People collect so many different things: coins, stamps, spoons – the list goes on and on. No matter what you collect you need a place to display the items or a way to store them. Books, display cases and similar things can be quite expensive, but in some cases, you can make display-type items yourself. If you collect thimbles, for instance, there’s a cute little display case you can make from an ordinary ice cube tray. Make it elegant or simplistic; hang just one or many. Use them as displays for a wall or as stackable storage units.
The best ice cube trays to use for your thimble collection are ones that are plastic and not metal and ones that have regular, square shapes for the cubes. Although you can use the trays in their original condition the finished display looks much nicer if you paint it first. That way, it looks a little less like an ice cube tray and a little more like a thimble display.
Regular paints aren’t ideal for painting plastic; purchase paints specifically for plastics and the paint won’t peel as quickly. The finished paint job will be much more attractive if you spray it on rather than brushing. Be careful not to overdo the paint inside each compartment or you’ll end up with unattractive runs in the paint.
Stiff ribbon or stiff ruffles work best for covering the sides of the trays. If the ruffled material isn’t stiff it can hang at the bottom of the ice tray as the tray hangs on the wall. Hot glue works well to attach the simple ruffles or ribbon around the perimeter of the tray. Now you can hang them or use them to store your thimbles.
To hang the display cases use peel-n-stick picture hangers. Hang just one or two trays or make a whole arrangement. Butt several trays side-by-side, leave spaces between them, or place some vertically and some horizontally to make the arrangement you want. You can even embellish the finished displays with a wooden shape or other novelty, glued to one corner.
If you plan to store the thimbles in the trays you can place cotton in each compartment, if you want, and place one thimble in each. The trays can be stacked and stored for years. Make lids for them by simply cutting a piece of cardboard and setting it on top of the tray. If collecting thimbles is your thing you probably have all sorts of display cases already – you just have to go to the freezer and get a couple!