Rock collections are some of the most diverse collections you can have because they come in various colors, sizes, shapes, and textures. If you feel it’s time to stop hiding your rock collection and show it off to the world, what are the best ways to do it?
The best ways to display a rock collection are in glass jars, jewelry cases, bookshelves, display cabinets, and bedroom drawers. You could also use your rocks to create a colorful path, display them in a glass bubble, frame collage, and more.
In this article, I’ll explain 14 interesting ways to display a rock collection. Let’s dive right in!
1. Place Your Collection in Glass Jars
Glass jars are useful for all sorts of displays – rock collections included. They make one of the best display methods since the objects inside are protected and can be seen clearly.
While you can use any jar for this display, inexpensive medical jars are one of the best types. These jars are typically large and aren’t rounded at the corners, which greatly affects how the light filters through.
Other jar types, such as Mason jars, typically have logos on the glass that can interrupt the line of sight in the jars. Medical jars don’t have this and make significantly better displays.
If you’ve decided to display your rock collection in one or more glass jars, you’ll need to choose how to arrange your rocks. Since every area will be seen, having the best parts of your rocks facing the outside is essential. This is especially true if you’re creating lighted arrangements.
Below are some interesting ways to display rocks in glass jars:
There are so many ways to display your rock collection using glass jars, and if you don’t want any of your rocks to be hidden in the center, consider placing a piece of polystyrene in the middle of the jar and arranging the rocks around it. Although you’ll need additional jars, each rock can be displayed.
When arranging your rock-filled jars, place them where they won’t easily be knocked over, such as on a table against the wall or a secure shelf.
Once you’ve filled your jars with your rock collection, you can display the jars as follows:
Displaying your rock-filled jars in a pyramid creates an eye-catching display. This shape seems to make one of the best displays for rocks since they can be seen from all sides.
You can place empty glass jars in the middle of the pyramid for extra support since this area won’t be seen. In addition, you could place a light in the middle, lighting up the rock collection from the inside and allowing you to admire each rock’s features.
Even though glass jars are typically cylindrical, they can fairly easily be arranged into a cube, which gives them a contemporary look. What better way to arrange your glass jars than in an extremely modern way?
An advantage of this method is that a cube is more stable than a pyramid and less likely to be knocked over.
Shapes abound when it comes to putting your glass jars on display. One of the simplest designs you could choose involves placing the glass rock jars in a circle.
The key to creating the perfect circle is also to have a centerpiece. For instance, your centerpiece could be a huge geode you discovered or your favorite rock. The outlying rock jars could simply be backgrounds that point toward the centerpiece.
At the same time, the rocks in each jar can paint their own story, allowing you to show off their diversity and drawing the eye in ways other displays don’t.
Stacking is also timeless. One of the easiest ways to display your glass rock jars is by stacking them on top of one another. This method is ideal if you don’t have a lot of space because you could dedicate a small corner of one of your home’s rooms to the rock display. In the corner of the room, simply stack the jars on top of each other until they reach the ceiling.
This display is so simple, yet, it’s easily one of the most eye-catching displays when arranged in an attractive way.
When things are arranged in a line, our eyes naturally progress from one end to the other. One way to play upon this may be to arrange the stones by color. For example, you may create a rainbow of rock jars, beginning with a red jar and moving all the way through the rainbow until you end with a violet jar.
There are many other ways to go about doing this with a line. Some other ways include the following:
- Display gray rocks that brighten into color as you reach the end.
- Display different hues of the same color rocks as you reach the end – pale to intense.
- Display various shaped rocks in a line.
These are only a few possibilities, but many more can also come from these ideas.
2. Embed the Rocks in Jewelry Cases
Although jewelry display cases are mostly used to display attractive necklaces and other jewelry in a store, you can also use them to showcase your rock collection.
One of the best parts about using jewelry cases is that the cases often open up to display multiple levels, and you can do much with this. For example, you may put larger rocks on the bottom section and smaller ones on the top. You can also arrange the rocks by shape based on the levels.
In addition, jewelry cases are already divided. This can make a huge difference in the way that your display looks. While other methods, like glass jars, require the rocks to be piled on top of one another, jewelry cases allow each rock to have its section – a podium of sorts.
