Gifts for fans of Album Cover Art
As suggested by Mike Goldstein, Curator, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Getting just the right gift for your loved ones at Holiday time can be such a puzzle, what with all of the advertising that bombards you from every direction, leaving you with little time and inclination to search for just the right thing when all you want to do is “get this over with”…
And, while I’ve been told never to buy “art” for others, because of the link between music and art, buying a gift for lovers of album cover art has never been so simple. As you’ll see by the list of companies that specialize in album cover-related items of all types (and fitting all budgets), with a little research (“Hey Honey, who’s your all-time favorite band?”) and perhaps a phone call or two, I’m feeling pretty confident that you’ll be able to locate and secure a gift that will be long-appreciated by it’s recipient. Who knows, maybe it will start a tradition in your family!
Enjoy the hunt (and seeing the smiles of gratitude from your Honey, too).
Items made from Albums and Album Covers
The Tunes Company – based in Florida, this company offers a wide range of items made from album covers and album labels – wall clocks, desk clocks and coasters. The wall clocks are made by attaching an image cut from a LP cover to a vintage vinyl record and run from $49.95 to $69.95, depending on the rarity of the record. The coasters are made by cutting out the centers of an LP (label in tact) and then coating them in vinyl and attaching them to a cork backing. Coaster sets can be ordered in a variety of combinations – by musical act (e.g., a 2 coaster Abba set is priced at $19.95), by genre (e.g., a 4 coaster “Country Music” set – no choice of artist – is priced at $24.95 or in “Collector
Sets” by musical act, featuring 4 different album coasters by a particular artist, priced at $39.95).
Recycled Album Art – based in Kansas, McCoy Creations fashions coasters, greeting cards and formed vinyl baskets from real albums and album covers. The coasters are cut from album sleeves and then laminated to birch plywood, after which they’re coated with polyurethane and backed with felt/cork pads. The greeting cards ($7.00 each) are artistically cut and crafted from some of your favorite album covers, while the “Wacky” bowls are real LPs and Laser-discs that have been warped into free-form shapes.
Rediscover Handbags – this Chicago-based firm crafts custom-made handbags, totes and fold-over style handbags out of records album covers. Buyers choose the album cover from their large (over 2000 different designs), genre-sorted collections, then select the interior/side fabrics that will be used to line the bags, select a strap and complete the order. 4-5 weeks later, your bag arrives and you become the envy of all your friends. Prices range from $85.00 for a small bag to $165.00 (or more) for the large (12 x 12 x 5) designer totes.
Vinylux – Pennsylvania-based artist Jeff Davis has created an impressive line of household items and gifts from the thousands of records he sources each year (he estimates that he recycles over 40,000 pounds of materials each year) and turns into objects such as clocks, mirrors, picture frames, book ends, coasters, bowls, jewelry, sketchbooks, journals, magnets and ornaments. He’s been doing this for over 10 years, with his products found in a number of galleries, retailers and online. To see the current collection and to find out where to buy a Vinylux product, visit the company site at
Fans of the Etsy crafts site will find hundreds of items for sale made by a trove of crafty people who’ve elected to create objects of all kinds – wallets, coasters, frames, notebooks, bowls, book covers, calendars, etc. – out of album covers. Recycling-minded gift givers can browse the selection via this handy link – http://www.etsy.com/search?q=recycled+album+cover&page=1
Album Art Display Frames
Music/art fans that have nice collections of vinyl may simply need a good way of showcasing their favorite album covers and so an industry has grown to serve this need via the sale of album cover display systems that make it easy to mat/frame your records. Some of the better-known vendors of these framing solutions include:
Rock Art Picture Show – Offers mat and clear acrylic frame kits for LPs, singles, picture discs, comic books and more, all priced under $20 – http://www.rockartpictureshow.com/
Art Vinyl – based in the UK, this company sells the well-received “Play & Display” framing system that lets you quickly swap out albums (great for stores with a “what’s playing now” display area). Priced from £39.00 for the single frame to £99.00 for the “triple pack” (in black or white) –
Frame My Record.com – Run by the TX-based Picture Perfect framing and collectibles company, Frame My Record offers album, 45 RPM, 78 RPM, CD and DVD frames/frame kits of professional quality. Featuring custom-cut mats in a variety of styles and a unique mounting process (using conservation-safe
materials), these kits provide album owners with a near-custom look for a more-affordable price. Prices for an LP cover kit with wood frame, one of 18 mat selections and UV-glass front begin at $45.00.
Basic frames are also available from major retailers including Urban Outfitters, Michael’s, Target and IKEA.
Framed Album Covers
If you’re looking for a simple way to get the whole package (i.e., your favorite
album covers, framed and ready-to-hang) in one fell swoop, this has also become a cottage industry on Etsy, eBay and other sites. In addition to the products made by these enterprising individuals, there are a number of collectors/companies offering vintage album covers for sale – some framed in basic album cover frames and some “a bit more fancy”, but all seem to offer a broad selection of covers in a number of musical styles. To see their latest selections, please visit their sites:
Rainbow Wall – http://rainbowwall.ecrater.com/c/1606802/framed-album-covers
Rock Art Picture Show’s Gallery – http://www.rockartpictureshow.com/cgi-bin/gallery/List.cgi?
In the same basic category, but with a rather unique product, is the “Voyager Golden Record Sleeve” framed wall presentation from Think Geek. It’s a reproduction of the cover for the golden record that was packed inside the Voyager 1 and 2 space crafts, with the hope that, if discovered by an alien
civilization, the information would serve to introduce them to our planet and its peoples.
Album Cover Books
Over the years, there have been a number of books written covering the History of the Album Cover, highlighting the development of the art form from its humble beginnings as a simple sleeve with a title, to Alex Steinweiss and Jim Flora and their breakthrough works for Columbia and Decca Records in
the 1930s/40s up to today’s most-recent efforts. Many are written and compiled by well-known cover designers (Roger Dean, Richard Evans, Storm Thorgerson, Nick DeVille, Spencer Drate, others), so they bring an interesting spin to their respective compilations. With their authors’ various perspectives and experiences guiding their respective efforts, all are interesting in their own right and contain hundreds of images for you to enjoy. We keep an updated list on our site –
Licensed Album Cover Image-based Products
LPGI album cover fabric posters – large poly fabric prints made to hang on a wall or, with the available “Rock N Roll Kite” kit, fly high in the sky – http://www.lpgi.com/fabric-posters.html
Mounted Memories Beatles album cover collages – http://www.mountedmemories.com/Celebrity-The-Beatles-
PopArtUK Pink Floyd album cover collage – http://www.popartuk.com/music/pink-floyd/album-cover-collage
Rocker Rags album cover t-shirts – many, many acts are included – http://www.rockerrags.com/rock-album-t-shirts/
Rockabilia lists nearly 600 (!!) different t-shirt designs, along with a wide range of cover-based merchandise including sweat shirts, beer and coffee mugs, fleece blankets and pub/shot glasses –
Album Cover Fine Art and Photography
If you’re looking to truly impress your best-loved album art fan, the ultimate gift would be one of the many fine art prints available, either produced by the designers and/or photographers that created the original images or via their publishers and licensees. Products in this category will vary greatly in price, quality, rarity, etc., so please take your time and get to know some or all of the various purveyors listed.
The Album Cover Hall of Fame is always searching for galleries and other retailers that offer selections of prints in many genres and styles, with an updated list available on our site via this link – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/achof-buying-and-selling-resources-page/ (please note – we do NOT have any affiliation with the galleries listed, so feel free to contact any of them directly for help with your specific needs).