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Vintage Printer's Tray Shell Collection

Hi Friends,

Hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weather. As the days get warmer and we are still social distancing, I thought I'd share a fun project for summer.


I purchased this vintage printers tray at an antique store last year. I paid $28 for it. You can find these at most antique stores and on EBAY and Facebook Marketplace. These trays were used long ago by printers. Varied letterpress letters would be placed in the small

compartments for typesetting. These were used long before the modern printers were available. I love to use these to display my favorite beach treasures.

The first step is to paint the tray white. You could leave it wood tone

but, I think the white makes the best back drop for the treasures to really

pop. For this tray I used white chalk paint. It will take about 2-3 coats of paint to

really cover the wood. Its a perfect project to let the kids help with!

Once the tray is dry you are ready to select and glue your pieces down.

I love to display many different colors and textures in my trays.

Sea Glass, shells, beach rocks, and driftwood are what

I display in mine. I find that hot glue works the best since it dries quickly.

The options for layout and design are endless. I love to group "like" things together

such as rows of sea glass and rows of moon shells.

Here are a few of the trays I have made for your inspiration!


Happy Summer! Now head to your local beach to treasure hunt!!!




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