How To Style A Vintage Printers Tray

Today, I am absolutely thrilled to be sharing my tips on how to style a vintage printers tray with all of you.

Printers trays have you stumped? Get the 411 on how to style a vintage printers tray with charming details


So, let’s talk styling printers trays. I love vintage printers trays but I have to admit, I have scratched my head a few times,  puzzled on what to exactly do with them.

Have you felt the same way?

Oh, and while we’re at it, I have a confession to make…I do get all weak in the knees for vintage cubbies! It is kind of an addiction for me. Perhaps this is why I love printers trays so much. All those little square spaces to put treasures in. I love that…the potential to display your collections. (Yes, I am a hoarder collector.) I also love that they are a piece of history; an architectural salvage piece to incorporate into displays in my home.

Who’s with me on this?

(Affiliate links are provided below for your convienence.  For more information, see my full disclosure here.)

Supplies used to style a vintage printers tray:

styling a vintage printers tray

How to style a vintage printers tray (or reproduction):

Step 1:

Find a printers tray, vintage or reproduction.

I found this great printers tray awhile back and had the perfect spot in our kitchen for it. I just added some hanging hooks to the back and hung it horizontally.


how to style a vintage printers tray


I knew I wanted to create a small vignette on the wall with a few treasures that I have found at flea markets and antique stores. Other personal mementos would work well too, like a family recipe card, an old spoon, etc.

Step 2:

Add a piece at the top.  This piece was from an old crate that was previously dovetailed. I love the typography and the dovetail details on each end. You could add any piece that inspires you in the kitchen. A handmade sign might be fun.


vintage printers tray styling

Step 3:

On to balance. I like symmetry, so the weight of the top needed to be at the bottom too. The old rolling pin gives the vignette some added interest with its curves and texture.


elements to styling a vintage printers tray


How do you hang a rolling pin you ask?

Simply tie some jute onto each end and hang on a nail under the printers tray.


how to style a vintage printers tray

Step 4:

The greenery. Nothing brings a piece to life more than adding a bit of fresh green color.

This boxwood wreath centers everything thus far and gives the contrast that is needed with a wood tone vignette. Boxwood wreaths are so easy to take care of too…just a few simple spritzes of water a few times a week and they will stay green for a long time.


how to style a vintage printers tray


Step 5:

Details and personal touches.

I then wanted to incorporate the metal details from the left side of the printers tray to the right side.

So, I added a few metal door plates with the great key hole details. They have a really cool patina to them.

how to style a vintage printers tray

I love coffee. So, when I found this metal stamped coffee scoop, I knew it would be perfect for our kitchen vignette.

how to style a vintage printers tray

My eye was drawn to the stamping on the scoop. Typography junkie here.

Printers trays have you stumped? Get the 411 on how to style a vintage printers tray with charming details

Step 6:


I used the scrabble tiles to create words. It is fun to add your favorite quote or change out the words seasonally for something unexpected.

styling a vintage printers tray with boxwood wreaths and scrabble tiles

Are you ready to style a vintage printers tray (or reproduction)?

I hope so!

Once I found the elements I wanted to incorporate into the vignette the styling went pretty easy.

Just find a few elements that you love and lay them out to see how they look with the printers tray.

Here is the fully finished vignette that you can pin to a board on Pinterest to refer to when styling your own printers tray.

Pin This

How do you decorate with a printers tray? With just a few easy steps you can create your own personalized vintage printers tray vignette. Styling by Dandelion Patina


Other decor and styling posts you may enjoy:

Are you stuck trying to figure out how to style your shelves? These simple tips will have you styling your shelves like a pro!



Pop of color summer mantel


Have an amazing day,

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  1. Your scrabble tiles are so cute! They add a special twist to your item. It can be customized depending on the occasion, too.

  2. This is so [pretty and I like it turned on it’s side! What is that rolling pin for? Bread sticks? pasta. It is so interesting. Great Vignette! Thank you so much for sharing this pin on the P3 party Board! We loved your pin and it will be featured this Friday on Made in a Day! So expect a little traffic from me on Social Media tomorrow.
    Kim~madeinaday recently posted…Hand Drawn Owl Pillow Arrow Wall ArtMy Profile

  3. This is so fabulous! I love balance and so I appreciate the way you pulled it all together. I finally found a large printers tray for myself and it was only $4! It has been propped up against the wall in my dining room on a bench. I have wood cutting boards, oil cans, and other wooden pieces around it. I so wish I had a wall large enough in my kitchen to hang it and style it more, but I don’t.
    AnnMarie recently posted…Very Vintage Christmas FindsMy Profile

    • You are so sweet Ann Marie. Thank you for your lovely comments and $4 was a steal on a printers tray. Nice job!

  4. Love, love this!! I have one of these trays and it has been sitting in the basement waiting on me to come up with a style idea for it:) Thanks to your post, I am going to use mine to fill in the space between the top of some open kitchen shelves and the ceiling! Thank you so much for sharing!! Have a wonderful weekend! – Christine
    Christine @ Must Love Home recently posted…How To Make Thrifted ArtMy Profile

  5. I love how you put this together. I have a printer’s tray as well. Have had for years, but sitting in a closet. I like the scrabble tile idea! they would fit perfectly in there. Visiting from Amaze me Monday.

  6. This is so awesome! I love the vintage/rustic look and the wreath is amazing!
    Visiting from the Inspiration Monday link party!
    Kate |

  7. Love it!! It’s a great use for such a fun piece, without it being too cluttered with tiny stuff. The wreath is perfect.

  8. This is beautiful. I’ve seen trays and crates with little cubbies like this when meandering through my favorite antique stores, but I’ll admit, I’ve always wondered how I would decorate them. This gives me so many ideas. I love the addition of the Scrabble tiles, and that boxwood wreath just pops. Gorgeous! Thank you for sharing at Inspire Me Wednesday. Featuring you in this week’s issue and on Instagram tomorrow.
    Mel @ Adventures of Mel recently posted…How to Make an Easy No Sew Superhero CapeMy Profile

    • Fantastic! Thank you so much for the feature. I love wandering through antique stores, which reminds me, I haven’t been to our local one in a few weeks.

  9. I am pinning this for when I find a printers shelf! Yours looks great Michelle:). Thanks so much for sharing this at Dream. Create. Inspire. Link:) I hope you will join us again tonight at 8 EST. Take care, Tara
    Tara @ Lehman lane recently posted…My New Entryway BenchMy Profile

  10. Love this idea! It is such a great display for a large empty wall. Thanks for sharing at Inspiration Thursday! I’m so glad you stopped by! Have a great week.
    Lela recently posted…Bathroom Painting TipsMy Profile

  11. I think your project turned out great, such a nice way to re-purpose the printer tray!!

    I thought it was so cute I have it Featured on Friday Features on Oh My Heartsie Girl!!

    Now I would like to invite you to stop by and share links on my Friday Feature-Linky-Party
    Have a beautiful week, Karren


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