DIY Friday: How To Make the Most of Awkward Space

As we all grow older and accumulate our collections, it becomes harder and harder to hold on to all the things we thought we would never have to give up when we were younger. Because we will always want to decorate with beer bottles. Always have a special place for our treasure trolls. Always be able to retire on the riches waiting for us in our beanie baby family. And when it comes to finding a place to put all our collections, what to do, what to do? Buy a new piece of furniture to house everything? Put up a bookcase? How about using some useless space you probably wouldn’t  be doing anything with anyway?

At the top of the stairs lies a magical Munny/Dunny land

At the top of the stairs lies a magical Munny/Dunny land

One such collection that has not gone the way of the Vuarnet t shirt is my vinyl toy collection, mostly populated by Kid Robot figurines. Childish? Perhaps, according to some. Difficult to dust? Absolutely. Hard to find an appropriate display space? Completely. So what to do?

step one

First, find a place in your house that has usable space, but not enough that you can put anything there that sits on the floor or can accommodate furniture. Corners in hallways, at the top of stairwells or in old-er house nooks and crannies are a great place to start.

Light, Bright and Awkward! Now what???


Find the right shelf. Are you looking for something that stands out as a piece on its own, or do you want your collection to be the focus with no competition from the shelving?

Modern Wall Shelf $29

Simple and on the pastel trend, a shelf like this will get noticed as well as your collectibles.


Miniature display case $80 c/o Heezome on

This is a good choice for an in the middle option if you have a bunch of little treasures you want to display, but want a shelf that has a streamlined style that doesn’t take away from all your tchotchkes. To turn it up a notch, this can easily be painted in something bright (aqua?) or bold (like maybe actual gold spray paint?).

format cube $29.95 from


If you want to be all about your thimble collection and not about the shelf at all, consider something that blends like this lucite shelf from This was the route that we decided to take as well, though we wanted something that mirrored the look of the trim and style of our 1920’s semi. In our case, this is what we did:

Melannco 4-Piece Ledge Set in Black $39.99 on

This was the shelving kit we bought, because we couldn’t find one in white, which was what we originally wanted. Obviously it comes in white now. To cover up the dark wood colour, we used trusty Zissner Bullseye Primer (you can get it by name at pretty much any hardware store, or online at or, and then a top coat of high gloss white to finish it off. This is also the best primer to use if you’re trying to extend the life of your old mid 2000’s dark wood laminate furniture, like we did here with an Ikea Expedit bookcase.

Nobody puts Smorkin Labbit in the corner!… Except me, by choice.


We used construction adhesive to stick the shelves to the wall and we stood there and held/pushed them in place for 5 minutes each. They are straight, my photo is not.

Sluggy smorker, up to no good

And there you have it: 2 birds, one proverbial stone. Put your corners to work and give your collections the attention they deserve! Because how can anyone appreciate your penchant for oddly sized shot classes or gnome shaped tealight holders if they’re wasting away in a cupboard? Exactly. And you’re welcome.






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