Another consideration when using jewelry cases is to use them to display your crystals. Crystals seem to demand special attention in their display, often needing to be polished to maintain the same level of beauty they first held.
Jewelry boxes provide the easiest access point to allow you to remove them for cleaning or removing to show friends or family. Many people use crystals for rituals, and placing them in a jewelry case can be one of the best ways to bring honor to them continuously.
Since jewelry cases typically have padding in each section of the case, I don’t recommend displaying rocks with sharp or jagged edges, as they could tear the padding.
You can use several small jewelry cases (one for each rock type or color), or opt for a couple of large ones.
3. Store the Rock Collection on a Bookcase or Shelves
Who said bookcases were only supposed to be used for books? Just as bookcases allow you to admire your favorite books and easily access them, they can display your rock collection in an attractive manner.
Bookcases typically contain between three and six shelves, which is a lot of space for your rock collection.
While each person will have their own ideas for a bookshelf display, one of my favorite ideas is to create a rainbow pattern down the shelf. This is an especially beautiful way to arrange your rocks if you have many geodes and crystals because these rocks often showcase much brighter and more intense colors than others.
If you also enjoy collecting beautiful and unique seashells, why not use the bookcase to display both collections? For example, you could combine seashells and rocks in a similar color and display them in one area of the bookcase.
You could also use larger rocks to help hold some books in place – mixing the original purpose of the bookcase with your new purpose of using it for a rock collection display. This can be a great idea if you’re a collector of books and rocks.
If you don’t have a spare bookcase to dedicate to your rock collection, you could always install a shelf and display your collection there. To help each rock showcase its beauty and be visible, place the larger and taller rocks at the back, with the tiniest ones in the front.
Painting the Bookcase To Match Your Display
If you’ve dedicated a bookcase to your rock collection, make sure it will help them stand out as much as possible. You can paint the back of the bookcase or each shelf’s surface to match your rock display. While most bookcases come in neutral colors like black or white, they can be greatly enhanced to display your rock collection.
One of the best ways to do this is to paint them in contrasting colors to your display. For instance, paint the shelf containing your pale-colored rocks in a dark color to enhance their soft hues. You can even paint various rock designs and backgrounds to emphasize the display further or paint various inspirational messages on the back of the shelving unit.
4. Place the Rocks in a Glass Display Cabinet
Consider using a glass display cabinet if you’re looking for a simple yet effective way to display your rock collection. This method offers various advantages:
- It can create an elegant centerpiece or conversation starter for any room.
- The protective glass ensures your rock collection remains free of dust, damage, and dirt.
- It allows you to admire your rock collection without much effort. For example, a living room display cabinet lets you continuously admire your rock collection from your couch.
Glass display cabinets come in various sizes, styles, and shapes. Although they’re primarily designed to display ornaments and decorative dinnerware, they make excellent rock showcases. They consist of glass shelves onto which you can place your rocks. As with regular shelves, you should place the large and tall rocks at the back and the smallest ones in front.
You might consider a large glass display cabinet if you want to increase your rock collection. In the meantime, and to avoid empty spaces, consider placing other items with the rocks, such as ornaments or vases.
5. Organize the Collection in a Dresser
Do you have a dresser in your home that you no longer use? Or have you seen an attractive, used one for sale in a thrift store? If so, why not use it to display your rock collection?
While the rocks won’t be on permanent display, the drawers protect them from damage and dust and are easy to pull out when looking at the rocks. This is also useful if you have children who live in or frequently visit your home. The same goes for pets.
If you decide to use a dresser to display your rock collection, you can use any dresser you like as long as you feel it would showcase the collection beautifully. An excellent benefit to
using dresser drawers is that you can create a layered effect.
For example, you could ensure that the bottom drawer stays all the way open. As you move towards the top, close each drawer a little more. This creates an eye-catching effect, especially if you place lights around the drawers.
When creating a layering effect, it’s best to stick to a three-drawer dresser for your rock collection unless you have an excessively large rock collection. Otherwise, there will be too much layering, which could look messy. While you can use a five or six-drawer dresser, it will be more challenging for people to get a good look at all your rocks.
