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Although you can never go wrong with a delicious home-cooked spread, trays are for more than just breakfast in bed. If you’ve got some wooden or metal trays taking up space in your cabinets, bust them out and give them new life with these pretty craft ideas.

5 Craft Ideas for Neglected Trays

A tray can add a little glitz to your vanity…and keep your cosmetics, candles and jewelry elegantly organized. Try this tutorial from Maureen Stevens for an Art Deco tray upgrade that has loads of Gatsby glamor.

5 Craft Ideas for Neglected Trays

Dads have accessories that need to be corralled, too! This custom valet tray (featuring kids’ artwork) is a perfect birthday present or Father’s Day gift. Get all the how-to instructions here.

5 Craft Ideas for Neglected Trays

A tray is integral to this mix-and-match plant display. Get all the DIY details and set your finished array on a shelf or windowsill for some color and interest.

5 Craft Ideas for Neglected Trays
A monogrammed tray makes a thoughtful hostess gift, or use one on a sideboard to hold glassware or silverware during a dinner buffet so guests can serve themselves.

5 Craft Ideas for Neglected Trays

Photo: Nickey Kehoe via Remodelista

Trays make surprisingly great wall decor, too! This oversized circular brass tray is so attractive over a gilded settee.

Which tray idea serves up the most style? And do you have any more genius uses for old trays? Tell us in the comments below!

7 Responses

  1. That brass tray is amazing! Now I feel like I need one…

  2. j ryan says:

    i have painted trays, one was with cooking chef for the kitchen, one was with the american flag, really good looking. also one with flowers. i love to paint them. i like your green one up above.

  3. Marcy says:

    While thrifting, I found a large mid-century mod Mirro aluminum serving tray that is useless as a tray but will look great as a clock!

  4. gemma says:

    Ah. what a good idea with the salver on the wall or tray on the wall. I prefer a silver tray to brass but i hope the effect is similar to that above. I think in terms of serving up the most style I think the 'cosmetics' tray wins, I just need to have some nice glass scent bottles to accompany the tray – oh and flowers of course.

  5. ashleypicanco says:

    I love the idea of taking something old and giving it a new purpose! These trays look awesome. I love decoupaging, so I'd take an old tray and decoupage pages from an old book all over the inside, then seal it all up with Mod Podge or acrylic gel medium. It would be a perfect tray to keep on your bed to place your current book, glasses, etc for a before-bed reading ritual :)

    Plus this way it's repurposing two old things instead of one! Thanks for the great crafting ideas!

    -Ashley http://ashleypicanco.com

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Briana MowreyBriana is a writer and senior editor for HGTV.com. Her self-described design style is "mid-century modern magpie." She lives in a Brooklyn apartment with her husband, their spoiled dachshund, Chauncey,...

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