Plastic Tray with Wood Base

Ya’ll! I think you are going to love this idea. I sure do. In fact, it’s one of my all-time favorites (today – ha ha).

This was a bright pink plastic tray, made to look like wicker, that I bought at Dollar Tree. I saw potential and decided to give it a make-over.


Other than the paints, all of my supplies came from Dollar Tree, and the nice thing is that none of it is seasonal. You should be able to buy these items year-round: One plastic tray, 32 craft sticks, foam board, sisal rope, twine, stain, paint (After trying to paint the plastic tray with acrylic, I ended up spray painting it.), rag, hot glue, and scissors.

This isn’t a quick project. Once the stain is applied to the base of the tray, you need to wait 24-hours to let it soak in and dry. This takes sharp scissors — but DO NOT USE YOUR FABRIC SCISSORS. My total cost was $5, because I already had the paints.

To make the base of the tray, I used a piece of foam board. You can use a piece of poster board, but the foam board actually makes the bottom of the tray much stronger or sturdier. Lay the tray on top of the foam board and draw around the base. Cut that out, then lay it inside the tray to make sure it fits. Find the center of the foam board by measuring in both directions and mark it.

The craft sticks have rounded ends that need to be cut off. This takes a pair of sharp scissors, but, please, don’t use your fabric scissors. You will ruin them.

I used 32 craft sticks for this tray. Depending upon the size of your tray, you may use more or you may use less. When they are all cut, then you begin hot gluing them to the foam board. Start from the center and work your way out, covering half the foam board. When you get to the end, then go back and glue to the other half.

Two things here:

  1. I used hot glue because I like instant gratification. You can certainly use gel super glue, or E6000, or even white-glue. But all of those will take much longer to dry and to finish the project. It’s entirely up to you.
  2. I was not paying attention, and began gluing my craft sticks to the wrong side of the board — not the side on which I had marked the center. It’s no big deal, but you really should begin from the center.

When the entire foam board is covered in craft sticks, then you cut off the ends of the sticks that are sticking out beyond the foam board using your scissors.

Using whatever stain or paint you prefer, stain or paint the stick side of the foam board. I used cherry stain, because it’s what I had. Certainly you can apply whatever finish you like best. The stain has to dry overnight, so I set that aside and began painting my plastic tray.

Take it from me, when it comes to painting the pink plastic tray, acrylics or even chalk paint are going to take many coats. I learned this the hard way. After three coats of white acrylic and all I could still see was pink, I threw up my arms in wonderment, “Why didn’t I just use spray paint?”

So, me, my tray and spray paint took a walk out to the back yard. I sprayed two coats onto the tray and viola’ — a crafting miracle. Seriously, why I didn’t do that in the first place is beyond my comprehension. And trust me, if a white tray had been on the shelf, I’d have bought it and skipped this whole process. But it appeared to only be available in neon pink and midnight blue.

I applied a small amount of hot glue to the bottom of the dried foam board and set it inside the plastic tray, wood side up. The small dabble of glue holds it in place. Then, using Dollar Tree sisal rope, I went around the edge of the board, hot gluing the rope in place. For some more personality, I wrapped the handles with Dollar Tree twine.

Then, because I don’t ever want to take any chances that something might scratch my furniture, I cut some 1-inch squares from some white felt that I had and glued them to the bottom of the plastic tray.

Ya’ll!!! How pretty is this?!?

I love it!!

Perfect for those cool nights on the front porch, or around the pool.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Pamela says:

    Love this


    1. Thank you so much!!


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