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An Old Frame Becomes a New Tray

It all started awhile back when I stopped at my go-to thrift store in my little corner of the world. I scored big on a few things including two of these frames which were $4 each. That’s a bit more than I usually pay for frames (really, Col?) but these are so pretty with so much detail and even though I don’t usually gravitate toward gold, I kinda liked it.
We used 1/4 sheet plywood to make the back and tacked it on with wood glue and finishing nails. Then I gave it a few coats of homemade chalk paint.
I decided to stencil a leaf pattern on the front with brown paint and then went over it with a gold paint pen. I also used the paint pen on the edges of the plywood because it was really light, almost white, wood to start with. The gold paint blends right in with the frame.
For the handles I lucked out!! I found a bag of these gold handles for $1.50 at the same thrift store I got the frames at. I have used them on a few projects (more posts to come). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it PAYS to dig through the junk bins if you have time! The color is really too bright and very 80’s but spray paint does the trick. I had a much more dull gold that I sprayed them with and then rubbed on Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint with a cloth to tone it down and age it a bit.
I love it! It’s a bit more ornate than I usually like but it fits in my bedroom beautifully. It’s also big enough to put all my stuff on. :)
For more information on this transformation and more ideas for frames, please visit my blog at or on facebook at

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Ask the creator about this project

  • Hannah V
    Hannah V Brooklyn, NY
    on Mar 9, 2016

    This is GORGEOUS!

  • Sandra Powell
    Sandra Powell Canada
    on Mar 9, 2016

    What a clever idea, pretty!!

  • Deezie
    Deezie Stratford, CT
    on Mar 10, 2016

    Very pretty, I love old frames

  • Valerie
    Valerie South Africa
    on Mar 11, 2016

    What a lovely (and practical) transformation! I really like the photograph taken with the tray on the bed, it would make a guest feel very welcome.

  • Bella Plumberina
    Bella Plumberina Australia
    on Mar 11, 2016

    That is beautiful, simple and elegant. What a beautiful job you have done.

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