My family has taken to collecting the Lego minifigures that are in the surprise pouches. We started collecting them when series 10 was available and occasionally splurge on some of the older series (like for stocking stuffers). Our collection had outgrown our limited space so a few months ago we made two 12 shelf displays to accommodate them. (And some space for a few other Lego items like the Star Wars sets on the top.)
Here is how to make your own.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Material list (per set of shelves)
- 13 Shelves - 1/2 inch plywood 3" x 24"
- 2 Sides - 1/2 inch plywood 3" x 45"
- Back - 1/4 inch plywood 45" x 25"
- 2 Hangers & mounting screws
- Finishing nails
- Table saw
- Sand paper
- Putty knife
- Paint brush
- Tape measure
Step 2: Assembly - Glue and Nail
Once you have the pieces cut, assembly is pretty easy. I suggest cutting a block of wood (or few) at 3 3/16" to use as a spacer. Having a few extra hands helps to hold things too!
First we examined each piece and oriented the sides of the shelf with the most flaws toward the back where it would end up hidden and not need filler before painting. Then we put some wood glue on the end of the shelf pieces. Then we nailed in place.
Note that we ended up with a little extra of the sides and back at the top of our shelf because our spacer block wasn't perfect. I'm okay with that for two reasons. For mounting it on the wall, it allowed me to hide the hanger a little better behind the wood. It also enclosed the pieces that I put at the very top. Also, if we decide we ever want it freestanding on the floor then the first shelf will be up off the floor a little.
Step 3: Assembly - Attach the Back
Then we put the back on. We coated the shelves and sides with a little glue and then nailed around the edges. Then we used a straight edge to mark the back between the nails on each side board. That marked the spot for us to nail into the shelves. We missed a few times, but got plenty of nailing practice in the process.
Step 4: Finishing
We used putty to fill the voids in the plywood then we scraped and sanded. Next we applied two coats of primer (letting it dry between coats) and then two coats of the closest we could find to a glossy Lego-red color paint.
Step 5: Fill the Shelves!
We then filled the shelves with the minifigures sorted by series and also made matching numbers to help identify the right series. We need to ass letters for the Disney and Lego Movie sets that we have collected.
The shelves are much deeper than necessary to fit just the minifigures. Again, some thought went into this. Other things can be displayed such as small Lego cars, Matchbox cars, microscale Star Wars ships (from the Lego Star Wars advent calendars). And if the boys (and us) ever tire of them then we could easily paint it and put other things we've collected on them to display.