Make a Vintage-Inspired Decoupage Wooden Tray
A Great Craft for Scrapbook Collages
Wooden trays are a fun, affordable, and easy way to showcase your favorite styles of décor from traditional to vintage decoupage looks. Trays come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Many styles come in stack-able sets.
These trays can be given as gifts, used as a "catch all" for mail and keys, used as serving trays for a child's tea set, displayed on an easel, or used to hold bathroom soaps and washcloths. Each tray costs as little as $5 each to create and can be a great housewarming or holiday gift.
- One unfinished wooden tray in any size
- One 2 oz. bottle of colored acrylic paint in your favorite color
- One paintbrush. (I prefer to use foam brushes on wood)
- One sheet of scrapbook paper to fit inside the tray as lining
- Decoupage Spray Gloss Sealer
- Craft glue
- Embellishments (stickers, butterflies, flowers, or anything else you wish to add)
Using the brush, paint the tray in any color you desire. I do not paint the bottom of the tray so it stays smooth when the scrapbook paper is applied. Let the paint dry. If you wish, you can add a matte or gloss spray finish to the tray when it is dry.
Cut the paper to fit the bottom of the tray.
To avoid wrinkling of the scrapbook paper, wet the back of it with a sponge before gluing it into the bottom of the tray.
Apply a light thin coat of Decoupage Gloss Sealer to the bottom of the tray. Make sure there are not bumps or bubbles in the sealant.
Lay the paper carefully into the tray. Add a light coat of decoupage spray to the top of the paper and let it dry.
Add your desired embellishments to your tray. You can add beads, butterflies, flowers, or anything you like.
Enjoy your tray!
How to Refinish an Antique Wooden Tray
If you happen to have an authentic wooden tray, these can also be used to create a vintage serving tray. If you are not satisfied with the original finish, you can give it a new one. You must first completely remove the original finish. The best way to do this is to coat the tray with a chemical paint and varnish stripper.
After applying paint and varnish stripper, cover the tray with plastic and let it sit overnight. These chemicals are very strong and this must be done outside and you must wear gloves when using these chemicals.
Next, use a small delicate scraper to remove the paint and varnish. If you coated it well and let it sit overnight, all paint and varnish should scrape off with ease.
Next, you must sand the tray to return the smooth, natural finish. For delicate items, a sanding block with a 220 grain works wonders. Sand the tray until the natural wood shines through. You must wipe it carefully and remove all dust and materials before painting. You are now ready to decorate your tray.
Stripping Wood Antiques for Painting
How to Refinish a Metal Tray
To refinish and prepare a metal tray for a new finish and decoupage décor, the old finish must be removed. This can be done by first scrubbing the tray with cleanser to remove accumulated dirt. Next, the existing finish must be sanded off of the tray. (Chemical removers will damage the metal in the tray and should not be used). A rougher grade of sandpaper must be used to remove paint and varnish from metal. A palm sander would be a great tool to remove paint and varnish.
After sanding the metal tray, wipe it with a wet cloth to remove all dust particles or the new finish will be flawed.
You will need to cover the clean metal with metal primer spray from any hardware store. You will want to spray an oven coat on the entire tray. Keep the can 10 inches from the tray while spraying to avoid bubbles and runs. Apply two coats of primer and let the tray dry.
You are ready to decorate your tray. Spray paint is a great way to add a base color to the tray. The top can then be decorated with vintage decoupage or with a stenciled vintage design.