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July 19, 2021

Upcycled Summer Drink Tray

By Sarah Ramberg

Hey there, it’s Sarah of Sadie Seasongoods again, with a new upcycling idea to share.

In my previous project tutorial, I upcycled some clear glass pieces into coastal candleholders. Not only was it a summery project, but glassware is SO PLENTIFUL at all of the Habitat Charlotte Region ReStores. And today, I’m sticking to that “easy to find” theme by upcycling some metal trays. Shiny silver is a little stodgy for my tastes, so I’m giving a couple of stuffy trays a colorful makeover to use on our back patio this summer!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Silver trays in any shape or size (Hint- The Wendover ReStore has a GREAT selection, but all stores have a good variety)
  • Primer and Spray Paint
  • Fabric that coordinates with your spray paint color(s) (A ¼” yard should work for most trays, but get a ½” yard if your tray is larger or you want to make several with the same fabric pattern.)
  • Scrap paper, pencil, and scissors
  • Straight pins or masking tape
  • Iron and Ironing board (Optional, if needed)
  • Decoupage glue and small paint brush
  • Spray-on topcoat or sealant

Safety first!
For any spray painting that you do, make sure you have a well-ventilated area to work in.

Here’s how I made these Summer Drink Trays

  • Head to one of our ReStore locations and scout out some metal trays. I found a TON at the Wendover store, but I’ve seen them at every single ReStore.
  • Gather some spray paint and fabric that work well together. Since you don’t need much fabric, check the remnants bins at fabric stores to stay on budget.
Silver trays at the Wendover ReStore
Spray paint and fabric supplies for the tray project
Paper pattern for tray project

  • First, set your tray on some scrap paper and use a pencil to trace the portion that touches the paper. Cut out your tracing and trim it to fit the inside of your tray. Then, set it aside while you paint your trays.
  • Set up a spray painting station in a well-ventilated area (outdoors is best). I gave each of my trays a light coat of white primer and then spray painted them in bright colors after the primer had dried.

  • While the paint dried, I then used the paper pattern that I had cut out previously to cut out my coordinating fabric. I set my paper pattern on the portion of the fabric that I wanted to use and pinned it in place (masking tape would work, as well). Then I cut out my fabric insert.
  • If needed, iron your fabric inserts to make sure they are nice and smooth! Trust me, you’ll regret it later if they’re wrinkled and you skip this step.

  • Once the painted tray was perfectly dry, I gathered my ironed fabric insert, some decoupage glue, and a paint brush.
  • I brushed on a full coat of decoupage glue directly on the tray’s surface. Moving quickly, I laid the fabric insert over the glue and smoothed out any wrinkles with my fingers. Then, I brushed on another coat of decoupage glue over the top of the fabric.
  • I let my trays dry overnight. Then, I lightly sprayed a clear topcoat over them for protection!
Fabric and tray ready to assemble
Decoupaging upcycled ReStore trays

Time to Kick Back Outside!

Are you loving this splashy makeover for a summer drink tray? Take a snap and tag us (@cltregionrestore and @sadieseasongoods) with the hashtag #ReStorePatioLife. We can’t wait to see!

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