Rustic Tray From a Picture Frame

6 Materials
2 Hours

During Winter months I get bored and I often dip into my craft stash and get creative as I'm about to show you with this upcycled picture frame....boring black to rustic and red!

rustic tabletop tray from a picture frame

First I painted the frame with a cream chalk paint, distressed the edges and finished with a brown wax from the Decor Chalk Paints. Sorry, I don't have a photo of those steps but you don't have to paint and distress the frame as I did, you can leave it as is.

Next I used Mod Podge for decorating the inside cardboard portion of the frame, remove the insert and set it on your table to enable you to work on it.

rustic tabletop tray from a picture frame

Pour some of the mod podge in a tray and use a sponge or any type of paint brush to completely cover the cardboard insert with the product.

rustic tabletop tray from a picture frame

I used decorative napkins to decoupage onto the cardboard, but first remove the plain white layer of tissue paper from the colored print layer. You'll only want that one top printed layer to adhere to your insert, set aside the rest.

rustic tabletop tray from a picture frame

Once you have it separated very carefully place it on your cardboard ensuring it is as smooth as possible. Once you have it in place you can use the brush again and gently cover the entire napkin with a thin layer of mod podge. Once it has completely dried you can put the insert back into the frame displaying the patterned napkin.

So if the picture frame was to become a tray, it would need handles right? How about using dog collars for that? I said I like to get creative didn't I?

rustic tabletop tray from a picture frame

rustic tabletop tray from a picture frame
rustic tabletop tray from a picture frame

I used tiny silver screws to attach them onto the wooden frame, I thought that they would blend in with the silver studs on the collar, which they did in my opinion.

Here's a closeup view to show you the distressed edges of the frame and the tiny silver screws that secured the collars in place,

rustic tabletop tray from a picture frame

Once the picture frame was all ressembled it was ready to put on display with some other country cottage items. The intended use is for decor only NOT a serving tray, for transferring food and utensils I would reinforce this project with a thin veneer wood backing.

rustic tabletop tray from a picture frame

The red handles accent the red in the napkin check pattern and the distressed frame adds character, I'm super pleased how this turned out. Here's hoping you have some dog collars and picture frames lying around to try this out yourself!

rustic tabletop tray from a picture frame

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Jeano
    on Jan 6, 2019

    Do you put the glass back on top of the napkin ??? to use as a tray with things that may be wet, like glasses of beverages ?

  • Donna
    on Jan 6, 2019

    Isn't picture glass very thin? I'd be worried that it would break if someone set a cup on it too hard. Is this a concern?

    • Sea Trace Creations
      on Jan 6, 2019

      Me but some higher quality frames have thicker glass if you'd like to consider trying it. They are pretty as a table centerpiece with maybe a vase or something not too heavy on top? Thanks for making me laugh Donna!

Join the conversation

3 of 13 comments
  • Karen
    on Jan 8, 2019

    I so love your idea! This will be my next project. Thanks for sharing

  • Ronda Mcgrath
    31 minutes ago

    If wanted to use the tray you could use plexiglass instead of the regular glass

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