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Author Topic:   Storing and displaying space patches

Posts: 75
From: Nashville, TN, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 08-15-2007 02:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for embangloy   Click Here to Email embangloy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am looking for other recommendations to store and display my patches.

Since the 1980's, I have managed to keep them all in a cool and dark place, in a Rubbermaid container laying flat, all separated in individual CD sleeves. I have always tried to keep touching the patches to a minimal.

I have heard of using those CD-style books for this purpose, but I have more than enough invested into my collection and would like to give it the respect that it deserves. Also, has anyone insured their patch collection?

Any comments or suggestions would be grateful.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 40138
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-15-2007 03:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are some high end CD-style books made from leather, wood, and even metals such as titanium, so that might be an option...

Bill Hunt

Posts: 397
From: Irvine, CA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 08-15-2007 03:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bill Hunt   Click Here to Email Bill Hunt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I use the same basic method you do for storage - Rubbermaid plastic cases with the patches in individual CD sleeves.

For displaying the real gems in my collection, I frame them under UV glass against black, acid-free (museum quality) card stock. Using a laser printer, I create little description stickers (white font on black background), which I affix underneath the patch.

To hold the patches immobile in the display, I use double-sided fabric tape - the kind you get at fabric or sewing supply stores. You need to test it with the backing carefully, but I've found over the years that it works best for the vintage, fabric backed patches. It doesn't leave a sticky residue and it's designed to be removed from fabric and reaffixed. It holds well, but doesn't leave any kind of a mark on the patch when you remove it later.

And if you're going to be framing the patches, even with UV glass or plex, the best thing to remember is don't hang them anywhere they're going to be exposed to direct or near-direct sunlight.


Posts: 188
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 02-10-2009 12:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Voyager1975   Click Here to Email Voyager1975     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am curious to know how some of you are storing or displaying your patches? I have just been keeping mine in a bunch of boxes and separating the patches in the boxes by categories. Such as Shuttle patches, anniversary and commemorative, flag patches, NASA logo patches, and off course Mercury/Gemini/Apollo, Skylab, Apollo/Soyuz and so on.

Editor's note: Threads merged.


Posts: 244
From: College Station, TX
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 02-10-2009 07:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevmac   Click Here to Email Kevmac     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In my last house that I moved out of last year, I used low-adhesive poster tape on the back to hang the manned mission patches on the wall along the highest point of the ceiling in my office (the tape didn't stick very well to some patch material so I had to use double-stick).

Starting in one corner, the lowest row was the Mercury patches. Just above that, starting in the corner was the row of Gemini patches. Above that in a row were the Apollo patches then Skylab, then ASTP.

Then I started at the high point just below the ceiling with the Shuttle patches, and went all the way around the room. When they came all the way around to the starting point, I dropped down a row and started back the opposite direction.

It was a great visual depiction to see all the manned missions hung up on the walls. It was a fun conversation piece when friends visited.

Now I'm in a new house and the office ceiling is much higher and it would be more difficult to see the patches from the distance.

Hope this helps give you some ideas.


Posts: 19
From: Pasadena, California, USA
Registered: Jan 2010

posted 01-14-2010 09:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tombohnstedt   Click Here to Email tombohnstedt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For a while I scratched my head over the best way to store my collection of spaceflight patches.

Originally I tried mounting them on black cardstock using some kind of rubber cement used for book binding. I wish I had never done that; if you want to remove them for some reason it takes an eternity to rub the sticky gum residue off the back, and even if you do you are risking damaging the embroidery on the front because of excess handling. I also tried those double-sided sticky pad things, which worked okay, and come off easier, except they don't stick as long. Also, one of them was stuck on so well I had to slice it off the back, and in so doing damaged the threads coming into the back (this one did not have a protective plastic coating on the back), and I had to replace the patch. So this is also not a very good idea.

I tried sandwich baggies with Ziplocs, and although it kept them safe from coffee spills, it wasn't very tidy. I also tried the paper CD sleeves with the transparent windows. This wasn't much better than the Ziploc baggies. They were smaller and easier to stack end to end in a box, but the fact that it was paper made it more vulnerable to liquids. Also, there were a few spaceflight patches that were just a little too big for the sleeves and they couldn't be closed. And finally, they weren't entirely viewable.

