Displaying old album covers as art – Ideas from 8 reader homes

framed record albums as artOnce you have your mid mod mad pad up and running, it’s time for some tunes. We’re guessing that most lovers of vintage homes also have a hankering to hear  musical favorites the old fashioned way, too — on incomparable, scratchy vinyl. Good news: Vintage LPs can generally be found very inexpensively at thrift stores and estate sales. And more good news: The album cover art may be as good as — or better than — the music. Yes: Displaying album covers as art on your walls can make for a wonderful wall display that reflects your unique vibe. Even more so, because you can periodically swapped out the LP covers to suit your mood. Above: Readers Drew and Eric have used their record collection fill a wall in their cozy reading nook — and add some hip color to the space. Read on to see how seven more Retro Renovation readers have used records in their decor.

records on the wall for artalbum art on the wall in framesAbove: Reader MidCenturyThriftyGal has grouped her collection of framed records over the fireplace — and also around the corner. When you hang your album covers tightly together like this, the grouping reads as one large piece of art. The options for making groupings of records are endless. Since records are all uniform squares — it is easy to arrange them in patterns — which can create a variety of looks for your walls. The variety of colors, designs and subject matters on vintage album covers vary widely too — so no matter your taste, you can curate a collection that will complement — or stand out from — your surrounding decor.

grouping of vintage record albums as artReaders Rob and Julie have allowed a little more space in between record frames in their grouping. Combined with the more subdued color schemes of the records they chose to display — they achieve a somewhat calmer “piece of art” — their little pup looks like he is ready to take a nap.

jills-pink-bathroom-with-beatles-memorabiliaReader Jill used a similar amount of space between her records — all Beatles — in her Beatles themed gray and pink bathroom. Note, we’d guess that the humidity in a bathroom might do damage to album covers, even when they are encased in glass — or especially when they are encased in glass — over time. So, best to check the market value of your album covers first. Album cover art is a collectible, and some are very valuable!

hang records on the wallReader Uncle Atom tacked up his records on the wood paneling in his rec room — with a vintage turntable close at hand. His colorful and kitschy arrangement of records goes well with the pattern on his floor tiles — and the subject matter of the albums he chose to display add a youthful energy to the space.

vintage album art collectionThis reader has used albums to add color to their otherwise neutral space. The wider spacing allows them to fill more wall space and spread the color around for maximum impact.

framed LPs on a wallAbove: Reader Andrea’s album art display has a theme — it’s a “bongo wall”. Very clever!

hang vintage records on the wall as artInstead of hanging multiple record albums together in a group to display as art — reader Tina has selected a favorite record to display — letting it stand alone.

Whether you choose your records to exhibit based on your favorite genre or artist, or simply for the color of decorative nature of the cover design — hanging framed vintage record albums make a great piece of art in a mid century styled home.

Readers, do you display album cover art?
Do you have design tips for others who want to do the same?

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  1. Mandah says

    This is probably a stupid question, but why risk damaging the valuable covers? Why not just make a repro or something to hang on the walls and keep the original safely on the shelves?

    • says

      I am not sure how any damage can occur when framing an album cover. They are then protected from dust and edge wear. The damage occurs when they are left out and we thumb through them, stack them, stand them up like books, and handle them :-)

      • Mandah says

        True, but I guess I should elaborate. I mean the ones in the bathroom, the article mentioned that it can’t be good for them and I agree.

  2. Jodi says

    I have framed records in the cubbies of my expedit (which is loaded with albums). I have picture discs on the ceiling in my den. I also framed a collection of chu-bops. If anyone remembers they were little record albums sold in the 80’s that had a piece of gum inside. I used to buy them back in high school and I still have a few of mine left but I bought the whole set off ebay some years ago. There were 32 and they fit perfectly into two album frames. I also have all kinds of record totes displayed all around my house and I have 45’s everywhere. I love to decorate with records, and yes I still listen to them too!

  3. says

    We slide our album covers into aluminum channels, see our blog post on this at http://www.ranchoredux.blogspot.com/2010/02/diy-thrift-store-decor.html. It’s really easy to swap out albums, so we change them around a lot. Like Uncle Atom, we do Christmas albums at Christmas, and right now we have a cha cha theme going. Other categories: exercise albums, Hawaiian music, funky dance covers, cool 50s graphic design. We love looking through albums at thrift stores. We mainly buy them for cover art but we play them on our old Columbia hi-fi console as well.

    • LPG says

      what a great idea. Had a chuckle over all the silly album covers over the years. The possibilities are endless…lol . Great job!

  4. Shiloh says

    Just this past week, I “framed” the very awesome, retro “Whipped Cream and Other Delights” album by taking an old thrift store picture frame, (about twice the size of the album cover), painting it white, and setting the album inside of it…really, just resting against the wall on the top shelf of a bookcase. It gives the appearance of framing without touching the cover or encasing. I like how it turned out!

    • holyjunk says

      I have the same album displayed. It is considered one of the best (and sexiest) as far as album artwork goes (rolling stone). love it!

  5. Jason says

    I used a combination of framed album covers and photos on a small corner wall in my living room. Of course, I am more of a jazz guy, so my albums and photos are June Christy, Chris Connor, Anita O’Day, Dean Martin, etc, etc. Endless possibilities and a great way to display and protect your album covers.

  6. shirley says

    i need suggestions on making copies of old record album covers to be displayed in location where i don’t want to leave the original.

      • shirley says

        My boss has over a 1000 old lp’s he would like to display them for the public in an covered but yet open to weather building for viewing. he wants to make copies of these in a poster style or framed on good paper that would hold up to the weather.

        • pam kueber says

          I think you need to consult with a printer on this. My first thought is to print them on vinyl – but a printer will know. Good luck.

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