Thursday, August 28, 2008

Setzkasten Joy: Mini Ornament Shelves

Image via Flickr

Years ago, my parents gave me a 'setzkasten' or a small hanging unit to display little treasures. I used to hang little toys and things I collected in it, and now have a deep craving to re-animate it as an adult - perhaps by painting it white and then re-thinking what I will put inside.

A very clever friend told me that setzkasten derive from a 'setzmaschine' - a typesetting machine, so I guess these little guys would have been used to hold letters. Which in my book only adds to their innate charms.

I don't know if this is more of a European thing than an Australian one - but I am quite smitten with the idea and thought I'd show you a few that have given me inspiration.

Here's someone who loves owls, well, maybe too much. Amazing displays, though.
This one's from my favourite, Chez Larsson, and getting closer to what I'd like, with an all-white background.

These two are just collections of trinkets from Housing Works Auctions - they give some good ideas of what you could display.
This image is from my inspiration files - but I can't find the reference! I'm a bad blogger. If it's yours or if you know who uploaded it, please let me know! I adore the bright colours used here - would be amazing in a child's bedroom. (Or let's be honest, anywhere in my house).

I like the way the inside of this one is painted white, but the outside wooden frame is left natural. I might try this on mine - will keep you posted! Image from Flickr.


  1. Huzzah for very clever friends - i.e. friends with giant German dictionaries!

    Can't wait to see what you do with your Setzkasten, Kate. I hope you'll include letters of some description (no pun intended!) to honour the kasten's heritage :)

  2. Yay for German dictionaries!

    I am so excited about mine - yet another project to add to the list of many :)


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