$3 Thrift Store Tray Repurposed

Hello, amazing friends! Taking a break from work is always nice, but it feels SO good to be back at it!

Today is Trash-to-Treasure Tuesday and I kind of cheated with this one.  As in, today’s makeover is super simple.

Don’t forget my creative friends are also sharing Trash-to-Treasure makeovers today as well. You’ll find links to their projects at the bottom! I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I love. 

Ok, let’s hear it for an easy project!

I started with this tray I picked up ages ago for $3:

TIP: If you find a flat-bottomed tray like this at the thrift store, lay it on a flat surface and be sure it isn’t warped. I learned that lesson the hard way.

The paint was chipping away on this one on the handles and the edges, but I figured I could do something simple with it. And then it sat and sat…and sat. How many times do we do that? For me…ALL the time! Throwing it in with my Haul of Shame forced me to finally do something with it!

I started by sanding away the chipping paint and smoothing out the bottom of the tray with my rotary sander:

How to turn a thrift store tray into a house number sign!

Then I gave it two coats of Caviar by Dixie Belle. Caviar is a true perfect black.

Dixie Belle Caviar

Then I measured my surface and used my Silhouette Cameo and dollar store contact paper to make a stencil:

How to turn a thrift store tray into a house number sign!

I used the Bodidly font.

Don’t have a Silhouette? There are a couple of options! Use the old school method of transferring graphics HERE or try this method HERE that works best with large letters or numbers like these!

Any ideas where this is going??

Then I painted the numbers in with white acrylic craft paint and a small brush…

How to turn a thrift store tray into a house number sign!

It actually took four coats to cover the black, and I removed the contact paper as soon as I applied the last coat.

And now we have a brand new house number sign for our front porch!

Turn a small tray into a house number sign!


I chose not to distress this time and sealed with Rustoleum clear matte spray sealer since this is just a small piece. It is under a covered porch as well, so it should do just fine. I may follow up with a coat of Gator Hide.

How to turn a thrift store tray into a house number sign!

Okay so this may have been a super simple makeover, but it addressed (no pun intended) a need we had and ended up working out great.

This is what we had before:

BORING! This came with the house and I just didn’t love it.

Would you believe the hubby tossed the old sign right in the trash?? Has he learned nothing?

Ya’ll know I sure did dig that thang back out…I’ll find a use for those numbers! 😀

Now the bold black and white is much more easily visible from the street and matches our home so much better:

Turn a small tray into a house number sign!

If you missed it, we removed all of the front landscaping except for one lone Japanese maple tree last August. Our home had been a rental for years before we bought it, and the landscaping looked liked it when we moved in:

It was so overgrown and everything needed to come out so we could start fresh…

You can see that front landscaping makeover post HERE.

I painted the front door black not long after we moved in and our new number sign works great with it. (See what our door looked like before HERE.)

Turn a small tray into a house number sign!

You may remember my Spring Hydrangea Wreath I shared back in March…

Turn a small tray into a house number sign!

It worked perfectly for Summer too. I can’t believe it will be time to pull out the Fall decor soon! Although the cooler days of Fall are always welcome around here!

Summer front porch with black bench


How to turn a thrift store tray into a house number sign!


How to turn a thrift store tray into a house number sign!

To hang my new sign, I added a sawtooth hanger to the back and used a drill bit that worked on concrete to add a screw to the brick. I also added a couple of Command Strips to each bottom corner to stop it from flying off if a big gust of wind comes up.

How to turn a thrift store tray into a house number sign!

And our side porch…

Nothing has changed out here. I redid these chairs and made new cushion covers for them last year. They were another Trash-to-Treasure project and they really did look pretty trashy lol. You can see them before and how I covered the cushions HERE.

And that’s another edition of Trash-to Treasure Tuesday!

How to turn a thrift store tray into a house number sign!

Check out what my friends are sharing below!

1. Artsy Chicks Rule

2. Girl in the Garage

3. Bless’er House

4. Prodigal Pieces

I can’t wait to see what became of these treasures myself.

I am now one project closer to completing my Haul of Shame, and it feels SO good!!

