HOW TO MAKE A PRINTERS TRAY FOR FAMILY PHOTOS

 

Inside: how to make printers tray for family photos

 

I was lucky to have grandparents until I was in my fourties. When we celebrated my grandmother's 80th birthday I wanted o make somehing special for her. I made her a printers tray displaying treasured family photos of three generations of her family.

 

 

WHAT IS A PRINTERS TRAY

 

A printers tray or letterpress drawer is a thin wooden tray with compartments. These drawers were part of a larger printing cabinet that were common between the 15th and 19th centuries. The small sections store letter stamps or "sorts" that were used in a printing press for printing. Letterpress drawers are also referred to as type cases, type drawers and printer block drawers.

 

HOW AND WHERE TO GET LETTERPRESS DRAWER

 

Some people are lucky enough to find a tray or an entire cabinet in their attic, but this is a much less common occurrence since the popularity (and cost) of this antique has increased. Nowadays, antique enthusiasts search high and low at antique shops for the chance to own one. Some people even buy reproduction printers blocks to achieve the look.

Since these are so popular craft companies are now offering wood or chipboards printers trays to make altered projects and other craft projects. You can also find them in kitchen and office sections in household item stores.

Here are some more ideas for making and embellishing printer's trays and configuration boxes

If you want to buy printers trays, here are a few options (these are amazon.com affiliate links)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO USE A PRINTERS TRAY

 

Printers trays are mainly used today for what they have been used for in the past - storing and displaying objects.

 

Here are a few ideas to use ad store in your letterpress drawer:

  • Display small collectibles like crystals, seashells, fossils and more.
  • Organize your jewelry.
  • Store threads and sewing supplies.
  • Turn your printers tray into a vertical plants display.
  • Create a shadow box for special items or memorabilia.
  • Keep essential oils.
  • Store craft supplies like paints or stamps.
  • Make an art project from your printers tray by painting its compartments with different colors.
  • Store small kids toys.

 

 

DIY PRINTERS TRAY

 

SUPPLIES YOU'LL NEED:

  • Printers tray
  • Pattern papers
  • Embellishments like flowers, cut out images, beads, chipboard pieces, small ephemera and memorabilia, metal pieces, lace and more
  • black and white photos

 

To make my project I used a store bought printers tray. Here's how I did it:

  • The tray I used was already painted but if you use a wood or chipboard tray and you need to paint it, the best way is to paint it with two coats of acrylic paints.
  • Then I measured all the compartments and covered the inside with pattern papers.
  • In four of the compartments I put a black and white photo instead of paper. I used black and white photos because this is a very busy and colorful project, if you use color photos they might clash with the background or not be visible enough. Black and white photos are a better contrast to the background.
  • I layered the embellishments in each compartment trying to give each compartment a theme.
  • To complete the project I also added a title and some embellishments to the front of the drawer.
  • The printers tray came with a hanging option but if you don't have it on your tray then add it on the back of the tray with a little nail or strong glue.
Printers tray are like little treasure box with magical items you can find inside. They can be family heirlooms, memories display and beautiful gifts to the people you love.

 

Sharing is caring - PIN IT!

 

 

Have fun creating!

 

 

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Einat Kessler

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Hello crafty friends!
I'm Einat: creative professional,mixed media artist, scrapbook and paper designer, altering enthusiast and class instructor.
Click here to learn more about me and my creative journey

Contact me:
kessler054@gmail.com



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The designs, pictures and instructions listed on this blog are provided here for personal use only and may not be sold, reproduced or used for commercial or submission purposes in any form without my written permission.