Antique Trunk Tray Makeover

Once upon a time (about 4 years ago), I went to the most ahhmazing farm country auction, and at that auction, I scored an antique trunk.

Now, I really didn’t personally have any place to put that antique trunk, but it was so cool I couldn’t resist bidding on it, and to my surprise, I won.

As I was getting ready to load it in my van, a young gal approached me and asked if she could buy it off me.

Well, that was going to save me from having to list it in my Etsy shop, and box and ship it when it sold, so I took her up on her offer.

antique trunk tray compartment -

My only requirement was that I wanted to keep this wooden tray insert, and a super cool 1800’s photo of… a man in a coffin.

Kinda creepy, I know, but I found it fascinating.

When we moved to our house in Illinois, I used the wooden tray as a shelf in my entry way, and it looked really great with the backdrop of old dictionary pages I had put on the wall but (forgive the horrible photo below).

Antique trunk tray used as a shelf -

When we remodeled the entryway, and all those dictionary pages got covered up with white plank walls, the

dark wooden tray looked out of place, and I didn’t have wall space for it, so it’s been sitting in my bedroom, waiting for a makeover ever since then.

I put my thinking cap on to think of something crazy creative to do with it, but apparently I need a new thinking cap, because not a single crazy, creative idea came to me.

And then I remembered my KISS motto.

So… I painted it white.

Yep, plain old, wonderful white.

repurposed antique trunk tray displaying peonies in antique medicine bottles -

No, it isn’t crazy creative, but white has never failed me yet, and it’s becoming my Plan B, whenever I don’t know what to do with something.

pink peonies in antique apothecary bottles -

I moved it out to my guest room (AKA my She Shed), and isn’t it perfect against the planked walls?!

It isn’t very wide to use as a shelf, so I rounded up some of my antique apothecary bottles, and cut some pretty peonies to put in them.

Get a fresh farmhouse look by displaying flower blooms in vintage apothecary bottles -

I love these bottles with the raised letter branding on them, and they are just the right size to hold single flower stems.

Antique medicine bottles make beautiful vases for single stem flowers - Knick of

I have just a few pale pink irises blooming, so I picked one of them too.

Display summer flowers in antique apothecary bottles for a vintage farmhouse look -

I have company coming for the weekend, so I’m hoping these blooms will hold out until my guest arrives, so she can enjoy them too.

I wish I would have give this antique trunk tray a makeover a long time ago, but I love it now!

shiplap walls with repurosed display shelf -

Vaya con Dios,


Here’s something  I think you’ll love!

White Mail Holder with Key Hook (affiliate link).

mail holder with key hook

Please know that Knick of Time uses affiliate links, including but not limited to Amazon to help keep this blog up and running.


  1. This is gorgeous, Angie!! And the flowers are beautiful!

    A dead guy photo? So cool! What did you end up doing with that?

  2. It looks just gorgeous with all those pretty vintage bottles and the lovely peonies, Angie.

  3. mare williams says

    What’s CRAZY is that I love ALL of your ideas!!!!

  4. Naomi S. says

    So, so pretty! I love peonies…and Iris. If I lived down the road from you, I’d sure be looking for something I could trade you for some of those pale pink iris tubers! The tray painted white looks exactly right in the “She Shed.” I, also, am curious about the photo of the dead man! Now there’s a makeover challenge!

  5. So pretty Angie, especially with the colored bottles and peonies. It looks so good against the plank walls and how lucky are the guests to enjoy a stay in your SHE Shed.

  6. I love this! And the bottles with roses are gorgeous too!


  7. I love it even more painted white, and the beautiful blooms are a perfect addition.

  8. Pam Hawkins says

    Love the tray painted white also the bottles with flowers

  9. Angie, this is soooooooooooo gorgeous! A trunk lid! Who’da thunkit? But your bottle collection with peonies is just the true icing on the cake.

    I’ve featured you this weekend on Party Junk, thanks for linking up! 🙂

  10. I love the vintage mailbox, wish I could find one. The white shelf with the old bottle vases was fantastic. I do have some old drawers in my basement stash, and lots of vintage bottles, so I’ll give it a try!

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