Sometimes it is hard for me to believe certain toys in our house are over ten years old. Part of that is due to how unbelievably quickly the time has flown since we had kids, but I am also amazed at the longevity some of these toys have had in our lives. The toy kitchen (affectionately known as Tiny Kitchen) along with our wooden play food sets are among our oldest items that still get used regularly. My youngest still has the Tiny Kitchen tucked away in the corner of her very tiny room and loves to play restaurant with her friends. However, long gone are the days when we carefully put each set away in its appropriate tray. As we were streamlining our toy collections this summer, I set these Melissa and Doug trays aside, sure I could use them in some way.
Sitting empty, they reminded me of the old printer's trays people often repurpose as shadow box displays. I simply wiped them down, sanded any chips in the wood, and then painted them. We already had black all-purpose spray paint on hand, so I used that. Obviously, your options are endless when it comes to painting. I also lined some of the sections with dictionary pages and wrapping paper. By just using double stick tape, I figure I can change it out if I want.
This was such an easy project that has a lot of versatility. I'm still deciding if I want to mount them on the wall or leave them lying flat to corral our more varied collections, like my youngest's French collection above, or some of our more special ornaments over the holidays. Either way, I'm happy to keep these in our lives just a little longer.