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!

UPDATE: Check out my Gallery Wall challenge HERE!



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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!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed this post, Catherine! I bet your Grandmother’s trays are beautiful, and I’d love to find a mirrored tray to add to my own collection. 🙂

  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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