Thursday, June 20, 2013

Simple DIY tray

Today my sister came over to help me babysit Emily for a few hours and I was able to get some house projects started. I bought gorgeous leather for the coffee table. Now I just need to figure out how many buttons I want. Today I dropped by Joanns and they have a 40% off coupon (which is common) and a 30% off everything coupon stackable with the other coupon. The leather that I bought was expensive ($35 a yard). I had to buy two yards but with a 40% off coupon it wasn't too terrible. Total for the leather alone was $42. Its expensive but I didn't have the time to look at other options and I needed other supplies. I also bought craft cover buttons. Lastly, I bought two yards of blue outdoor decor fabric to reupholster my dining chairs. Our dining room chairs are a dark brown with light beige microfiber on the seat cushion. I've decided to give them a fun twist and reupholster the seat cushion with outdoor decor fabric. I really try to make everything in our home toddler proof as much as possible. I figured outdoor fabric is easy to clean and hopefully can withstand our Emily.

Here are the goodies that I bought today. The blue fabric is going to be used to reupholster my chairs. I think it will add a fun twist to our boring traditional chairs.

Its hard to capture the true color of the leather. Its really soft and feels like high quality leather. I think its really vinyl but looks just like leather. Its a dark expresso color. 

These are the buttons I plan to use to add tufting to the coffee table. 

Enough about all the goodies that I bought. Today while painting the fireplace white, I remembered I had a thrift store tray that I bought a while ago that needs to be refinished. Its a cheap and simple project that anyone can do. After purchasing my tray I realized that you can buy an unfinished tray at Michaels for $4. The tray at Michaels is a much smaller tray but still a good enough size to add to your home decor.

Here is the thrift store tray sitting on our nightstand in the master bedroom. Its the prefect size for that spot but the color was off and it felt old and beat up.

While painting my fireplace I had a little bit of left over white paint so I painted the tray also. I didn't even bother to paint the bottom and the inside of the tray. The bottom won't really be seen and the inside will be covered with decorative contact paper. 

After the first coat dried, I knew the paint job was still blotchy and needed another coat for better coverage. I didn't use primer and went from a dark color to light so there was some bleed through. I was too lazy to bring out the paint brush for the second coat so I used my handy white spray can to finish the tray off. I just went into our spare room, laid a bunch of advertisement on the floor and sprayed my heart away. It took me about ten minutes to spray everything. 

Once the paint was somewhat dried I brought out my beloved blue decorative contact paper. I bought it for Emily's giant toy storage project but haven't had the chance to use it. Thats another great thing about DIY projects, I have lots of left over supplies for other projects. I used a measuring tape to get exact measurements inside of the tray and cut the contact paper. Contact paper is great because it has grid lines for easier cutting. 

I came across a huge problem while doing this project. For some odd reason the paint dried very sticky. I'm pretty sure the paint dried sticky because of the existing seal/paint/coating on the tray. I've used my white paint with the spray paint and have had excellent results so I know its not the paint. For now I've completed the project but will be leaving it outside to air dry for the next few days to see if it will cure. If it still dries sticky then I can still use it because I only put stuff on the contact paper not the painted parts. 

***Update: My tray finally dried properly after two full days. I love that when it dried, it became very glossy. I have a white nightstand that was painted with a matte texture so the difference in texture made it nicer. 

Here are pictures of my DIY tray. I had to take the pictures outside of my bedroom because we don't have enough light in there. 

Review of the DIY tray: Its a great project for anyone who wants to tackle DIY for fun. I already had most of the supplies so it was a very low cost project. The only thing I really had to buy was a tray. I plan to make at least two more trays for my house so at $4 a tray I'll spend $12 for three trays. I think similar decorative wood trays usually run around $20 each at home goods so its a pretty fast and affordable project for me. Total length of time for the tray was about half an hour. It took me under ten minutes each time to paint/spray the tray. There is down time because you have to wait for the paint to dry in between coats. It took me literally five minutes to cut the contact paper to fit the tray. 

List of supplies and cost breakdown: 
contact paper (I purchased mines at Marshalls) $5 You can get contact paper at Walmart also but its not as cute as Marshalls. 
wood tray (can be purchased at Michaels) $4
spray paint if you are lazy to bring out the paint brushes $4
Tape measure (not required)

Here's a before and after 

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