Wednesday, March 15, 2006

How to Display your Collection

By Christina VanGinkel

Hobbies come in all different forms, but collecting is a hobby that many people participate in. People collect bugs, cards, plates, rocks, coins, stamps, dolls, and every other imaginable item you could theoretically think of. How to display a collection can be an issue if someone has collected something to an extreme, and suddenly realize that they need to figure out a way to not only store, but also display all or parts of it. Depending on what exactly it is that they collect, there will be different ways someone might choose to display the collection itself. On a shelf, in a clear box, in a frame hung on a wall, or maybe even under glass as part of a table in your central living space. Part of the choice will be determined by what makes up the collection, and partly by your own personal preference on how you wish to display it. Here we will explore a few of the different ways you might choose to display your collection, and a few that you might never have even thought of.


A shelf is a good way to display a collection that you wish to share with others. Sizes are varied, so finding one to meet your requirements should not be difficult, and there are even specialized shelves for displaying some particular types of collectibles, such as shelves with plate rails for displaying collectible plates, and even shelves with holes drilled through them to set autographed baseballs into to keep them from rolling off of a typical shelf. If you want to display your collection on a shelf, but keep it out of the reach of others, consider a shelf that runs along the top of a wall, or over a doorway. If dust is going to be an issue though, or your collection could be damaged if handled or subjected to an overly dry or humid environment, a shelf may not be the best way for you to display your collection.


Boxes are available in a variety of styles, from those made to be stored out of sight, to those that are made for keeping your collection out on display. Clear boxes are a great way to put on show a collection of just about any small item that you want to keep covered, but still make available for viewing, such as shells and trinket from your summer at the beach, to keep those happy times right at the forefront of your memories. A collection of postcards might be better stored in a box that is made to help preserve the postcards from further deterioration due to age or the elements, including sunlight, but can still be left out on a table or shelf so it can be easily shared with anyone you choose.


Cases are somewhat similar to boxes, but are made for display of very specific items. They may be sized to both hold and make available for viewing things such as trading cards, butterflies, or other insects, or something as specific as a collection of spoons. They can be made with a glass top and inserts to hold whatever it is you want to display inside.

Glass Topped Tables

If you have ever come across a glass-topped table that is specifically made for displaying a prized collection, no matter what it is, you will know what a great idea this is to show off your favorites. Custom-built glass topped tables can be made in a variety of depths, so you can display 3D objects. Others can be made with the glass top placed directly over another top so that you can slide photos, prints, or other flat objects between the surfaces for display without having to worry about them becoming damaged or slipping around.

When choosing a way to display a collection, consider where the display will be placed, how much of your collection you want to put on view, and what the costs will be. Displaying your collection is a great way to share it with family, friends, and acquaintances, but the protection of your collection still needs to be your most important considerations, so keep this in mind when choosing the way in which you plan to display your prized collection.

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