Upcycled Food Tray Chalkboard

Ugly dull plastic food trays have hope! You can turn them into lovely chalkboards with inspirational quotes. Perfect for any place in your house and makes for a great gift, too.
I have seen pretty plastic food trays but if you have more like a cafeteria food tray that is old and very used, fret not my friend. This is another wonderful opportunity to upcycle. Ready to get on board?
On a mission to upcycle an old and dull food tray to a chalkboard home decor.
This is the tray... the boring tray.
We are going to create a shapely chalkboard frame on the tray so to do that we need to prepare a cardboard template and mark measurements.

Make sure you are working on a food tray free from dust or dirt. Wipe it clean. Then measure the width and length of the tray so you can find the center and then mark it with pencil.
Get a used cardboard and cut up a section that will fit in one of your quarter measurements on the food tray.
Cut that portion out.
Draw a swirly shape on that cardboard piece with a pencil. You can copy how I drew the swirl. Cut up the swirl outline and use that shape as a frame template.
Trace the template on the food tray with a white crayon. Do the same on all the quarter sections of the food tray. Flip the frame template on the opposite side when you trace it on the section beside it. You can see a more detailed tutorial when you click the link at the end of this post.
We are ready to paint the tray. Use acrylic paint and choose a color combination that you want. I chose robin egg blue and cashmere tan. Apply paint on the outer section of the frame.
Next step is to paint chalkboard paint inside the frame. Apply 2-3 coats. Always make sure that the coat is thoroughly dry before painting on the next coat.
With a pointed paintbrush, use your second color to paint a line following the shape of the frame. For extra protection on the acrylic paint, use any decoupage glue or Mod Podge. Remember the base which we used is plastic ( food tray) so it does not absorb acrylic paint. It would be good to seal it with the podge. DO NOT apply the podge on the black chalkboard paint inside the frame.
Find an inspirational quote or maybe you already have one that you know by heart. Use chalk stick to write that on the chalkboard frame.
Voila! Now it looks so lovely. The thing is this tray slides on a flat smooth surface but I was able to solve that so it will stand and not slip. Check out the blog post link below for a full tutorial how to make it stand.

You can totally rock this!
Queti @ Fancy Momma
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  3 questions
Join the conversation
4 of 26 comments