life is always about the journey...

Sunday, November 10, 2013

DIY Holiday Trays!

I'm a Dollar Store freak shopper!  I like to go in now and again and check out what they have that I think I can transform.  And every holiday season they get in some cool goodies and they're all a DOLLAR...can't beat that deal!

And as you know I'm a huge lover of all things Christmas ...10 trees going up this year and I will start all that next week.  I always add a few new things to my holiday collection each year much to my hubby's chagrin. I love vintage style trays that can be used for decoration but not the prices so much. I found some at a store in Alexandria last year and they were $45 and up...whoa nelly.  So with those in mind I set out to make my own, easy to make and you can customize them to your heart's holiday desire!

I picked up three of these cookie pans from the Dollar Store...yup $1 each!  These pans measure 9x13 so a good size for a decorative tray.

And then I picked up these fabulous little trays/platters too, each $1!  I got oval, round and rectangle platters to use---had to have a few options ya know.  And I think they are pretty sweet on their own too...great for little platters of cookies or appetizers at a holiday party.  The Dollar Store is great for transforming decorative items on the cheap...remember my Ghoulish Goblets here?

Do you own a Silhouette Cameo?  I've had mine for over two years and I use that lovely machine a few times each week.  One of my best crafty purchases EVER!  I love searching through their extensive image library for cut files to use on my projects.  I've cut vellum, cardstocks, and vinyl with this machine..and it will cut thin chipboard and material as well for endless projects. 
For each of these trays I cut images onto thin cardstock to use as a masks for my trays.  Sorry I didn't get any pictures of my masks before I used them...eek...but the tree/sentiment file name is called 'joy hope peace believe' christmas tree and other one is Merry Christmas Flourish.  Size them to fit your project!

Then I used my trusty Crafters Companion Stick & Spray to add some moveable adhesive to the backs of each mask (just a light spray on the masks will do ya).  I also use this on my Cameo mats when they lose their sense in buying new mats...simply spray 2 coats on the mats and you are back in business.  They make a clean off spray as well that is useful for cleaning your mats and then spray with the Stick-n-Spray to revitalize. I've had the same two mats since I bought my machine.

I spray painted the base coat color onto each of my trays first and let it dry for a bit. The base coat is the color you want your mask/sentiment/decoration to make sure you do it in the right order :)
The round tray got a coat of Krylon Flat Black spray paint and the cookie pan got a coat of Rustoleum Gold paint.  Then I laid the masks where I wanted each once the paint was dry, if you get it wrong you can easily pull it up (gently) and do it again.  The corner treatments on the cookie pan were cut from cardstock with a Memory Box die that I had in my collection.  You can make masks from most anything, even your punches...endless possibilities.  After I laid the masks in place I added two coats of spray paint of each color I this case Rustoleum 2x Colonial Red and Seaweed Green spray paints I had in my coat at a time of course.  (I chose my colors to match my warm colored home decor...but you can of COURSE use any color you'd like)
TIP: Buy spray paint at your hobby/craft stores and use a 40% coupon to get a great deal

Once your paint is really dry...not tacky..but REALLY dry, then you can start adding details. I'm all about the little details as I believe they really finish off a piece.  For this red platter I dry brushed black acrylic paint along the edges and across the platter surface and then rubbed lightly with a rag to soften.  Once that was dry I went in with my Gold Leafing Pen and added gold around the rim of the platter and some dots on the decorative elements in the mask.  I love the little hint of gold on this platter.  You of course could use a Silver Leafing Pen if you preferred.

For the cookie pan the edges were too wide to paint with my little pen, so I grabbed my tube of Rub'n'Buff in gold (great for any crafts and lots of colors) and put a nice coat of that along the edges and buffed it really good with my microfiber cloth.  I bought this sampler set of Rub'n'Buff colors last holiday season and have used them A LOT!

