Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Frame Tray

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!

Thanks for stopping by once again to see my new favorite thing.

I'll be linking to the CSI Favorite Things Project!



ClassyGal April 15, 2010 at 6:22 AM  

Hi Patrice,

Love your new coffee table decor! I'm in the process also to re-juvenate my living room, you just gave me a great idea!

Olivia April 15, 2010 at 6:31 AM  

Wow! I love your tray! That is fabulous and your living room is stunning! I know how you feel about it not feeling complete. I am convinced my living room needs $25 pillows from Target...alas my budget says no!

Tiffany April 15, 2010 at 6:48 AM  

Wow, Patrice! You never cease to amaze me! That tray is gorgeous and the idea is genius! I love it! It's beautiful and your living room - wow! Gorgeous, all of it, especially that little lady in the background! : )

Julie April 15, 2010 at 7:16 AM  

Very cute! I'll have to look for another place to put a tray now.

Unknown April 15, 2010 at 7:48 AM  


Jessica April 15, 2010 at 8:17 AM  

Patrice this is my top favorite and I'm becoming a copy cat.

Kristi April 15, 2010 at 8:28 AM  

This tray is so adorable. I can't wait to try this out for myself. Thanks for sharing the great idea.

Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas April 15, 2010 at 8:42 AM  


Lou Cinda :)

TBonesMom April 15, 2010 at 8:49 AM  

I love it! I have seen one that people put little objects underneath as an added personalization like a monogram or my sister Tiffany's case she might even use a number. :) Very cool idea though. I've already started making a list of what I'll look for at garage sales this spring/summer.

Rust: Vintage Inspired Design April 15, 2010 at 9:03 AM  

What a gorgeous tray you have created!
Happy day!

Danylle McLain April 15, 2010 at 10:03 AM  

What a GREAT idea! Thanks for inspiring me today!
Nana Moon Shop

Jen April 15, 2010 at 10:04 AM  

LOVE this idea! Might just have to try doing this craft someday.

Kari April 15, 2010 at 10:19 AM  

Patrice! I love this! I love the color combo and how it looks in your living room :)

The Charm of Home April 15, 2010 at 11:40 AM  

Absolutely wonderful! I would be excited about the way that turned out too! Great idea.

Sarah D April 15, 2010 at 11:55 AM  

What a wonderful idea, and it looks beautiful and right at home on your coffee table!

Sarah April 15, 2010 at 1:28 PM  

so so so so smart...I'm doing this when I have a few extra moments this summer!

Fawnda@Fireflies and Jellybeans April 15, 2010 at 1:36 PM  

Brilliant! I love the black and white! : )

Becca Ross April 15, 2010 at 1:48 PM  

This is great and so easy! I've been reading your blog since you started and I really love it! I hope you'll link up to my first ever linky party on Friday!!!

Amy April 15, 2010 at 2:17 PM  

You are absolutely amazing! I love it! :)

Erin A April 15, 2010 at 3:39 PM  

It looks really great! And hardly the classiest thing in there, I love that pillow in the background! Too cute.

Bibliochic April 15, 2010 at 5:33 PM  

that is simply beautiful! it looks so perfect in your home!! and to think it is a diy!!!! it would cost a fortune to buy one of those at pottery barn. thanks for sharing!

Anonymous April 15, 2010 at 7:02 PM  

Aha! I've been looking for a tray and haven't found one yet. Okay, yet another thing to add to my project list. Love it! Looks so great!

Morgan//Nuts and Bows April 15, 2010 at 8:03 PM  

Too cute! Love how this turned out great job!!

Check out my new


Meet Virginia!
Meet Virginia!
Meet Virginia!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions April 15, 2010 at 8:49 PM  

What a great frame for this project! It turned out great and I love the handles you added to the sides.

Unknown April 16, 2010 at 1:05 AM  

Simple and beautiful!

Maria Babin April 16, 2010 at 2:58 AM  

LOVE this. I'm going to need to find myself an old frame! Thanks for sharing!

Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures April 16, 2010 at 6:23 AM  

I have a tray that is going to be a part of a big projedt. I think I will add handles to it after seeing your great tray. Thanks for the idea. Love it.

Pati @ A Crafty Escape April 16, 2010 at 6:28 AM  

You did a great job- it looks so elegant. I love it!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style April 16, 2010 at 6:42 AM  

I love that frame tray and room is very pretty.

TidyMom April 16, 2010 at 8:31 AM  

I LOVE it!!

Thanks for linking up to I'm Lovin' It! Have a GREAT weekend!

