I have a ton of silver trays around my house. I love to go garage saling and thrifting where you can find these for a dollar or less. They are so cheap that I just go ahead and buy them, which really defeats the purpose of saving money, but that’s a whole other discussion. Things just look better on top of trays. A sort of optical illusion of organization. Instead of the classy “British tea” vibe, I like to make them fit me a bit more.
You can use scrapbook paper, magazine pages or even a photo printed onto matte paper. I am personally obsessed with book pages. Lay the paper inside the tray. Loosely press the paper into the base of the tray. Run your finger around the base of the tray to crease the paper to hold the shape of the tray.
Using decoupage medium, cover the base of the tray in an even coat with a sponge applicator or paintbrush. Lay the paper on top and smooth out any air bubbles. Spread a thin even coat onto the paper, carefully covering all edges. Do this neatly. You don’t want any on the sides of the tray. Let this coat dry and apply one more coat.
Use a light sandpaper to sand the paper edge after it has completely dried. Gently sand until the edges are smooth.You should not be able to feel where the paper begins and the tray ends. Take your time doing this. Remember… it is still paper. Give it one last coat of decoupage medium for protection.
Do a whole slew of mismatched silver trays for a unified look. Use it to hold outgoing mail. Use it to display cherished items. Hang them on the wall. Use it as a photo frame. The decoupaging medium makes it a paintable surface so the possibilities are endless. I think I might paint one of my daughters’ silhouette on it.