3.21.2013

SPD: DIY $5 ACRYLIC TRAY TUTORIAL



This is another one of those projects that made me feel slightly stupid go "ah HA! Why didn't I think of this sooner?"

They sell these trays for $40 and up, but today I have an easier than easy tutorial to make one yourself for under $5.00.

The best part about it, imo, is that since you pick the card stock that goes on the bottom of the tray, that means you can swap it out whenever you want to a different color or pattern. Maybe I like this fact because I'm so indecisive and change my mind every other week, not too sure.

Here's your supply list:


I can't tell you how many times I've seen these picture frames/shadow boxes at Michael's and never once thought to turn it around the other way and make it into a tray. 

Have any of you?

Mind = blown.
(doesn't say much about me I guess, but that's why I'm here. A Pinterest addict.)

This is honestly the easiest project, if you can call it that, that I've done.
My inspiration came from this pin.

It's as easy as....
1, 2, 3
1. Pick out your card stock for the bottom
2. Cut it to fit the size of your tray
3. Place in tray 
(you can secure with tape if you want, but the objects on the tray will also hold it down)

Final outcome?
$35 dollars in your pocket and a beautiful tray to house some of your favorite things.

Oh, and they have a bigger size as well if you want a bigger tray!

Since I already use one for my watches in our bedroom, 
I decided to use this one for a side table to hold odds and ends, like so....



candle: bath and body works (go buy this NOW!) / nail polish: loreal "orange you jealous?"
 bracelet: styleloveliving / gold urchin: target

What do you think? 
I would be flattered if you pinned this to share or save for later use! Just sayin'.. :)

I'm ready to buy another to use in another room in our house. 
Trays make things look a lot neater/more put together than they really are...or is that just me?

*UPDATE: a lovely reader also suggested if you want to make it more fancy, take it to Staples or somewhere to have it laminated. Great tip! 

Your turn to link up!
Can't wait to see what you did this week.

the fine print:
+Link up using the linky tool below.
+Link back to Steph and I's blogs in your post (be kind!) so other people can know about the link up!
+Visit other blogs to get new inspiration and find new friends.



54 comments :

  1. wait... this is brilliant! Definitely adding this to my DIY to-do list. gotta love pinterest! thanks for sharing!

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  2. This is so smart!! I've never thought of it either and have always wanted one of those trays! Love this.

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  3. Holy bananas. Where has this idea been my whole life?!

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  4. I have NEVER thought of using that shadow box for this!!!!! I seriously NEED this for my bathroom for my watches and rings and my candle!!!!! Such a good idea!!!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

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  5. so cute and so smart! I had never even thought about those shadow boxes either!

    P.S. Love that you called the little gold sculpture from Target "gold object" haha

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  6. I'm not a pinterest fanatic or a diy-er, but I love this idea!! I can't screw it up and it's gorg and easy! Thanks for sharing, Love!

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  7. that is brilliant! ive been looking at these trays and they are pricey! Im going to check our a craft store now!

    Coffee Beans and Bobby Pins

    Gigglosophy Giveaway!

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  8. Love it, you are one clever lady! I think I might actually be able to pull this one off! Ha! :)

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  9. This has to be the best idea. Ever. Thanks for sharing!!! I am going to have to make at least 7 of these right now! :)

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  10. This is genius! I have a tray addiction and have been wanting an acrylic one. I am definitely planning a trip to Michaels this weekend. Brilliant idea!

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  11. Just brilliant! I am gonna get that lemon mint candle. I've heard great things about it!

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  12. I love this idea! I have a cracked shadow box that this would be perfect for!

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  13. You're right...mind = blown! I need to hit up Bath & Body. The girl who waxes my eyebrows had a delicious lemony BBW candle burning the last time I was there, but I would have sworn it was yellow. That could just be my mind playing tricks on me ;)

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  14. If you want to get a bit fancier, take the card stock or any paper to an office supply store (like Staples) to get it laminated. That way its protected!

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  15. I literaly just said "Shut. Up!" That is awesome!!! I feel so silly I've never thought of this!!! Thanks girl...love it!!!

