Building a Record Wall

by @edent | # # # # # | 4 comments | Read ~528 times.

I’ve just built this magic floating record wall on the cheap.

Floating Record Wall.

I think it looks great during video calls.

Me in front of a wall of Beatles Records. There's also a Muppet album hidden away.

Here’s how I did it:

Step One – Stalk eBay

With lockdown, I couldn’t exactly go to my local record store. And I didn’t fancy rummaging through bins of second hand items trying to find exactly what I wanted. So I decided to buy a job-lot of records from eBay.

Beatles collections are regularly sold. Some are designed for people who want pristine records, and some who want original pressings. Prices can go absolutely wild. I managed to find someone selling a collection of Beatles (and solo) records which had attracted no bids. While other sets went for £400, I snapped up 33 records for £165 including delivery.

eBay listing of lots of Beatles records.

A fiver per LP!

While it might have been nice to have factory-fresh covers, I kinda like the worn æsthetic.

OK, it didn’t include every record that I wanted. And had a few that I didn’t really want on my wall (sorry Michael Jackson fans!) so the real cost was about a tenner per record.

Step Two – Hang ’em High!

Sticking things to walls is fun! But I didn’t want to damage the record sleeves, and I wasn’t overly keen on drilling a hundreds of holes in the wall. I considered lots of solutions (see later) but ended up using…

STICKY MAGNETS!

A roll of magnetic discs and some circular sticky pads.

These strong magnets come with 3M glue pads to stick them to non-magnetic surfaces.

These particular ones were £9 for 10 magnets. A cost of £1.80 per album

Step 3 Test

I stuck one of the magnets to the wall.
Magnet stuck to wall.
The glue held it tight, so I tested whether two magnets could hold up a the weight of the cover and the record. They couldn’t. I could have bought some more powerful magnets, but I decided just to ditch the vinyl.

I didn’t want to damage the record sleeve, so I stuck the magnet to a bit of cardboard which was small enough to fit inside the sleeve.

Magnet stuck to cardboard on top of an album.

Moment of truth…

Band on the Run stuck to the wall

IT WORKS!!

Step 3 – Stabilise

Getting the interior magnet in exactly in the right place was a bit annoying. Especially as my grid wasn’t exactly perfect.

Grid of magnetic dots. A few are wonky.

The strip of cardboard was just what I needed. I could snap the magnets together, and then move the album sleeve vertically and horizontally – keeping the magnet in place.

Flapping open

Some albums aren’t just sleeves, they open up gatefold style. I didn’t want them flapping about, so needed a non-destructive way to keep them shut.

Sgt Pepper, Imagine, and Band on the Run - stuck to the wall with magnets.

I used paperclips. They’re small, discreet, and cheap.

Sorry that I didn’t use some 3D printed, biosonic, weak-nuclear-force, mechanised doo-dahs. Sometimes simple is best!

Step 4 – More Music

I had 10 magnets, so I stuck five albums up – one by each Beatle, and Sgt Pepper.
5 albums stuck to the wall.

Step 5 – More Magnets

I had proved that the set-up worked. So I bought a butt-load more magnets. They’re cheaper in bulk. And you can always find a use for a spare magnet.

Final Costs

  • £10.31 per LP
  • £ 1.69 per pair of magnets
  • =====
  • £12.00 per stuck up sleeve. Not bad!

I also have a bunch of records to sell, or swap, and four pairs of magnets for other projects.

Other options I considered

Buy pre-framed records.

Some enterprising folk sell pre-framed Beatles record covers for £20 each.
A franed copy of Abbey Road.

Didn’t include the vinyl. But ready to go.

Solo Frames

If I just wanted 12×12 frames, the cheapest I found was around £9 each.

Print your own

There are loads of high resolution scans of album covers. Printing a ready-to-hang canvas box frame would cost about £15 each.

Minor risk of copyright infringement. Lack of authenticity. A bit sterile?

Simple Hangers

I found these hangers with built in record sleeves for £15
A wall hanger with eight pockets.

The plastic might be too glossy. The reviews mention the sleeves tearing easily. There’s also no sense of mystique that you get with floating magnetics.

But, £1.88 per record is a good price, and they’re a lot easier to hang – just bash a nail into the wall!

3D printed shelves

I found a bunch of 3D printed mini-shelves on Etsy

3D printed wall mount.

3D printed mount with clip.

They were about £2 – £4 each. They looked nice – but I was worried they’d be too fragile. And, they’re really only suitable for holding records. With my magnets, I can swap to anything light enough.

Final Thoughts

I don’t care if I’m going through a mid-life high-fidelity crisis. I’ve turned a plain, boring wall into something that brings me joy. If my tastes change, I can quickly and easily shuffle the record sleeves around.

And there’s no way I’m buying a record player!

4 thoughts on “Building a Record Wall

  1. Loving the fact that you have The Muppet Show up there!


  2. Giuseppe Sollazzo says:

    I’m surprised and disappointed they don’t have QR codes on them that you can scan-to-Spotify 🙂

  3. Great work! I’d love to know what else you do with the butt load of magnets before I invest 😄


  4. sikander says:

    Nice! I didn’t even know sticky magnets existed and now I have all sorts of plans for decorating the home office. Thank you!

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