Then the final step is to put on a coat or two of Modge Podge. I like to use Modge Podge Super Gloss because its super shiny and usually one coat is enough for a decorative project like this.  If you were coating something that was going to get used or banged up more, you may want to add an extra coat. Lots of different Modge Podge products nowadays so check them out and figure out which one works best for you.  Some may want a more matte finish so that's up to you on the final look.
REMEMBER: Modge Podge is NOT food safe so do not use it on things you may be serving food on!

So this is the final project all done!  A Dollar Store Platter turned into decorative tray for the holidays with some spray paint, a mask/stencil, and some gold detailing.  I love how it turned out!

And the $1 Cookie Pan transformed as well!  And yes you betcha I'm gonna do a few more with some other Cameo cut files I've already chosen.

An evening view with candles!  Add in some flickering candles and some Christmas greenery and you have a lovely holiday vignette for any spot in your house.  (my candles are battery lit for safety)

Just playing around with some sepia tones!

Project Costs:

Trays - $1 each
Cookie Pan - $1 each
Spray Paint - FREE
(on hand but usually $4-7 a can)
Black Acrylic Paint - FREE 
(I had already but usually $1 a bottle)
Rub'n'Buff in Gold - FREE
(I have a few in my collection but usually $7)
Masks/Stencils - 99 cents each
(from Silhouette Store)
Modge Podge - FREE
(I had in my stash, but usually $6-7)
If you buy any of these supplies remember they will come in useful for 
multitudes of projects :)
My TOTAL:  $4 for both Trays

That's all for me today but stop back by this week for some more fun holiday crafts you can make inexpensively!

Entering this into this fabulous Challenge & Party:



  1. Cool ideas Suzanne. Where do you buy the cleaner to get the sticky off your mat. I have some mats that could be saved but need a good cleaning before re-spraying.

    1. Thanks Linda! That cleaner is by Crafters Companion as well & you can find it here: Once mat is clean, just respray with Stick-n-Spray 2-3 times

  2. You are the best.. just fab projects and who doesn't have a dollar store nearby! Beautifully decorated and embellished... hard to believe they were just dollar store pans when you got done with them! xxx Ann Marie

    1. The Dollar Store holds a ton of inspiration on the cheap...I just went again today for some goodies to transform! Thanks so much!!

  3. These are amazing! I love this, what a fantastic idea! I've been wanting to redo my Christmas mantel this year and these would work perfectly. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Hugs, Christine

    1. Thanks Christine....they are easy to make, drying time takes the longest (after the last coat of paint I let them dry for a good 12 hours before I added detail work). Have fun!

  4. Another awesome project Suzanne. You really get me going. I'm doing sock snowmen now. I did a display from Dollar Store finds and posted it on my blog last week. When I went to the Dollar Store yesterday, I picked up a couple more baubles to add to it.

    1. Thanks bunches Linda! The holidays always inspire me & I have a ton to share over the next few weeks. I stopped in your blog too, loved the Dollar Store decorations! Hugs~

  5. Suzanne, Love this and it turned out so nice. I have everything to do this... Thanks so much for sharing.
    Hugs, Pat

    1. Thanks Pat---show us if you decide to make some, they are so much fun! Hugs!

  6. This is fabulous, my dear. I love the vintage look of your trays. Such an easy project.

  7. Love love love these trays! What a great idea! Thanks a bunch for sharing your creative ideas!

  8. Suzanne this is such a neat project and the trays looks so amazing I love them. Hugs A

  9. Wow. Neat idea and project. I would never have thought to try something like this. I’d love it if you linked up with our weekly link up party and shared!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping in & letting me know about your linky party too! Hugs~

  10. Girl, this is my type of project! I can't believe those are dollar store trays!!! They look amazing! Thanks so much for sharing!

    ~Abby =)

    1. Well I hope you get to make some, they are fun & easy! Thanks so much for stopping in :)

  11. These turned out so well! Thanks for the great tutorial, and for sharing it at the Get Your DIY On Challenge!


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