Posts Tagged ‘vintage trays’

Decorating with Vintage Trays

In Decorating with Vintage Items on February 22, 2010 at 11:25 am

 I’ve been running into, and collecting more and more, vintage, tole-style trays these days and as I do so, I’ve had people ask me what am I going to do with them.  Here are a few suggestions on how to use these trays around your home:

  • When purchased in multiples, I think that vintage trays look great displayed on a wall. The display looks bold when you use multiple trays made up of the same pattern, but multiple patterns can also look great grouped together as long as they have the same theme or color story.


  • Vintage trays are a unique way to organize small items in a bathroom, bedroom or on a vanity. They are perfect for corralling items like jewelry, pins, loose buttons, makeup and other small trinket items.


  • An entry way is a great place to house a vintage tray. A tray can be used to collect keys, mail and even change.


  • A large vintage metal tray or set of trays can be used as a magnetic bulletin board to keep track of lists, notes and messages. The tray/s can be affixed to a wall with something as simple as adhesive strips. Just add some decorative magnets and your message center is all ready to go.

Vintage trays are usually printed or painted with fun patterns such as flowers, birds, fruits or scrolls. Though I’ve been collecting tin and metalware trays, ceramic trays are poplar too. Many of these trays are still in existence and can be found at flea markets, estate sales, thrift shops, as well as on online auction sites and antique stores. When purchasing vintage trays, their overall condition is the most important factor. Look for scratches, dents, rust spots and fades colors.  Since the trays are old, they will show some character. When shopping for trays, I don’t mind if there are some scratches or worn spots but I do  try to avoid rust spots. 

Once purchased, vintage trays are easy to care for. Once I bring my trays home, I clean them with some mild soap and water and then dry them thoroughly. I also sometimes apply a think coat of varnish or wax on them to preserve them.

Amber Hogan, Owner

Highland House Gifts & Décor


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