Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Handy, Homemade Tray

I have been searching for ages for a simple tray to put on the dining room table to hold the salt and pepper, napkins and water jug.  It needed to be small (22x18cm) and I wanted it to have reasonably high sides (about 5cm).  Every tray I found was either too big, had shallow sides or was just plain ugly. In the end I decided I would just have a go at making one.

I started with this:

and ended up with this:

It was actually a very easy project, and only took a few days.  Most of that time was waiting for glue to dry.  I started by gathering up my hoarded supply of thick cardboard.  You can find this thick cardboard on the back of some notebooks (it's about 2mm thick).  I used to work in an office where the weekly supply of payslips was delivered with this cardboard used as dividers.  I saved a huge stack of them, but now I'm down to my last three.

The next step was to cut two base pieces - I cut mine 22x18cm.  I smeared a thin coat of UHU All Purpose Glue on one side of each piece, waited 10 minutes, then stuck them together.  I used this method of glueing for all the box construction.

I then cut four pieces 18x5cm and four pieces 22.8x5cm.  The extra 8mm (the thickness of two layers of card) allows the corners to meet flush.  I then used the same glue method above to make two double thickness short sides and two double thickness long sides.

Once the sandwiched layers were dry, I added glue to the edges of the base and the sides, and glued them together.  Some masking tape on the corners held the box tight while it dried.

I now had a sturdy box, exactly the right size.  The next step was to make it pretty.  I used Decopatch supplies to cover the box.  I'm reasonably sure you could use regular wrapping paper, tissue paper or fabric and Modgepodge, but Decopatch is what I have readily available at my local craft store.  I started with these supplies.

Decopatch is very easy to do.  There's a tutorial on their website.  You just paint a thin layer of glue (the pink bottle) on a small patch of the item you're covering.  You then place a small piece of torn tissue paper (Decopatch recommend about a postage stamp sized piece) on the glue, and smooth it down with a very light coat of glue.  You keep applying tissue paper in this way, overlapping each piece, until the whole surface is covered.  I ended up doing two layers, as the box looked a little patchy with only one layer.  Once the box was thoroughly dry, I used the Satiny Sealing Varnish (the gold bottle) to paint two layers of varnish on the tray.

I now have a pretty and neat tray for all the things that live on our dining room table.  One of the best things about this project, was the cost.  The cardboard was free, I already had the Decopatch and UHU glues, and I just had to purchase four sheets of Decopatch paper (£4).

1 comment:

  1. Oh Katie, it's lovely. And blue like the ocean - my favorite color. And yay for UHU - best glue ever. Thank you for inviting me to come see!