Monday, February 23, 2015

Quick and Easy Decorative Tray

Yesterday I shared with you a pair of decorative trays that my son's class did for the school's Annual Art Auction. I'd been planning and working on this project off and on since December, so it's no wonder I felt inspired to try some other creative ways to make decorative trays. This past weekend, I finally had all the pieces to put together a tray I'd been excited about, not only because of the creation, but because I'd found most of the pieces on sale.

I started with an 11x14-in picture frame (regularly $39.99, on clearance for $10!). Then I was looking for some clear blue glass pieces to put in the center. The ones I'd been looking at in the floral section we $14.99, then I found these blue "rocks" in the section with mosaic tiles at Michael's for $4.99, plus I had a 40% off coupon! The E-6000 glue is about $3, but I'd had some that I'd gotten to fix some broken things in the house (a must-have for life with a rowdy boy!).

I decided to do the project while watching TV Saturday night, because Prince Charming and Lil Monkey were having a boys night curled up in bed early watching The Boxtrolls in the Master bedroom. Many they sure know how to party!

I set up two of Lil Monkey's kids chairs facing each other to create a table and got started.

The first thing I did was to lay the picture frame face up and poured the blue rocks onto a plate so I could sort through them. My thought was that since they had large pieces and small pieces I wanted them to be somewhat event distributed through the tray even though they would be "randomly" placed. Once I was able to see all the pieces I was working with, I started to layout this "puzzle without instructions" so that I could see how everything would fit.

I wanted to lay out the pieces first without gluing them because it would help me get an overall image without making it permanent. It was a good move, because I ended up moving some pieces to replace larger with smaller and smaller with larger. Then, piece by piece I glued down each piece directly to the glass in the frame. During this method a few of the pieces were moved or shifted, but at least they stayed in the general area where I'd placed them. I also used tweezers to place small pieces with glue into any "holes". 

It took about 3 hours in total to do the project, with a few interruptions from Lil Monkey. (Daddy fell asleep and the movie ended, so he came to claim a few rocks for his collection.)

I let it dry over night. The next day, I carefully tilted the tray over to see if any of the rocks had been missed when gluing or if they glue didn't adhere in some place. Not a problem. The only piece that fell was a loose "extra" blue rock on the top of the tray that I didn't put back in the bag.

It's definitely a project that requires patience, but it was worth it when I saw the final project. 

Until our next cup of tea ...

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