A lively and colorful decorative tray couldn’t be simpler to create when you start with an inexpensive box picture frame! 

decorative tray


Using a decorative tray in your home decor is a super easy way to infuse style and color. And, with so many ways to use it, a tray is an economical choice as well! Here are some ways I’ve used trays in the past:

  • Turn an ottoman into a side table by adding a tray on top
  • Show off a favorite collection of items – plants, accents, pictures in frames – anything goes!
  • To corral bathroom or makeup items
  • Add flowers or plants for a fun centerpiece
  • As a serving tray – can’t forget that one

Sometimes, things are even more special when you can customize them. Today I’m showing you how you can make this versatile piece for under $!10.

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Even better, it’s time for another Create With Me challenge!  I skipped the month of June – just too much going on with my kids home for summer –  so I am extra excited to be back for the month of August.  You voted for our team to create with picture frames!  There are so many great projects you can create with picture frames, but one of my favorite things to do with a picture frame – precisely an inexpensive acrylic box frames – is to create fun and unique decorative trays!

oversized ottoman tray

Here’s what I used to create this fun, colorful tray:
  • An 11 x 14 acrylic box frame – I found mine at Hobby Lobby, but this is a great deal!
  • Nail polish in various colors, including clear
  • Navy blue high gloss acrylic paint
  • Painters tape
  • Make your tray

    ottoman trays

  • 1.To create your tray, turn the box frame over, remove the “box” meant to hold the picture in place, turn it over, and voila – a tray!

  • 2. To make sure you get a crisp edge, add painters tape around the inside edge of the frame.

    3.Paint clear nail polish around the inside edge of the painter’s tape to minimize any seepage.

    4. Next, paint the bottom of your tray with your acrylic paint. Allow it to dry between coats.

    decorative ottoman tray

  • 5. Now it’s time to add some color! You can add any pattern you want with your nail polish – I went with a series of dashes alternating my colors. Allow your tray to drive for a full 24 hours before using it to give the nail polish a chance to cure.

    6. Style away!

decorative tray for coffee table

I love how mine turned out, and I can guarantee you’ll be seeing it around my home. Have you done a picture frame make-over? We’d love to see what you’ve come up with! Post your pictures to Instagram using the hashtag #createwithmeprojects!


diy decorative tray from picture frame

Now it’s time to vote for next month’s material! Take the survey below and tell us what you want to Create with Me for September – then let’s take a minute to figure out how we’re already talking about September!

Thanks so much to Samantha of Little Bits of Home for hosting such a fun challenge!


If you can’t see the survey, CLICK HERE!


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  1. Chloe Crabtree on August 3, 2017 at 10:39 am

    How pretty! I don’t know how you do it, to keep coming up with creative new ideas! This one is brilliant!

    • admin on August 5, 2017 at 10:54 am

      Thanks so much, Chloe! I only wish I had your creativity!

  2. Amy Dowling on August 3, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    What an awesome idea! I love this and can imagine all the different ways I would decorate it!

    • admin on August 5, 2017 at 10:55 am

      Thanks Amy! I’m there with you! I may be making trays for days..

  3. Michelle james on August 8, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Kim, this is the coolest tray ever!! I want to make one! Thanks for the inspiration ?

    • admin on August 8, 2017 at 11:09 pm

      Thanks, Michelle! I may never STOP making them!

  4. Sarah on August 17, 2017 at 9:49 am

    what a cute idea! I love all the bright and happy colors you used.

    • admin on August 18, 2017 at 9:56 pm

      Thanks so much, Sarah!

  5. Emily on August 25, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    I LOVE how your tray turned out, Kim! So on-trend & the nail polish is a fun alternative to paint.

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