Making Display Ledges For My Vinyl Records
Once upon a time, my dad bundled up and, somewhat unintentionally, gifted me a handful of vinyl record albums.
It was during my parents divorcing and them selling the house. Everything was being packed into boxes or thrown into trash cans. Despite me not having a record player, he gave them to me for safekeeping until he could get his own place.
Months, and then a year, went by and he never came and retrieved them. I had kept them in the box and forgot about them until I moved into my second apartment. When I rediscovered them, I decided to put them up at my new place by precariously balancing them on the butts of thumbtacks.
Seeing them up on the wall, people fell in love with this idea and began to gift me vinyl records for birthdays, Christmas’s, and anniversaries. Soon the wall was covered in thumbtacks and albums balancing on the butts. Eventually, I even acquired a record player to finally play them on.
The thumbtack idea was a sort-of-good idea at the time, especially for apartment living, but they did pose two problems. First, lining them up was a hassle and the wall subsequently showed all of the mistaken thumbtack holes. The walls were textured, so it wasn’t a huge deal, but at my new house I knew the same method would look tacky (GET IT!? Cuz… thumbtacks.). Second, the thumbtack butts were beginning to wear down the album edges. This was more of a big deal to David who has actually valuable LP’s vs. mine which I have opened and play.
Our idea, upon moving into the new house, was to remedy this problem by purchasing album wall-mounts. Simple and easy.
Then I looked at the price.
Individual mounts go for like $7 – $10 each on the lower end, but Home Depot sells some that are almost $20. That would mean, to hang each up (we have over 30), it was going to cost us over $200. Even if we only selected a few to display, spending over $100 seemed pretty ludicrous and I’m a cheap, cheap gal.
I’d begun to consider going back the thumbtack route when I remembered a recent blog post I’d written. I’d recently read an article by The Ugly Duckling House where Sarah, the author, created display ledges. She created her’s for her stamp collection and artwork, already proving they were multi-purpose. After doing the math, I realized I could create an entire shelf for under $7 – less than one individual mount would cost me!
I especially liked this idea because of their ability to be multifunctional. Since I want to eventually rent out my house, this gives me the opportunity to leave the shelves up and market them as a place to put your family photos, decorations, books, etc. And also suggest that tenants use this and not drill holes in my walls haha.
Display Ledges for Vinyl Records (& More!):
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- 2 6ft x 1in Wood Boards (I used ash)
- Liquid Nails
- Clamps – I bought mine at Lowe’s because I am sometimes too impatient to wait for shipping, but I had been eyeing these!
- Electric Sander – I used Hyper Tough (and it is absolutely one of the handiest purchases I have made so far!)
- Stud Finder
- A Level
- 2in Wood Nails
- Optional: White Paint
While searching at the store for these cuts of wood, try to ensure that they match in length and that none are too bendy. If they have a slight bend, you should be able to correct this with the liquid nails and clamps, but if it is too warped then it won’t work for this project.
Once home with your newly purchased wood, glide a line of liquid nails along the edge of one piece of wood and then set your next piece of wood on top in ledge form, or the shape of an L. Wipe off excess liquid that squishes through (you can also sand it off later).
Clamp together. Attempt to clamp in a position that the wood lines up, and you can glide your hand over and not feel a bump.
Liquid nails take a week to fully dry, but your wood should be unmovable after about 24 hours. To be safe, I waited several days though.
After drying, take your clamps off and sand your ledges.
I’d originally planned on staining these, but I changed my mind after deciding that it might take too much attention away from the albums themselves. So instead I painted them white. But you can do whatever!
I know Sarah from UDH painted them the same colors as her walls to give them an even more seamless look, and I think staining them could make them look really pretty too.
Once dry, it’s time to hang them. The guy at Lowe’s told me that I should screw directly through the wood and into a stud, so that is what I did. Using your stud finder, mark on your wall where your studs are so that when you put the ledge up you know exactly where to drill.
Side note: Screwing directly through the wood (especially if you have a shitty drill, like me) is SUPER difficult, so to save yourself a lot of cursing later, make sure to drill a hole through the ledge first (where the stud will be) before trying to attach to your wall. You will need at least two holes.
Once your holes are drilled through, position on the wall and drill your first nail through the ledge and into the stud.
Using your level, place it on your ledge and move it up and down until you know it’s straight. Then drill in your second screw.
Repaint & fill as needed. You can even fill/and or paint over your screws, which I did.
Once dry, put up your decor. Enjoy!