You know the good thing about your mom reading your blog? She pays attention to what you are up to. Then, she finds you awesome things. This is the story of one of those awesome things. It is also a story about my favorite kind of decor project…free!
Mom saw my post about the rug ottoman along with the borrowed living room tray I styled it with. She has been over to see it in person several times since, but the tray is no longer there. The ottoman was naked waiting for a tray of its own.
When I went over to mom’s the other day, she said she had something for me. Out she came with a big square black tray, complete with playing card and checkerboard design. Back in the day when I worked at Z Gallerie, I bought the tray on clearance for about $5. I planned to give it a makeover, but never got around to it. Along the way, I gave it to my younger brother for his bachelor apartment. A few weeks ago he gave it back to mom.
Mom’s first though was me and my ottoman. She figured I could finally give the tray a makeover. It’s nice big square size would be ideal for the family room ottoman. Thanks for thinking of me, mom!
My oldest helped me give the tray two coats of primer. That crazy black white and red design probably could have used three coats of primer. After the second coat, I gave the entire tray a light sanding to remove any brush marks.
This tray was my muse for the past two weeks. It was the subject of my first three Instagram videos. Through the magic of stop animation, you can see the tray transformation and styling in 45 seconds.
Now, before anyone asks…no, my tray does not actually spin. It was just a fun way to add more motion to the videos. I borrowed a lazy Susan tray from the pantry to put under the ottoman tray. The spinning is cool, but I have no need for a spinning ottoman tray. If you do, just attach your tray to a lazy Susan.
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After two coats of primer, I lightly sanded the tray to remove any brush marks. I painted it with two coats of Enamelware by Martha Stewart. I loved the new minty fresh color, but the tray was a little plain.
It called for a little brass :). I used my favorite brass paint to add a simple monogram. I cut the letter H and ring from a sheet of contact paper. I used a print out of the letter H (in Ostrich Sans font in bold), an xacto knife and my quilting ruler as a straight edge. I adhered the contact paper to the tray like a sticky stencil.
I painted one coat of Enamelware to seal the edges and make sure no brass paint seeps under the vinyl. I followed up with two coats of brass paint.
Peeling back the contact paper was magical. A nice crisp monogram was left behind. The brass just makes the tray feel special.
The tray is the perfect size for the rug ottoman. I think every ottoman needs a great tray, so it can double as a coffee table. I think my DIY rug ottoman and painted tray are the perfect pair…a place to put your feet up and set a drink :)
I finished off the look with simple styling. I shopped my house for a few books and accessories.
Here’s how it all came together:
The gold vases were a thrift store find. They started out sage green, but a little gold leaf spray paint brought them back to life.
The navy and white tray was sitting in the guest room. It’s just the right size to hold the remotes. The mirrored star was packed away with our Christmas decorations. I love the sculptural quality. The mixed metals on this tray make me happy!
I am so happy with my free ottoman tray. The big square size is perfect for the ottoman. The minty color is so fresh. The personalized monogram adds the finishing touch. It finally feels like our family room is coming together (never mind the lack of end tables and media cabinet…soon enough!).