I get the itch to go to IKEA every six months or so.  It is good that I only get the itch twice a year because I inevitably come home with more than I intended!  Last time I was there, I saw these clear plastic trays for only $1.99.  They were pretty boring, but they definitely had potential.  I bought a couple and figured I’d think of something to do with them!  I came up with this idea for decoupaging the underside of the tray because I wanted to be able to put food and drinks on the tray.  This way I can still wipe up any spills or crumbs, and I don’t have to worry that condensation will ruin the paper.

So, let’s get to it!



Here is a quick picture of the label on the tray in case you want to track it down at your local IKEA.

100_4796To start, you’ll need to pick out your paper.  On the green tray pictured at the top of the post, I used a heavy card stock and it was a little difficult to work with.  I decided this time to use regular scrapbook paper and it was much easier to work with.  I suggest using a repeating pattern since you will need two pieces of paper and a repeating pattern will allow you to match up the pages and make the seam virtually disappear.


Place your tray over the paper and trace the bottom of the tray onto the paper.  Cut out along the line.

100_4798Next, tape your papers together, matching the pattern.  I recommend putting just a little tape to hold it in place, and then flipping it over and taping it more securely on the back.  Many scrapbook papers have a slightly “aged” patina on the edges of the page.  If this is the case with your paper, trim the edge and then match the pattern.  I had to do that for this heart print.


100_4800After you have traced and trimmed the paper, check to see if you need to make any adjustments.  You can see here that I need to trim my paper slightly so that it sits inside the bottom ledge.


At this point, you are ready to apply your decoupage glue.  I really like the Martha Stewart brand of decoupage glue because it is not tacky once it is dry.

Your hands are the best tool for this next part – you will want to work all the bubbles and wrinkles out as best as possible.  Any bubble or wrinkle will be visible and almost amplified by the tray.  I turned it over and looked at the paper through the front while I used my hand to work out the bubbles and wrinkles from the back.  It was this step that was much easier with the paper versus the cardstock.

Sometimes you will have a bubble that you can’t work out towards the edges.  I like to use a push pin or similar to poke a little hole in the center of the bubble to allow the air out.

100_4802 Allow the decoupage glue to dry completely. After the first coat dried, I saw that my paper was pulling away from the tray.  I added more glue under the parts that were pulling up to reseal everything.


For the last step, pick out a spray paint color that complements your paper design.  I chose a brushed nickel for the hearts paper and a lime green for the leaf paper.


Allow the paint to dry completely and then try it out!  The beauty of this project is that since the tray is so inexpensive you can afford to try some fun patterns and colors.  If it doesn’t turn out the way you wanted, you are only out $3.00 and some time!   If you want to get really ambitious, you could make a whole ton and use them for Christmas gifts for next year!  Because who doesn’t love a fun tray?

heart tray

I think I like the green leaf tray better, but the heart tray is still great for Valentine’s Day!

One Thought on “Customize an IKEA Tray

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