See any you might have missed at the links below:

Grandma’s Side Table

Sewing Machine Table Makeover

$6 Thrift Store Bench Makeover

$6 Rooster Lamp Redo

$10 Yard Sale Chair Makeover

Drop Leaf Table Makeover & How to Apply Sealer with a Sponge

Child’s Wicker Rocker Redo

$2 Thrift Store Box Makeover

$5 Estate Sale Stool Redo

Thrift Store Step Stool Makeover ( & How to Whitewash!)

Thrifty Basket Makeovers

$5 Thrift Store Tray Makeover

Antique Headboard turned Bench

Want even more Trash-to-Treasure inspiration? See all my T2T Tuesday posts HERE!

I’ll be back on Thursday sharing how I updated this wooden shelf:

See ya’ll then! 🙂

UPDATE: No need to wait…this shelf looks so much better now! See it HERE!



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  1. ColleenB.-Tx. says

    Love your house number sign. Looks great and I so agree; it looks so much better than your old. More visible to see from a distance. Your mail carrier should have no problem now in delivering your mail 🙂
    Serving trays is just one thing I can’t pass up when thrift shopping. So many uses for them rather they are big or small.

    • Thanks, Colleen! Yes, you can definitely see these so much than what was hanging before. I rarely pass up a good tray either! XOXO

  2. What a great idea to do with that tray. Looks perfect on your front porch. And that HUGE fern beside your two outdoor chairs – gorgeous! I just love American architecture – so different to what we have in Australia!

    • Thank you, Petra! I remember as a child everything being very flat and boxy? Not sure if that is still the case down there! XOXO

  3. Mary Kaiser says

    This is another perfect reason why I follow your blog and am always so excited when Tuesday and Thursdays come around!! You are awesome and I love what you have done with the tray, I think it turned out amazing, and I am totally impressed with your clever ideas of how to make something so ugly into something so useful and beautiful!! I am glad your back from your time off, you deserved it, but I totally missed you!!!

    • Aww thank you, sweet friend!! I had no idea when I found this that it would be hanging on my porch one day ha ha! I did enjoy my break, but this is my happy place so it’s always nice to return! XOXO

    • Such an adorable idea! I love your creativity! What settings do you use on your silhouette to cut the contact paper?

      • Thank you, Deb! I’m not at home at the moment to check, but I use the same settings you would for vinyl. XOXO

  4. What a fun upcycle! Love the new number look, Christy.

  5. Hello again, love the tray! How did you secure it to the house?

    • Thanks, Christine! I used a bit that worked on concrete to drill a hole so I could add a screw to hang the sign. I added a sawtooth hanger to the back of the sign at the top to hang it. I also secured it to the brick with a couple of command strips in each lower corner. It’s all in the post. 🙂

  6. Christina in SW FL says

    Brilliant use of the tray! Your new house numbers are a perfect addition. 🙂 Way to go!!

  7. You know, that was actually a really beautiful tray. Whoever painted those flowers was a real artist… great use of shading and color variation. However, the updated version is definitely much more useful. 🙂 You’re so creative… using a tray for house numbers! Who’d have thought?! It looks amazing! You’d never even guess the origin of it. 🙂

    • It really was very nicely done before, but I’m so glad I was able to give it new purpose here. Thanks so much, Mariele! XOXO

  8. Janice Holt says

    What a great idea to put house numbers on the tray. Love it and it matches so well with the decor on your porch. Glad to have you back although your short vacation was much needed I’m sure.

    • Thank you, Janice! I think my porch was missing something before so this fixed that. Thanks for the welcome back…it’s good to be back! XOXO

  9. What a brilliant idea for a house sign ! Guess what I’ll be searching the local charity shops and boot sales for ?
    Your home looks beautiful. Americans are so much more patriotic than us Brits. Don’t often see a flag flying at a private home, which is quite sad really.

    • Thank you, Holly! I hope you have luck finding one that works for you! Yes, we love our flag here, but sadly they are seen less and less…mine are still out from our Independence Day! XOXO

  10. Wendy Oyler says

    Love the new number sign. Looks so much better than the old one and is way more visible. By the way your home is very beautiful! Nice job with the new landscaping.

  11. Cheryl Atkinson says

    Hi Christy! Thank you for this little quick and easy treasure. Your address sign is definitely bigger and better! Your house is so pretty. It looks like a totally different house than the before picture. I laughed out loud when you told us your husband threw away the old sign. I could only imagine the look you gave him. Thank you and God Bless.

