Ways to repurpose a vintage typewriter

Vintage blue typewriter with etched mirror above

Two things inspired this post.

ONE: My husband thought this image would pique my interest and it did!

TWO: Recently watching this youtube.com video of a typewriter’s quintessential sounds being used and highlighted in an Italian orchestra. LOVED it.

Since moving from our spacious home in 2010, my vintage Litton orange typewriter has been languishing away in its case in a tea chest. Now we rent a much bigger home so I could find a home for it here. It might look good in my to-be-yet-finished home office area…

The biggest obstacle to professional writing is
the necessity for changing a typewriter ribbon.
-Robert Benchley

Maybe when I buy our next real estate purchase, I’ll mount it above the front door like the image above.

I thought I’d come about other ways to use it… inside one’s home (apart from just a display piece):


If one owned a B&B or a boutique restaurant, a perfect touch to the foyer area is to set up a guestbook typewriter, where guests can leave comments and ideas on custom paper they can load themselves.

I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized,
and I still had a daughter who I adored,
and I had an old typewriter and a big idea.
And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
-J. K. Rowling

Family notice/message board

I think I might actually do this. What a way to leave shopping lists, last minute notes to one another, telephone numbers taken from phone calls… (I’ve got to hunt down ribbon makers for my machine.)

Of course, I had to see if others have used vintage typewriters in their homes and businesses. Here’s a selection:


Albeit VERY space consuming bookends.

There is nothing to writing.
All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
-Ernest Hemingway

Garden display

Very old, not-so-pretty typewriters make great architectural pieces in the garden. Paired with urns and pots of roughly the same colour, they look stunning! Not sure if they rust… maybe a spray of anti-rust dark paint or gloss charcoal black.

A typewriter is a means of transcribing thought, not expressing it.
-Marshall McLuhan

Modern day keyboards

Yes! Electronic typewriters can be converted into keyboards for your laptop or desktop. What fun. What a way to confuse old folks ;)

I try to sit down at the typewriter four times a day,
even if it’s only five minutes,
and write three sentences.
-Roger Zelazny

Wedding day wishing well or guestbook

I just sit at a typewriter and curse a bit.
-P. G. Wodehouse


I’m always on the lookout for interesting lamps and this goes into that category, for sure!

I get up in the morning,
torture a typewriter until it screams,
then stop.
-Clarence Budington Kelland

Waffle typewriter

I so gotta get this.

I understand the self-loathing and the resentment,
and the discipline that it takes to
sit down in front of a typewriter or computer
every single day,
whether it’s going well or not going well.
-David Duchovny

I still like to write old-fashioned notes and letters. I think, once I locate typewriter ribbon for my Litton (no luck yet!) locally, it would be sweet to type out a note on some pristine linen paper to a friend or even my mother.

On a lovely weekend when you have alone time, would it not be good to sit down and clack out a letter? I created this little printable poster (PDF). Please feel free to print for yourself!

I designed this Create poster with Typewriter font for download

I designed this Create poster with Typewriter font for download

21 October 2013
25 October 2013



The Woman behind the Blog

Welcome to my blog! It’s such a pleasure having you here.

What are you inspired by? I am inspired by beautiful and bright interiors, fabric, furniture, pinks, yellows, greens, chairs, china, trees, chocolate, peonies, hydrangeas, cherry blossoms, roses and rhubarb with cream.

Friends and family call me drey (pronounced 'dree'... short for Audrey) and I can often be found zipping through op-shops and vintage stores in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.

Hearing from you

Write me at paperbean(AT)gmail(DOT)com