Wednesday, December 11, 2013

DIY Serving Tray

This week my husband and I teamed up for a craft project: a DIY serving tray! Power tools were involved, so of course he wanted to be involved. And I loved having him help out, even if he did over-engineer things a bit (I mean, seriously. Was epoxy really necessary instead of Wood Glue? I think not.). I was looking for a way to use a beautiful piece of fabric from Sew Fine Fabric, so when I saw this photo on Pinterest, an idea was born!

I'm really thrilled with how the finished product turned out!  I think it will be a fun, versatile piece to have in our kitchen! It can be used for serving drinks at a dinner party, displaying decanters and pretty glassware, serving a pot of tea and tea cups, delivering breakfast in bed, or setting out cheeses or snacks at a cocktail party. If you're curious about trying to make one of your own, here's what we did!
Framed Clear Dry Erase Board (or a wooden picture frame)
Fabric (similar prints here and here)
Measuring Tape
Foam Board
Utility Knife
2 Cabinet Handles and screws (be sure to buy screws that will not exceed the thickness of the tray)
Sand Paper
Masking Tape
Black Semi-Gloss Spray Paint

1. Measure the inner surface of the back of the frame. Cut the fabric (with scissors) and foam board (with the utility knife) to fit.
2.Measure the outer surface of the frame. Cut the plywood to fit using the utility knife. Sand the edges such that they are smooth.
3. Sand the back of the frame with sand paper in order to help the epoxy adhere.

4. Ensure that the glass or clear plastic is clean and then insert the piece of fabric such that it shows through the front of the frame, and insert the foam board behind the fabric. The foam board should be flush with the frame. (If foam board is too thick for your frame, you could try using a foam sheet or a thin piece of cardboard).

5. Apply epoxy to the back of the frame, and place the piece of plywood on top, ensuring that it is properly aligned. Apply firm pressure until the epoxy cures (ours took 10 minutes).
6. Measure the length and width of the frame so that you can center your handles. Mark the hole locations, and using a drill, drill a hole for each handle screw, sanding away any excess material left by the drill. Install the handles to ensure that they fit properly.
7. Using masking tape and newspaper, mask the glass or plastic surface on the top of the tray to protect the top from spray paint.
8. Remove the handles, and sand the entire surface of the frame and the back of the tray with sand paper to help the paint adhere.

9. Use a coat hanger to hang the tray by one of the screw holes somewhere outside where you can spray paint. We used a tree branch in the backyard.
10. Let the paint dry. Once it's dry, remove the masking tape and paper and re-install the handles.

11. Ta da! You're done! All that's left to do now is to enjoy your pretty new tray!

Bonus: Since this was made from a dry erase board, it can be written on with dry erase markers to label drinks, cheese, etc. At a dinner party, you could write out a "Signature Cocktail" recipe to go along with the bottles on the tray. Or you could write cute little statements like "Cheers!"

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