wake. create. repeat. – creating a family tradition



A dear friend gifted me with a vintage cash register when i opened the doors to my first design studio back in 2001. She had searched far and wide and ended up buying the actual register one shop owner was using in his antique store! Scooped it right out from under him!

She’s a haggler. She’s pretty great to have around at a flea market.

Anyway, it’s 9 years later now and i have closed those lovely doors in favor of working from home. But i’ve always given that register a place of honor in my house and i think it’s time it became a more meaningful, memorable, family heirloom. i’ve turned it into a family till. You know, fun-money headquarters. The place you go when you want to grab a few dollars for spur of the moment ice cream cones, or a tip for the pizza delivery guy, or cash for a little toy or trinket from Five Below for the little man.

Since the register will be a happy place, i’ve given the antique-y brown facade a little stephanie corfee style-face-lift. Yep, that DOES mean color! and some sticky Mod Podge fingers. My goal was to turn it into a quirky conversation piece. i think i kinda like it! My sweet husband now has the task of building a proper table, just perfectly sized for it, in a little nook right near the front door. (i’ve already drawn up the plans.)

So here’s how it will work:

Whenever we have spare change or some singles, we’ll pop them into the till like you would a coin jar. When any of us needs a little mad money, we’ll tap into the till and hear the glorious, vintage-y CHING sound and the rickety sliding out of the cash drawer. i can hear my little guy now, “can i grab a dollar from the till, mom?” “sure sweetie!” CHING! Maybe one day i can pass down the register and my granchildren (fingers crossed!) can continue the tradition.


Note: i numbered the top row of keys 1-10 so my son can practice his number recognition. And i added images of each of the 4 coin denominations in the coin wells so he can learn to identify and count change!”

25 thoughts on “wake. create. repeat. – creating a family tradition

    1. Thanks Mallory. It took a long time, but was thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing. i only had to wash the Mod Podge off my fingers a half a dozen times!! haha

  1. Stephanie that is absolutely brilliant!
    The only problem in our house is we have more spare change than would ever fit in a till! Though, at least the cash register would never be empty.

    Great, one more thing to hunt down next time I’m at the flea market.

    I think I might include this in my link roundup for Friday over at Small for Big. Thanks!

    1. Whoops, just wanted to make sure I had a working link back to my site for you. Hit the reply button too quickly the first time!

    2. mari!! wow, thank you for such a lovely comment! i am so happy this first project is so well-received. i would be honored to be included in the roundup! thank you!

    1. thank you jay! i sure do hope it stays in the family for a long time : ) and i welcome some dings and wear. that will just make it all the more special to me.

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