This next idea is so easy, I'm sure that everyone has already thought of it, but I just finally had the chance to try it out for myself and my home.
I found this wooden tray at the thrift store last month and had big plans to pop off the handles to use for a frame tray like Patrice had made. But when I got home I realized that the wood was actually a beautiful oak, and I liked that it was round as opposed to a normal rectangular tray, so instead of just scrapping the base, I thought I'd just doctor it up a bit.
I considered painting the bottom like on the "Eat" tray that I made last week, but I wanted to keep it versatile since I hadn't decided on a definite location for it in the house. So I decided to make some inserts for it instead.
I cut a circle out of some cardboard and then cut a slightly larger circle out of some of this great fabric that matches my bathroom. I made little slits in the fabric and hot glued them down so that the fabric would overlap slightly and lay down flat.
I wiped down the tray with some dark walnut stain, which filled in the cracks and brought the whole thing back to life. Then I just popped in my insert for a bathroom version.
I have wanted to find a way to get the word "Welcome" into my guest room but didn't really want to commit a sign to the decor, and this project provided the perfect alternative. I found a font that I liked on my computer, printed the word "Welcome" in a few different sizes, and tried them on the tray to see which size I liked best. When I found my favorite, I got a neutral muslin fabric, cut it down to slightly larger than a piece of paper, sprayed it lightly with spray adhesive and stuck it to some card stock. I then ran it through the printer and let the printer do the work.
I can't even tell you how happy I was with this because there was NO STENCILING! And it turned out perfect!! Can you just imagine the possibilities for printing words and designs directly onto the fabric?! This is exactly what I was going for, but it turned out so well that my mind was just spinning over the possibilities.
[Edited to add: Thanks for the great response over the printing guys! I really don't have any secrets, but I will tell you what I did. I have an HP Inkjet Printer, and as to the settings, I simply made sure that it was not on the "fast print" option, which saves ink by using a lighter layer when printing. I also switched to a "print on card stock" option. Hope this helps!]
I wanted the "Welcome" to be off-center so that I could put other things on the tray when people are coming over: decorations, flowers, mints, hand towels, etc.
What do you think? It was incredibly easy, and another one of those projects that I wish I had done much earlier.
Do you have any trays in your home that could be spruced up with a little fabric?
I'm linking to some amazing parties this week, so stop by to see everyone's summertime projects! I'll see you next week with one last tray project, my favorite one!