winter silver.

Remember I said I had a plan for that pile of silver pieces from the winter garage sale?


With the addition of some greens and some ribbon …


I used the tray on the bottom of the pile and the creamer and sugar to create this …


I used hot glue to attach the lid to the sugar bowl so that it stays on.  I can always pick the hot glue back off if I ever decide to turn it back into a functioning sugar bowl.

I saw this idea on pinterest and it immediately popped into my head when I saw the silver pieces for sale so I decided to make one myself.  I get most of my best ideas from pinterest!

I hung this tray between the two windows in my dining room.


I turned the second silver tray into a chalkboard.


Fair warning, I had a little trouble with the sharp chalk pencil that I used for my design scratching through the paint.  Although you wouldn’t notice it unless you look really closely.  If I had stuck with regular chalk I think I would have been OK.

I hung it over the Belgian bench in my dining room with some fresh evergreen branches tucked in the top.


And the last tray I bought because I couldn’t resist how pretty it is.


It’s the perfect size for catching water draining from a geranium that I am over-wintering in the house.

Do you ever bring geraniums in for the winter?  I love having just a few around because they remind me that summer is never really that far away.  The trick is to trim them way back when you bring them in to keep them from getting too leggy in the weak winter sun.  Place them in a bright and sunny window.  Mine sometimes even bloom over the winter.


I see a lot of silver pieces like these at garage sales and thrift stores.  No one seems to want them for their traditional purpose, but if you think outside the box you can still make use of them.  Do you have any great ideas for using vintage silver in an unexpected way?

31 thoughts on “winter silver.

  1. HI, Love your site! I was wondering if you could tell me where you got your wire tree? I have one that I bought a long time ago (wish I would have picked up lots more!), and haven’t been able to find since. thanks so much, stephanie


    1. I bought mine quite some time ago as well. Are you local? If so, the last time I saw them for sale was just a year or two ago at Haupt Antiek Market, although who knows if they would still have them. Plus you’ve missed their December sale. They are only open one weekend per month. Drat!


  2. Love all of these ideas, I never would have thought of them! I adore your windowsill tree with the lovely vintage ornaments, too!


  3. Love this so much! Yay for Pinterest, it really is so inspiring. I feel like it’s opening the best design magazine any time you’d like. I still love my print magazines though. Everything looks great. I especially adore the tray over your bench! I loved the dresser there, too, but this bench is perfect for the space. So welcoming.


    1. I’m loving the bench too! I like the way it lightens up the room, and I can store plenty of stuff in the seat. I’m hoping to get that darn wallpaper stripped this winter and then do a fun collage of sorts over the bench. I need to say that out loud in hopes it will motivate me to really get it done!


  4. Love all the decorating ideas! I have a silverplate tray that I painted white because the plating had worn pretty much off, then put chalkboard paint in the center. I should hang it with greens (and a Christmas motto). Most of my thrift store silverplate is used in vignettes around the house. I love the play of the tarnished silver color with dishes and decorations. Most of the designs on the silverplate are very ornate so they are really decorative against simple ironstone. As always, thanks for the beautiful photography and inspiration.


    1. I love the idea of combing old ornate silver with simple ironstone. Great idea Laura! Maybe I need to add these trays to my Welsh cupboard after the holidays are over.


  5. I love both these ideas. I like the patina on old silver. I got two very large very ornate trays at an estate auction for $5 each about three years ago. I use them all the time as centerpieces with candles and flowers and currently they are propped up in a wood tool box on my mantel. Lots of uses. I love the chalkboard idea. My grandmother had her “back porch”. ( not sure why she called it that bc it was an entirely closed in room with two big windows) filled with geraniums and Christmas cactuses. Both would bloom in the winter and both got so huge they filled that room. No furniture, not anything except those plants. Its a good childhood memory.


  6. When you said you had a fun idea for your silverware, I thought you meants spoons, knives and forks!!! Lol….was waiting to see if you’d make a Chrustmas mobile or something….was shocked to see what was in my head turn out to be such a totally different idea! Looks great!


  7. Stunning, stunning, stunning! Girl you so have it going on. It’s one thing to pin a few ideas and another to execute them in the perfect way and in the perfect place. And can I say I want it all. Merry, Merry.


  8. Hi Quandie – well I have shined up my silver tray(as only your Mom and I would do) and placed my Christmas cards on it as they come in on a table in my entryway. Looks very lovely (put little greenery around it too). Have a very Merry Christmas – regards from Betty in Ontario,Canada (as if you did not know) lol.


    1. You are so right Betty, my mom would definitely polish her silver before putting it out! Using a silver tray for your cards sounds like a lovely idea, polished or not 😉


    1. I sometimes wish I had a larger home just so I’d have more space to decorate, but of course, I barely find time to finish the projects that I want to get done in my small house!


  9. Love the idea and you are right, those trays are all over, even Goodwill. Thanks for sharing your blog with us.


  10. Love the decor. The first example I may use now as Winter Treat and add hearts for February. Now I will know to be on the lookout for more silver


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