Display cases – most anything wooden – aren’t so cheap, but if you need one for mini’s, you have other options. Miniatures generally are very lightweight and don’t require the heavy shelving that some collections need. So, if you collect thimbles, broaches, patches or badges – think cardboard!
The type of boxes that make these wonderful display cases can be found at any craft or department store. They’re normally used to hold a gift, like a gift card, watch, or necklace, and they come complete with a lid. The boxes are usually ordinary-looking and come in a pack of three or four different shaped boxes for a buck.
The great thing about these boxes is you can combine them in various ways and the combinations will always turn out to be a rectangle. The package of boxes I purchased contained (1) 2.5×3.5″ (small) box, (1) 3.5×5.5″ (medium) box, and (1) 2.0″x8″ (large) box. Since each comes with a lid, and you don’t need the lid for this project, you can actually make a second display case from the lids.
Remove the lids from the boxes and set aside. Use ordinary white glue to adjoin the boxes. One quick arrangement you can do is to lay the large box on a table, positioning it to where it lays vertically. The box is long so there’s room for both the small and the medium box to be glued beside it. Glue the medium box down the side of the large box, making the medium box also run vertically. Underneath the medium box will be enough space to glue the small box, laying it horizontally. This forms a display case that has an area for one tall item, a medium-sized item or two, and a few small items. But, if that arrangement doesn’t suit you, you can always turn the arrangement on its side which will give you room for many small items across the length of the long box, and more room below in the other boxes.
If you want, use the lids to cut tiny shelves for the long and medium boxes. Just cut rectangles from the sides of the lids and glue them into place inside the boxes. You can also make a second, identical display case and glue it to the first one, to give you twice as much room. Continue adding on just one more long box, or two more of the other boxes, or continue adding additional sets to the original one.
Now, an ordinary cardboard display case is hardly good enough for your fabulous collection, so there’s lots of ways to change the look of the plain boxes. Spray paint them gold or silver, line them with velvet pieces, or even add wood-look contact paper.
You don’t have to display collectibles in the box arrangement. Fill each compartment with a handful of something from the kitchen, such as rice, beans or candy, then glue a piece of glass or plexi-glass over the top and hang in the kitchen. Something similar can be done in the bathroom to showcase mini soaps or perfume bottles. The display cases don’t necessarily have to be hung on the wall, either. Make one for your dresser top to hold your jewelry and change.
You can also use the boxes to show off your coin collections, stamp collections, antique buttons, and other small items. The display cases are cheap, easy and look great.