Using dresser drawers works similarly to using a bookcase, and you can even paint the dresser’s interior in contrasting colors to bring out your rock collection’s beauty. Set up your rocks in any way that works for you, but one of my favorite ways is to place the larger rocks in the bottom drawer, the medium-sized rocks in the middle drawer, and the smallest rocks in the top drawer.
This helps to keep the rock collection well-organized, which is especially important for larger collections that can get pretty chaotic.
6. Store Your Rocks in a Tackle Box
Tackle boxes have long been used to store fishing equipment, but there’s a lot more to them than this. They’re rapidly becoming one of the most popular ways to store rock collections, and for good reason:
- They are inexpensive and widely available at DIY stores, online, or in thrift stores.
- They usually come with a transparent lid, allowing you to showcase and protect your rocks.
- Tackle boxes have several compartments for you to separate your rocks.
When browsing the DIY store for a tackle box, you’ll notice that most are plastic. If you feel that plastic won’t do justice to your rock collection, opt for a metal one.
Although modern tackle boxes are popular display methods for rocks, older ones can provide a rustic look that no other display compares to. This can be amplified with a rusted box to give it a vintage look.
For many people, using tackle boxes for their rock collection is also a way to bring honor to their past. Perhaps they’re using a tackle box given to them by their father or grandfather, who took them fishing weekly as a child. These boxes typically hold many memories, and this is one of the best ways to showcase them.
Combining Collections in a Tackle Box
Many rock collectors also enjoy obtaining interesting and valuable coins and combining the two collections in a tackle box. Each tackle box compartment might have a rock and a coin, or alternate the compartments with rocks and coins.
This is an efficient way of displaying your collections, as tackle boxes don’t take up much space and are practical for displays.
7. Create a Frame Collage
Creating an eye-catching frame collage may be the perfect way to display your collection if you have many smaller rocks.
Picture frames have long been used for more than picture displays. In the arts and crafts world, picture frames are used for all kinds of other things, including using them to display a rock collection.
This idea won’t work unless you have smaller rocks, but you can go a long way with it if you do. You’ll enjoy making the frame collage if you enjoy arts and crafts projects. Here’s how to do it:
- After finding a suitable frame, dust it with a microfiber cloth and ensure it’s clean. This will help the rocks adhere effectively to the wood. Allow the frame to dry if you’ve cleaned it.
- Gather your rocks, and arrange them in an attractive way around the frame. If you have rocks in many colors, consider creating an ombre effect by grouping the darker-hued rocks and then progressively grouping lighter-colored ones.
- Once you’re happy with the rock design, glue them onto the frame with contact adhesive. Place a drop of adhesive on the rock and firmly press it onto the wood. Repeat this for each rock.
- Allow the glue to cure.
If you don’t have enough rocks to fill the frame, consider combining them with fine beach sand or sequins. (Speaking of beaches! Do you know if you’re allowed to collect rocks on the beach? Find out by checking out my other article: Are You Allowed to Collect Rocks from the Beach)
Once the glue has dried, you can use the frame to display special photos and hang it on a wall for everyone to see. If your rock collection is extensive, and you don’t mind giving away some of your rocks for others to enjoy, consider giving a collage frame to family or friends as gifts.
8. Keep Your Rocks in a Glass Dome or Cloche
Like glass jars, glass domes and cloches make fantastic display containers for your rocks. The main difference between the two methods is that glass jars have a functional look, while domes or cloches are more decorative and elegant.
This method is best used for smoother and smaller stones because the glass bubble shape is heavily curved, and jagged rocks don’t always sit well in these and could scratch the glass. You can overcome this problem by filling the empty space with tiny rocks.
One of the downsides to displaying your collection this way is that you’ll rapidly run out of space. It can also be pretty challenging to arrange your rocks the way you want them since you’ll essentially just drop them into the dome or cloche.
Like the frame collage idea, you can use sand to your advantage when using a glass cloche or dome. The sand can provide an attractive contrasting background, making a unique rock display.
9. Display the Rocks in Baskets
Displaying your rock collection in baskets is also another attractive way to showcase your rocks. Baskets come in all shapes and sizes, and you can use them to display both small and large collections.
Many people like to use one or more large rocks as the focal point and surround it with smaller ones. One of my favorite rock display methods is to buy metal baskets which can then be lined with cotton, tissue paper, or shredded paper in a contrasting color. This gives your rock collection an almost ethereal image, especially if you use multicolored lights around the baskets.
