Decorating & Design

June 3, 2011

Graphic Trays

Trays are the perfect desk, hutch or side table accessory; they add a touch of colour and keep surfaces clutter-free (see Seema’s blog about organizing with trays). Although I love the clean, white, lacquered look, the brighter versions are the ones that catch my eye. I’d love to be able to change trays with the seasons, but my budget doesn’t always allow, so, I’ve found a crafty way to recreate these designer trays at a fraction of the price! See some of my store-bought favourites (and their hefty price tag), followed by my do-it-yourself version.

Jonathan Adler has a great collection of patterned trays. This yellow one screams summer! But at $60, I’d have to be willing to commit to this citrus hue.

This beautifully vibrant Marimekko print from Crate & Barrel is $62. It’s made of laminated fabric-covered plywood. Perfect for the patio, right?

I’m loving this kitschy Josef Frank fabric-covered tray from Swedish store Svenskt Tenn. In Canadian dollars, it would be just over $90, pre-international shipping! At that price, I’d rather hang it on a wall than get water rings on it.

This retro shape and apple print is so pretty. Wouldn’t it look great leaning against your kitchen’s backsplash? This melamine tray is available through German online store design3000 for about $30, plus shipping — not a splurge, but I can show you how to achieve this look for even cheaper!

Here’s how you can get a custom look to match your decor with a bit of fabric and a baking tray. Here’s my graphic black and white version:

The tools and materials were minimal and inexpensive:

  • Dollar store baking sheet
  • Fabric
  • Fabric scissors
  • Spray glue
  • Hot Glue

To see me make this tray in a flash (as well as other fabric-covered desk accessories), watch the online video.

Photo credits:
1. Carnaby Hollywood Tray, Jonathan Adler
2. Marimekko Pieni Unikko Red Tray, Crate & Barrel
3. Rectangular Aralia Tray, Svenskt Tenn
4. Margareta Tray, design3000
5. Jason Stickley