Sunday, August 21, 2011

French Lessons

A few years ago at a swap meet here in town one of the dealers
was selling some old books for just a few dollars a piece.
There were a handful that I was interested in
 but they were in terrible condition.
It was getting late and he didn't want to haul them home,
so he suggested I pick out several for a dollar.

One was a French Lesson Book in English from the 1850's
and another was this book published in 1905.

The Lesson book's cover and binding were falling apart
but I loved the yellowing pages and some penciled notes
from a student many years ago.

And if you've visited many flea markets or antique malls
I'm sure you've run into at least one of these glass top trays,
probably from the 30's or 40's.

So some Modge Podge and book pages,
with a little white paint,
transformed the ho hum
into a sweet little tray to brighten the ottoman in my studio.

The vintage bird graphics aren't glued down,
they're just under the glass
so it can be changed out for the seasons.

I'd been wanting to do this for awhile and finally got it done
during one of my "paint" sessions.


  1. I have one of those trays that I painted cream and under the glass I put white muslin with a crocheted oval doily over it. I use it on my coffee table and change out the items on top with the seasons! I like your idea of the old book pages too. Pamela

  2. Love the tray Debra! You know I probably have seen a bazillion of these trays and never ever bought one. Next time though......

    Hope you had a grand weekend!


    Romeo and "her"

  3. That is so cute! Love the birds and you did a great job painting and distressing it.

  4. What a wonderful transformation, it's just beautiful. Hope you have a great week!!!
    hugs~~~ Daphne

  5. Nice transformation on the tray. Love the little birdies.

  6. Debra - Such a lovely transformation. The vintage book pages are a stunning touch. Hope you have a wonderful week. ~ Stephanie Lynn

  7. I laughed at that, running around the house with a wet paint brush. How funny.

    You did a fabulous job on your tray, I love it!

  8. I have one of these Debra and have needed some ideas on what to do to it, so thank you for the inspiration.
    Now I need to find me a good book for the project.
    sending hugs...

  9. Looks great I need to go find a tray and do something creative like this!

  10. What a lovely idea Debra, and that you can change the items on top of the beautiful old pages, is great.
    I laughed ,too- seing for my inner eye ,the runner with her brush. hihi.
    Love and hugs,Dorthe

  11. Love this tray and love that book!!!

    Thank you for sharing.

    Lesley V

  12. Love this tray and love that book!!!

    Thank you for sharing.

    Lesley V

  13. I had never seen those trays before, they are gorgeous, the transformation you did on it is fantastic, love the idea of changing it with the seasons, I see some orange coming.
    Have a lovely week!
    XXX Ido

  14. What a great idea. I love the tray. The french pages are perfect. Thanks for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  15. I love this! I'm going to have to look for French books to do a project with - maybe decoupage a picture frame!

    Modern Cameo

  16. What a beautiful transformation! I love the way it looks with the book pages.

  17. That looks so beautiful Debra! I love the little birdies tucked underneath too. :-) I cracked up at your "wet paintbrush" comment because I was doing that exact thing this weekend and I'm pretty sure my family thought I was nuts!

  18. SO pretty, Debra! I actually passed up a tray today...I knew I'd regret it!

  19. What a lovely transformation.It looks gorgeous.


  20. Love it, Debra. I love book pages on anything.

  21. Debra,
    This is a lovely, frenchy tray! You worked your creative magic and turned this ho-hum tray into one we all would LOVE to have!!!!

  22. **Love** that book Debra as well as the tray...great idea!

  23. It's gorgeous Debra! What a great find--that book. I love how the tray can be changed up for the seasons. Thanks so much for linking this post to Share the Love Wednesday!

  24. Debra, great deal on the books! Love the whole tray redo idea. I have a black iron tray that I've put sheet music on top of to cover the design. After seeing you tray, I may paint my tray and go with some French writing - love it! Linda

  25. Very nice. Love the addition of the little bird. (-:

  26. Love your tray! You have the best ideas! My grandmother had a lot of old schoolbooks, so as a child, I used to be fascinated by them. Wish I had some of them now.

  27. I'm a sucker for anything with a bird. This is perfect. Thank you for linking up to Open House Party. I really appreciate it...come back next week!

  28. Your tray turned out lovely, Debra. I've had a couple of old trays like that over the years. Now I wish I still had one to transform. ;)

    Thanks for linking to Time Travel Thursday again this week.

    Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

  29. Hi Debra,
    Your tray is super sweet, I need to do that with one of my trays.
    Thanks so much for the inspiration.
    Hugs, Cindy

  30. The tray has personality! I really enjoy projects that use old books.

  31. Love what you did to this tray! Adorable-I'm your newest follower!!

  32. Love the my attention right away! Beautifully vintage, old world feel.


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