After hunting high and low for the perfect little tray to sit on my kitchen counter, I abandoned the search and made my own. Guess what?…it’s exactly the size and color I was looking for. That, my friends, is the glory of DIY. You get just what you want and I’m all for that. Why not whip one up for yourself? Here’s how I got my finished tray which is 14″ long by 10 1/2″ deep:
- 1″ x 4″ x 4′ pine ($2.76 at Home Depot, I had it cut to 3 pieces, 14″ each)
- 1″ x 2″ pine, 2 pieces 10 1/2″ long (donated from my brother’s shop, thanks Steve)
- 12 – #6 x 1 1/4″ wood screws ($2.19 at Canadian Tire)
- 2 drawer pulls ($2 each at the Restore)
- sandpaper, paint, screwdriver, drill and bits (I had all these on hand)
Sand all the pieces of wood just to make them “hand friendly”, as in you don’t get slivers when you pick them up.
Lay your 3 boards edge to edge lining up the cut sides. Lay the shorter pieces on top and on each side creating your tray’s sides. Flip this all upside down keeping all your boards lined up…well, actually just re-align them in the same pattern.
I predrilled 2 holes on each of my boards, also drilling through to the side pieces. Pine cracks and splinters easily so pre-drilling will take care of that risk. See the blue tape on the drill bit? – this is a trick I learned to make a marker where to stop drilling so you don’t go all the way through both layers of wood.
Screw the boards and sides together using the screws and predrilled holes. Tighten them up. Flip it over and you’re almost done!
Paint your tray using 1-2 coats of acrylic paint (the craft stuff is fine). I used chalkboard paint left over from my door project. The door and tray both live in the kitchen and match perfectly, my OCD heart loves that! Once the paint dried, I lightly sanded the edges and a few spots on the boards to give it a bit of a rustic look – this is completely optional.
The final step is to attach your drawer pulls to create handles on your tray sides. Depending on which you choose, you may need to drill holes from the bottom through the whole tray to attach them, or screw down into your tray handles from above.
I added thick felt pads to all the corners to keep any metal screw heads off my countertop (again with the OCD). And here she is….
This project took an hour-ish and cost under $10. Cheap and easy, just the way I like. Obviously you can customize it by changing the sizes of your boards, side bits, handles and paint choice to get a tray that suits your needs. I’m really happy with how this turned out and have big plans ahead for the wee one…Intrigue!
One of the highlights of my Island hop last weekend was visiting an amazing little thrift shop called Nu-To-Yu. It’s impossible to describe the chaos, beauty and value of this treasure trove. I actually got a bit overwhelmed. This tiny shop on a tiny island has the best stuff at unbelievable prices: mugs for 5 cents, records for 10 cents, clothes for $1. It’s crazy fun! I’d like to share my favourite find…a pyrex casserole dish with glass lid.
A bit worn and very dirty but the gold pattern hooked me. I hadn’t seen this design before and discovered it’s ‘Golden Tulip’, a promotional item that dates back to 1959 (thanks Pyrex Love). Woot!
Now to clean it! I researched, experimented and combined what info I found and am here to tell you it’s totally worth the time and elbow grease to revive. Here’s what I did:
- Soaked both pieces in the sink with very hot water and Dawn dishwashing soap (which I had on hand) for a few hours to loosen the crud
- Gently scrubbed with a Mr. Clean magic eraser (also had on hand) and boy those things sure deserve their name!
- On stubborn, stuck on grime, I scoured with Bar Keepers Helper ($2 at Target) but I was careful not to use this on the actual gold pattern in case it would scratch
- Got into crevices with a bamboo skewer, a toothbrush would be good too
All the articles I read agreed on these DON’Ts:
- do not put in dishwasher
- do not use an abrasive cleaner such as Comet
- do not heat in the oven to try to loosen grime
- do not use any harsh chemicals
Not spotless but I’m pretty happy with the results, which took about an hour. I didn’t waste effort on the glass lid as it has several chips and is a common size. I’ll find a replacement for it that’s in better shape. Did you catch the price of this gem in the ‘before’ photos?….50 cents! How could I go wrong?
Silhouettes are a great way to personalize your space with a classic twist. Kind of like photos yet more sophisticated don’t you think? They’re easier to make than you might guess. Wanna try? Venus the kitty is my model here but I promise you they turn out even better using people.
Gather your supplies:
- a profile photo of your subject (a plain pale background is ideal) which has been photocopied or printed onto regular old paper
- scrapbook paper in black and any color for your background (you want the good stuff that doesn’t fade, not just construction paper)
- very sharp scissors, this is the only time I use my sewing scissors on paper
Play around with a photocopier or the printer settings on your computer to print the photo to the size you’d like your finished silhouette to be. Trace around the outer edge of the head. I like to tape the picture to a window to get a clearer edge with the light coming through. I also prefer to trace on the back of the picture because the photo details can be distracting. Soften any harsh edges or funny bits like sticky-outy hair and cut this out very carefully. This is now your template. Hold it against a contrasting page of paper to get a sneak peek at how it’s looking and make any adjustments needed. Tape template onto the back side of your black paper in the opposite facing direction you want your finished product to be. Cut very carefully around the template, gently remove it and turn your paper over. Voila…your one-of-a-kind silhouette is ready to tape onto it’s background paper then pop into a frame.
Wouldn’t these make great gifts for grandparents, aunties etc? They look so good in gallery wall arrangements too…simple and sophisticated!
Who will you make a silhouette of? A baby, a newlywed couple, your kids…or maybe pets like I did? Have fun with it and enjoy the weekend!