Use Old Cutlery to Make a Metal Footed Tray

by Thea
6 Materials
3 Hours

A couple of forks, tin plate and an upholstery spring is all you need to make a beautiful vintage looking tray.

It dawned on me that cheap metal cutlery would make excellent legs for small items. The metal is strong but pliable enough to be bent by hand. So off I went to our version of a Dollar Store. Hours of fun browsing through household things you never knew even existed!

Pictured above are some of my finds which made up the first tray. I made a second one from an old pie dish (pictured below) and ornate but cheap teaspoons. You could also use real vintage finds, particularly the ones that aren't great quality. After starting on the first tray, I had the idea to add a handle - an excellent way to use up some pieces of rusty upholstery springs (also below).

To think I actually paid money for a bunch of these old springs because I loved the shape.

First order of business was to get rid of the rust. For this I brushed everything with Rust Off and then rinsed with clean water. The springs took about 2-3 go's and in the end they were still brown but at least the worst rust was removed.

The pie dish and tray each have different shapes and different types of cutlery that had to be attached. The tray was easy because I could just stick the forks to the base but pie dish is slightly wider to the top and to show off the ornate handles, I had to stick the spoons to the sides and then bend them back to that they stood perpendicular to the table. Just sticking them as is, would mean they would stand skew, as pictured above.

The fork tines where first whacked straight with a hammer...

And then all bent back in the same place so that they were all equally shaped.

The teaspoons were bent differently and weren't flattened.

I planned where the handle was going to go through the bases and drilled two holes for each handle. You can see from this image that everything had already been painted when I marked the positions but I only added the pink one's handle afterwards and then touched up the paint.

The tart pan and tray received two coats of chalk paint and an appropriate sealer.

The springs, forks and teaspoons were sprayed a nice shiny gold - the shiniest one that I always thought would look really kitsch. The result was anything but!

I mixed some two part glue.

And stuck the cutlery to the now colourful tray and pan. I must confess, sticking the forks to the base of the the pink tray was a lot easier than sticking the spoons to the sides of the tart dish. I literally had to hold each one because I was afraid that using tape would strip the paint off. So I watched some TV whilst holding each dead still at exactly the same height.

The forks were much easier to stick and weigh down.

The last step was to carefully hook the springs through the holes without scratching the paint off. I suppose you could stick them down as well but I'm not planning on carrying heavy things on my trays.

I love the colours!

And I adore the gold detailing on the spoons against the purple.

The forks create a more modern look because of their simple lines.

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  1 question
  • Patty Patty on Jun 21, 2021

    Did you drill holes for the springs to fit into the dishes? Love the look of these. So creative!

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4 of 21 comments
  • April April on Jun 23, 2021

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the use of these otherwise abandoned items for something so functional & visible. Wonderful low waste lifestyle conversation starter!!

  • Chrissy mcneill Chrissy mcneill on Jun 28, 2021

    This is so creative and fun! I love this idea. I think I might give it a go. Thanks for the inspiration. I have alot of junk and can make great use out of it.

    • Thea Thea on Jul 04, 2021

      Try it, there are many possibilities.