DIY Bar Tray

Who knew that trays would be a massive trend in home decor? Obviously the tray has been around for quite some time; now it just costs a ridiculous amount of money.

I made this customized serving tray to hold liquor on my bar in about 30 minutes for less than $20 - you can too!

Initially I set out to find a clear, lucite serving tray with a fun pattern inserted on the bottom. These exist in droves, but holy batman they are expensive! (Try perusing the offerings on Etsy.)

After realizing I could customize my own tray with paper and some Modge Podge, I began searching for a plain plastic tray. This was also weirdly hard to find at a reasonable price. But, in the end, I'm glad I had to search for it, because it led me to discover... Crate & Barrel has an outlet store online! 

Does everyone else know about this?! Their outlet prices are awesome. Since discovering this white melamine tray (12"x17", $14.95) I've made a ton of other great finds here.

All I needed now was some fun paper, and of course Paper Source delivered. Check out their individual sheets of wrapping paper, which are large enough for a project like this and more affordable than their "fine" papers.

I cut my paper to fit by tracing the bottom of my tray on the back of the paper. I then cut it out guiding my scissors just slightly inside the traced line. It was almost a perfect fit; I just had to shave down some corners to fit it precisely to the tray.

Enter the Modge Podge! Using a foam craft brush, I coated the inside bottom of the tray with a thin layer, then placed the paper liner inside and smoothed it across the tray to eliminate air bubbles. After that dried (~20 minutes), I applied 2 more layers of Modge Podge on top of the paper, allowing each layer to dry between applications. I then finished it by spraying a coat of acrylic sealer over the paper.

Easy project, and now all my liquor fits snugly in its place!