Tray Chic

My most recent decor-related obsession has been decorative trays. Months and months ago I had made this one from an old picture frame and some scrap fabric. It was a great way to complete the look in the dining room.   


Then I made the coffee table ottoman, and all the sudden we actually needed trays to put our drinks… and let’s be honest here, our dinners, on. We had received one of those generic blond wood framed white plasticy trays for our wedding, and it was just sitting between the microwave cart and the deep freeze, so I gave it a little makeover. It looked great on the coffee table/ottoman and I liked that the plexiglass I put over the top let me display some of our favorite photos.    


But over time, and lots of drink spills a la Charlie, it just wasn’t working anymore. So I began to brainstorm other options. Then we went to an estate sale. Cue angel choir, “Ahhh.”

Tony likes to go to estate sales on the last day. Usually there’s just junk left by that point, but if you do find something special, it’s probably marked half off. My something special was this old cabinet door. 


At the time I wasn’t sure exactly what I’d use this old door for, but I knew I should snap it up. As my affection for decorative trays grew toward obsession, the door’s true purpose was revealed. And now it looks like this: 
Yes, it’s giant and fabulous and you can write on it with chalk!! But most importantly, it can easily hold two dinners, two drinks, and a bowl of fresh fruit (or ice cream)!

Meanwhile the old tray got a second makeover and a new job holding my “generations” picture frame. One year for Christmas I snuck into my Mom’s photo boxes when she wasn’t home and made some copies. Those pics go all the way back to my Great Great Grandmother. When I put Mom’s frame together I also did one for myself!   

Recently Mom cleaned out their finished basement and was getting rid of a lot of the furniture. She gave me an end table that I’ve always loved. It actually works perfectly in our living room, because the table I had there (one of my first furniture overhauls) was kind of delicate and 70lb. Charlie would run right into it and knock off whatever was on top. This end table from Mom is much more solid and sturdy and can stand up to the puppy  sliding across the wood floor. However, 15 years in a basement had left the creamy painted top a little yellowed. My plan was to paint it, but I really liked the color it was, and I knew it would never quite be the same. Enter, tray!  


This little beauty was a Hobby Lobby jackpot find! It was all white when I bought it, which was just lovely, but it made the table top’s yellowy-ness stand out even more instead of hiding it. So, I painted it blue and sanded it a bit so the white would just peek through. Then things got cool, because I found out you can print onto wax paper to transfer an image. How cool is that?! So that’s exactly what I did. I found this image online for free, inserted it into a word document, and printed it onto wax paper cut down to 8 1/2 by 11. Then I used my Pampered Chef stone scraper to really push all that ink onto the tray. Voila!


Don’t worry, I have a couple extra trays as well for parties and things! They’re hanging out on the picture ledge in the half bath. Since you can’t really tell it’s a bathroom when you’re looking from the kitchen, I like to think the trays make it look like a butler’s pantry. 


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