I did some research and hit on this solution, not so much for open display, but for storage. This is a useful way to store your patches, but still be able to handle them and look at them if you're married and your wife doesn't want you turning her home into an aviation and space museum with stuff all over the walls. I purchased from a company called Clearbags ( some transparent "bags" that are really more like sleeves. These turned out to be perfectly ideal (and NO, I don't work for the Clearbags company). I bought two sizes; 4.625 x 5.75 + flap, Crystal Clear Bags Protective Closure (PC) (117x146) (100 pack) [B54PC], and 3.75 x 5.125 + flap, Crystal Clear Bags Protective Closure (PC) 95x130) (100 pack) [B3H5SPC]. It cost me $10.00 for a pack of 100 of the larger ones, and $5.00 for a 100 pack of the smaller ones. These are slim, thin, but very crystal clear.

The larger ones work for every 4" patch I have. There were a couple of snug fits here and there, but they all fit. The smaller sleeves work for all 3" patches. Yes, I realize that the 3" Mercury and Gemini patches, are, at best, 'souvenir' patches. True enough, but in case you want to keep them anyway, this is a good solution.

I created identification cards for each patch using a heavy, high quality inkjet matte paper, my word processor (I use MS Word) and an inkjet printer. For the three inch patches you can create up to three ID cards per page, and two per page for the larger sleeves. (Experiment a little first with placing your text and/or graphics on the page before you use up your expensive heavy bright white printer paper).

You then cut the ID cards for the 3" smaller bags at 5.125" x 3.75 ", and for the larger cards cut them at 5.75" x 4.5 ". These will fit perfectly inside the crystal clear sleeves. The flap is easily folded over and sealed using the adhesive strip built into the bag. If need be these can be opened and resealed several times. Now you can store these slim little packets in a box if you want, but you can remove them, handle them as much as you want without risking finger grime or spills, or adding wear to the embroidery, and you can perfectly view both sides, with the patch showing on one side, and your ID card on the other side. The sleeves really are crystal clear and it is almost like they are out in the open.


Posts: 50
From: Pataskala, Ohio
Registered: Nov 2005

posted 01-14-2010 05:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ddrwilli   Click Here to Email ddrwilli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have been collecting patches since the late 1960's. At first, I displayed my patches pinned to corkboard mounted on the wall. Then I started putting the patches into archival photo pages in a three-ring binder, both for storage and display. But, after a number of years storing my patches that way, I decided that I needed to do something different.

About 6 years ago, my wife and I put together a scrapbook of our son's Boy Scout Eagle Project. Afterward, I decided to use the skills and techniques I learned from the scrapbook for my patch collection:

I use 8.5 x 11" acid-free black cardstock and mount the patches with double-sided fabric tape, like Bill Hunt described earlier in this thread. Then I add appropriate photographs and information that I find on the web (I use MS Word to format the text for printing). When each page is complete, I'll slip it into a document protector sleeve for a 3-ring binder.

So far, I have had a lot of fun with my scrapbook method and I wind up learning a lot about each mission. Also, I find that I, and my space-enthusiast friends, go back and look at my collection time and time again. After all, what's the point of having a collection if you can't show it off?

I've posted some pictures of my collection at photobucket.

However, there is a drawback with the scrapbook method... I've more than tripled the amount of space that I need to store my patches!


Posts: 1021
From: The Netherlands
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 01-15-2010 04:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hoorenz   Click Here to Email hoorenz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very beautiful. I wish I had time to make something like this.


Posts: 5762
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 01-15-2010 05:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Even "Samsonite" makes cases to hold over 500 CD/DVD and these are great to store patches!


Posts: 544
From: Fort Worth, TX, USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 01-15-2010 09:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Although I am on the lame end of the spectrum when it comes to storing patches, it does the job: double sided tape on heavy card or cover stock paper put in recycled black binders. Some in plastic page protectors. All archival stuff. Cheap.

The really good patches (Gemini, SMEAT, etc) get a whole page to themselves perhaps with some explanation of what they are.

I want to embark on an effort to get some better explanation put with some patches like the shuttle experiment or payload patches. My goal with those is to have the mission patch and its variants together with the respective payload that mission carried.

Amen to the call for an updated space patch book! Wasn't Bisney working on one?

Thanks for the discussion.

Henk Stroo

Posts: 66
From: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2000

posted 01-15-2010 10:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henk Stroo   Click Here to Email Henk Stroo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I started my spaceflight collection 1n February 1958 and I also have most space patches.

I use my space patches also for exhibitions that's why all my patches are behind glass of 20x25 inch, together with information and photo's of the flight or crew.

If you are interested please take a look at my site and click on patches.


