Quick and easy DIY present idea for Mother’s Day

I love making gifts instead of buying them and with Mother’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to make something simple but special for my mom. 


I got the idea for this project when I spotted these plain Jane wood trays at JoANN’s – they are a nice size ( 14″ x 11″ x 2.5″) and cost only $8 (and by using a coupon, I ended up paying just $5).  


I had this gorgeous handmade and hand painted paper from another project and I had just enough to cover the bottom of the tray. I got this paper at World Market and though I don’t think they have this specific design anymore, they do have lots of other beautiful papers to choose from.


I started by staining the the sides of the tray in a couple of coats of a semi-transparent exterior wood stain in a dark brown color (I had this left over from another project as well – it’s from Behr and is in a color called coffee and a sample 8 oz size is more than enough to do this project). 


I taped the sides of the tray to protect the sides with painter’s tape and covered the bottom of the tray with a coat of Mod Podge (satin finish), placed the paper on top and then sealed it with 2-3 coats of Mod Podge.


I let that dry and then removed the tape – since I didn’t cut the paper exactly to fit inside the tray, I had to use a utility knife to cut off the excess material along the edges.


To coordinate with the old gold tones in the paper, I finished the edges of the tray with a gold sharpie – I love these metallic sharpie pens so much! So much easier to work with than paint and they come in many different tones, like silver and copper. 


This was such a simple project that I ended up buying a few more of those trays and I plan to personalize them to give as gifts to friends. I think they make the perfect gift: pretty & useful (who can’t use a cute tray around the house?!). But this one is going to my mom, hope she likes it!



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  1. kate

    Great idea, food for thought!

  2. Sherry Fisher

    Love this!! Love your ideas! Still hope you get your own tv show!!

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