Vintage Lap Tray Makeover


I hope y’all are having a great week!  I’m so excited to share this little makeover with you today!  I went to a yard sale just down the street on Saturday and spent all of $1 on two vintage lap trays.  Let’s just say that they were so vintage that they were rusty and the paint was chipping and peeling off. Not-so-cool.

After I worked a bit of magic including spray paint {of course!} and Modpodge, I had them looking better than ever!

I used a sanding pad to smooth out the rough, chipping, rusty tray on the top and the bottom.

See how bad the underside of the trays looked? Ick.  After I smoothed everything out, I wiped the trays down with a damp rag and let them completely dry before spray painting.

I used Valspar’s Black Gloss for the bottom and legs of the tray and then Rustoleum’s Fern Gloss for the top.

Oooo, they are already looking so much better!

Just fyi, this spray paint is soooo close to Benjamin Moore’s Huntington Green that I used on my apple green desk.  The spray paint is just slightly darker and slightly greener.

Supplies I used to decorate the top of my trays:

  • 3 sheets scrapbook paper {50% off at Hobby Lobby}
  • 1 scrap piece of brown cardstock
  • Scissors
  • ModPodge and sponge brush
  • Silhouette machine {you could definitely use stencils}

I trimmed the scrapbook paper to fit in the tray..  There will be a seam, but don’t worry, I’ve gotcha covered.  It’s not going to look tacky, I promise. 🙂

Once I had the scrapbook paper cut, I cut two thin strips of brown cardstock to cover the seams.

Then I broke out the ModPodge and covered the tray using my sponge brush.  After gluing down the scrapbook paper, I left it alone and let it completely dry.  {This is the trick to successful ModPodging…ask me how I know.} While the ModPodge was drying, I worked on cutting out “his” and “hers” lettering for the trays – as if my husband and I ever eat breakfast in bed…ahem. We’re more likely to use the trays for guests or for a rare midnight snack. 🙂

Once the ModPodge was dry, I glued down the strip of brown cardstock over the seam and the words on each one.  Then I gave everything a nice top coat of ModPodge.


Can I just say that I adore these lap trays?  It’s all about seeing the potential in something that doesn’t look so good at first because those trays looked hideous.

I think that it will be fun to serve guests with these new trays, so I pretended today with my easy homemade banana bread and fresh orange slices. After I shot some photos for this post, Ridley and I had a snack. 🙂

Isn’t the scrapbook paper fab?!

Wouldn’t you like to come over and be our guest? I’ll serve you breakfast in bed. 🙂

Before & After

An amazing change that cost me less than $2!

Trays are usually easy to find at yard sales and thrift shops, so be creative and customize a tray or two for your house! 😉 Decorating and accessorizing your home frugally is quite obtainable with time spent looking for treasures and a little creativity.

Need more inspiration? Check out the Tile Tray by Just A Girl and the Greek Key Fabric Lined Tray by Centsational Girl. Pure awesomeness!

Have you spray painted anything lately?

I’m linking up to: I’m Lovin’ It, Weekend Wrap Up PartyHow To DayBefore and After Party and Funky Junk Interiors.



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  1. Awesome!! Thanks for sharing, now you have given me ideas. I recently bought a large oval tray from GW for 50 cents, was going to try chalk paint but found out you can only order it on-line and it seems waaay expensive, so I think I will try your idea. Lovely!! 🙂

  2. Love, love, love!! Myra – you are amazing! I agree with Rebekah (above) that the cover up was made to look intentional. I love the “fern gloss” color and I hope I can find it where I live. I’ll be looking for trays at thrift stores and garages sales too!

    1. Awww, thanks Heather! You are so sweet! You should be able to find the Rustoleum at your local home improvement store…and I think Walmart carries it too. 🙂

  3. Myra,
    This is an amazing transformation! I would have looked at those trays and thought, ugh….but you have shown me to look at the potential of all things old and forgotten. Now I want to go garage sale’n. Thanks for the inspirational post. You are so talented and creative. 🙂
    Lynette – Rooted in Atascocita´s last blog post ..Why I love Pinterest

  4. So very cute!! I have some bed trays and some tv trays that I have been hanging on to because I couldn’t decide what to do with them….now you inspired me to get them done! Thank you for your inspiration!

  5. Another super cute project! I think I might try these for my daughters. We have some old ones laying here somewhere. 🙂 Thanks for all of your inspiration- in the home and in the heart.

  6. I love this idea!

    Just one question: does the ModPodge create a moisture barrier between the food/drinks on the tray and the paper?

    OK, I lied, I have two questions. How would one best clean a try like this without ruining it?

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. So bizzaar (sp??) I sohuld see this today! I just finished revamping two trays as well and mine say his and hers also! Ha! I haven’t posted mine yet, they’ll go up Monday but I stenciled mine. I love how these turned out, they look fabulous!
    Amanda´s last blog post ..Revamped Bird Feeder

    1. Thank you Stephanie! You are so right! I’m going to keep hunting too because they would make fabulous gifts! 🙂

  8. SO ADORABLE! I wish I had some trays to refinish! I think I’m going to have to start shopping at Goodwill again. Nice job. And thanks for the tutorial!

  9. Love that you covered up the seam so…seamlessly! (Okay, that was really lame.)

    I’m impressed that despite all that rustiness the trays turned out looking so new. Nicely done! 🙂

  10. Great project Myra! I love the look of the new trays and that they are a lil’ personalized now!! Question for you – I have been trying to use glossy mod podge for a project and when I apply it on the paper with a foam brush, it dries streaky from the brush. Any recommendations on what to do, so I achieve a glossy, non-streaky finish? Any tips would be greatly appreciated!!

    Jenna, SAS Interiors´s last blog post ..5 Lessons Learned as a Blogger

  11. Just sprayed painted my heart out today and started 2 trays as well. I am torn though, they are round and I am thinking I will use fabric to line the tray, so cutting it perfectly will be tricky! I can’t wait to take the plunge!

  12. I like how you turned something ugly and unwanted into something cute and useful. Your staging for the photos was great, too! I painted some furniture for someone last week on a tight turnaround and the poly was still drying when they needed to pick it up, so I barely had time to snap a few pics before they carted it off. I didn’t get to do the staging necessary for a beautiful “after” pic. They wouldn’t have understood, so I didn’t make them stick around and wait while I did it. Alas.
    Hollie @ I’m Busy Procrastinating´s last blog post ..Get Me Motivated Monday

  13. Cute! I have a couple of wooden trays that I’ve thought about mod podging. Maybe I should stop procrastinating and get it done. I also used the same scrapbook paper on a clipboard that holds my grocery list in my pantry.

  14. hi myra just found your site yesterday and i am truly impressed. The first item i found was the wreath book pages and cones cant wait to try it out.I am addicted already. Hope you do not mind me subscribing to your site as i am from Ireland and i love to do stuff that does not cost me a fortune. Thanking You, Regards Rose

  15. The final product looks amazing, many commercial lap trays are no where near the quality and the polish that your DIY guide achieves. Great guide, i may have to build one myself now.

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