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Tray Chic

Purple TrayThe best way to stay organized is open storage! (That’s right, I was so bold as to use the word best.) Compartmentalized, open storage (as shown above) is even better than best (bester?) Regardless of the words I decide to create in order to articulate my love affair with open storage, the point is that it totally rocks my world and I want it to rock yours too. So, let’s make a tray!

Necessary Supplies

Tray. Mod-Podge. Fabric. Paint. Primer. Paintbrush. Scissors.

Optional Supplies

Tape measure. Plexiglass. Scotch Guard.


NakedStep 1: Get a tray. Easy enough right? Mine was conveniently given to my daughter as packaging for maracas and castanets (thanks Grandma). Because I flat out stole mine, I had little choice regarding the material. But wood, metal or plastic are all viable options.

Note: If you are using a metal or plastic tray and you don’t plan to paint them, then skip steps 2 and 3.

Step 2: Sand out the rough spots to avoid future splinters (if necessary), measure your tray dimensions and prime.

Just purpleStep 3: Once the primer is dry, paint your tray your desired color. I only had to use one coat, but two may  be necessary if your wood has several grooves or chips.

Step 4: As your paint dries, find your fabric and cut it to the previously determined dimensions.

Note: This is the part where I cheated. The fabric I used was a fitted sheet that lost it’s mate. Because it was a sheet, the pattern was huge and super far apart so cutting a 14″ x 11″ rectangle wouldn’t do the pattern justice. I ended-up cutting squares of various sizes to overlap each other and give added visual interest. It worked for me, but it has a hippie-artsy look that isn’t as chic as a flat surface.

Step 5: Coat the floor of the tray with Mod-Podge from end-to-end and cover with fabric.

Fabric Lined

Step 6: This is where other preferences come in. As soon as my fabric was down and smooth, I Mod-Podged right over the fabric. It coats and waterproofs, but also gives it a course texture that is perfect for my style, but not as chic as other. Another option is to place your fitted plexiglass over the top of the material once it dries. It will look very clean and chic, but that also means you have to buy and cut plexiglass which requires more time, energy and money than I am willing to devote. The final option is to spray the top of your fabric with Scotch Guard. Scotch Guard will protect the fabric without having to cover it with a visual hindrance.

Step 7: Put it into play!

Load it up with necessities on a sick day...

Load it up with necessities on a sick day…

Or keep it in play all week long as the entryway catch-all.

Or keep it in play all week long as the entryway catch-all.


About Kristen Van Loon

My name is Kristen Van Loon and this is the chronicle of my search for *Oomf!* Not only have I deemed myself qualified to revamp, repair, refurnish and refine my house, but I also jump into any DIY project that my friends, co-workers, family and practical strangers stumble upon. I would love to tell you that this is my full-time job and my complete life mission, but I make my bread and butter elsewhere and raise a daughter (Olivia). I have some experience but no time, no formal training and no money. My only saving grace is that I love figuring things out, I’m great at improvising and I’m always inspired. For the record, some things that I do (play with electricity, for one) may seem risky, and some of them are. I will always tell you what I’ve done, but I won’t ever suggest things for you that aren’t safe. Even though I push the envelope, I am only marginally incompetent. If sources (father, my brain, Google) tell me not to do something then I usually won’t. But if I do try and it blows up in my face (figuratively or literally) you will hear all about it, and you hopefully won’t attempt it. At the end of the day, I hope to inspire you. Space-Lift isn’t just a blog, it’s a verb. It’s an action that brightens your surroundings by assaulting everything that needs improvement. Nothing is off limits, and all possibilities will be considered.

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  1. Pingback: Price Check « Space-Lift

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