Tray Chic Revisited or My 21 Steps of Design

I found a tray at a garage sale and brought it home.  It was huge, way to big to sit on a table.  I could have made a table out of it if I actually needed a table - which I emphatically DON'T (I need to get rid of furniture...).  So I decided to make a sign out of it (not that I have that much wall space to spare either!!)  Here, follow the example of an indecisive, obsessive, do-it-yourselfer, wanna-be decorator...

Step 1:

Take your tray out:

Step 2: Find a sign you like and copy it.  I hand painted mine because I had no idea how to transfer an image.

 Step 3:  Add embellishments to fill in the blank spaces:

Step 4:  Hang it on the wall: 

Step 5:   Live with it for a while (I gave it a month).

Step 6:  Read way too many blogs of really talented, artistic women, then suddenly at 2:23 am on a Wednesday night get a really awesome idea and let it simmer overnight (keeping you awake the whole time) until you figure it out.  

Step 7: Log onto Graphics Fairy and find  the PERFECT image.  Pay attention to your blog feed, an easy technique for what you want to do is sure to appear.

Step 8:  Paint the tray with one light coat of  Behr's Almond Cream.  

Step 9:  Paint BM Stone House lightly over the top of the Almond Cream paint with an almost dry brush to make it look more aged.  

Step 10: Print Graphics Fairy image, duly reversed.  

Step 11: Paint liberally with Mod Podge both the image and the section of the tray where the image will be pasted   

Step 12: Center the image as best you can and press it face down onto the tray, smoothing out any bubbles:

Wait until morning to proceed!!

Step 13: Drench paper with water, wait until it soaks in really, really well.  Peel paper off.  I used a paper towel to rub the little bits off.

Step 14: Hang on wall: 

Step 15:  Decide this looks like a big mess.  And don't tell your readers how many times you actually painted using different colours & techniques...

Step 16: Paint around the images with BM Lenox Tan, paying special attention to the edges of the images.

Step 17:  Hang on wall again:

Step 18:  Decide it's still lacking something...

Step 19:  Google more images.

Step 20:  Hand paint more stuff onto tray, decide to make it look more beat up and worn out.

Step 21:  Hang up your finished masterpiece.

Move onto next project...



  1. Love your tutorial ;)
    And the finished tray looks fantastic! I have been thinking about using that technique for a while now but i read that it only works with laser printed images.
    Did you use an inkjet or laser printer?

  2. Thanks for liking my post.

    That tray made a very nice wall art frame! very smart.
    I may have to try it sometime :)


  3. Love the world map... thanks for the tutorial.

  4. I love the world map one! A tray as wall art, great idea!!

  5. We have a similar DIY process it seems--I generally end up with about 21 steps too :) Great end result!

  6. That was way too much fun!I LOVE the final result! I don't know too many people who would share all those befores but I think it's helpful to show the ENTIRE process. I know very few artists who get it right the first time! Great job! :)

  7. I love your tutorial and your humor! It looks great!

  8. The finished wall art looks lovely! Thanks for adding your link to Beach Cottage Good Life Wednesdays.

  9. I am having a good ol giggle at you and your step by step guide... so funny and so blogger gal! And the tray turned into a piece of art! Well done and what a cool post,,lol!


    Tassels Twigs and Tastebuds

  10. That looks great! Thanks for sharing your how to! ♥

  11. Much better as a world map! I like map type things, and this one is fabulous!

    Thank you for linking the fun post to Potpourri Friday. You are appreciated, my friend!

  12. Well, The finished wall art looks too much spectacular, I I saw your article in one of the website and I stumbled here. Your first photographs will be best for my Christmas arrangement. I visited your all blog post and wonder to watch your arrangement of various colours in one photograph.

  13. Third time's the charm! It looks fantastic.

  14. I really like how this turned out! What a great way to do an image transfer!

  15. Looks fantastic. Well worth all your effort.

  16. That turned out fabulous!! I always have a hit or miss with that technique but you sooo got a hit!!! Thanx for sharing!

  17. Wonderful tray, and darling "step by step" process you used to arrive at the NEW look!

    Visiting from BRAG MONDAY at GraphicsFairy today,
    ~Suzanne in NW Illinois


Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. I respond to comments through email. If your comment has no email address, I'll leave a reply on this post under your comment. Have a fabulous day!