How to Make a Cute DIY Christmas Tray With a Stencil Design

In today's episode, I'm going to show you how to stencil a beautiful DIY Christmas tray for the holidays. With a few simple steps and some readily available materials, you'll have a beautiful, personalized piece for your holiday gatherings.

So, let's roll up our sleeves and get started!

This post was transcribed by a member of the Hometalk editorial team from the original HometalkTV episode.

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Sanding down the tray

1. Prep the tray

Take some 220 sandpaper, give the tray a light sand all over, and break the sheen of the old finish. Then we'll give it a wipe down with denatured alcohol and we'll be ready to base coat.

Painting the base of the tray white

2. Apply the base coat

We're using Benjamin Moore Ben Flat to get this going.

Stencil and spray adhesive

3. Apply spray adhesive

Now we're going to take this beautiful holiday stencil with ornaments and apply a little bit of spray adhesive to the back of it. This is going to help reduce bleed when we stencil this beautiful tray.

Placing the stencil on the tray

4. Place the stencil on the tray

Okay, it's time to stencil. We've selected some beautiful holiday acrylic colors here. That's part of the fun. So find colors that are meaningful for you and you'll know they're right.

I'm just going to eyeball this. You can eyeball this and get it close or you can measure it, but this is going to be just fine eyeballed because it's not an exactly symmetrical design anyway.

Applying paint to the stencil

5. Paint the stencil

Okay, I dip the brush in just a little bit and then I do a circular motion. That is called paletting the brush and that puts it right into the tips. Then offload a bit of paint onto a paper towel before applying it to the stencil.

Painting designs on the tray

Try not to put the same colors next to each other. You can always tape off the designs next to the one you're stenciling if you're worried about bleeding into the next one or just be very deliberate.

Peeling off the stencil

Once you're done, peel off the stencil and let the paint dry.

Apply verithane polyurethane

6. Apply verithane polyurethane

It's time to protect this beautiful tray with some verithane polyurethane. We like the water-based polyurethane here. It doesn't yellow as much as oil-based.

The trick about polyurethane is you always want to stir it from the bottom because you don't want to shake it and incorporate bubbles. Give it a nice stir from the bottom and then you're ready to go.

Don't worry. It's white now. It might have a little blue tint while it's still wet, but it will dry crystal clear. Just using a nice nylon bristle brush for water-based paints. This works great. I'm working right out of the quart itself and let's get a coat on this.

Christmas tray decorating ideas
DIY Christmas tray

DIY Christmas tray

This DIY Christmas tray is a perfect project for the holidays because you get to get creative, upcycle a piece, and actually have a usable tray at the end of it all to serve your guests.

What do you think of this easy Christmas craft? Let me know in the comments below.

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