Thursday, August 1, 2013

DIY Decorative Serving Tray

I am so excited about today's post!!! I have been getting crafty lately and it's Thrifty Thursday!!! Before I begin, I should give you a bit of history on my living room decor. Several years ago, I fell in love with a red microfiber sofa and love seat when I was looking for a new living room set and brought it home. Upon arrival I realized it was going to be difficult to decorate around it. I have been decoratively paralyzed since I bought it 6 years ago. Luckily I recently received divine intervention at Target, when I stumbled across some microfiber pillows in the perfect coordinating colors, but more on that in a bit.

A few weeks ago Senor Caliente and I went to the flea market looking for treasure. My husband says I'm crazy, he doesn't see the beauty in the seemingly random items I pick. Thanks to Pinterest and some other bloggers I have been learning to see past the obvious use for things and find a way to re-purpose them. That makes it treasure in my book, cheap treasure! Our treasure hunting trip was a huge success, I found a wooden serving tray for only $6. I have drooled over painted decorative serving trays at pier 1 for a price way outside of my decorating budget (which is extremely small), so when I saw this I knew I had to have it. Plus, it's perfect for thrifty Thursday! It was plain unpainted wood and the perfect blank canvas. I had to let it sit for a couple of weeks while I figured out what to do with it. I finally found some images that gave me the perfect idea! There weren't any tutorials that I could find for what I wanted to do so I had to figure it out as I went. I am so proud of this and I am excited to share about how I went

To get started you will need:

A Wooden Tray
Scrapbook paper of your choice
spray paint
mod podge
paint brush or sponge applicator

First you will need to spray paint the tray. I don't have any before pics because I was so excited to get started that I forgot to take one. I was a little unsure of how to spray paint it without getting paint everywhere. The grass was too deep to lay newspaper over it and put the tray on top. My husband forbade me from getting even one drop on his precious lawn and I was afraid to spray on the sidewalk, because I know from experience that spray paint is practically impossible to remove from concrete. My husband came up with this ingenious plan.

Yup, he hung it on a dog leash from a hook on the porch. It actually worked very well.

After it dries you will need to measure and cut your scrapbook paper. 

How long this takes will depend on a couple of things. First of all, is there a pattern on your paper and secondly do you care if it all matches up. For me the answers were yes and yes. I used 3 sheets of the yellow paper, with some pieces left over because of cutting to make the pattern match up. I laid it all out on the tray before mod podging it on. 

I started with the smallest piece and worked my way up to the biggest so there would be fewer seams. I found that it worked best if you put mod podge on the tray and the back of the paper because you can slide it around and get positioned just right. After I they were all adhered to the board I painted another layer of mod podge on top.  It got really wrinkly and I got really worried, but somewhere in the back of my brain a voice told me to leave it alone. I was reminded of a quote that changed my life a few years ago. "Perfection is only temporary. 'Good enough' lasts longer." So I let it dry in peace. When it was all dry the wrinkles had disappeared.


I wanted to put a letter S on ours for our last name and to make it even more unique to us. I bought some letters for another project (that I will be posting about later) and decided to use one of those as a stencil.

I flipped it backwards and traced it on the back of my scrapbook paper so I wouldn't have to see any trace lines on the front. 

Then I cut it out. I have mad cutting skills. Ask any of the kindergarten students I sub for, and they'll tell you that cutting skills are a hot commodity.

When everything was dry I mod podged the "S" onto the middle of the tray and then applied another coat over the whole thing.

Once again with the wrinkles!!!!!

Luckily, they went away again. Now i have this beautiful personalized tray that totally goes with my new color scheme in the living room. I am glad that I finally overcame my decorating paralysis and found the right colors. It really brightens up the living room. How's that for thrifty?!?! The whole thing cost me only about $15 to make! Now, what color to paint the coffee table and end tables? Any ideas???

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