Posts: 50
From: Pataskala, Ohio
Registered: Nov 2005

posted 01-16-2010 06:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ddrwilli   Click Here to Email ddrwilli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Henk, what beautiful displays! I sure wish I could see them in person!

Ben, aside from googling each shuttle experiment patch, I find that the shuttle press kits (here and here) are excellent resources for information on shuttle experiments. Hope that helps.


Posts: 2957
From: MA, USA
Registered: Sep 2002

posted 02-16-2010 08:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMckay   Click Here to Email BMckay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am looking for ideas on how to frame 8x10 photos with patches. If you can show me what you did on this site or via email that would be great.

Editor's note: Threads merged

New Member


posted 02-17-2010 06:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MARKW   Click Here to Email MARKW     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I use double stick carpet tape on the back of the patches. I put the patches on non acid cardboard stock paper. I slide them into 8-1/2x 11 clear plastic toploaders that are also non degrading quality. I then put the pages in a 3 ring binder. Any photo
supply company on the web should have the clear toploaders and the non acid paper.


Posts: 2181
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 11-29-2010 11:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I display some of my mission patches in frames. Just wondered how many others did or do you keep them in a folder, etc.?

Editor's note: Threads merged.


Posts: 2324
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 11-29-2010 12:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I decided to go both ways with my display of patches. I keep my official AB emblem patches in a CD binder and then I display my "other" patches (some AB some not) in frames on the wall.

The "glass" for the frames is actually UV Acrylic plexiglass (blocks out 98% of UV rays). See the photos below (click to enlarge).


Posts: 2181
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 11-30-2010 02:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote


Posts: 746
From: Statesville, NC
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 11-30-2010 06:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dogcrew5369   Click Here to Email dogcrew5369     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice. I'm restricted to my small man room. Wish my wife was a space fan too. Way to go with your displays. Envious. By the way, did you make the frames for your patches and where did you pick up the UV proof plexiglass?


Posts: 952
From: Michigan
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 12-03-2010 07:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Originally posted by GACspaceguy:
I display my "other" patches (some AB some not) in frames on the wall.
Your 51-I patch should have its stripes horizontal, as this was the intended orientation. The funny thing is... NASA itself got it wrong and oriented the insignia with the names "centered" and stripes at an angle on the flown Crew Activity Plan (above Ox van Hoften).


Posts: 2324
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 03-06-2011 07:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Greggy_D, some how I missed your displaying advice in December when you posted. Thanks for the info I will correct it the next time I have the ladder out.

New Member


posted 03-11-2011 07:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Raptor79   Click Here to Email Raptor79     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I live in Queensland in sub-tropical climate and I'm wondering how to store my patches. Is it best to keep them in sealed plastic bags?


Posts: 159
From: Peoria, AZ United States
Registered: Aug 2011

posted 09-17-2011 10:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Beau08   Click Here to Email Beau08     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was wondering if anyone out there has any good advise on how to mount crew patches for a display. I don't want to do anything silly like gluing it, but thought a good two sided tape might work. I just don't know if it would eventually fall down over time. Thanks for any suggestions.

Editor's note: Threads merged.


Posts: 159
From: Peoria, AZ United States
Registered: Aug 2011

posted 09-17-2011 10:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Beau08   Click Here to Email Beau08     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great advice here!! Thanks for the re-direct mod...


Posts: 427
From: Pampa, TX, US
Registered: May 2011

posted 09-02-2012 09:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just finished hanging my collection of Space Shuttle patches. This display is just going to be up for a few months and it won't be seeing any sunlight, so I didn't bother with framing them. To affix them to the wall, I attached a long strip of masking tape to the backing (it doesn't leave any residue as long as it doesn't get too hot, and it's very easy to remove. It may be too weak to stick to some backing materials so you might want to use something stronger if some fall off). I then attached the masking tape to the wall with foam mounting tape. Mounting tape is very strong, so on most patches it only took a very small piece. However you don't want to attach the foam tape directly to the patch. On some of the waxy-feeling backings, it can be removed easily but on most, it's moderately hard (especially the plastic iron-on kind) and may even tear the backing material. If a patch wasn't staying down flat, I used 1 to 3 rolled pieces of masking tape to hold them in place.

As others have mentioned, I've also found double-sided fabric tape to work very, very well as a temporary adhesive. It could make a more effective replacement for masking tape in the method I described above. However if it gets too hot, it can leave minor residue on patch backings.

