Monday, June 01, 2015

"*#!%^&+#!*!" French Tray...

Occasionally I've worked on DIY projects that were time consuming and detailed, but I haven't minded because I predicted ahead of time the effort it would take to finish. Other times I've begun projects anticipating a quick and easy result and it has turned into a complicated nightmare. That's how my "French Tray" project went.

You might remember that I bought a couple of unfinished trays from Hobby Lobby for under $4 each on sale. I planned on refinishing the trays with spray paint, glaze, and a stencil for a french country themed wedding brunch my husband and I are hosting for our son's wedding. I thought it would take about 5 minutes to create a shabby chic tray. The best laid plans... often go awry.


Three days later I was still slugging over the project. Here's the outcome of the first attempt...

Bleh. I usually like tone on tone paint colors, but this one did nothing for me, and the wood was so dry that it was hard to stencil properly because the paint kept leaching underneath the stencil. So much for that attempt. 

Next I Mod Podge'd some scrapbook paper to the bottom of the tray. I purchased two large pieces of paper.  Unfortunately, the tray was longer than the paper, so there was a line where the two pieces met in the middle of the tray. I didn't think it would be too apparent, but I was wrong. I didn't get a photo of that disaster.

My third effort was to take a piece of fabric and Mod Podge that to the bottom of the tray. There was a tiny gap where the fabric didn't meet the edge of the tray, so in my very own ultra-persnickety fashion, I ruined the project put lace along the sides to bridge the gap. The end result could be named, "Grandma Meets Marie Antoinette" or "Froufrou at its Worst!"

At this point I was sure my DIY mojo had flown the coop. The only thing I had gotten right so far was the paint on the tray. I used three different cans of spray paint for this effect. A nickel brushed satin metallic, a caramel latte satin metallic, and a chocolate brown satin spray paint. I used very short even strokes of all the colors till I finally liked what I saw.

It took super-human strength to get the fabric and lace off the tray, because I had used almost a whole jar of Mod Podge on that fabric... and it had dried. Geez Louise, am I ever going to get this right?

For my final endeavor, I used a little of this canvas "natural and turquoise Lansing Breeze" fabric from Hobby Lobby...

So far, so good.

I Mod Podge'd the fabric to the bottom of the tray. After it dried, I liberally applied Mod Podge -- twice -- to the top of the fabric to form a barrier between the fabric and the food that will be placed on the tray. I plan on using the trays for chocolate croissants and other pastries at the brunch.

I bought some of this 1/4" Natural Linen Braided Trim to put around the outside edge of the fabric. I hoped this would look better than the lace I had previously used to conceal the edge. 

After all that effort, here's the final project that I'm {finally} happy with. I don't think I'll be stenciling or Mod Podging anytime soon.

I am happy with how these turned out. The fabric gives it a dimension and texture that wasn't there with the stencil, and I like the braid around the outside edge that adds a little "shabby" to the chic.

And it only took 468 steps to complete.

Shared at Ladybug Blessings on Handmade Tuesdays