    • Thank you, Cheryl! Our house needed some TLC on the outside for sure! And yes, can you believe the nerve of him? Have I taught him nothing? Ha ha! XOXO

  12. What a smart idea & it looks great! Wish more people would use larger numbers for people like me who can never see them LOL. Unfortunately, hubbies don’t learn & we need eyes in back of our head hahaha.

    • Thanks, Tracy! Yes…I need those bigger numbers too ha ha! And yes…honestly, he would throw everything away if I let him! XOXO

  13. sharon austin says

    Cool repurpose! Looks great! And your home is just so beautiful, inside and out. Can’t wait to see how you use the old numbers.

  14. I love your clever idea for your house numbers. You also have a very lovely home.
    I had to chuckle when you said your husband threw something away and you rescued it. Sounded very familiar. My husband throws everything away!😀
    We also are thinking some of our shrubbery needs replaced too as we have been here 17 years. But oh! What a Job!

    • Thank you so much, Nancy! My husband would throw everything away too if I let him ha ha! And landscaping is a lot of work for sure, but fun too! XOXO

  15. That was a great way to use that tray. Looks so much better as a sign and you can see it much better than the little one. Lol on the husband “has he learned nothing”, mine is the same way! Have a great week! Love your makeovers.

    • Thank you, Cheryl! Honestly, I would be checking my husband’s temp if he had actually saved me that sign…he tosses as much as he can! XOXO

  16. Ingenious!! Love it! And no one will be missing that sign now! It looks really great there. 🙂 xoxo

  17. the tray make over looks absolutely wonderful…

  18. Oh my goodness, you are such a clever girl! Absolutely brilliant!

  19. I adore all the black items you have around your home it is such a great contrast to the brick

  20. Sheila DelCharco says

    That’s a perfect use for it! Great job! Easy *and* done! Check, check.

  21. Christy, this project may be simple but it’s definitely effective and looks amazing on your porch! Everything looks so much better than when you first moved in! xo

  22. Laura Sylvester says

    This is why you are my fav diyer! Simple yet genius!!

  23. Well, aren’t you a smarty pants! What a great repurpose for an old tray and it looks so much more visible against the brick than you old house numbers. Girl, if you only knew how many times I’ve gone back into the trash after hubby threw something totally reusable away. In fact just this last weekend, twice.

    • Ha ha thank you, Marie! It is so much more visible from the street. And yes…I’m sure they know what they’re doing too! Don’t think we won’t go in after what we want though…if we are willing to take someone else’s trash, we sure as heck don’t have any issues digging things out of our own trash lol! XOXO

  24. Cecilia from Georgia says

    Glad to have you back with us! I hope you enjoyed your time with family and got some R&R! This tray transformation gives me ideas for many other uses. I am curious as to why you didn’t just put the vinyl letters, that you cut out, on it; is it hard to make them stick to some material? I had my spray paint bubble up and was so frustrated but I guess I hadn’t shook good enough. After I shook it for a long time, it did better. I thought that it may have cooked to death in our garage with the heat so swelldering! XOXO

    • I am so glad to be back too, Cecilia, thank you!! I usually use the inverse as a stencil because I prefer the look of paint over vinyl, and I can make it any color I want. For this application, I would be afraid of how the vinyl would hold up to the heat and humidity and then freezing temps in the winter. Spray paint can be finicky…I stick with Rustoleum and always give it a good shake first. 🙂

  25. Just saw your Tuesday post. You have such an eye for what can be done with even ordinary items. The tray, I mean your house numbers turned out great. I love the look and I agree, it does go with your house much better than the old one! Is there anything you cannot do from landscaping, planting, redesigning, painting, sewing, to who knows what else. You are so creative. I get inspired every time I read your blog and see how to do so many amazing things!

  26. Wonderful use of a tray. It looks great! I have 3 trays that have Mexico & India origins that were going to go into the garage sale bin. I have had them for decades and now with your inspiration I will transform them.

    • Thanks, Robin! I was truly at a loss as to what to do with this, but inspiration struck just in time!! Have fun with yours! XOXO

  27. Donna McCann says

    Clever idea, indeed.


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