IKEA’s Detolfs are arguably the cheapest glass display cases you’ll find around but with one major issue: there are only 4 shelves. For most collectors, 4 shelves is far from enough to display all your awesome figures. Each shelf is also pretty deep, so filling them normally would only result in the back figures being blocked from the front. And because each shelf is so tall, there’s a lot of empty space. The easy solution: make more shelves! By creating a second, elevated “shelf” in the back using baseball card cases, you will now be able to display an entire second row of figures without being blocked by the first row.
A row of pretty blondies up top and a row of cute maids in front
Most people use acrylic raisers, but I’ve personally discovered this not to provide an ideal fit for the Detolf’s dimensions. A Detolf is just under 15.5″ internally, but The Container Store’s acrylic raisers come in 4″, 6″, 8″ and 10″ series. The 4″ is way too small. The 6″ has decent height but you can only fit 2 (3 x 6″ = 18″ < Detolf’s 15.5″) and it leaves a lot of empty space between the raisers (meaning 2 figures only, 3 max if you can balance one figure’s base on the edge of both). The 8″ is a bit tall and only one can fit (2 x 8″ = 16″ < Detolf’s 15.5″), and the 10″ is out of question. An alternative would be transparent CD cases. While these work fine for the odd job if you have a bunch lying around, a lot is required if you want to raise all four Detolf shelves, and buying new ones can be quite pricey.
The Container Store’s acrylic raisers are nice, but no good for Detolfs
After searching around The Container Store with the help of a really diligent and nice employee and trying out all sorts of combinations for a week, I finally found the perfect solution: baseball card cases!
At a nice 14.5″ wide and 5.25″ deep, the baseball card case is just long enough to span the entire Detolf width with (some safety wiggle room) and wide enough for almost all bases to rest securely on. Not to mention that the narrower bottom of the case allow for some digging space for wide-based figures on the lower shelf. Price-wise, they also end up being cheaper than rows made of acrylic raisers. Here’s a series of pictures showing how it looks.
In an empty Detolf shelf
But what about all those baseball card dividers? Each case comes with 6, so that’s quite a lot of acrylic to be throwing away. But no worries, you can use them for displaying your other stuff too! With a bit of tape and/or hot glue, you can create nice acrylic stands for your magazines/manga/artbooks/doujinshis! While you can always buy dedicated acrylic stands, might as well make a few yourself!
Perfect for thin, lightweight A4 doujinshis like these
From different angles, backs reinforced with cut-out shipping box cardboard
Making stands using tape and hot glue (its possible to just use all tape but doesn’t look as nice)
Ta-da, now you can display all your figures nicely in your Detolfs without dishing out too much for the extra shelf levels, plus free display stands (with a bit of tape work). Here’s an old snapshot of one side of my room – there’s 5 baseball card case shelves inside those two Detolfs and 15 display stands made using those card dividers (actually ran out and ended up buying more separately). The 3 acrylic wall shelves spanning between the two Detolfs were also picked up from my local The Container Store (walking distance) and have been holding up quite nicely.
The TYPE-MOON side of my room ^_^
Hope this post was informative. If you’re convinced and looking to extend your Detolf, pick up a few cases here. Even if you don’t have a Detolf but are using some other display case setup, I’d recommend dropping by your local Container Store or equivalent. If you’ve got other interesting display case shelving solutions, please share them in the comments below. Thanks for reading and enjoy that second shelf of goodness!