Transform a tray

Woman’s Weekly craft and home editor Esme Clemo demonstrates how to turn a plain tray into a decorative accessory for the bedroom with your favourite colour paint and paper.

It’s an easy-peasy make that takes around 8 hours to complete (including drying time), making it the perfect project to get stuck into on a quiet day at home.

While we’ve chosen to work with blue shades, you can be as creative as you like. This simple technique works just as well with bold and bright colours of muted chalk paints.


Why not apply the same techniques to other plain furniture pieces? We suggest trying it on a coffee table with high edges using wallpaper instead of découpage paper for a more hard-wearing finish.

You will need:

✤ Wooden serving tray with folding legs, (£12.19,
✤ Fine sandpaper
✤ Paintbrush
✤ Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Furniture Paint in Powder Blue, (£12, Homebase,
✤ Tape measure
✤ Scissors
✤ Blue floral découpage paper (similar available from Hobbycraft,
✤ Mod Podge Matte, (£4.50, Hobbycraft, website, as above)

1. Prepare the wooden surfaces of the bed tray by sanding down any rough patches and wiping it free of dust.

2. Using a paintbrush, apply two coats of chalk paint to the tray sides, base and legs. Allow to dry completely, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Create a shabby chic look by spot-sanding the tray very lightly.

3. Measure the tray top with a tape measure and use a pair of scissors to cut the découpage paper to fit.

4. Apply an even layer of Mod Podge to the tray top surface and carefully place the découpage paper over the top. Smooth out the paper and flatten down any wrinkles. Allow the glue to dry for 15 minutes.

5. Apply two protective coats of Mod Podge over the top of the paper and allow to dry.