Baskets also allow you to create temporary, seasonal displays with your rocks. Easter is a great time to do this since you can line wicker baskets with streamers or tissue paper and place your rocks inside rather than dyed eggs.
Stackable baskets also make suitable rock collection displays. These baskets often come in clear plastic, and the rocks can easily be seen through them.
Wire stacking baskets are also a good choice since they can be turned to display your rocks, almost like building a Jenga tower with the baskets. This certainly has a unique quality to it.
10. Put the Rocks in an Aquarium
Aquariums aren’t just for fish. In fact, they can be used for myriad purposes, including displaying a rock collection, and there are quite a few ways to make this work.
The easiest way to use an aquarium is to place your rocks along the bottom. You can either stack the rocks until you fill the aquarium or place other materials in between. Examples include beach sand, fake plants, or shiny shredded paper.
However, the downside to doing things this way is that the rocks in the center of the aquarium won’t be seen. To overcome this problem, you could place fewer rocks in the aquarium and fill the middle sections with sand, allowing the rocks to be displayed along the edges.
If you want to continue to use the aquarium for its original purpose, you can use a small rock collection to line the bottom of the aquarium. This puts your rocks and your fish on full display and can create a pretty incredible display, especially if you incorporate lights that filter through the water.
The downside to this idea is that the rocks may get damaged if they’re left in water, and you’ll need to remove them for frequent cleanings. You wouldn’t want to use this method for rocks that are high-value.
For more information about the value of rock collections, check out my other article: Are Rock Collections Worth Anything? How to Know.
Another aquarium option is to use Orbeez. Orbeez are small fluid-filled balls that, when surrounded by water, essentially disappear. This is one of the most unique ways to display your rocks uniquely.
One thing to be aware of before going with this option is that Orbeez expands when water is added. When you open up a package, they’ll be very small, but once they soak in water, they expand to about ten times their original size. You can also buy colored or clear Orbeez, but clear ones work best for a rock display.
Here’s how to use them for your aquarium rock collection display:
- Once you have them, you should allow them to expand ahead of time. You can do this in a sink, bathtub, or directly in the aquarium you’ll use, and It should take no more than a few hours.
- When the Orbeez are fully expanded, it’s time to remove them from the water and place them in your aquarium. You can add them back in the water a little later.
- Fill up the aquarium completely with the Orbeez and add your rock collection.
- Place your rock collection however you want it to be displayed. You’ll need to shove the rocks deep into the Orbeez, and you can also add in other things during this time. Just make sure whatever you place in the aquarium is waterproof.
- Once all the rocks are in, add the water. Fill the water slowly to the top, and watch the Orbeez practically disappear. Once the aquarium is full, you’ll be left with floating rocks throughout the aquarium.
An amazing feature of using Orbeez is that it makes your rocks appear to float, making it a unique way to display them.
11. Encase a Few Rocks With Epoxy Resin
Epoxy resin has recently become enormously popular in the arts of crafts world. This substance has been used for encasing everything from flower petals to book pages and more. You can use epoxy resin for nearly anything, including displaying a rock collection.
There are a few different ways to do this, but one of my favorite ways is to buy cube-shaped molds. While you can use round or cylindrical molds for this, the rocks tend to stand out better in cubed containers. Once you’ve encased your rock collection, you can display it anywhere you like, such as on a dining room table or bookshelf.
You can watch YouTube videos like the one below to get a good idea of encasing your rocks in epoxy resin.
While this example shows how to make a coaster out of your rocks, there are many ways that you can go about this.
You can use resin to encase multiple smaller rocks or one larger rock. Resin is great for either, but many people use it to display a large geode rather than multiple small rocks. You can use this method in many places, including installing a light at the bottom of the container.
Of course, more technical skills are involved in doing something like this, so it might be best to start with something a bit simpler if you’re new to this.
You should also be aware that once you place your rocks in epoxy resin, they can’t be removed – at least not very easily. There are various ways to remove them, but it’s a long process, and your rocks are guaranteed to be damaged afterward. For this reason, I suggest being absolutely sure that this is what you want to do if you choose this route.
