork, this look can work for you.

(Image credit: Anita Jeerage)

Use Narrow Shelves To Hold Delicate Collections

Seashells are always natural in bathrooms (there’s water!), but this elegant display goes many steps beyond a conch shell on the toilet. The narrow shelves don’t overwhelm even the tiniest shells, while the generous space between shelves gives them room to breathe.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apothecary Jars To The Rescue

Nothing corrals and elevates a collection like a beautiful glass vessel. You could use antique (or antique-feeling) jars like these, streamlined modern glass vases, or even wide-mouth mason jars.

(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

Go High

A collection of globes—most of them full-sized—at eye level might dominate a room, but elevated on the top of a cupboard, they float gracefully above it all while bringing interest to otherwise dead space.

(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)

Combine Accessibility & Aesthetics

It would be easy to lose track of a scarf collection if it was stashed away in boxes or drawers — you might forget about your favorites for months or years! Having them all right at-hand means they’re all always available and they serve as an ultra-personal wall hanging.

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

When In Doubt, Cluster

An organic, overlapping cluster is the perfect arrangement for hats, but could also work well for plates, platters, flat baskets, and so on. The beauty of this display style is that it can easily be added to while maintaining its elegance.

Turn Your Collectibles Into Art

This is definitely an outside-the-box approach to displaying a prized collection: transform your favorites into fun pop art. Take and edit photos of each of your collectible, print, then mount them on card stock that suits your style. This approach works well if you don’t have the space or shelving to display a large collection, but would like to be able to admire it on a daily basis. Check out the full tutorial over on A Beautiful Mess.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Find A Frame or Rack That’s Just As Beautiful As Your Collection

This vertical garden (designed by Emily herself and fabricated by Moore Design) is a genius way to display a collection of air plants or an other lightweight items. The key is that it’s an eye-catching, graphic frame that would look amazing empty, or even with just a few air plants, so you don’t have to wait until you have a large collection. Emily’s design uses two mounted acrylic bars with cording strung between the two.

(Image credit: The Merrythought)

Make Your Own Displays

Make yourself a bunch of these teeny mountains so they’re ready whenever you acquire new (or antique) jewelry you’d like to keep on display. Alternatively, you could create your mountain range slowly, adding new peaks whenever you come across an appealing piece of wood. See how to make your own on The Merrythought.

(Image credit: Séverine Piller)

Display Tiny Items In A Large Space

This is one of those great doesn’t-seem-like-it-should-work-but-it-does approaches to displaying a collection. Miniature mirrors are arrayed on the vast stairway wall. Rather than appearing overwhelmed by the large space, the mirrors truly shine, with each one allowed to be appreciated fully. Scattering them across a wall rather than grouping them creates a delightfully naturalistic look.

Sort Your Collectibles By Color

When in doubt, go rainbow, like this collection from Elsie Larson. Ordering a collection by hue is a great way to unite your items, no matter how disparate. Here you can see that equal space is reserved for each color group, filled in as new pieces are acquired.

(Image credit: Cole Sigmon)

Turn Practical Storage Into Pretty Displays

IKEA shelves are used to hold countless records, but the stroke of genius is placing one record at the front of each cubby, essentially creating framed works of art.

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

Frame Everything

Individually framing each flat (or nearly flat) item in a collection — butterflies, concert tickets, pressed flowers – allows you to slowly add to your collection over time while still uniting it. You can definitely also do a few collage-style framings if you have many new additions to display at the same time.

(Image credit: Lizzie Ford)

Hang A Collection Instead Of Traditional Art

Use the space above a fireplace – or any other major focal point – to display a beloved collection. Finding, framing, and affording a large piece of art that’s suitable for such a spot can be daunting; installing your collection is an affordable alternative. You can start with just a few pieces, and then work your way up the wall.