Who knew cork backed placemats would be so versatile for a repurposed project? Here’s how to transform one into a rustic serving tray.
I’m a little sad this is our last repurposed project with thrift placemats.
I absolutely loved taking Rosana and Terry’s ideas and making them into projects!
This final project was also suggested by Terry.
On to the Project…
Last month I shared these lovely 🙂 placemats that I got from a thrift store. There were three of them and I later wondered what might have happened to a fourth. Of course, thrifting is always an adventure, with plenty of mysteries thrown in, and three is better than none, right?
Terry’s second idea was to use one as the base for a serving tray by adding barn or pallet wood and attaching handles. Isn’t that brilliant? The sturdy cork backing made them perfect for repurposing into a tray.
As with the other two, I started by giving the placemat a light sanding and wiping it down with a damp cloth. None of them had been sitting idly in a kitchen cabinet and had several small cuts on the surface. Sanding smoothed them away and got rid of the thin coating, which gave it a better surface for decoupage too.
Hannah and I headed to Hobby Lobby to see what kind of paper and handles we could find that would pair well with pallet wood.
We found these:
It all comes together with the right pieces, doesn’t it?
It took a little more than a sheet of paper to cover the placemat, but it made a nice faux seam between the faux boards. A bit of Mod Podge later, and the base was finished.
Moving on to the Border
I just discovered last week that not everyone has easy access to pallet wood. It’s something I’ve taken for granted because it’s super easy to get where we live. A local warehouse has them stacked outside their building and is more than happy to have people haul them off. Counting my pallet-gathering blessings!
If you’re having trouble finding pallets, I’d suggest checking with any distribution centers or warehouses in your area and ask if they allow you to pick up their used ones.
I didn’t need anywhere near an entire pallet for this project, so I only got one – and chose the nicest one I could find.
Full disclosure here: I got help!
The chop saw is my power tool specialty (read: the only one I know how to use), so I grabbed a handy skilled helper to cut the pallet…
and to rip a slat into narrower pieces for me.
I wanted the pieces pretty narrow – just enough to fit the handles – to preserve as much of the tray surface as possible.
I thought about beveling the edges, and while that might look good for some projects, a more rustic, end-to-end look works better for the style I was going for.
And since my handy skilled helper was already hanging around anyway, and in his woodworking groove, I just let him at it and took the pictures! 🙂
What would a project be without paint?
I used a white chalk finish to paint the slats, then added a little detail with grey craft paint.
One more placement check before adding the handles…
Finally, I attached the handles with wood screws and glued the slats onto the placemat with Gorilla Glue.
After curing, it was ready to go to work:
Who knew cork backed placemats could be so useful and versatile?
And if these three projects aren’t enough, Flo, another blog reader, shared her idea too:
“I would use it for a hot plate. You can put it on plastic or just about anything. It looks like it is large enough for a casserole dish.”
I think Flo’s idea is great! I wonder if I could find another placemat at the thrift store…