Aug 11, 2016

Serving Tray: Upcycled Picture Frame

It was my mom's birthday and I was a little stumped about what to get her. Then I remembered seeing how some people upcycled old picture frames into serving trays. My mom loves having people over and brightly colored decorations in her house. She has brightly colored dishes and shares my addiction to colorful napkins. I remembered seeing that people had used old picture frames to create serving trays and thought that would be perfect for her. So I went on a hunt to gather the supplies for a serving tray.

To make a serving tray the first thing you need is a sturdy picture frame, preferably wooden. Now you would think it would be easy to find a picture frame suitable for this purpose. And while there are tons of picture frames there are not as many which are a suitable size for a serving tray and those that are are not generally wooden.

I used this task as an excuse to explore some of the local thrift stores. (For some reason Pensacola has a TON of thrift stores, but unfortunately many of them just don't carry that great of things.). The first place I went to had some good options, that were just sitting out in front of the store. When I went in to inquire about them I discovered that the woman running the store had set them aside for herself and the place wasn't really a thrift store, but rather a thrift store sorting facility. Strike one. Then I went to two other stores also striking out before finding this frame. It was perfect. It was the correct size for a tray, it had a wooden frame, it had a wide enough frame to add handles and it was already white! Perfect with a bonus.

Now that I had the frame I had to find some handles. This, too, was more challenging than I had anticipated. Big box hardware stores have nearly an aisle dedicated to different handle options, there aren't very many that are pretty enough to be tray handles. I really wanted one that had glass on it, but neither of the places I went had them. I ended up going with a nickel plated cage handle that worked well enough. I marked holes on the frame using the handles as a guide and then used a drill for the holes. The holes on  one side weren't quite lined up, but the handle was forgiving and it still screwed in. Afterward, I realized that the screw heads were rounded so it made the tray not quite lay flat on the table. It also meant that there was a possibility for the screw to scratch the table. So I bought some felt stickers and placed them in the corners. They raised up the tray enough that there was no risk of the screws scratching the table.

Finally, I had to select the paper to go in the tray. The tray was shaped differently than the 12x12 paper I had selected. Since it was striped I had some added difficulty trying to make sure the paper lined up properly. However I was able to find some paper that complemented some of my fun napkins and would match my mom's dishes. If this were my tray I'd probably change out the paper for different seasons, but knowing my mom she'll probably just leave it these bright summery colors. I'm so pleased with how it turned out that I'm temped to make one for myself!

Looking for another upcycle? Check out these washer necklaces

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  1. Wow great idea and just in time for summer! I love the idea of upcycling and all that effort into making a one of a kind gift definitely means much more than purchasing a new item. I'm going to store this idea away on my pinterest.

    1. Thank you! It was fun to make and my Mom loved it!

  2. Such a beautiful project! Great idea :)

  3. Love upcycled projects. What a beautiful gift for your mom and a great way to reuse and reduce waste.

  4. Cute upcycle! Thanks for linking up at #SustainableSundays!