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DIY serving tray transformation

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This is another thrift store find that I think I paid only $5 for. Sorry I don't have a 'before pic', but I completed this project way before I even dreamed of having a blog.

This tray was just your basic wooden tray when I got my hands on it. You can't tell from this photo, but it's actually quite large. I love to use large accent pieces when I stage or decorate because it helps balance your smaller accessories and displays a nice aesthetic appeal.

I began this project because of my introduction to Mod Podge. I just couldn't believe how professional the final results looked! I guess for years I pictured those paper mache projects we all did in grade school, so I never even gave it a shot... until I saw a friend's home decor display at our church's ladies group gathering. (Check out Jessica over at, she has some amazing stuff!)
So I had this $5 tray, a new bottle of Mod Podge, and a roll of clearance wrapping paper that I picked up at Target. Oh -- and if they still sold this paper design today, I would go back and buy like 10 rolls!

First, I laid out my paper on the tray and cut my piece to size using an X-Acto knife. Then, I used a small paint brush to cover the bottom of the tray with Mod Podge. Next, I positioned my paper and smoothed it out with my hands. I also used the brush again to apply a layer of Mod Podge on top in order to seal and smooth everything out.
This is when I got my hands dirty. I took off my ring and stuck my fingers in the glue that I had just spread on top of the paper (you'll want to smooth out any bubbles that are left underneath). Craft stores actually sell special tools for this step, but I found that my hands worked just fine! Notice the wrinkles and folds in the photo above? It's because I used a thin wrapping paper opposed to a thicker scrapbook paper. Take note that this will happen if you use a thin paper. It can also very easily tear because the thin paper is so wet, so be sure to handle it gently. However, I found that I liked this look! I planned on aging the paper in the next step so I didn't mind the wrinkles at all. I think it actually turned out looking better with a little texture.
After everything is smoothed just how you like it and there are no bubbles underneath, you'll need to let it sit to dry until the top layer is completely clear and where it is hard to the touch.

Once it dried completely (I believe this took a couple hours), I watered down some brown craft paint and applied it randomly so that it took on a worn, aged look. I really liked how the brown clung to the wrinkled/textured areas. Let dry and voilà, you have now transformed a basic tray into a work of art!
Remember that it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.

One more thing, I just want to say thanks to the sites who featured me in the past week. I hadn't dreamed of this little ole blog becoming so popular, let alone in just the first week. Buttons are posted below if you'd like to check out their sites. They all have great articles and inspiration to glean from!

Lots of love,

CRAPTASTIC Boogieboard Cottage

I am linked up here:

Making Monday Marvelous Linky Party Boogieboard Cottage Keeping It Simple Sumo's Sweet Stuff Organize and Decorate Everything Beyond The Picket Fence Somewhat Simple


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