For my shell collection, I left the 12 sectioned tray it's original black color. I thought it showed off the shells best. These shells and corals are from our trips to Florida, St. Lucia, and Belize. I used glue to keep them in place.
I painted another 12 sectioned tray a tan color, for this collection of large buttons. Again, using glue to hold.
Here is where you can see all 3 in action! The best part about these projects was that I already had everything I needed on hand. I used up 2 cans of spray paint that had been in the basement (the cream and tan). Already had sandpaper for distressing. I used a jewelers drill to make the holes to wire the keys onto the box. Glue. Glad to showcase our travel treasures in a new way. Love buttons! And who knows - there may be even more in the series to come. The possibilities are endless.
The space where they are hanging is in our upstairs living area, outside of our 2 bedrooms and bathroom up there. We have a couch, tv, and little office up there. However, since it's a cape cod, the ceiling starts to pitch up so that leaves some walls with decorating challenges. Our couch is up against one of these walls, and for the longest time I had a long narrow picture hanging above it that fit the space perfectly. We got a new tv for our living room that was much bigger than our last one, so the art that I had hanging behind it no longer worked. But, the long narrow picture in this space did. So I moved it downstairs, opening up this space for these little projects.
The trays are from 7 Gypsies, and they have many varieties. I was gifted one for Christmas, and then Michael's had clearanced them so I stocked up (although they only had the 6 or 12 section ones like you see here). I do plan to make some of them into the photo / mixed media / memory type works of art that you see the examples for, but coming up with this idea was fun too!
I had also thought the empty trays would look cool lined up together for a jewelry display, each section then holding a piece of jewelry. I usually have no problem with my "height" displays at shows (busts, mannequins, suitcases, toolboxes) but then I feel that all the rest of the jewelry that I have after doing that is just laid out in no particular eye catching way. I'll have to try this idea too.