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  16. OMG, I had no idea about those frames! I need to do this stat because I've wanted an acrylic tray for so long, but haven't wanted to spend that much money on one. Pure genius, you are! It's ok to have one of these in every room of the house right?? Haha! Love it :)

    P.S. You are so damn crafty - we need a craft night ASAP!

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  17. Ok that was definitely an "AH-HA" moment for sure!! I know what I'll be doing after work!!

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  18. I love this! I have been seeing these trays all over and didn't really want to drop $30+ on one, but this I can handle! The laminating is a great idea, especially if you wanted to use it in a bathroom or with makeup, etc.

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  19. I'm totally going to make this!! Thanks for the fantastic idea! I never would have thought of that! I might even make more than one :) The hard part will be deciding which card stock to use...

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  20. What a fabulous idea! I love it! :)

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  21. Love this! I'm totally going to make one for my living room to hold all of our remotes! Will be much cuter than having them sitting all over the coffee table.

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  22. Love this! Now this is a pinterest project I'll actually take on! Other than some Christmas decor and recipes I've never ventured into the other projects because they scare me as not being anywhere near as easy as the pinner makes it out to be. But this is fantastical, thanks! :)

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  23. This is adorable!! I will be doing this project this weekend!!!! Thanks so much for the idea!!

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  24. I made one of these to hold my jewelry on my nightstand and absolutely love it! I actually laminated my cardstock before I put it in the bottom to make it a little more durable and resistant!

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  25. You're a fucking genius. Oh my god. Acrylic shadowbox, OF COURSE!!!! I've really really been wanting a lucite tray for my coffee table, but I am le broke, and now it doesn't even matter. Thank you thank you!!!

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  26. ok this is adorable, I am so doing this! this would also be an adorable gift!

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  27. Omg! Totally making this! Its so cute!

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  28. Definitely adding this to my DIY list of things to do! It turned out so cute!

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  29. This might be one of the best ideas ever! I love the idea of using those frames as trays! Fantastic!

    Jill
    Classy with a Kick

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  30. Looks so cute but so easy. Might need to copy this after we move!

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  31. I love it! I'm going to have to try this :)

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  32. This is such a cute idea! And I LOVE the gold and white paper you choose, so pretty :)

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  33. Brilliant! And great paper choice!

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  34. Love it! I'll admit, when I first saw this I thought...she did not get that try for $5...ha! But I never thought to use a shadowbox. Great idea! Sorry to doubt you :)

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  35. Why does everything you touch turn into instant perfection!??! I love it!!

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  36. Ok, seriously, this just rocked my world! First of all, love your blog. Just found it and I'm loving it! Secondly, this idea is brilliant and you made it look so easy. I'm pretty sure I already have one of those frames at home right now. Definitely getting that candle this weekend. Thanks for sharing!
    Cheers,
    Sara
    www.socialsara.net

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  37. Such a nice and easy DIY! Thanks for sharing. I just came across your blog and I'm your newest follower :) Would you mind checking out our blog and (if you like) following back via GFC and Bloglovin'? We also have a giveaway going on right now! xx

    Blog: sixthtractate.blogspot.com

    Enter our current Giveaway!

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  38. I made one of these and posted on my blog for my guest bedroom. I love it and think its such a great idea. Love yours! Erica
    ericasrunningjourney.blogspot.com

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  39. I mean helloooooo why haven't I thought of this before? Duh Ashley. I love this and am so making one soon!

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  40. I never thought to use a shadow box- so smart! I'm pinning this

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  41. Pinning this IMMEDIATELY!! I have honestly been thinking about buying one of these, so thanks for saving my budget! :)

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  42. Such a fun and easy DIY project! Thanks for sharing!

    Shannon
    http://GBOfashion.com

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  43. And here is when I feel dumb lol! What a cute idea!

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  44. I'm like baffled how I didn't think of this!!! YES!! I will sooooo be making one of these over the weekend!!!! =)

    Ergo - Blog

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  45. Wow! I'm totally doing this for myself and for gifts! Thank you!

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  46. I love love love this idea (both the project itself and the link up)! I am going to have to go through my list of pins that I never end up trying and get on board, super excited :)

    Allie
    Bellasandra

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