Thursday, May 30, 2013

DIY: Serving Trays

Trays are great to have around the house.  They're perfect for serving drinks, entertaining, breakfast in bed, and displaying all your quirky knick knacks.  We wanted to bring some fun to a couple of unfinished wooden trays by jazzing them up with a fresh coat of white paint and a colorful decoupaged fabric bottom.  

Oh the drama...we encountered so many challenges and made a ton of rookie mistakes in the production of these trays.  First, we spray-painted the trays without priming them first.  BIG mistake!  The unfinished wood just soaked up the paint, giving the trays a white-washed appearance and not the glossy white look we were going for.  Next, the spray adhesive we purchased was missing a nozzle, which we discovered a little too late.  Always check your merchandise before you leave the store...lesson learned!  Without the spray adhesive, we struggled with getting the fabric to lay flat and stay put while we were decoupaging them, resulting in some lumps and bumps.  However, despite these blunders, we're pretty pleased with the end result!

Materials needed:
Tray (can be an inexpensive new unfinished wood tray like ours or can be an old tray that needs some TLC)
Mod Podge (we opted for the 'Gloss-Lustre' version) decoupage
Spray paint
Spray adhesive (this would have been helpful) or rubber cement
Fabric of your choice
Multimedia art board (you can also use plexiglass or plywood cut to size)
Sponge brushes

Prep the trays.  We lightly sanded our trays and spray-painted them (see mistake #1 above).  We went back and "primed" the trays with a layer of Mod Podge and then spray-painted them again (much better).  Meanwhile, measure the inside of the tray and cut the multimedia board to size for the lining, about 1/8" smaller in each dimension to leave room for the fabric that will be folded over.  Cut the fabric about 1 inch larger than the tray size.  Use adhesive spray to glue the fabric to the board, and fold over the unfinished edges.  Using a sponge brush, apply several thin coats of the Mod Podge, stretching the fabric to lay flat.  Allow both the tray and decoupaged fabric lining to dry completely.

After both the tray and lining are dry, apply an adhesive (we used rubber cement, but you could use spray adhesive) to the inside of the tray and slide in the lining.  Fill the tray with some weights (we used books) while the adhesive dries.  Apply more Mod Podge to fill in any edges and gaps until the inside of the tray is smooth and seamless.


  1. this is such a cute idea! i love the pattern you used here!

    Sandy a la Mode

  2. Thank you for sharing!! What a beautiful idea and awesome tutorial. I may make a few myself. Very cute blog!!

    -vassarette stone


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