Tray-ed ya!

I don’t know about you, but, when I craft, I completely take over some part of the house. I take my gigantic mass of supplies and just spread them all over dining room tables, floors, couches, or whatever else is handy (or currently empty).

But, while this method may make perfect logical sense to me, it may not always improve relations with those with whom I live.  So, having a portable craft station that’s easy to relocate when I’m ready to take a break can be of tremendous help.

Take for example, the above tray.  It is just about the perfect size for a half-done crocheted hat, a skein of yarn, and an instructional pattern book. And when it’s time to stop doing your craft project for a little while, you can just pick up the tray and you’re off to your next destination. And then people can actually eat at the dining room table.

Also, the tray itself can even BE a craft project. To see how I made the above tray, please keep on readin’…

To make the alphabet tray, I found an unfinished wooden tray at A.C. Moore (on sale!) and painted it with acrylic paint (the cheap kind works just fine). Then I let it dry.

After that, I used matte-finish Mod Podge to decoupage on some ABC scrapbooking stickers I found on clearance at Michael’s craft store. Scrapbooking stickers and other scrapbooking supplies go on sale all the time, so if you see something you like, grab it!  Right after the big holidays, many seasonal leftovers go on sale.

Note: I placed the stickers into the tray before really gluing them, just so I could figure out the proper placement. The stickers’ own adhesive wouldn’t really have kept them attached to the tray for very long, but it kept them relatively in place while I figured out where I thought things should go. Once I knew where I wanted everything, I glued the stickers down with the Mod Podge. After gluing each sticker, I held it down for 30-45 seconds. Make sure you stick down the edges really well!

Once I had glued all the stickers down, I painted on top of them with Mod Podge to seal them. I took extra care to get some of the glue underneath the edges of the stickers just to keep them extra protected. I also painted the Mod Podge all over the rest of the tray. When it was dry, I gave the whole tray a 2nd coat with the Mod Podge. If you want to use some other kind of decoupage medium, or some other sealer for the tray, go right on ahead. Use what you’ve got I say. Please just make sure that whatever materials you use are compatible with the type of paper/stickers you are decoupaging. You don’t want the glue to distort the colors or images in your stickers or paper.

That said, I am sure that there are many other variations you could do on this project. If you wanted to make a collaged scene at the bottom of the tray, for example, I am sure that that would look nice. And you could possibly even recycle some pictures from magazines for that purpose. Please keep in mind though, that if you plan to do beading projects or other intricate work on this tray, you may not want to make the bottom of the tray too busy. It might camouflage tiny dropped beads or other objects.

But you don’t just have to use the tray for crafts either. You could serve guests with it, or a lucky loved one on a special day.

Seeing as this particular tray features the alphabet, you could even use something like this as a learning tool for a child. This ABC set features a Quahog for Q (stay proud Rhode Island!) a narwhal for N, an Urchin for U, and some kind of fish for X. Anyone know what word that might be? Because I sure couldn’t figure it out.

But anyway, I hope that all of you locals enjoyed the fantastic sunny weather this weekend, and that everyone else is having a great start to Spring! I myself may sit in front of the tv for a while…


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