Try This Craft Project: Painted Trays

An easy way to freshen up your living space is by adding in stylish objects. And, you don’t have to break the bank to do it! Painted Trays, from Janet Crowther’s A Well-Crafted Home (the full project can also be found below), is an easy craft project that anyone can do. Not only will you be able to see your gorgeous handiwork around your home, but you’ll also have fun making each piece.

As you create your own set of painted trays, these audiobooks will keep you company:

City of Girls

In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand.

Hope and Other Punch Lines

Abbi Hope Goldstein is like every other teenager…except her famous alter ego, Baby Hope, is the subject of internet memes, and sometimes people spontaneously burst into tears when they recognize her from an iconic photo of her as a baby on September 11. She decides to spend the summer before her seventeenth birthday incognito as a camp counselor, but then she meets Noah Stern and nothing goes as planned.

How Not to Die Alone
Author: Richard Roper
Read By: Simon Vance

For years Andrew’s worked a thankless public health job, searching for the next of kin of those who die alone. Luckily, he goes home to a loving family every night. At least, that’s what his coworkers believe. Then he meets Peggy, a new coworker, and he feels alive for the first time in decades. Too bad he’s stuck in his little white lie…

Blue Shoe

Mattie’s life at the moment is a wreck: her marriage has failed, her mother is failing, her house is rotting, her waist is expanding, her children are misbehaving, and she has a crush on a married man. Then she finds a small rubber blue shoe—nothing more than a gumball trinket—left behind by her father that will help her finally understand her family and herself.


PAINTED TRAYS from A Well-Crafted Home by Janet Crowther

Painted Tray craft project from A Well-Crafted Home

Skill level: Beginner
Finished size: Varies, depending on the size of your tray

I tend to take my jewelry off right after I’ve climbed in bed. This beautiful gold-leafed tray is the perfect spot to stash these items safely overnight. Having a designated catchall for jewelry and trinkets that end up on your nightstand is a must. You will always know where to look for your rings in the morning as you are rushing out the door. Make sure to purchase or find ceramic dishes that you know are oven-safe. The baking temperature for the ceramic paint isn’t very high, but some dishes are not made to withstand much heat and will crack.

SUPPLIES
Oven-safe tray, plate, cup, or bowl in ceramic or porcelain
Pébéo Porcelaine 150 paint
Liquid gold leaf in classic gold

TOOLS
2-inch flat paintbrush
Small round paintbrush
Newspapers (optional) or grassy area outside
Safety glasses

1. Before painting, clean the tray to remove any dirt or oil.

2. To make a long brushstroke, decide where you would like it to start on the plate and drip out a little paint, right at the brushstroke start point (see Tip).

3. Take the flat brush and push it down at the edge of the paint, pulling the brush across the plate slowly and trying to keep your brushstroke as straight as possible. As you get to the end of the stroke, start to pick the brush up slightly to soften the edges of the stroke and then pick the brush off the plate completely. Let the paint dry on the tray for 24 hours.

4. Place the tray in the oven and set the temperature at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. (If you let the tray heat up along with the oven, there is less chance of it cracking.) Bake for 35 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the tray cool in the oven to room temperature.

5. Add the gold-leaf splatter detail: This is best done outside or in a well-protected and well-ventilated area. Wear your safety glasses while painting. Lay the tray down, faceup. Dip the round brush into the gold paint and start splattering it on the tray by flicking your wrist above the tray. Go in several different directions to create an even splatter across the whole tray. Re-dip the brush as needed. Allow the gold leaf to dry for at least 12 hours before use.

6. To care for the tray once completed, wash by hand with mild soap and cool water.

Tip: You can create all kinds of patterns using different-size paintbrushes. Go for all-over color or use several colors on 1 tray. Always bake the Pébéo paint on the tray before painting on the gold leaf.

Reprinted from A Well-Crafted Home. Copyright © 2017 by Janet Crowther. Photographs by Julia Wade. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.


Looking for even more fun craft projects? Try making a Calligraphy Matchbox Countdown calendar in anticipation of beloved events or Dyed Washi Paper to wrap gifts with. Do want more listening recommendations for your next craft project? We have them for you!