Later I plan to hang up my Gemini reproductions on the other wall near the Columbia flag. I don't yet have a complete set of Apollo nor ISS patches so I won't be displaying those--I don't think I would even have anywhere to put them.

Apollo 8

Posts: 176
From: Vienna, AUSTRIA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 09-02-2012 11:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo 8   Click Here to Email Apollo 8     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a fine collection! - To get no sunlight on the patches is good, but be careful with the dust too.

At the moment I am working on displaying my Lion Brothers Apollo Patches together with the Grumman LM Patches. I am going to frame them all with my Apollo astronauts´ autographs...


Posts: 596
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 09-05-2012 06:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When I started collecting many years ago, I would put my patches in ziplock bags and then staple the corners to pages in a notebook. Needless to say, I quickly realized this wasn't a good solution!

I then "moved" them all to new bags, ones with out holes in them, and put them in boxes. I've used this system ever since. As I've also assigned a serial number to each patch using a numbering scheme that aids in identification, I also put the serial number in a spreadsheet with tabs/worksheets for each major project or area (Gemini, Mercury, Apollo, STS, locations, DOD, Company patches, non-official patches, coins/medallions, other items, etc.) I keep the latest copy of the spreadsheet in email/Google Docs so I can access it anywhere/anytime. This method then allows me when visiting a space center to quickly "see" what I have so as to avoid duplicates.

Through the years of collecting and with my current collection size, I recently expanded my collection of storage boxes. I use those plastic storage boxes that are a little bigger than a shoe box. Six inch ziplock bags fit in them very nicely standing on edge. I then have cardboard dividers between each project or area (there's a divider between Gemini and Mercury for example). Each box will comfortably fit about 100 patches this way. (I also keep a "placeholder" in the front of each box so that when I remove a patch to look at it, I put the "placeholder" where the patch goes so I can easily put the patch back in its spot.)

With the serial number on a sticker in the top corner of the bag (inside the bag so it can't be separated from the patch), all the serial numbers are then displayed in a row along the corners of the bags allowing me to find a patch very quickly. I currently have six of these boxes and I need to add another or two as a couple of them are getting full.

While this method may not be perfect, it has served me well through the years and with each series/area labeled on the end of the box, I can quickly find any patch I'm looking for, with or without the serial number from the spreadsheet. As the serial numbers are related to the mission, I usually will know the serial number without the spreadsheet (Gemini 5 would be G-5 for example, Apollo 11, A-11 - although there's several of these!)

The OP asked about insuring your patches. I recently spoke to my insurance agent due to the size of my collection and he told me that my home-owners insurance will cover up to $3,000 for a collection IF they know what's in the collection. I told him about my spreadsheet and now update a copy of it with him every couple of months. If the value of my collection were to exceed $3,000, I'd need a separate rider to put on my policy for a minimal cost. Note however that this is what MY insurance will do. Yours may be different. I'm just trying to answer the question and maybe help someone who may need it.


Posts: 905
From: Churchton, MD
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 07-22-2013 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is there an economical way of storing patches? What is the best way to keep them all together and free from discoloring? Thanks!

Editor's note: Threads merged.


Posts: 596
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 07-22-2013 06:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Economy is a relative thing. The method I described above is pretty inexpensive. Plus, with the boxes on a closet shelf, they are free of the UV that will discolor them. (Being inside ziplock bags and then stacked together also helps here.) So they are virtually 100% UV free this way.

The only "big" expense I had was the last time I ran out of bags of the size I used (5" x 5" for most patches) I had to order 1,000 online. And even then it wasn't too bad. If I recall correctly, it was like $35US for the case.

The boxes are can be found at department stores (Target, WalMart, etc.) and will only be about $4-5 each. So yes, it's a pretty simple and cheap solution that also gives them great protection. The only downside is that to look at them, you have to get them out. But if you're interested in the patches, that's not a big deal.

And I have got to add, the link to above is a perfect solution. You can get virtually any size you want and you are not forced to buy a case of 1,000. I only wish I had found this site earlier. I need some larger bags for some recent patches so I'll be ordering soon. Thanks for the link!


Posts: 162
From: Cork, Cork, Ireland
Registered: Oct 2005

posted 07-23-2013 06:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for johntosullivan   Click Here to Email johntosullivan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's some of my collection framed and hung in my office. This includes the full shuttle collection.

