Learn how to use pegboards to display packaged collectibles like action figures and other toys to make them look like organized wall art. Sponsored by Wall Control
One space I don’t really share on the blog or social media very often is my husband and son’s man cave that they lovingly call the “collectibles room.” It’s not because I don’t like it or I don’t think it’s “blog-worthy” but mainly because it’s their private space that’s just for them. But I recently did a little mini-makeover and couldn’t not share here, because it’s just too good to keep to myself.
My husband has a big collection of Star Wars figures that are still in their packages. They’re all in individual protective cases, and he had been storing them on a wall hung piece by piece with nails. While that method was doing the job, it made it hard for him to move them around if he added a new critter. (I call all his figures critters and statues creatures.) So I asked him if I could do a surprise upgrade and promised that it would improve his storage space. He reluctantly agreed, so I got to work.
The Collectible Room “Before”
Here’s how the wall looked before I got my hands on it. Not bad, but not great. And the nail situation was such a pain for him to remove and rearrange since the walls of our basement are all made from super thick 1970s wood panelling.
I knew he wanted to eventually paint the whole room black to mimic a movie theater, so I went ahead and painted this particular wall Tricorn Black from Sherwin Williams. I hate painting, so since I did this wall, he can do the other five. Haha!
My Plans For The Wall Of Action Figures
I drew up these plans on a big dry erase board, because I’m super fancy and high-tech like that, and made some measurements of the amount of space I had to work with. (Note: I ended up having to downsize these measurements by one foot due to a furniture placement issue.)
I knew I wanted to use the same metal pegboards I used in my home gym since they’re incredibly sturdy and also easy to install. I am obsessed with these Wall Control pegboards and after this project, they’re hanging out in four different spaces of my house. (Pun intended!)
Wall Control offers a bunch of different colors of metal pegboards, which saved me a step of having to spray paint. I chose the black pegboards to blend in with the black wall so the critters would really stand out.
And to make the wall look more intentional, I planned to use door and window trim around the pegboards to frame it out.
- Wall Paint (I used Tricorn Black from Sherwin Williams)
- Metal Pegboards from Wall Control
- Metal Pegs from Wall Control
- Door Trim, measured and cut to size
- Measuring Tape
- Miter Saw or Miter Box
- Drill (I love this affordable one)
- Brad Nailer (this cordless one is my favorite)
- 1 1/4 inch Brad Nails
- Picture Lights (plus 3 AA batteries per light)
Installing Wall Control Pegboards
Installation is super easy with these Wall Control pegboards because they don’t require furring strips. If you’ve ever installed traditional pegboards, you know you’ve got to add boards to the wall to “bump out” the pegboard enough to get the pegs in the holes.
The Wall Control pegboards have a built-in framing around the back that keeps it the perfect distance away from the wall, so you can jump right into installation. The pegboards come with six screws and six anchors, and that’s literally all you need to install them. (Plus a drill, of course)
I didn’t need use the anchors since the walls are made of paneling so thick the Kool-Aid man couldn’t bust through, but I have used them in other rooms and they’ve held up really well when I didn’t have a stud nearby.
To put them in place, I started with the bottom row and installed them from left to right, then installed the top row directly on top of them to keep things tight and level.
Installing The Trim
Once I got the pegboards in place, it was time to frame them out with trim. I measured out the length and width of the collage of pegboards and sketched it out on my handy dandy notebook. I picked up this door trim from Home Depot and used my miter saw to cut them at 45 degree angles.
Before installing on the wall, I gave them two coats of paint (the same Tricorn Black that’s on the walls). It’s important to paint before you install them because the white edges up against the pegboard sides will still be seen a little, depending on the angle you’re standing at. Always pre-paint any type of decorative trim before nailing to the wall.
Once the paint dried, I used a brad nailer to attach them around the pegboards. Then I filled the nail holes and corner joints with spackle, and gave it one final coat of paint.
Adding Picture Lighting
This is honestly my favorite element of the project, because it turns a plain pegboard wall into actual art. I ordered three of these battery-operated picture lights from Amazon. They’re super affordable and don’t require hardwiring, and they all connect to a single remote.
Installing them was really easy and the wall mount even had a built-in bubble level. These lights really elevate the wall and they’re the most-complimented part of the space from everyone who has seen it so far.
Arranging The Figures On The Pegboards
The final step of this mini-makeover is to put the critters on the pegboards. Sounds easy, but this was actually the hardest part of the process. I had to figure out which packages were the same size and how to line them up to fill the board with the right spacing.
I ended up laying them all out in the floor and moving them around at least three times before I got it right. (Side note, Hub doesn’t like how the Anakins and Darth Somebodies aren’t together, so he’ll be rearranging to the “right way”. I just arranged by package, and apparently in the collector world, that’s wrong.)
The Wall Control pegboards are made of metal so they’re way more sturdy than a traditional pegboard. They don’t bow out or flex when the humidity changes, which was the major selling point since our house is right smack dab in hot and humid East Tennessee. Because of this extra stability, I knew the packages would sit flat and not not bow out due to their weight.
I used black metal pegs from Wall Control because they were specially designed to fit the boards, but standard universal pegs would have fit, too. I was just really determined to have this whole wall blacked-out. I really like the Wall Control pegs though, because they kind of “lock” into place and don’t wiggle, but can be easily removed if needed.
The Final Reveal!
Quick reminder, here’s how the wall looked before the pegboard…
And here’s how it looks now!
Can you believe this super fancy artsy fartsy wall is made from metal pegboards and cheap trim?! When I revealed the wall to Nigel for the first time, he said it looked like a store. And my son said it looked like a museum. I think those two statements mean my mission was accomplished.
Watch The Wall Come Together On Video
You can see the entire process on Instagram in this Reel, and all the behind-the-scenes installation and tips/tutorials are saved in my Highlights at the top of my profile. And while you’re over on Instagram, make sure you check out Wall Control’s page, too, where you’ll find all kinds of inspiration for using pegboards to store so much more than just tools.
Shop The Supply List
Here are the exact supplies I used for this project. Slide the arrows to view them all.
PS: Need those pegboards and pegs ASAP? If you don’t have an Amazon Prime account, you can get a free 30 day trial with this special link so you can try it out and get all the discounts on Prime Day. If fast, free shipping isn’t your thing, you can cancel before the month is up and you won’t be charged at all for it.