My Favorite Decorating Tool

Decorating with TraysHi friends! Today I am sharing my very favorite decorating tool. My décor enthusiast friends and I are talking about decorating using trays for this month’s challenge. This is not really a challenge of course! Decorating with trays makes creating the perfect table vignette so much easier!

Check out this cabinet top display:


Not too bad, but how about now?…

Make decorating easier using trays!

I love how a tray adds another layer and grounds the vignette. By the way, I am NOT a professional decorator lol. This is just what I think looks pretty! You know how you love the way something looks and then you look back in pictures and say, “That looked awful, what was I thinking?” Hopefully that won’t happen ha ha.

Trays make it so simple to change things up for the Holidays too…

Christmas Home Tour 2014 Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

I have another tray on my coffee table (from Target)…

Decorating with Trays ...I love how a tray grounds a vignette.

And a little while back:

Thrift store coffee table makeover

It was also easily changed up for the Holidays:

Decorating with Trays ...I love how a tray grounds a vignette.

I also have one on my entry table (antique mall find)…

Decorating with Trays ...I love how a tray grounds a vignette.

It’s like the tray holds everything in one tidy package.

I borrowed it for this  shot of my Mason Jar Blue Headboard Bench:

French-Inspired Coffee Table Makeover with Fabric and Lesley Riley's TAP paper

I also have one on this table. This was a thrift store frame that I added bead board to and painted years ago. A couple of handles and it’s a tray…

Decorating with Trays ...I love how a tray grounds a vignette.

Remember my desert dish candle sticks from my Halloween Mantel? How about my rosette  picture frame?

Here is another DIY tray I made from a yard sale frame and old fence pickets. It makes a perfect base for this coastal vignette on my dining table:

Tray made from old fence pickets and a yard sale frame.

And another tray I made from old fence pickets and a thrift store frame…

Turn a thrift store picture into a tray by painitng and adding a few old fence picket pieces to the bottom!

In this photo I didn’t even use a real tray, just a dish, but it adds another layer which I love:

Decorating with Trays ...I love how a tray grounds a vignette.

Here’s a little Faux-drawer Tray with feet I made out of a $2 thrift store find…

A plain tray is updated to look like a repurposed drawer!

Are you getting the feeling that I really love trays?? I do!

If you love trays too, take a photo of your favorites all decked out and hop on over to our Decorating Enthusiasts DIY Forum on Facebook and share them!

3 Month Decorating Challenge - One space, three ways brought to you by a group of top bloggers!

But wait! There’s more! Let’s play on Instagram too!

Share your trays with us on Instagram!

Here’s how to play:

1. Add your own post on Instagram

2. Tag it with the #DecorEnthusiast

3. Follow all 6 of your hosts here:

@christykjames (me!)     @artsychicksrule     @oursouthernhome     @restorationredoux     @refreshrestyle     @topthistopthat

We will choose one winner that will be featured on all 6 blogs this Saturday!!

How about a little more decorating-with-trays inspiration?


Check out how my Décor Enthusiast co-hosts are decorating with trays:

Our Southern Home     Artsy Chicks Rule     Restoration Redoux     Refresh Restyle     Top This Top That

Next month’s theme will be: Gallery Walls! That should be a fun one!







If you like what you see, there are several ways to follow along! :)

Email * Facebook * Pinterest * Hometalk * Twitter * Instagram

I love to share at some of these great parties:

Home Stories A to Z Not Just a Housewife Kammy’s Korner The Happy Housie Design Dining and Diapers Liz Marie Blog Funky Junk Interiors Savvy Southern Style Tatertots and Jello DIY Show Off Redoux Interiors Between Naps on the Porch The DIY Dreamer Oh My Creative Little Miss Celebration Just a Girl and Her Blog Sand and Sisal Interior Frugalista House on the Way Addicted 2 DIY I should be Mopping the Floor Miss Mustard Seed






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  1. I’m coming over to steal a few trays! Love all your ideas!

  2. I love the trays! I never noticed before how much they pull things together. You end up with a display, not a bunch of little random clutter. Very nice!
    I was raised by a I-hung-a-picture-on-the-wall,-decorating-done! mom. : ) I love her dearly, but decorating is NOT her thing! I need all the help/ideas I can get. Thanks!

  3. I have some empty trays that are aching to be filled. Yours are beautiful! I invite you to share this creative post at my Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop. You can link up from Wednesday at 7PM (MST) to Sat midnight) Hugs!

  4. Hi Christy! I visit your blog often just to get some great inspiration and paint color themes for my projects. I love your trays, but I can’t take my eyes off that CLOCK and lantern in the top 3 photos. Those are my weaknesses!
    JoAnn @ SweetPepperRose

  5. Catherine says:

    Another favorite to add to my growing list of your posts! Your ideas must keep you awake at night 🙂 Lovely way to reuse things as well, I have several lovely serving trays of my grandmothers that I want to keep but had no clue as to how to use (contrary to popular belief I do not throw fancy dinner parties every weekend, lol!) I have a couple of the old mirrored trays that would look beautiful as well. Thanks for the great ideas….again!

  6. Fun to see your different displays. I love decorating with trays but have too many deadlines to share this time (grrr!). Thank you for the wonderful ideas! 😉

    • Thanks, Michele! I honestly didn’t realize I used so many trays ha ha. I sure understand about those darned deadlines…maybe next month. We’ll be sharing gallery walls. 🙂

  7. Christy your tray ideas are just beautiful. Love the one made out of a frame and fence posts. What I really want is that amazing clock!!! Fun challenging our inner decorators with each other!

  8. You and me both – can never have enough trays! I agree that a tray grounds vignettes. My problem is knowing when to stop – not every vignette needs one. LOL

  9. I love decorating with trays as well. You have some beautiful trays!

    I also love using platters. They are so easy to find at thrift shops & yard sales for very little compared to the cost of trays.

  10. Gorgeous as always my friend! I love all of the ones you made yourself!

  11. I could hardly tell that you have a passion for your beloved trays! 🙂

  12. All so pretty..and creative Christy! Love them all …. and yes, I have a few (or 50!) of those photos you look back at and say “what was I thinking?” 😉

    • Thanks, Nancy! Ha ha yes and the funny thing is…they weren’t just background shots. I took pictures because I thought it looked so good! Hope you are having an amazing getaway!! XO

  13. I beg to differ…you are very much a decorator and artist! You have such a natural talent for making things look so good! I love popping over here and catching up with all your creations. ~Julie

  14. Trays! Sure I noticed a few here and there but you brought them to the spotlight!

    They do appear to add layers and finish a composition.


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