Make: Upcycled tray

I put this post together a while back for the Laura Ashley blog - but I thought I'd share it here too because I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. It's a fairly simple project and it turns a plain tray into something really lovely - perfect for breakfast in bed, with the papers, a good book and peace and quiet - how nice would that be? It's been a while since I've been woken up by good breakfast in bed. 

If you want to upcycle your own tray (and give your husband/partner/slightly bigger than mine children a big hint that breakfast in bed might just be nice) you will need:

A tray
PVA glue
Clear varnish. 

First cut a piece of wallpaper to fit into your tray. I found it easiest to line the tray up with one of the edges of the wallpaper to ensure that you get a square cut. Then draw around the base of the tray as carefully as possible. Cut the paper out just outside the line you've draw. This is because the tray slopes inwards at the bottom and if you follow your line exactly your paper will be too small. If anything err on the larger side because you can trim afterward. Put the paper into the tray and line it up with the edges - if it's too big fold back the edges that you need to trim and crease so you can see exactly where to cut to make it fit.

Next give the surface of the tray that you'll stick the paper to a quick sand down to provide a key for the glue. Wipe it down, then liberally paint on the PVA - you need a good thick layer so that your wallpaper will stick evenly. Carefully apply your paper and smooth over every inch with your hand to make sure you don't get any bubbles. Pile with books or magazines to keep it as flat as possible and leave to dry for 24 hours.

When the paper is completely dry you can apply several thin coats of clear varnish to make the tray splash proof and to protect it from tea sloshing over the side of your mug on the way up the stairs. Make sure you let it dry completely between coats.

Style it up with a beautiful jug of seasonal flowers, a steaming mug of tea, some orange juice and some quick and easy French toast with fresh berries (or train your loved ones to style it up and bring you breakfast!)