If you saw any photos from CHA in January you may have spotted this vintage printer’s tray in my product display. It got a ton of oohs and ahhs at the show with lots of folks taking the time to check out what was in each little cubby. I couldn’t wait to get it back home and put it on display in my studio. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen the photos I have shared of my new studio. I recently moved out of the basement and into our former dining room. During the move, one of the first things to get placed was my printer’s tray. I thought you might enjoy getting a closer look at it.
The printer’s tray started off as a divider to hide the back of a large metal cabinet on the other half of the display table at the show. As I worked on the plan for my display, I realized I couldn’t leave all the little cubbies blank, they needed treasures in them!
I started by filling each space with bits of pattern paper from Simple Stories. (I have a total weakness for their gingham papers!) I used their paper in several of my samples so it was a great way to use up the scraps and tie those samples into an overall unified look.
I wanted to fill each section with things I loved and with samples of my dies wherever I could. I used my Frayed Tabs and Shortie Tabs to make button cards for the long narrow spaces. I die cut them all from Ranger’s manila cardstock and inked the edges with Gathered Twigs Distress Ink. I embellished the cards with buttons, embellishments, and vintage bits.
Most of the pieces on the button cards are from the French General collection from Jolee’s Boutique/EK Success from several years ago. (You can still find some of the collection on the French General site.) I had a mad and obsessive love for that collection and bought all of it but would never use it. They have been sitting in a box in my studio for a couple of years now, loved but unused. When I was working on the tray it dawned on me that I should use them for this project. What is the point of loving something and hiding it away in a box? We should look at and enjoy those things!
As you can see, I tucked a few of my handmade fabric flowers in some of the cubbies as well. I die cut the crinoline with the Floweret Posies die and leaves from the Pom Pom Posies die.
It was so fun tinkering with where to place all the different pieces. Having them out, touching them, enjoying them, and USING them was fun. Now that the piece is on display I can look at them every day and enjoy them. That is so much better than having them in a box!
I love this little cubby because it mixes old and new. I embellished a French General metal scissor embellishment with a piece of broken vintage pearl necklace and a vintage label (letter stamps are my beloved Hero Arts Printers Type). I added a Frayed Tab, a bit of vintage lace, and a vintage wooden case to the cubby to complete the little sewing set.
In addition to using the French General elements, I wanted to include bits of things I love. I wanted anyone looking at the tray to get a little feel about who I am and the things that make my heart happy. I discovered a vintage clothes pin fit just right in one of the cubbies. It looked a little plain so I stamped a favorite word on it.
In the next cubby I added a painted metal feather from my very favorite jewelry finding company Vintaj. I wrapped it to an ephemera card from another favorite brand Jillybean Soup and added a tab from Tab Set 1.
In the next spot, I layered a vintage button car, a scrap of a vintage book page, and flower stamens with ephemera and Ruler ribbon from Tim Holtz, and a vintage piece of lace.
In another set of cubbies I added Tim Holtz Letterpress Blocks for each of my kids- Anna, Jacob, and Emma. Each one has a number from different pieces of the Jillybean ephemera that signifies their birthday.
The next cubby has a small quilted heart made with Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements fabric. It is has a Frayed Tab wrapped around it with the word LOVE stamped on it. I added a piece of vellum behind the vintage button card to help mute the background paper (and because I had to include vellum, one of my most favorite surfaces!).
The next cubby is fun because it has another handmade flower but also because the piece of lace is a piece of the vintage fabric I used to create the Big Fabric Stamp!
How cute is that little bunny? It is a vintage candy mold. I found a whole set of the molds one day while junking with a dear friend. I will always think of here when I see them. I love little things like this that can remind us of special little moments in life.
Isn’t the fabric in the cubby in the center spot fun? It is a piece of the fabric that I created the Horsehair Embossing Folder from! In front of it I added another posies, a vintage pack of sewing machine needles, and a small bundle of metallic thread attached to a tab from Tab Set 2.
Even if you don’t have a bunch of real vintage ephemera, you can get the look easily. Jillybean Soup and Tim Holtz both offer packs of vintage style ephemera that is great for creating the look. The milk caps and botanical print are both from ephemera packs (Jillybean Soup). The blue mother of pearl buttons are vintage treasures. (swoon)
I left the bottom row of cubbies empty because they were behind other things at the show. I also left a few others empty to showcase the paper. Now that this is on display in my studio I will be filling them with more vintage buttons that are treasures and a few bits of vintage millinery. It is fun that I left some room to grow and add things to it so that as I find the right treasures I can continue to grow the collection.
I hope you enjoyed this closer look. I simply love this tray and I hope it inspires you to create a display for some of your favorite treasures. <3
PS. If you clicked on any of my product links above you discovered my new products page! This page features all of my Spellbinders products. If you click on a product you will discover a gallery for each one that links to blog posts and tutorials featuring that item. I hope it will be a great source of inspiration for you!
PSS. I am getting tons of emails about my products and when they will be available… they are shipping to stores now. You should see them arriving at your local store and favorite online stores any time now. They will be available directly on the Spellbinders site later in May (they always give stores a month lead time on new releases). I will try to keep a list available of stores that have them as soon as I know.
PSSS. The 50% off closeout sale in my online store continues! If you are interested in any of the current classes, hurry and grab them for half price. They will be retired and gone forever at the end of April. Read more about the sale and get the coupon code here: 50% off Online Classroom Closeout Sale.