Craft Projects

DIY Button Tray


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Need a fun project for the upcoming weekend? Why not try making your own button tray?!

This tray takes a while, but the end result is totally worth it.

Supplies:

Step one: Prepare your tray for painting by doing a light sanding (if necessary).

Plain tray

Step two: Apply several coats of paint to your tray, allowing adequate dry time in between coats. I opted for an off-white color for my tray.

Step three: Once your tray is dry, start securing buttons to the bottom using glue. I used super glue until I ran out of it and switched to hot glue. Glue your buttons as close to one another as possible. Do not skip the gluing step because the buttons will rise when you pour on your super glaze.

Button Tray

Button TrayStep four: When all of your buttons are secure and the entire tray is filled, it is time for your super glaze. I buy mine from Home Depot. Mix up your super glaze according to the directions pon the box (1:1), then pour over the buttons. To get the best results, I poured my first layer and let it dry for the recommended 72 hours. Then I came back and poured a second layer to fill in any nook, crannies and buttonholes.

Step five: This is the hardest part — let your tray dry for the full 72 hours. I had to wait twice since I did mine in two layers! If you don’t, you will get fingerprints on the clear finish and it might be tacky. Also, let the tray dry in the warmest room in your house. I let mine dry in our office — the hubby’s computer makes it super warm. When I let it dry in our cool basement, the finish on the super glaze was tacky to the touch. Always place cardboard underneath in case anything leaks out (which is did because my tray cost $.50 and wasn’t the greatest work of construction known to man).

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Step six: Admire your hard wok and patience by displaying your beautiful tray proudly in your home.

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Button Tray square

 

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Craft Projects

Beautified Bar Tray

Have you ever used EnviroTex Lite? I have, and it is awesome. A “pour on high gloss finish,” it makes objects it is poured on look like they covered in glass. Can you see where I’m going with this post? Good 🙂

I picked up an old silver tray at a thrift store (yes, me and my thrift stores… we are in love). Unlike most other trays I’ve seen at thrift stores, this one was long, skinny, rectangular and had wooden handles. I had to have it, especially for a mere $3.92, or something close to that. I thought I’d decoupage the tray, then I had a better idea — the tray would fit perfectly on our bar, so why not line it with bottle caps and pour the EnviroTex Lite on for a fun finish? Perfecto.

Before you ask any questions about the next part of my post, let me say that I don’t drink much beer at all (less than 10 a year, if I had to guess) and I am very sober writing this post. Glad we got that cleared up.

Next, I dug through my stash of bottle caps and picked out the ones I wanted to use in my tray. I have a lot of bottle caps. A lot. In fact, I have an entire fish bowl full of them. It’s impressive really, considering I hardly ever drink beer. But thanks to my kleptomania (yes, I steal bottle caps when I see people drinking a beer with a cool cap) and my friends and family who enjoy beer (that makes them sound like drunkards. They aren’t. No worries!), I had plenty to choose from. Even more impressive is that I was able to pick out 46 unique bottle caps from my collection. Holy cow, this tray was meant to be! Not to mention, the caps fit perfectly in the inset of the tray, leaving about 2 mm on top for the EnviroTex to dry and harden. Score!

Once I had my caps selected, I picked an order for the tray. I swapped things around a few times before I cam up with an arrangement I liked. I went with a color gradient, starting at white and ending with black.

With an arrangement I liked, I removed the caps and set them out in front of the tray, keeping everything in order.

Next, I had to remove the wood handles — those needed some black paint. I unscrewed them from the bottom of the tray.

After the handles were off, I cleaned the tray really well using silver polish. It was pretty grimy. Yuck-o.

Then it was time to secure my caps, which I am so glad I did (to most of them). I’ll skip ahead here for one sec — as I was pouring the EnviroTex onto my caps, the caps I didn’t secure well floated to the top. Whoops! I had to push them down to get out the air bubbles underneath so the EnviroTex could harden.

So secure my bottle caps I did two things: Hot glue and magnets. Some of the bottle caps I chose to use I’d already made into refrigerator magnets. I decided they’d look better in my tray than on my fridge, so I plopped them in and they clung tight to the metal tray. That was awesome because those suckers didn’t move later.

For the other caps with no magnets, I filled them with hot glue then stuck them onto the tray. If you are going to try this, definitely make sure they are stuck on really well or you’ll have some float-away caps, too.

Once all of my caps were secure, I mixed my EnviroTex together, following the directions on the box closely. When ready, I poured it over my caps.

Here’s the cruddy part about my project… each box of EnviroTex was 4 oz., which covers 1 square foot. I have no concept of 1 square foot, so I ordered two boxes thinking I’d only need one. I needed four.

To let the tray dry (for 72 hours… twice haha), I covered it so no dust would settle on top of the tray. My cupcake holder lid did the trick rather nicely.

Needless to say, this project took a little bit longer than I anticipated. It was also a lot more expensive than I ever dreamed it would be (I hate when that happens). But it turned out beautifully, and four layers of EnviroTex Lite and two freshly painted black handles later I had a beautiful tray.

 

 

It looks really nice on our bar, fitting perfectly on the top ledge. It’s a real statement piece and I am so pleased with how it turned out. The hubby loves it, too.

Next time around, I think I’ll use something that isn’t as deep as a bottle cap, that way I won’t need nearly as much EnviroTex as I did for this tray. I might preserve a coin collection!! How cool would that be?

Thanks for stopping by!