Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links
Recently I decided I needed another serving tray for our backyard patio. I usually see all kinds of cute serving trays in local shops, but of course now that I actually needed one, I was having trouble finding one that I liked.
Finding Inspiration in the Basement
Then I remembered the old cookie sheet I had come across while organizing the basement last fall. Too far gone to give to charity, it wound up in a pile of metals to be recycled. Luckily I had not yet done anything with that pile.
It was just the size I wanted for the tray. So I went over it thoroughly with super-fine sandpaper and then spray painted it with one of my old standbys, Rust-Oleum Heirloom White. Then I glued cork to the bottom.
That was a nice start, but it definitely needed something. I kicked a few ideas around – maybe stenciling a border or doing some kind of artsy collage. This project could go in so many fun directions.
Finding Even More Inspiration in the Basement
While looking for my stencils in the basement, I came across a poster from a trip to Hawaii. One of us liked the poster enough to carefully pack it into carry-on luggage (the only way we travel) and bring it all the way back home.
We never got around to framing the poster. It was moved from room to room and finally wound up in the basement.
With its beautiful colors and striking imagery, it would be perfect for the tray – if I cut it down a little bit.
My First Experience with Mod Podge
I cut the poster to size and glued it to the tray with the Mod Podge. It was a little difficult to get the poster to stay completely tacked down. A few bubbles formed, which I had to carefully work away. Plus the poster already had some minor creases.
So it didn’t look perfect but it really didn’t look half bad. I decided to apply four coats of the Mod Podge over the poster, letting the Mod Podge dry between applications. I used heavy brush strokes to apply it so that the imperfections in the poster would be blended into the overall look.
A Usable Souvenir
Now I have a tray that is fun for use outdoors – and a souvenir of our trip to Hawaii.
Stylish Trays for Outdoor Entertaining
Fresh and easy care serving trays bring an elegant vibe to outdoor parties.
- Rust-Oleum Heirloom White Spray Paint
- Mod Podge
- And for environmentally friendly outdoor entertaining with a contemporary vibe, nothing beats compostable bamboo and natural leaf and fiber plates.
Want some fresh ideas for your outdoor space? Visit my new 2016 Summer Style Boards page.
You might also enjoy:
- 2016 Summer Style Boards
- Rustic Greenhouse Lights from a Mad Scientist
- Taking Walkway Lights to New Heights
- A New Life for an Old Trailer Sink
- My Vintage Linen Obsession