Quick and Easy DIY Present Idea for Mother's Day

2 Materials
2 Hours
I love making gifts instead of buying them and with Mother's Day right around the corner, I wanted to make something special for my mom, but also something that could be useful.
I got the idea for my gift when I spotted these  plain Jane wood trays at JoANN's - they are a nice size ( 14" x 11" x 2.5") and cost only $8 (and by using a coupon, I ended up paying just $5).  
I also had this gorgeous  handmade and hand painted paper from another project and I had just enough to cover the bottom of the tray! I got this paper at World Market and though I don't think they have this specific design anymore, they do have lots of other beautiful papers to choose from.
I started by staining the the sides of the tray in a couple of coats of a semi-transparent exterior wood stain in a dark brown color (I had this left over from another project as well - it's from Behr and is in a color called coffee and a sample 8 oz size is more than enough to do this project). 
I taped the sides of the tray to protect the sides with painter's tape and covered the bottom of the tray with a coat of Mod Podge (satin finish), placed the paper on top and then sealed it with 2-3 coats of Mod Podge.
To coordinate with the old gold tones in the paper, I finished the edges of the tray with a gold sharpie - I love these metallic Sharpie pens so much! So much easier to work with than paint and they come in many different tones, like silver and copper. 
This was such a simple project that I ended up buying a few more of those trays and I plan to personalize them to give as gifts to friends. I think they make the perfect gift: pretty & useful (who can't use a cute tray around the house?!). But this one is going to my mom, hope she likes it!
Suggested materials:
  • Unfinished Wood Tray
  • Decorative paper
Engineer Your Space
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Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Vonnie Vonnie on Dec 26, 2018

    This turned out beautiful, just love it. My question is can you wipe the tray down with a damp cloth if it gets dirty. I have one I want to do this with, but I use my trays all the time and want to be able to wipe it with a damp cloth if I spilled anything on it like coffee, food, etc. Thanks and great job.

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3 of 5 comments
  • Sara McCollum Sara McCollum on Jan 11, 2021

    I can’t wait to try this this. Thanks

  • Trish Trish on Dec 02, 2021

    I realize this is a few years old but hope someone sees this to answer.... I love this idea ! My question is can you use fabric instead of paper? I would think you can poly over it , it might take an extra layer ?? I have some small pieces of my great grandmothers sewing fabric that would be perfect for this !! Thanks in advance if someone sees this...

    • Pat Manookian Pat Manookian on Dec 05, 2021

      You can. Google decoupage fabric to wood to give you the basics. Be mindful of your fabric. If it is light colored and thin, use a light stain under it or it will show through. Hope this helps!