DIY Tray from an Old Picture

March Madness, 31 Thrifty Makeovers in 31 Days!! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

Hey there, sweet Friends and welcome to the very first day of my March Madness, 31 Thrifty Makeovers in 31 Days Series!!

Are you ready? I am!! If you missed this fun series last year, every day in March I shared a thrifty makeover. You can see them all HERE. Some were small and some were not so small, but a good before and after is always fun to see, right?

This year, I’m starting things off with a pretty DIY tray that I made from an old picture. I sell a ton of trays so I make a lot of them, but not all of them make it to the blog.

I’m going to show you a really easy way to make one. Here is what I started with:

DIY tray before

I picked this up for $1.58! I actually didn’t have the heart to toss the cross stitch. I did a few of those back in the day and they are a lot of work!

Here is the tray I created from the frame:

A super easy way to make a tray is from an old frame. See how here! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

These are super easy to make. I like the depth of frames like this for trays. I also look for a thick enough band around the outside edge to support a handle.

A super easy way to make a tray is from an old frame. See how here! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

For this DIY tray, I painted the frame in DIY chalk paint in Pure White (whatever white is right off the shelf from Behr). I cut a piece of thin birch plywood (purchased from Lowes) to fit the frame. I have included some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Birch plywood is perfect for the base of a tray.

I used my table saw, but you could easily use a jig saw (I have this cordless jig saw and I love it!) to cut this as well and it is not nearly as intimidating.

Why buy a tray when you can DIY one instead?

I primed the plywood and then gave it a couple of coats of chalk paint. I sanded lightly then chose this baroque stencil to give it personality.

For paint and brush products as well as more stencil how-tos, visit this post.

A stencil is a great way to add personality to a tray.

I sure have been stenciling a lot lately. It’s such an easy way to add personality to a project.

I sanded the surface lightly once it was dry and added a couple of coats of Annie Sloan’s clear wax for protection. Then I secured it to the frame with my Logan point driver.

A super easy way to make a tray is from an old frame. See how here! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

It looks pretty atop the antique cabinet I recently shared.

I covered the bottom in scrap fabric left over from my cabinet.

I added fabric to the bottom to hide the ugly.

It’s attached with Matte Mod Podge.

A super easy way to make a tray is from an old frame. See how here! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

The handles are from Hobby Lobby, purchased at 1/2 off.

Handles from Hobby Lobby

 

A super easy way to make a tray is from an old frame. See how here! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

 

A super easy way to make a tray is from an old frame. See how here! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

 

A super easy way to make a tray is from an old frame. See how here! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

 

A super easy way to make a tray is from an old frame. See how here! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

 

A super easy way to make a tray is from an old frame. See how here! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

I’ll be back tomorrow sharing what I did to this little cabinet:

Blue Bath Cabinet Before

UPDATE: See it HERE now!

XO,

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Comments

  1. The tray is awesome Christy! And what a nice touch to put fabric on the back. Now when I see deep wood frames I’ll know what can be done. There are a lot of them out there. Thanks!

  2. Love it Christy!!! Guess I will be saying that for the next 31 days! Lol

  3. Good morning always enjoy your blog to see what you have been up to, love it very creative !! enjoy your day!!

  4. HI Kristy…..LOVE your blog – thanks for all the inspiration! When you lightly sand your finished pieces, do you find that the paint smears a bit?

    • Thanks so much, Sue! I have had that trouble in the past, but not in a very long time. I have found that if I leave it to dry for several hours, and be careful not to put it on too thick, I don’t have issues with smearing.

  5. Yay!!!!! Day 1 of crazy!!! 😉 lol I can’t wait to see it all!! xoxo
    Nancy

  6. What did you do with the needlework????? I thought you incorporated it into the tray!

  7. I’ve been looking forward to this series! This project is one that I need to copy. I’m going to start looking for some framed art to do my own.

  8. Christy:

    That tray came out beautiful, I can’t wait to see all your projects!

  9. way cool. I love the stencil that you choose too!! And seriously, you can’t beat handles at the HL for 50% off!! BONUS!!! I refinished a dresser, and also found the perfect handles there!

  10. Very nice! I never thought of covering the bottom with fabric. I’ll have to try that. I love tray building! One of my boys is collecting sketches of tray designs to try as soon as it gets warm out. We did a bunch for Christmas gifts last year. People fight over those things! : )

    P.S. Soooo excited to have you do this March thing again! Thank you!

    • Thanks, Becky! Trays are perfect for gifts! I totally believe you when you say people fight over them, mine always sell right away in my booth. And I’m so excited for this month too!! XOXO

  11. I think I am going to do this idea to make a tray with one of my photographs in it!

  12. So happy that March has finally rolled around and we get to see all your fabulous projects! Love the tray and want to make some from frames I already have. I’ve had good luck selling trays in my booth, too. They are such a great base for vignettes and look great on a dining room table as part of a centerpiece. Thanks for sharing–looking forward to the rest of the month!

  13. Yay, it’s back!!! I so enjoyed this series last year Christy and I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us this year. Love the tray and talk about attention to detail adding fabric to the back.

    Oh Christy, since you did cross stitch in the past, adding a Christmas Tree to the top of that vintage truck would be fabulous for the holidays…just say’n *wink* *wink*

    • I am so excited March is finally here! I just love being able to share every day, if only I could keep it up after lol. And I was SO thinking holidays for that truck and in fact just replied that to a reader on FB!!!! Those cross stitched pieces are a lot of work and I would love to be able to reuse it! 🙂

  14. Becky P. says:

    LOVE your tray! My mind is racing on all the different ways/places I could use these. Really nice gifts too, I know my favorite gifts are ones that people made for me, it makes it special.

  15. Maggie M says:

    Great DIY Christy! Question: what is a Logan Point Driver? I’ll have to get one:)

    • Thanks, Maggie! The Logan Point driver is only one of my favorite tools ever! You know those little metal thingys that hold the backs of picture frames in place that you can bend back to pop out the photo? Those are “points” and the Logan point driver is what puts them in. Looks a bit like a staple gun, but perfect for making trays and chalkboards to keep the inserts in place. 🙂

  16. Love the tray! Can’t wait to see what you come up with for the entire month!

  17. Haaaa!!! I actually OWN this cross-stitch pattern! (Just to clarify, I’ve never made it, but I do HAVE it!)

    -andi

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