Do you have a few old picture frames that you just don’t know what to do with?
Or maybe you’re one of those who loves to collect interesting frames from yard sales and thrift stores to save for a future project?
If either of these describes you, then I’ve got a fun project to share that’s simple, quick, and easy to customize exactly how you like. (And if it doesn’t describe you, I hope I’ll inspire you to run right out to the nearest thrift store.)
I’m going to show you how I used an old wood picture frame to create a unique and personalized serving tray for a small tea set.
But don’t think you have to make yours exactly like this one, or for the same purpose. Take the basic idea, choose the supplies you prefer, and let your creativity take off!
When she turned 2, we gave Hannah a porcelain tea set.
It wasn’t for play, but for special tea parties I wanted to share with her. Over the years we’ve had lots of tea, but never had a serving tray for her tea ware – until I decided to just make one myself!
A serving tray isn’t limited to just a tea set though.
You can use it as a display in your kitchen, a tray on the table for fresh fruit or decor, a vanity topper for perfumes or hair accessories, a pretty base for displaying potted plants, and of course, the classic “breakfast in bed”.
Here’s what you’ll need:
(affiliate links are provided)
- a wood frame – any size you like
- sandpaper (optional, as needed)
- spray or acrylic paint (I used Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover 2X Satin Heirloom White for this project.)
- coordinating wallpaper scraps, cardstock, scrapbook paper, fabric, wrapping paper, children’s art projects, favorite photos, recycled greeting cards…
- 2 drawer handles with hardware and tools
Here’s what you do:
Update the frame
Remove the glass from your frame and prepare it for painting.
If you need to rough it up a bit, use a piece of sandpaper and give it a light sanding. Some frames, like mine, have a shiny coating that makes it difficult for paint to stick. If yours doesn’t need sanding, jump right to painting it.Two or three coats should give you nice coverage.
Design the tray
While the frame is drying, design the inside. If you’re frame doesn’t have an inner backing piece, cut one to size using a piece of thin cardboard such as from a shirt or cereal box.
Apply your design to the backing. This is where you can really get creative! Use your imagination and choose textures, colors, and materials that reflect your style or the theme you have chosen.
For our tray, I chose a pretty scrapbook paper and coordinating cardstock, some adhesive gems, and photos from Hannah’s very first tea party.
Reassemble and add handles
Depending on the style of your frame and your preference, you can place the handles on the top or sides. With handles in place, slide in your design and replace the glass.
Now you have a pretty serving tray to enjoy or to gift to a friend.
And that old picture frame…is useful again!
Do you have other ways to repurpose picture frames? Leave a comment and share your favorite projects.
This post contains affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission if you make a purchase using these links. The price you pay, however, will not be affected. Thank you for supporting To Work with My Hands. View my full disclosure here.
Want More DIY Tips & Inspiration?
Join the newsletter and get subscriber exclusive extras:
- Notification of new blog content
- News and information you won't find on the blog
- Upcoming projects and events
- Deals, offers, and discounts for your DIY projects