Frame Tray Idea

There is just something about my living room that I can’t get “just right.” I am constantly adding or subtracting items. Don’t get me wrong, I mean in the interest of full disclosure, I absolutely love the colors and feel of the room. It just seems like something is always missing. I’ve tried to convince my husband that what is really missing is fresh flowers, though he seems to have discovered an “angle” on that ploy. I decided this week that the newest thing we REALLY needed was a good coffee table display, so I went to work and came up with this…

TA DA! The frame tray! I am admittedly a little over excited about this one. I guess maybe because it started like this..

While perusing goodwill searching for a cast off tray, I came up empty handed. I really wanted something that I could jazz up a little to get just the right elegant look. There wasn’t one tray to be had. So, I went for an old frame instead.

This is what I did:
I painted the frame white to offset my black coffee table. I was wrestling with whether or not to paint it black, but I liked the contrast the white provided.

Next, I went with some old cast iron drawer handles that I picked up for $2.99 each. (Please don’t cringe, I wasn’t too pleased with the price either, but they were perfect for what I wanted and I was too anxious to wait around for a sale!)

I attached the handles with shallow screws. Once attached, I painted the screws black to blend with the cast iron handles.

For the picture insert, I batted and covered the original cardboard backing with a cute black gingham fabric that is a theme throughout my house (using hot glue). This gave the insert a raised, cozy look that I was very pleased with. I like the texture the batting provided.

I then simply put the insert in place, attaching with hot glue to make it more sturdy. There were already metal tabs to hold it in, so the hot glue was just extra security. (Not pictured, I covered the unsightly cardboard showing through with extra fabric. I mean, who looks at the bottom of a tray right? But, just in case…)

This was the temporary look, before the glass was added. At this point I was getting really excited!Now, this is the part that I discovered made the frame the PERFECT bones for a serving/ display tray: The Glass. I decided to mount the glass on top of the frame for a couple of reasons. First, it protected the batted fabric without smashing it. Second, it made the tray a lot sturdier because I don’t have to worry about heavy objects pushing the insert out. (Try it and you’ll see what I mean!) I simply mounted the glass with a dot of hot glue in each corner. Good thing it is clear so it wasn’t too obvious at all.

I never get too excited about my projects until I really see how useful they are to me or others, but I am loving this one. I have decided that even if it proves inconvenient, I will always love it. I am totally going to judge this book by its cover. 🙂

Now, here is my new problem. This $4.00 frame is now the classiest thing in my funky little living room. Hmmmmm, this could create new decorating obsessions, should I be worried? Well, maybe my husband should be…


Well, I guess we shouldn’t worry too much. The two little monkeys in the background I’m sure will bring me back to reality and remind me that I don’t live in a magazine. And that is just the way I like it!



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