Monday, September 23, 2013

Jacquie's Up-Cycle Nation: Party Tray

This Holiday Season the tray is back as an entertainment must have! 
Mixing vintage ephemera and 1970's practicality, the tray is the "it" item.  One can spend upwards of $50-100 for a new quality tray.  But here I will show you how an ugly vintage tray can become your custom conversation piece in less than 2 hours for under $10.
I scored this wooden tray at Goodwill for $4. Despite the outdated motif, the tray is quality wood, sturdy, and close to the color of the new trays hitting the holiday shelves.

The necessary supplies are at the center of every crafter's closet:
Mod Podge, paint brush, sandpaper, black paint, and scrapbook paper.  Using a home printer, add your favorite clip art or images to the paper.
 Begin by sanding the entire tray to remove the varnish layer.  Be certain to sand in the direction of the wood grain.  Add extra pressure to edges for a distressed look.  Wipe off sanding debris with a damp cloth.
To age and darken the tray, mix 1 teaspoon of black acrylic paint with three teaspoons of water.  Brush on the black wash, going with the grain.  Wipe off excess with a dry rag. 
Once the black wash is dry, apply Mod-Podge to the tray bed and adhere the scrapbook paper. Smooth out any air pockets immediately.  After the first layer is dry, apply a second layer of Mod-Podge.  Have fun with the brush strokes to create a patterned sheen. Apply a third layer of Mod-Podge once the second layer is dry.
To further protect the tray design, apply a clear matte polyurethane stain.
Trays provide a the perfect party cart for wine glasses, snacks, candles or to create a table centerpiece.  The Holidays call for parties- so make sure you're trays are festive and ready for fun! 
Jacquie Wheeler
Hand of Bela Peck


  1. Great I just need to find a tray....oh wait...I don't entertain. :)

  2. LOL! Colleen- I buy trays to pretend I entertain!!