upcycled tray project

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The idea first came to me for this project last summer, when Chris and I had a couple of childfree hours to spend in Dorchester, while his parents looked after our children. We had a lovely coffee and then he stayed and read books and I went and had a wander around the charity shops. Being a well to do town, the charity shops are GOOD in Dorchester. I could have picked up lots more, but I had big plans for these two trays when I saw them, all yellowing and old, but with great floral images. I saw the potential. And it’s only taken me nearly a year to get the project done and show it to you!

Here’s what you need:

An old tray with a flower pattern on ( or actually any cool old pattern? I’m imagining horses?!)

Acrylic Paints in the palette of your choosing, the better quality they are the less layers you’ll have to paint.

Modpodge & some paint brushes.

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I say this on every blog I write, but this is a really simple project. You just need to start painting over the existing pattern. Now how careful you are about this is up to you and your temperament! I started off being quite careful, but gradually relaxed and started to be a bit freer with me brushstrokes and I prefer that painterly look. I would start with picking out a colour on the tray and identifying where that appears all over the tray, then repainting it all with the same colour. If you’ve got the patience to keep using that technique then I salute you, I got a base layer on, and then just started free-styling it. I think you can still see the floral pattern? I think it just looks more up to date, less twee.

I really enjoyed building up the layers, and doing a bit, then coming back the next day and adding a bit more. I bought a neon pink paint which really brightened up my colour palette. The trick is to just keep going, layering and layering until you are happy with the look.

With the second tray I did (not the one mainly pictured above) I used a bit less paint, it took me a lot less time, and it’s a slightly different look but I still like it. So you don’t have to spend hours on this, it could definitely be a daytime project, or a couple of evenings to allow for drying.

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So now to bring in my favourite craft supply ever. What can you not do with Mod Podge?! I wanted to seal the trays so I could use them, obvs. I have no idea whether this is food safe?! Sorry about that. I’m taking the risk!

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Just spread mod podge evenly over the trays, doesn’t need to be very thick. And leave to dry. And there you have it, transformed! I love the feeling I get when a project i’ve dreamt up gets completed. It’s like a sigh of relief that it’s no longer in my head anymore! Let me know if you give this a go!

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