Good day to all my vinyl-loving friends in audio land. I’ve been on a regrettable hiatus recently, mostly due to back-to-back flu and stomach bug, and a most recently broken pinkie toe. Needless to say, 2017 hasn’t started off with as big of a bang as I had hoped. But then again, I’ve come across some pretty cool vinyl storage pieces on Etsy that I’d like to share with you all. And to top it off, I was able to procure samples of these products in order to give a hands-on review of each.
While I’m sure most of us have at one time or another turned outlaw by housing our record collection in milk crates, for those who are attempting to go the straight and narrow, here are some pretty sweet, cost effective, and legal ways to store or display your vinyl that are available from the hard-working artisans who make up the Etsy community.
I’d like to start off with one of the most inventive storage and display cases that I’ve ever come across. These masterfully crafted shadow-like hanging storage frames are the creation of Frank Irven from Record Box Studio of Orlando, Florida. Frank actually has a wide range of creative wood (and some metal) furnishings that he builds in his workshop in his spare time. While most of his masterpieces are custom works and aren’t directed at us vinyl efficianados, it doesn’t make his record displays any less fantastic. Follow him on Instagram @Irven_Interior to see more of his awesome craftsmanship.
But on to the product at hand. Frank was kind enough to send me not one, but three of his display box frames, and I’m super glad that he did. I have recently started selling albums at my bar and these boxes have drawn a lot of attention. As we all know, album covers are an art form all their own, and this is a perfect way to show off some of the favorites in your collection.
I’ve found that each frame holds about 15 albums, depending on thickness, including the displayed album held to the front glass by strategically placed wooden guides inside the frame. The guides are ideally spaced for single disc albums, but double records or thicker covers like Jethro Tull’s “Thick As A Brick”, with it’s 12-page fold-out spoof newspaper, will fit a bit more snugly.
Frank asks $50 to $60 for his wall hanging beauties, and in my opinion, they are quite well worth it. Judging by the construction quality, the heavy duty mounting brackets that come with them, and the amazingly professional packaging job, I actually hope he’s making enough profit. Check out his stuff on Instagram or his Etsy page (linked below), or contact him for some custom work.
Link to RECORD BOX Studios’ Etsy Page
Next up, we have another fairly artistic display that comes all the way from Thessaloniki, Greece. Like Frank, Mr. Parissis Panos is a one-man-show, building intriguing products that branch out far beyond vinyl (why would anyone do that?). Parissis told me that his goal is to offer practical designs that look great as well, and I think he’s hit that proverbial nail on the head. He also firmly believes in fair pricing, which we can all appreciate.
I’d certainly consider this stand to be more along the lines of a display piece and not really a storage component, but that doesn’t make it any less fascinating to me. I keep this steampunk looking contraption behind the bar and in full sight for customers to view. We’ve gotten a lot of compliments on this creation, as it’s a real conversation starter.
This display holds just over 20-25 albums when fully stocked, but I found that about 15-20 albums allows you to thumb through the titles with ease. For home, I’d use this as a quick access holder for my most commonly played vinyl. It’s also small enough to hold 45’s!
Parissis ships his designs worldwide, so don’t let his location deter you from checking out his collection. At only $45 plus shipping, you can’t ask for a much more attractive and unique piece. You can check out these stands and his other creations here:
And lastly, we have a design that’s not as original as the former two items, but makes up for its mass-produced nature by bringing us high functionality in a cost effective package. This Vinyl Storage Cube is brought to Etsy by WayBasics. At only $35 (shipping included!) it’s one of the cheapest storage crates I’ve found online, and especially on Etsy.
These cubes do require some no-tools-needed assembly, and are actually not made of wood, although they do have a decently convincing faux wood grain finish. Each panel is constructed from a lightweight corrugated composite design know as zBoard Paperboard, which is similar to a hollow core lauan door. They are easy to put together in a few short minutes. And for those nature lovers, these are also Eco Safe, using no VOC’s or Formaldehyde.
The reason I find these units of such great value is because of the sheer number of albums that each will hold, combined with the fact that they are stackable. Storing 60 records in one cube is typical, but there’s no art exhibition or conversational appeal that either of the previous items possess. This piece is focused on storage first and probably second, and then maybe looks.
The straight-line minimalist might actually go over well with lovers of Ikea, but do be warned that if not careful, the surface of each panel can somewhat easily take on damage and tarnish the uber clean look. So while I strongly feel that from a functional stance and price point these are a great buy, it may or may not be exactly what you’re looking for.
I’d like to thank all my readers for checking out my blog and hope that you will also check out these cool products. If you have any comments or questions about these particular products, feel free to use the links above to contact the builders, or ask it here and maybe I can help you find the answer.
If you happen to know of any other creative, cool, and cost effective storage or display pieces that you’d like to share with us, leave it in the comments section.