Woo, boy. I honestly cannot believe I am finally sharing this post. I have been planning this tray since late last year, and it has taken me until now to be able to finish it and share it with you all – but it’s pretty good timing, as tomorrow (April 3rd) is Find A Rainbow Day!
I took all the work out this day for you by creating and sharing a rainbow with you, so you don’t have to look for one yourself 😜 The main reason this project took so long to finish was because I couldn’t find a circle or semi-circle piece of wood until February, which means I looked for about 4+ months.
Local hardware stores didn’t have any, craft stores either didn’t have the right size or any good quality wood to choose from, and I couldn’t even find a circular table to use as they were all varnished or painted. I finally found this wire basket and table at Kmart which was close enough to what I wanted, and I was over the moon.
Before I get onto the project, I just want to talk about serving trays for a bit. These things were a huge part of my childhood, as depressing as that may sound. I did not grow up in an eat-at-the-dinner-table kind of household. It was either in front of the TV on the couch, or in front of the TV in my room.
The location depended on the overall mood of the house; if there was anger in the air, I hid in my room, obviously. But no matter the atmosphere, serving trays were always there for me, and I wanted to bring them back into my life.
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Being the computer-obsessed millennials that we are, Daniel and I eat dinner at our desks most nights, apart from special occasions where we will drag ourselves to the table. But when Daniel isn’t home I spend most of my time on the couch as our lounge room is the most spacious of our rooms, and I am usually trying to get 5 different tasks completed before he gets home so we can spend time together.
Plus, I don’t use any particularly dangerous cooking equipment when he’s away, which means microwave meal dinners for me, and what goes better with a microwave meal than a serving tray? So, not only is this a super cute DIY project, it’s also one that I will actually use!
You will need:
♡ Semi-circle piece of wood
♡ White, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple paint
♡ Wide paint roller and tray
♡ Paint brushes in various sizes
♡ Lots of masking tape and a pencil
♡ Black handles (or silver ones painted black, as mine are)
♡ Electric drill
1. Paint the entire piece of wood white, including the sides, with your roller and brushes. Repeat with as many layers as required until you have a full coverage.
2. Once the paint is completely dry, measure from one corner to the middle of the flat side of your piece of wood. Divide that number by 6 to see how thick each coloured arch will be. Mine were roughly 2.2 centimetres thick, so I started by drawing a small line in pencil across the flat end of the wood every 2.2 centimetres.
3. If you’re happy with the size and area that each colour will occupy, go ahead and lightly sketch out your arches. I did this by going around the curved part of my wood every inch or so with a ruler and drawing a few more dots at 2.2 centimetres in, then at 4.4, and so on. Once I had drawn enough dots for me to comfortably connect and turn into arches, I went ahead and connected them, just like you would a connect-the-dots illustration.
4. Put small pieces of masking tape just below the pencil line under your first arch – where the red paint will go – to protect the second arch from getting any paint on it. Once you’ve created a sufficient barrier, paint the top arch red. Repeat with as many layers as required, but remember to let each one dry before adding another. Also don’t forget to paint the edges of the board! With the red paint, you’ll need to go around the outer circle completely, but for the flat side, keep the paint in line with your red arch.
5. Whilst I was waiting for my red paint to dry, I decided to paint the third arch. Cover the top and bottom of this arch’s edges with masking tape to protect the arches next to it, then paint it yellow, including the adjoined area on flat side. Once again, wait for each layer of paint to dry before you add more.
6. As the yellow arch dries, place masking tape all around the fifth arch, which is where we are going to put our blue paint. Paint the arch and flat side, wait, and repeat as you have for the other layers, then I would recommend leaving all three layers to dry overnight before you paint the remaining arches.
7. Once your three arches have dried, carefully peel off the masking tape. Starting at the top of your tray once again, put pieces of masking tape all around your second arch, then paint that one and its corresponding parts on the flat side orange.
8. Move down and cover the outskirts of your fourth arch with masking tape, then paint that arch and the adjoining flat side green. Go back and add any more layers of orange or green paint as you deem necessary once the previous layers have dried.
9. Now, put masking tape around the top outline of your sixth and final arch, then paint that one – and its flat side, once again – purple. Once all the paint has dried, very carefully peel the masking tape off. If you discover that the tape has peeled any of the paint off that was underneath, just go over it again.
Also, if you discover any white patches in between your aches, paint over them with the colour they are supposed to be using a very small, very thin paint brush. I recommend really taking your time with this part as you’re not using masking tape as a guide. Patience really is key at this point!
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10. This is the point where you would add some kind of sealing product onto your tray, but I did not do that because, as I have mentioned many times before, I am a complete novice at pretty much everything in life (as you will be able to tell from the paint job on this tray😅) and didn’t realise that it was necessary.
But apparently it is, so I don’t want to confuse anyone who may recreate this project, which is why I included Polycrylic in the list of supplies as that’s what most people recommend for projects like this. Whatever product you use, make sure it is completely dry before moving onto the next step.
11. Play around with the placing of your handles and see where you would like them the most. You want them in a spot where they will be comfortable to hold whilst still keeping the tray in an upright position. I think the two sides is the best spot, so that’s where I put mine!
Once you’re happy with their placing, draw a small “x” or dot where you need to drill the holes, then drill them. Attach your handles by placing them on top of the holes and screwing in the screw from underneath, and you’re done! Whew! If you managed to get all that done is less than 4 months, then you’re already far better than me 😉
I will always have a soft spot in my heart for serving trays, so this is certainly not going to be the last time you see them on the blog!
I already know what design I want to do for the other semi-circle piece of wood that I have, but I’m going to do a bit more research on primers, different kinds of paints, and sealers before I dive into another project like this one.
If you guys have any advice for a rookie DIY-er like myself, I am all ears! I will take any advice that you have, no matter how simple it might be!
Tell me: did you grow up in a eat-at-the-dinner-table-every-night kind of family? Did doing so – or not doing so – affect the way you eat dinner as an adult?
It’s really interesting to hear from people who swear by having dinner at a table as it’s such a rare occurrence for us! Just goes to show how different everyone lives their life, I guess.
Until next time,