Mellen April 16, 2010 at 8:38 AM  

you're perfect! i LOVE this!

ClassyGal April 16, 2010 at 9:14 AM  

Hi Patrice,

Thank your for your kind words on my blog. I really appreciate it! Have a great weekend!

fitty's pinky rose cottage April 16, 2010 at 9:28 AM  

i really like your tray.. the fabric you used just stands out..

Alicia@Thrifty And Chic April 16, 2010 at 10:22 AM  

I love making trays out of frames. I have tutorial on my blog on how to do it too :) Isn't it the best....and oh so easy! Yours turned out great!

Becca Ross April 16, 2010 at 12:00 PM  

Thank you so much for coming to my first linky party. I hope you'll come next week too! I love this project! You guys are so creative and I'm really enjoying the inspiration you provide!!!

FLOWERSHOPGURL April 16, 2010 at 12:22 PM  

I absolutely love your tray; it's something I have wanted to do as well. You may have just inspired me enough to get busy and do it and stop procrastinating. Thank you for sharing.

FrouFrouBritches April 16, 2010 at 12:25 PM  

Oh my gracious! That is the cutest thing ever. Best tray I've ever seen!

Unknown April 16, 2010 at 2:15 PM  

Love the tray, Patrice! How clever! Beautiful job!


The Single Nester April 16, 2010 at 4:28 PM  

Really lovely. There is so much you can do with a picture frame. I made a necklace organizer. You can check my archives.

M.O.T.B April 16, 2010 at 4:49 PM  

Very creative! A good tray is hard to find:)

kim west April 16, 2010 at 8:56 PM  

I love you...ALL! EVer project is beautiful and so fun! love love love them!

Stephanie Cameron April 17, 2010 at 1:19 AM  

Oooo...I really love this! I am obsessed lately with finding frames at second hand stores...and this is a fantastic use for one! It is on the to-do list!

Jen April 17, 2010 at 9:21 AM  

OHHH I am doing that! Adorable! Great work! Love your blog by the way! Smiles, JEN

Diane@InMyOwnStyle April 17, 2010 at 11:33 AM  

Hi Patrice -

I think the black and white theme looks wonderful in your room, the green glass vase really adds the pop. What a great look.

Ali @ Honey and Maple Syrup April 17, 2010 at 1:44 PM  

What a great idea...I think I might just have to try that!

Pretty Little Things for Home & Life April 17, 2010 at 10:28 PM  

This turned out great! Thanks for the tips about mounting the glass on the exterior.

I'll have to try this one soon.

Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming April 18, 2010 at 10:22 AM  

Love this! Genius idea using the frame! I really need to make one of these! Simply fabulous!!

I {heart} Nap Time April 18, 2010 at 2:07 PM  

you girls have done it again! super cute! i'd love to see it at our sundae scoop

Maria Babin April 18, 2010 at 4:29 PM  

Patrice, I did it! I did it! Come see it on my blog
I LOVE the way it turned out and it's just what my living room needed too!

Kaysi April 18, 2010 at 9:35 PM  

WOW! What an awesome idea!

Yvonne @ StoneGable April 18, 2010 at 9:42 PM  

Hi Patrice,
Your frame tray is really very very beautiful and upscale! I have been looking for a tray- I will now be looking for a frame. This is better than any tray I've seen on the market. Kudos to you on a fabulous job!

The Shiny Pebble April 18, 2010 at 10:43 PM  

This tray looks fabulous and you should be excited about it. And I love the wall of books in the last picture.

Cynthia@ITLLDO April 19, 2010 at 7:21 AM  

What a great idea! and I do so love the black and white checked fabric. I have some black and white toile that I am just going to have to use to borrow your idea.

Ocean April 19, 2010 at 7:26 AM  

LOVE this idea!!!! :)

Julie April 19, 2010 at 11:22 AM  

I love the black and white check. Great addition to the room. Thanks for sharing with Made it Monday! Jules

Maggie Lamarre April 19, 2010 at 12:41 PM  

The gingham is so elegant, I luv the whole look.

Unknown April 19, 2010 at 9:11 PM  

Awesomeness! I love what you did! This really looks great.


CourtneyKeb April 19, 2010 at 9:55 PM  

I totally just had a "duh" moment.
you know one of those "why didn't I think of that" kind of things.
Genius, and super cute!!!

Patricia L April 20, 2010 at 6:31 AM  

I've been wanting to make one of these for a looooooooong time. Yours turned out great!
{Found you via Tip Junkie}

Anonymous April 20, 2010 at 9:31 PM  

Absolutely adorable idea - and you did it so cute!!! Followed you from PPOP.

