Summer-inspired Tray Makeovers

Our monthly local vintage flea market is only a 15-minute drive from home. Vendors line the aisles with wonderful “trash to treasures.” A few months ago, I bought these two lap trays, with the short metal foldout legs. We used trays like this when we were kids when we were sick and got to eat in bed.


Click through to see the tutorial and after pics!

Now that it’s June, I wanted to create summer-inspired trays that can be used by the pool, on the beach or even at an outdoor picnic. I chose three colors of DecoArt Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Paint in Soft Jade, Cotton Ball and Coastal Waters.

Paint - Version 2

After a thorough washing and drying, the trays were ready for their makeover. The paint covered the metal trays so well that I only needed two coats. I painted one tray with Coastal Waters and the other with Soft Jade. These colors exude summer!


Grain sack stripes are very popular that I incorporated them in the tray design. Using painter’s or Washi tape, mark off two narrow areas and one wider area on both sides of tray. Lightly dab paint between tape. Remove tape while paint is still wet. Repeat the stenciling process on the second tray.


In addition to using my daughters’ favorite colors, I wanted to further personalize these trays for them. With the Patio Paint Home & Garden Reusable Stick-on Stencils, I chose their birth dates, 6 and 17. Position the stencil to the tray, and lightly dab a contrasting color paint onto the design, using a stencil brush or the edge of a sponge brush. To add a pop of color, I used Poppy, another summery color.



Here are the finished trays. They are perfect for using poolside, taking to the beach or to the park. Since they fold up, you can pop them into the trunk with the rest of your gear.


Lap Trays Finished


This would be a fun activity for a few kids or adults to get together and create. So be on the lookout for these vintage trays at your local flea market.


DecoArt provided me with paint and compensation for creating this project. All ideas and opinions are 100% my own. Links are only included for additional product information.














9 thoughts on “Summer-inspired Tray Makeovers

  1. Doreen I also I remember using those trays when I was a kid. I had actually forgotten about their existence till I saw this post. You are bringing back some sweet memories. I love this paint that you are using. And the colors are perfect summertime fun! Thanks for the sweet inspiration.


  2. I just love stripes and your trays look so pretty with them and the colors you chose!! You’ve been the most clicked post this week so you’re being featured later today at our Sweet Inspiration party, congratulations!!

    Liked by 2 people

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