January 20, 2012

Quick DIY Breakfast Tray Project

Thinking of making breakfast in bed for a loved one on Valentine's Day, but don't have the perfect tray? You can make your own in an afternoon, and customize it with your favorite colors and patterns.

You'll need a basic wooden tray, stain or paint, brushes, patterned paper, scissors, glue, and an old credit card or gift card.

If you don't like the finish or color of your tray, or it's scuffed up, give it a quick sanding and a wipe with a damp cloth, and then stain or paint it. I used a nice dark walnut. Let dry.

Next, find a patterned paper you like. I chose a dark purple and white passionflower - a symbol of love - pattern from a local stationery store.

To size it, I just placed it inside the tray, placing one corner of the paper in a corner of the tray, and then I used an old credit card to smooth it and crease where it met the sides. Then I removed it and cut it a few millimeters smaller than the outline. You could also trace around the bottom of the tray, and then cut it smaller (measure the thickness of the edge and subtract it).

Brush ModgePodge or another craft glue on the bottom of the tray, insert your paper carefully, and then use the credit or gift card to smooth out bubbles before the glue dries. It helps to start in the middle and push the air out to the edges.

Let the glue dry, and then apply a few coats to the top for protection. If you're planning on serving drinks, use a stronger sealant or have your local hardware store cut a piece of glass or plastic to fit.

The finished product, ready for plates of homemade French toast or pancakes, accented with a strawberry heart or two! Wash strawberries, pull the leaves off but don't cut the top, slice almost down to the top but not all the way through, and then gently push the two halves past each other so there's about 45 degrees between them to form a heart shape.

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