Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Coffee Table Tray Tutorial ~ Easy and Fun!

Want to make a sweet coffee table tray? 
Re-purpose an old picture frame using fabric and drawer pulls! 
You have to do this, it's so easy and fun! 

coffee table tray, repurpose, frame to coffee table tray,

This project came about because of my son.  Eighth grade students were assigned a day to shadow a local business person.  My son was trying to figure out who to shadow and find a job that was interesting to him, but he wasn't feeling drawn to anything in particular.  I reminded him that here are two things my he loves: Soccer and making YouTube vlogs.  

Now this was fortunate.  His father is a college soccer coach.  And I am a blogger.  So picking a person to shadow was a no-brainer.  Unfortunatley his father's season had just ended, so he asked to spend the day with me. I was stoked. But a little hesitant ~ there was something I had to warn him about. 

On shadow day, we got up early and grabbed a cup of coffee.  When he was comfortable, I tactfully broke the news to him.  Writing my blog isn't just about writing and editing pictures, it involves actually making a project.  Making a project involves SHOPPING.  Worse yet, shopping at the THRIFT STORE.  Even, worse, shopping at AC MOORE.  

After he recovered from the great disappointment and shock, he rallied and 
got into the spirit of the the day.  Plus, I promised to take him to lunch.

We decided to try our hand at making a a coffee table tray from an old picture frame. 

~ We found a fairly sturdy large picture frame at the thrift store. I needed a large picture frame but you could easily make a smaller version.  When looking for a frame, just make sure the glass and the actual frame are sturdy and in good shape.  You're going to use the actual cardboard insert that comes in the frame but the picture is nothing you need to look at. 

~ A quick stop at Lowe's and we found some cute drawer pulls to use as handles for the tray.

~ Next was the most dreaded stop of the morning, AC Moore.  I had my son take a few deep breaths, and held his hand as we crossed the threshold. (That's not true, he would never let me hold his hand!)  I resolved to get him in and out of there as quickly as possible, so we chose our fabric, and picked up the glue I thought I might use to attach the handles, and swiftly left. 

Next was the fun part. 

1. With the picture frame in tact, clean the glass really well with Windex, and wipe down the wood.

2. Turn the frame over and remove the backing. Carefully.  Take out the glass and the cardboard insert with the picture or painting. 

3.  Leave the cardboard/painting and glass out of the frame, and paint your frame if you wish.  We used a black spray paint. 

(On inspection, I realized I couldn't safely get the glass out of my frame, so we had the added step of covering the glass with painters tape and newspaper before painting.)

It was cold.  So we spray painted outside and then carefully put the frame in the basement to dry. If it's too cold the paint will take forever to dry, or worse, stay tacky forever, so make sure that if you paint outside, you move it inside to dry.

4. Let the paint dry for 24 hours.  Meanwhile, wrap the cardboard insert that went in the frame with the fabric ~ we found this yellow and gold stiped fabric that would match our den.  Make sure the fabric wraps around the cardboard insert by about an inch extra all around. Once you have your fabric aligned the way you like, just use glue gun to attach the fabric to the back of the mat. 

5. Place the frame back together.

6. Attach the drawer pulls, or any handle you've chosen.  My tray is purely decorative, so I did not drill the handles in. You might want to. If you're lazy pressed for time like me, you'll use E6000 to attach the handles.

Et Viola! You have a new coffee table tray.  

coffee table tray, repurpose, frame to coffee table tray,

All photos were taken and edited by my son, and I think he did a great job. Despite the disappointment in the shopping, we had a great day (in part because I paid him with a Big Mac), but I think he'll gladly stick to vlogs and video editing ~ no shopping involved! 


Unknown said...

Just today I was thinking I wanted a tray for my couch since we just got rid of our coffee table and I don't have a sturdy surface to put drinks. This is perfect! And I think it's so sweet that your son spent the day shadowing you. Even if he didn't enjoy the shopping, it's part of understanding that work may involve things you don't always enjoy. Thanks for sharing, stopping by from the SITS linkup.

Unknown said...

Thanks Bev! It was a fun day! Let me know when you make one and send me a pic, I'll drop by!


Lou Lou Girls said...

Oh my! This looks so amazing. Pinned and tweeted. Thank you so much for being a part of our party. We really appreciate you! I hope to see you on tonight at 7 pm. Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

Unknown said...

Thank you Kim! Glad to have you! x

Unknown said...

Hi Julia! Your post will be featured on Two Uses Tuesday this week! Link up goes live Mon at 11pm EST. Stop by to check it out and link up!

Mary said...

Super idea thanks for sharing. I just recently used picture frames in an unconventional way and wrote a post about it. Love to repurpose!