$4 Thrift Store Tray Makeover

Sweet friends, welcome back!

Today I’m sharing project piece #2 from my most recent thrifty haul…this tray that I picked up for $4.25 at the Goodwill:

That design on the bottom was under a really thick layer of acrylic, and I knew I wanted to cover that up. That is exactly what I did!

Here is how it looks now:

$4 Thrift store tray makeover with scrap wood.

I almost always pick up wooden trays when I see them, but I especially loved that this one already had these cute feet. I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I love.

$4 Thrift store tray makeover with scrap wood.

And the fun is on the inside…

$4 Thrift store tray makeover with scrap wood.

It’s almost reminiscent of a quilt, right?

I don’t know that I was going for that look when I started, but seeing it done and painted really reminds me of this gorgeous tray that my friend, Jen from Girl in the Garage, shared recently! She put a ton of work into hers and I really loved the look. Maybe subliminally I had that in the back of my mind as I was working on this one!

I did go about mine a bit differently though.

I knew I wanted to cover the bottom of the tray, and to do that I found this scrap piece of luan in the garage that was perfect. I save all. the. scraps.

I used my small circular saw to cut it to fit the bottom of the tray:

A circular saw works great for cutting luan.

I just attached a scrap piece of wood to my saw table using clamps to use as a straight edge/guide for my saw. Then I lined up my blade and went for it. See how petite it is? That makes it pretty easy to handle.

Once it was cut, I started playing with a pattern.

I drew an ex from corner to corner, and then a + from top to bottom and side to side. Honestly, it just looked like a square pizza. But then I connected the center lines on each side and that gave me a square in the center, and a pattern I could work with.

I marked each piece so I would know what color to paint it, and I went back and numbered each piece as well so I would know where it went.

Then I used my circular saw once again for the center cut:

I was able to use my sliding miter saw for the rest of the cuts:

I centered the blade on each line. To cut on the angles, I used one of the triangles I had already cut to hold the wood flush to the back of the saw while I cut:

I ended up with 16 triangles in all:

(Two of them were a bit too rough on the edges, so I had to cut two new pieces.)

Once everything was cut, I sanded all the pieces smooth with 220 grit sandpaper, and then spray painted them brown. (That way when I sanded them, brown would show through instead of the natural wood.)

I painted half in Behr’s Bit of Sugar, made into DIY chalk paint (Recipe HERE), as well as the tray itself. I painted the other half in Behr’s Gray Morning (also made into chalk paint) that I still had out from painting this mirror.

Then I sanded lightly using 220 grit sandpaper and sealed everything with two coats of Dixie Belle’s clear satin topcoat, applied with my favorite brush for sealers.

(I ended up painting the bottom of the tray white as well.)

I attached the triangles with liquid nails, being sure not to get it too close to the edges so it wouldn’t ooze up between the pieces.

I used this because it’s what my hubby already had in the garage, but I would opt for something white or clear with a bit less odor like Power Grab if I had to buy it.

You can see in that photo where I numbered each piece so I would know where to put it.

I love the finished look!

$4 Thrift store tray makeover with scrap wood.

I originally planned to whitewash the blue parts instead, but since I already had this blue out on my work table, I decided to use it instead.

I do love the white and blue together, and it looks great in my white and blue living room!

$4 Thrift store tray makeover with scrap wood.


$4 Thrift store tray makeover with scrap wood.

These tulips are from Hobby Lobby…

Tulips from Hobby Lobby

I bought them last year and almost forgot I had them. They make it feel like Spring inside even if the outside says otherwise!

$4 Thrift store tray makeover with scrap wood.


$4 Thrift store tray makeover with scrap wood.


$4 Thrift store tray makeover with scrap wood.

If you liked this makeover, you’ll love this one too:

See how I reimagined this one HERE!

That’s two pieces down, lots more to go! Woohoo!

A couple of ya’ll asked what that piece is on the bottom right. It’s a table I found just like that with the legs tucked inside. Luckily they all went back together okay and I’ll be sharing it on Thursday:

UPDATE: No need to wait! See how this table looks now HERE

See ya then! Have a great day! 🙂



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  1. Mary Kaiser says

    That is so beautiful now, what a transformation! I bet your keeping that tray for your self since it goes perfectly in your house. The tulips look so rea! Is that real water in the vase with fake flowers?? You are so creative! Thanks for sharing your talents!

    • Thank you, Mary! This one is actually off to the shop. As much as I love it, I already have a tray for that table that I really like. Ande yes that is real water in the tulips…makes them look more like the real deal I think ha ha. Have a great day! XOXO

  2. Your attention to detail is marvellous – I am always in awe of your creativity 😀

  3. Christine DiTrinco Prowak says

    Wow the little feet on today’s tray are so adorable! When i looked at the other tray you did, with the wood inserts, I thought feet would’ve looked great that one as well. You usually add feet?

    • Hi Christine! Sometimes I add feet, but this one came with them. That’s was sold me on it! Yes, the other one would have looked great with them too! XO

  4. Cecilia from Georgia says

    Love the idea of a quilt pattern in the tray. Now I see quilt patterns on everything! Seems like a great deal of work though! Great haul from the thrift shop trip. Looking forward to seeing what magic you perform on all of the treasures. Have a great week! XOXO

    • Thanks, Cecilia! It was a little bit of work, but worth it in the end. And yes…I found some good stuff to tackle this round for sure. Enjoy the rest of your week too! XOXO

  5. Christina in SW FL says

    Wow! You went for it Christy and it looks wonderful! Quite a bit of work and the payoff is completely charming. I love it! Is it going in your shop? If so, it will sell fast. The tulips are lovely.
    Enjoy your week!

