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November 11, 2020

Thanksgiving DIY Project: Bamboo Tray Transformation

By Corina Patterson

Happy November, fellow ReStore shoppers. It’s Sarah of again, with a new upcycling project idea to share with you!

To celebrate the month known for gratitude and Thanksgiving, I decided to create a double-duty project. Not only is it a decorative tray to leave out for snacks and drinks during the holiday season, but it can also be used as a stenciled sign! Speaking of which, I also wanted to do a stenciling project for you in case you’ve been itching to try your hand at it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Bamboo tray or other piece of wood (such as a cutting board or table leaf)
  • Spray paint (or regular paint and brush)
  • Decorative stencil
  • Craft paint(s)
  • Stencil brush(es)
  • Other typical stenciling supplies (painter’s tape, paper towel or rag, and paper plate)
  • Clear topcoat (spray or brush on)

Safety first!

Make sure you have a safe, well-ventilated space to use your spray paint and topcoat.

Bamboo Trays at Charlotte Region ReStore

To Get Started on the Bamboo Tray Transformation:

Shop for your  tray/sign piece at the Charlotte Region ReStore. It could be a wooden tray, a large cutting board, a piece of salvaged wood, a cabinet door, or even a spare table leaf! (I found this tray in a stack of bamboo trays at the Wendover ReStore and selected the cleanest one!)

Pro Tip: In addition to 7 locations in the Charlotte region, you can now shop for items online! Filled with all sorts of unique items, you never know what you will find at!

After cleaning or wiping down your bamboo tray or other flat item, paint it for a fresh, clean surface. I chose a pale cream that I knew would allow my stenciling to “pop”.

Allow paint to dry thoroughly.

Purchase a stencil that is sized to fit your future sign.

Pro Tip:
If you buy a stencil online, you can often buy different sizes and/or order a specific size that best fits your piece.

If you’ve never stenciled before, I’ll take you through the process!
Center your stencil on your painted tray and carefully fix it in place with painter’s tape. Squeeze a little craft paint onto a paper plate. Dab your stencil brush in the paint and then wipe off 99% of the paint on a paper towel or rag. I know that sounds silly, but the secret to sharp stenciling is VERY LITTLE PAINT on a NEARLY DRY STENCIL BRUSH. Now, you can either swirl your stencil brush over the stencil or “stipple” it, which are short, up-and-down taps over the stencil. Either method is fine! Just make sure to keep your stencil brush nearly dry and use the fingers on your other hand to hold down the stencil as you swirl/stipple over it. That, too, will help keep your stenciling sharp and clean!

Allow the stenciled paint to dry (should be almost instantaneous since you’re using so little paint) and then carefully remove the painter’s tape and stencil.

Spray or brush on a clear topcoat to protect your hard work and enjoy your new project!

Stencil on tray
Thanksgiving Tray

Happy Thanksgiving!

This adorable tray goes perfect with just about any decor, especially if you are into shabby-chic or farmhouse chic. Use it on a shelf or wall as a reminder for the the things which you are thankful or for serving appetizers (we’re thankful for those, too)!

I hope you feel more confident about trying a stenciling project if you’ve been holding out. I was SO NERVOUS about trying it the first time, too, so I definitely understand! But now I love it and use it on lots of makeovers and upcycling projects. Practice makes perfect, and I promise you- it’s easier than you think!

Are you feeling this DIY for Thanksgiving decorating? We would love to see your Thanksgiving trays and signs! Take a snap and tag us ( @cltregionrestore and @sadieseasongoods ) with the hashtag #ReStoreThanksgiving

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