4 EASY steps to this fall decor must-have

Trays.  Yes I'm saying that word AGAIN!  It seems like a super boring topic when you just look at the word.   But after today's post, you might not look at the word the same again!  For all you DIY'ers out there, this is a great fall "project" for your home, and one that will take 30 minutes or less! 

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • An old tray  (any color, any design, because you're going to cover it all)
  • Latex/acrylic, or craft paint (color of your choice)
  • Two small paint brushes (one for glue, one for paint)
  • Fabric or contact paper.  (Fabric lays nicer, and is easier to work with)
  • Tape measure/scissors
  • Adhesive spray/glue (comes in a can), OR, "Mod podge" (instead of buying some, make some using Elmer's glue and a little water mixed together to a syrup-y consistency)

WHAT YOU DO:

1.  Find a tray!

Practically every second hand store has old trays!  Dig around on the shelves and you're sure to find one.   Here's what I started with: 

 Not bad if you like the combination of neon green, royal blue, and orange/pink.  I was going for a more neutral color palate, so out came the paint and fabric

Not bad if you like the combination of neon green, royal blue, and orange/pink.  I was going for a more neutral color palate, so out came the paint and fabric

2. Choose your paint color & paint your tray:

Any craft paint or acrylic/latex (what you use on your walls) will work.  I didn't bother with priming the tray first, because I used chalk paint, which is a type of paint that does not require primer, but, it will work if you don't use chalk paint!  

TIP:  If you use a non chalk paint (acrylic/latex, or craft), you might consider priming it first.  This protects the paint from chipping or coming off. Your tray can live without primer though, especially if you don't mind the natural wear and tear of the paint.  I rather like that look! 

 I used a subtle blue/gray color called "Duck egg blue" by Annie Sloan Chalk paint

I used a subtle blue/gray color called "Duck egg blue" by Annie Sloan Chalk paint

Grab a brush and start painting! If your tray surface is darker than your fabric, consider painting your tray surface a lighter color, so it doesn't show through when you glue your fabric on.  If your fabric covers the original tray surface well, you can save yourself time and not paint the tray surface. 

paint samples.jpg

3.  Measure and cut your fabric

Measure the flat (bottom) section of your tray.  Your tray is either going to be rectangular, or square.  The tray in the picture happens to be square and its measurements are 13" by 13". Cut your fabric piece according to your tray measurements.  So, my fabric piece is exactly 13" by 13": 

cut fabric.jpg

4. Glue fabric to tray bottom

In my opinion, fabric is easier to work with than contact paper.  I usually paint some "mod podge" (2-3 tablespoons of Elmer's glue, add water until it is syrup consistency) right onto the tray bottom, and along the bottom edges of the fabric.  

Then, place your fabric onto the glued surface, and smooth over with your hands.  You can add a little extra glue around the perimeter to prevent the fabric from curling up at the edges. 

Let your tray dry.  YOU'RE DONE! 

What next?  Trays add a little extra something to any surface......

11 things to use trays for in the fall: 

  • Candles
  • Mugs and coffee, tea, or cocoa
  • Perfumes
  • Remote controls
  • Magazines or books
  • Oils and oil diffuser
  • Soaps or small linens (bathroom)
  • Jewelry or jewelry "tree"
  • Craft supplies or kids' art supplies
  • Vase of flowers
  • Bedside table "stuff" (glasses, watch, ring, clock)

Last Friday's "find" of the week happened to be "trays". See more on trays in that post here:  Friday Finds: Trays

And there you have it!  A super simple "project" that takes 30 minutes or less and results in a super cute home decor item that lasts all year long. Customize one for each season, or make one that stays out all year long.  Your pick! 

Happy tray-making!

Kate