Christina April 20, 2010 at 11:29 PM  

Love this idea! Will be looking for a chunky frame tomorrow at Goodwil! :)

Erin@The Phillips Fam April 20, 2010 at 11:33 PM  

So adorable! Love it!!

Kristy Carberry April 20, 2010 at 11:36 PM  

I absolutely love this idea! I think I might have to try this myself. Thank you for sharing!

Laurie in SC April 21, 2010 at 6:37 AM  

Terrific job!

Alix April 21, 2010 at 9:10 AM  

What a great idea! I've seen trays redone but never made new from a frame! Thanks for the clever craft!

Dena Pickle April 21, 2010 at 9:21 AM  

this is my second trip over to see your frame tray! It is sooo gorgeous, I love it. I'm off to find a great frame to try this with!
Thanks you so much for the inspiration!
Sweet Pickles and Chocolate

Sixty-Fifth Avenue April 21, 2010 at 10:38 AM  

Where do I start?! This is FABULOUS! And I adore your living room, everything about it, I want to see more! I will be making one of these, thanks for the tutorial!
New follower.

Unknown April 21, 2010 at 10:56 AM  

This would be such a great Mother's Day gift... I'll have to search through my stash to see if there are any large frames in there. :)
We have a Friday Fun Finds party (on Fridays, of course)... If you're interested, we'd love it if you'd link up this week!

Stacey April 21, 2010 at 7:12 PM  

I love the tray, I love the room. It is all SO cute!! I am featuring this as part of 'Look at me, I'm SO Crafty!' Party at Fun to Craft. Thanks for linking up! Come by and snag a featured button.

Niki Jolene April 21, 2010 at 10:49 PM  

Hi there! Niki here, from over at Free 2 Be Frugal, stopping by from Works for Me Wednesday.

I love your post! I am always loving the trays all the bloggers turn up at thrift shops but seem to come up empty handed on my travels, too. Neat alteration!

Stop by and visit me when you get the chance.


Christy April 21, 2010 at 11:44 PM  

This tray is amazing! I'm so glad you shared your idea. :O)

Helena April 22, 2010 at 11:52 AM  

This is a WONDERFUL idea! It's so pretty. And mounting the glass on top is genius.

Thank you for linking this to A Little Craft Therapy, with Life in the Pitts.

avisiontoremember April 23, 2010 at 1:12 AM  

That is super cute! I would love for you to come and link up at check me out saturdays

Helena April 23, 2010 at 3:23 AM  

This is so awesome, I had to feature it.

Unknown April 26, 2010 at 9:36 AM  

i love it!!

Krista @ Craving Some Creativity April 26, 2010 at 3:47 PM  

I am definitely trying this!! Awesome!

Miss Mustard Seed April 28, 2010 at 12:17 PM  

That frame looks so pretty made into a tray. Wonderful work! And I think your living room looks lovely. The colors are soothing and the furnishings and accessories are very chic.

Jackie the Junk Junkie April 30, 2010 at 11:12 AM  

Oh I love it! Repurposing projects are so much fun. I found your blog through a link on Black Kat Designs and I'm glad I did. Great Stuff!!

Kat @ Black Kats Design May 1, 2010 at 11:58 AM  

You were caught being creative and were featured on Black Kats Design Fab Friday Favorites. Stop on by, grab a button and show off!


Salty Gal September 14, 2010 at 11:09 AM  

I've been meaning to share your idea for quite some time. I posted about it today:

Cristie December 29, 2010 at 6:57 PM  

Great idea! Thanks for sharing your talents.

Unknown June 20, 2012 at 11:59 AM  


Unknown June 20, 2012 at 11:59 AM  


Ginny @ July 9, 2012 at 12:05 PM  

Just wanted to let you know that I featured your idea on my Facebook page. I LOVE it! Thanks for the inspiration. :)

Unknown September 14, 2012 at 5:20 PM  

Hi there, thank you so much for this post! I just wanted to let you know that I've featured this in my top 10 list of projects with frames. Hope you can stop by ;-)

Erica D. January 30, 2013 at 8:23 PM  

This is gorgeous!! I just saw it on pinterest and I am linking you tomorrow in a post on my blog! Thanks for the inspiration!!

A Happy Havanese March 14, 2013 at 7:14 PM  

A couple years later after this post and you are still getting likes! Love this! Great job!

Eva Mari May 5, 2013 at 4:14 AM  

Loving it! :) I have linked to your blog on a sewing online site I belong to in Norway! No sewing just here but fabrics will NOT be a problem...:D

Best regards from Eva Mari

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