New Member

Posts: 4
From: Market Harborough, Leicestershire, United Kingdom
Registered: Jun 2018

posted 09-01-2018 06:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for robtheblue   Click Here to Email robtheblue     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm quite new to the forum but I've started to collect patches, predominantly from the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. I want to make a presentation binder to store them in which is also nice to show off.

I'm thinking of using acid free clear pages with the patches attached to either card or felt. Is felt safe for this? Has anyone else done this and got any pictures for me to get some inspiration and ideas? Thanks guys.

Editor's note: Threads merged.


Posts: 49
From: Neu-Isenburg, Germany, Hessen
Registered: Sep 2015

posted 09-01-2018 07:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for waa49   Click Here to Email waa49     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All my emblems — from Mercury to ISS — I have filed in folders of Fa. Lindner (Germany): Item No. 1102Y: Folder; 880 - transparent cover; 802a - collection sheets.

I attached the patches with double sided tape.


Posts: 455
From: Bothell, WA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 09-01-2018 02:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo   Click Here to Email Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I use 4x6 album sheets from small photo binders and gladware containers. This is the most space efficient method I have found. Albums get pretty bulky, pretty fast, and can get problematic to flip pages through (the clamps always seem to get loose or offset). I can leaf through these pretty quickly and most 4" patches fit. I can fit approximately 100 patches per container. They slide into a cupboard or shelf nicely next to each other. Not quite as attractive as an album but they are very practical.


Posts: 50
From: Pataskala, Ohio
Registered: Nov 2005

posted 09-06-2018 07:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ddrwilli   Click Here to Email ddrwilli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I use document protecters and 3-ring binders for my collection - lately I've been using 3" heavy duty binders that have rings with locating pin style closures. I find that the locating pin style rings are not likely to misalign. The binders have clear plastic covers that allow me to slip in decorative - more or less - labels.


Posts: 94
From: Martinsburg, WV 25401, USA
Registered: Dec 2010

posted 09-13-2018 02:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SparkR_13   Click Here to Email SparkR_13     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another storage way is to use the clear CD vinyl holders, such as the Memorex makes. An off brand can be found on Amazon or eBay and you get 500 for about $30. These will hold the 4" very easily and will accommodate some odd shape, etc, putting them on angle.

My collection is close over 3000 patches and decals and almost all are in these. I then use some thicker vinyl tag holders for the large rectangles and have only a few in larger round patches in baggies. All of these are stored in plastic bins/totes. Takes up a lot of space really, but for now they are protected.

My collection is formatted for the most part by STS mission, with the mission patch and associated payload/experiment patches and decals in the same fashion. Bottom line... those CD holders are very nice as they keep shape and the entire patch/decal is within.


Posts: 152
From: Houston, TX USA
Registered: Oct 2004

posted 09-16-2018 01:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for James913   Click Here to Email James913     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here’s an idea that’s more storage than display oriented. Like a lot of us, I have a pile of patches and pins and other smallish space memorabilia (medals, coins, badges, postcards, covers, caps, photos, pieces of flown hardware, etc.) that I need to protect and keep track of until I can get them framed or otherwise properly displayed.

What I really wanted was a central location where I could store everything and find specific items (with the help of a FilemakerPro database). I decided to repurpose one of my closets and optimize it for small item storage (something that most closets are not really designed for).

Fortunately, I had a corner kitchen closet that had pretty poor space utilization to begin with. As you can see in the photos below, I ripped out the built-in shelves, refinished the interior and installed some heavy-duty commercial wire shelving. My closet footprint was just over 4x4 feet (reduced significantly by the corner with the door being sliced off on a diagonal), but it was 10 feet tall, with a lot of wasted space at the top with the original shelves. Here’s the transformation of that closet…

With the shelving in place, I needed some plastic storage boxes that fit the shelf dimensions well and were good sizes for patches, pins, documents, etc. I found five basic types at Target that were sturdy and stackable. For larger items (shirts, caps, flight suits, model kits, etc.), I found some inexpensive heavy duty PVC foot lockers at Walmart. Medium size prints and posters are stored flat in some larger containers on the top shelf. Here are photos of everything in place with some preliminary labels.

I outfitted the closet door interior with small shelves and bulletin boards and had enough space left in the middle of the closet to accommodate a rolling cart with more boxes, another stack of boxes on the floor and a set of folding steps (my mobile access platform) for reaching the upper shelves. In its final form, I now have 220 boxes of various sizes in there (over 150 cubic feet of useable storage), all labeled and readily accessible.

If you want to see some more detailed photos and other diagrams from the project, there’s a PDF file (108MB) available here.

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