You know type-setters trays – those shallow wooden trays with many odd divisions which printers used to keep their metal letters in? Nowadays people have them on their walls as curiosity cabinets for tiny objects like thimbles. Well I’ve always wanted one of those. Partly because I find them beautiful and partly because I have some small things which I’d like to have on the wall so I looked at them more often – my grandmothers thimble; a lead duck which was my dads when he was a child; some tiny seashells; a sea worn beechnut case, etc. But there’s no way I can afford one because they are seriously expensive. So I decided to make one out of tetra-paks.

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It isn’t the same of course, but it will have that many small compartments look (and I can make them the size I want which is nice) as well as that handmade uneven look – yes, it will definitely have that! At first I thought I’d use the tetrapaks with silvery insides as they’re the most common, but then I found that some tetra paks have a creamy almost waxed effect finish on their inside so I decided to use them. Also it so happen that the only thing I occationally buy which comes in a largish tetra-pak is cream coloured on the inside. So I started experimenting, and quickly realised I could work in modules and then decide how they are put together when I’ve made them all (which will be some time as they take and hour or 2 per module, and I’ll probably want 8-10 modules in total).

So far I’ve made 3 modules and this is what they look like. I partly work by measuring with a ruler and partly by eye. I’m cutting with a combination of a Stanley knife and scissors, and I’ve using PVA glue help with paperclips until it sets. If you want to have a go, it’s very easy – though time consuming – and you can make it up as you go along.

I’m only working on it in odd moments when a friend comes by to visit and I can chat while I work so it won’t be finished for months yet – but I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished thing and hanging it on my wall!