Monday, February 15, 2010

DIY Thrift Store Decor

Since we finished our big remodel last summer, most of this winter has been spent fine-tuning our decor and organizing things. Last weekend we spent re-arranging my office. I hadn't been happy with it and moving everything in there is such a pain - filing cabinet, desk, computer, etc. But last weekend we tackled it and I'm very pleased. It finally feels right.

Another thing that had been bugging me was the new pony wall by the front door. It's something like 8 feet long and I wanted something nice on it since it's the first thing you see when you walk in the door. But for months it has been a big white empty expanse. Every time I get an idea for something to put there, it doesn't work out.


So last week we were in an antique mall and John was looking at old records. We have a taste for goofy old records and still have a turntable that we pull out every now and then. (In fact, we bought an old vintage turntable that John is fixing up now so we can play it.) We also get a kick out of old album cover artwork. Some of it is just so classic 1950's - other times it is just so schmaltzy and silly. So I had an idea - why not just display some fun old record album covers on our pony wall? It would be colorful and fun. Vintage and cheap. The more we thought about it, the more we liked the idea. We could add and replace album covers as we wanted, so we could have a changing display. We could even have Christmas album covers out at Christmas-time. John designed a way to display them, using aluminum U-channel from Home Depot. He sanded and polished the aluminum channel, then sprayed it with a clear finish. Then he had to drill teeny holes in it for mounting it on the wall. Each record album cover would be held in by a top and bottom channel of aluminum and you would be able to slide the records in and out. His prep work was a lot more tedious than mine, which was to go to thrift shops and buy albums! I had a lot of fun doing that. I mean, how could you not like cheesy covers like "Claude on a Cloud"?


Or "Val Valenti, Italian Street Singer"?


"Yodeling in Hi-Fi" sounded pretty bizarre (and irresistable)


as did "Actual Business Letters Dictated at Various Speeds" (too bad the actual record was missing from that one).


We got everything measured and in place


and then we slid the records in. We are really pleased with the results. It's going to be a lot of fun playing with our display.



Next on the horizon: we need to redo our deck this summer. The current one is sagging and awful. We'll redo it and expand it. So for now, we're looking at our books for ideas and staring at our yard to try and figure it out. Our yard is still covered in snow and ice so it'll be awhile before we get started. I also need to get serious about fixing up a guest bedroom. Stay tuned!

12 comments:

Mark said...

It looks great D.
lionmane

jaye o said...

What a terrific display!
Looking forward to hearing some of the music from it. Do you have a "record player"?

Junque Procurer said...

I actually had that Business Letters Record. I practiced shorthand with it, and was tested on it when I worked at International Harvester. How funny!

The Queen of Fifty Cents said...

We have an album cover up on our walls of Holst's The Planets with this cheesy Barbarella-type photo. Love it--and yours!

goosefairy said...

I LOVE this idea! Y'all are so clever. I wish there was a wall where I could do this in my house. mmmm. There might be. Your pony wall is so terrific now :D

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

I love this so so so so so much!

Uncle Atom said...

I like the aluminum channel. I'm using some plastic album display mounts I've bought from a guy on ebay. I'm with you, the old album covers have such great pictures and graphics, they're a lot of fun to display. My basement wall has my collection of albums related to old TV shows. Looking at your collection makes me want to branch out into more kitsch, and I can see that I'll be smelling that musty smell as I go through crates of old records looking for kitschy album covers.

Ann-Marie said...

What a fabulous idea. It inspired me to do the same, so I called my mom, owner of all our fav LP's from the 60's and asked her if she wouldn't mind sharing with me, since I have a turntable (high tech, 21st century, as it is), and a 1962 house.
"Oh," she said, "I threw those all out last month when I threw out the old console stereo (which I would have killed for, but did she ask me?).
Now we know why all our vintage treasures are so expensive.
Mom threw them all out.

John and Diane said...

@Ann-Marie- How sad your mom threw them out along with the console stereo (I LOVE those)! However - it's fun to go through albums at thrift stores and believe it or not, you will run into all those albums from your childhood there! And it's not too expensive to just buy them all back...:-)
-Diane

JoJo said...

Val Valenti was my Dad, the album covers as wall art are fabulous idea. The cover for Italian Street Singer was cheesy but my Dad snag like Mario Lanza, what a beaitiful voice he had...

John and Diane said...

JoJo- that is so cool! Are you the little girl in the picture?!
-Diane

JoJo said...

no I'm not in the album picture on the album cover... it is cool though..