Making New Out of the Old – Type Case Tray Style

by Karen


The Raleigh Flea Market is an awesomely interesting place filled with junk and hidden treasures alike. Back when we still lived in NC, I picked up this old printer’s tray for about $25 last summer. In the past, printing characters were stored in type case trays divided into many compartments to hold the different letters of the alphabet. I knew that I wanted to turn it into a jewelry display. Apparently I wasn’t the only one with this idea because old printer tray jewelry displays are all the rage. Insert sad face because I didn’t have a fabulously original idea – therefore eliminating this project as my chance to make my first million.


(in progress)

Not too bad, right? It isn’t perfect and there are still some aspects that I plan to change, but for right now, it serves its purpose as a jewelry display case in the master bedroom. It is functional and a piece of art. After the jump, you can find more detailed pictures of how I transformed the piece.

For the necklace hooks, I just drilled holes using the best tool ever known to (wo)man – the Dremel. I chose white hooks for visual contrast but I may end up giving them an antique finish down the road.

I wear a lot of stud earrings because I have a toddler who loves to grab dangling ones. I wanted to me able to store my stud earrings in the case without having to worry about them falling to the floor. I started with some quilting batting and cut it to the desired size for the space.

I hot glued  a piece of fabric (orange!) around the batting.


I hot glued the fabric-wrapped batting to the printer tray and stuck my studs in place.

Necklace and bracelet action shot.

I couldn’t find hooks small enough to screw into the thin layers of wood that create the separate boxes. So for now, I am just hooking my dangling earrings to the partitions. They stay in place and it is a good temporary solution until the hook problem is solved.

Another view. Work it, work it.

And the last view.