Nonetheless, it remains a beautiful way to display your rock collection.
12. Display the Rocks in a Path
This is a risky maneuver, especially if you have pretty valuable rocks, but it’s a great way to display a collection of smooth stones. Smooth stones have long been used to create walking paths, and you can create one in your own backyard.
Since the rocks will be permanently encased in the ground and very challenging to remove, you should be 100% certain that you want to display them this way.
This display method is best for those with a lot of rocks because you’ll need quite a few to make this work.
Although rocks are typically hard-wearing, creating your rock path in a place with low traffic is best. Heavy foot traffic may cause the rocks to wear down over time or come loose gradually.
Here’s how to make your own rock collection path in your backyard:
- After finding the best place for your path, demarcate the boundaries using stakes in the grass and suspending string between them. The string will be the edge of the path.
- Use a shovel to dig up the grass inside the demarcated area, paying careful attention to the edges to ensure they’re straight.
- Level the demarcated area with a shovel to ensure a uniform surface.
- Fill the path area with fresh concrete, and use a scraper tool to create a smooth finish. Insert your rock collection before it dries. It may help if you create a mock-up beforehand to avoid placing them in the wrong way.
- Allow the concrete to dry, and consider painting the concrete if you want your rocks to stand out.
Creating a Stone Mat
Another attractive way to display your rock collection is to create a stone mat that you can place on the floor or on a table.
To use this method, however, you’ll need to have quite a few smooth stones, especially if you’re planning to use the mat. However, if you’re a collector of smooth river stones, this may be the perfect way to display your collection.
You can create this by buying a rug, attaching your stones with contact adhesive, and the allowing the glue to dry. After gluing your rocks to the rug, consider attaching them to something more sturdy, such as using a foam mat underneath the rug.
Once the stones have been placed, you can use the mat to rest your feet while working at your desk, as a bathmat, door mat, and more. Plus, there’s nothing quite like all the questions you’ll get about your stone mat rock collection.
13. Design a Map or Mural
This is another unique way to display your rock collection, and it will require a large amount of space to make it work. However, if you have an entire wall available for your collection, this may be exactly what you’re looking for.
Unfortunately, this may not be the best option for renters, especially if you plan to stick the rocks directly on the wall.
When creating your map or mural, you have various options:
- Use your rock collection to create a map of your favorite place, hometown, or state.
- Paint a wall mural of the world, and place your rocks in their places of origin or where you found them.
- Use the rocks to create a mural depicting your loved one or pet.
Since rocks come in different colors, sizes, and shapes, you can easily create the effect you want.
To create your mural or map, you’ll need a lot of pre-planning, time, patience, and glue. Still, you’ll be amazed and impressed at the spectacular result once you’re finished.
This display method is best for those who have an artistic eye. You can really let your creativity go wild in designing this, and you can get your friends and family involved as well.
14. Exhibit the Rocks Individually in Frames
This method is similar to the frame collage we discussed earlier, but it allows you to emphasize one rock at a time because each rock is encased in its own frame. The frames are then placed in whatever order you’d like and on walls or bookshelves. You could fill up an entire wall in this way.
There are a couple of options here. You can have uniform frames and similar rocks throughout the display or get creative and create a more abstract collection. Of course, there are middle-ground options as well.
This is one of the most common ways to display a rock collection, but it can take a lot of time. In addition, you’ll be making quite a few holes in your wall during the process. Still, once the collection is complete, it’s most fascinating.
Displaying the Collection in a Single Frame
If you don’t want to go through the effort of placing each rock in its frame, displaying them in one large frame will work just as well. This option involves gluing each of your rocks down on a background and placing this inside a massive frame.
You can arrange the rocks in whatever way works best for you, but most commonly, they’re arranged in lines. You could even go so far as to include a written description of each rock for those who view the collection.
After arranging them in the frame, you could display them in a central place in your home to enjoy whenever you walk past.
There are hundreds of different ways to display your rock collection, but some of the best ones include the following:
- Displaying your collection in glass jars
- Creating art with the rocks
- Displaying them in epoxy resin
- Displaying them in frames
Of course, there’s more that you can do here, as we discussed. Any way you choose is sure to showcase your creativity, and nothing compares with a rock collection.