    • Thanks, Christina! This is headed to the shop and trays usually sell quickly for me, so hopefully someone will love this one and take it home quickly! Enjoy the rest of your week, too! XOXO

  6. You are such an inspiration thank you

  7. Gosh you’re good!

  8. Cheryl Atkinson says

    Christy, what a wonderful makeover. I wish i felt confident when using power tools. You have a wonderful creative mind.

    • Thank you so much, Cheryl! I wasn’t always so confident, but I tired of waiting for my hubby to cut things for me ha ha! XOXO

  9. Beautiful tray!

  10. What a gorgeous tray! I save. all. the. scraps. too, haha, so I’m willing to bet I have an identical piece of luan in MY garage too, and now I know what it’s there for! ???? My husband has fits over my scraps, but I love them for little projects! I have learned to give up the REALLY scrappy ones finally, haha! I love your itty-bitty saw too! That’s the one saw style that scares me. ???? I need a tiny saw now.
    Lovely tray, lovely colors! Can’t wait to get out and do some copy-cat work!

    • Thanks, Becky!! Yes girl…save it all!! You just never know and sometimes I just need a very small piece, so it pays to save everything! Your husband sounds like mine lol. Yes that saw is much more manageable than the larger version. Copy away, my friend!! XOXO

  11. sharon austin says

    That turned out pretty dang sweet!! Lord, I wish my mind worked like yours. LOL

  12. I love that tray and everything about it. I must learn to use power tools!

    • Thank you, Lizzy! It took me some time to get comfy with the big tools, but there is so much more you can do with them! XOXO

  13. I want it! Sure do wish you lived here in Oregon near me!

    • Oh no…I’m afraid I’m about as far away as I can be here on the East coast! My grandparents used to live in Brookings, OR for years when I was younger! XO

  14. Great makeover, friend!!! Love the pattern, and the tutorial!

  15. Beautiful! You are amazing! What you come up with is always much more creative than I could ever imagine. Love seeing what you do. Where did you find the wooden feet?

  16. It’s so pretty, Christy! Way better than taping for a couple hours, haha. Thanks for the shoutout too, I love my tray – it’s on my mantel! xo

  17. Marcie Lovett says

    Wow. I cannot believe how you did that, Christy! Cutting those pieces and keeping track of them all would make my head explode.

    I love the wood strip to keep the blade straight. I cut a corkboard last week with a big old heavy circular saw, wishing the whole time I had yours (wish I had thought of the wood strip trick, too!). And I ended up with scraps that I held onto because they could be mini corkboards! Nope, nope, nope, not keeping. Although it is tempting. I love seeing how you find a use for your scraps, sooner or later.

    • Aww thanks, Marcie! It probably would have been much easier to just paint this pattern on, but then I wouldn’t have been able to use up those scraps LOL! What? No mini cork boards in your future? Ha ha… Sometimes you just have to let things go! Have a great weekend! XOXO

  18. Donna Bastoni says

    I always enjoying reading your emails and see the magic you perform!

  19. Debbie in TX says

    You did it again! Love the colors and the pattern and the whole thing. I never would have thought to do that with a tray, but it turned out brilliantly. You rock, girl!!!

    • Oh thank you so much Debbie! I wasn’t sure where I was going to end up when I started, but the end result is fun! Glad you like this one! Have a great weekend! XOXO

  20. Debra A Wise says

    So dute! Wow, I learned something new today in how to make the triangle pieces. You are so creative! Thanks for another great makeover and for sharing!

    • Thanks, Debra! I wasn’t sure what it was going to look like when I started, but it came together! And yep, an easy way to cut all those triangles, right? Have a good one! XOXO

  21. Absolutely gorgeous! What a great idea!

  22. Karolyn Love says

    Wow, your hard work cutting out those each of the triangles paid off!! That tray is an absolute beauty…as is everything you do! I love to find your e-mails first thing in the morning as I have my coffee…perfect way to start my day with a whole lot of inspiration from you!! Have a Blessed day…

    • Aww thank you so much, Karolyn! That makes my heart all warm and fuzzy! I’m so thrilled to have you following along with me! XOXO

  23. Ok so not only did I love the before tray here but also the other before tray too. I was skeptical with what you would do with them but I have to say, I LOVE both of the new designs you created! The triangle design is quite unique and I really love them!

  24. Love this, well done. I love your page but find it so hard to load, maybe it is my ISP? but it takes forever to see your beautiful pieces.
    Are those tulips really fake?? no way

    • Thank you, Lee Ann! I’m so sorry to hear my page is loading slowly for you. I’m not sure why. And yes those tulips are great fakes! XO

  25. Love all of your work. I have 2 trays to make over and I want to buy those small feet that are on yours. Should I search on Amazon? Can you tell me the size of these feet? Thanks.
    I look forward to your makeovers every week.
    Thanks again.

    • Thanks, Lori! My tray came with those feet already attached. I did a search and all I can find are these two options: https://amzn.to/2YrPww3 or https://amzn.to/2LFB163 You may be able to find something in the wood section at Michaels or Hobby Lobby that could be glued on also. This tray sold already so I can’t give an exact measurement. Good luck! XO

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