November 17, 2017

For the Love of Painted Yard Sale Trays: Ditto DIY


{ditto} DIY: Inspired Design For the Rest of Us

Welcome to our first {ditto} DIY challenge!

It’s all about painted trays today, and what a fun assortment of ideas, colors and inspiration we have to show.

I started with a  completely trashed burn pile bound beauty, and have repurposed it into a piece we’ll use for awhile.

Once a month, beginning today, nine very different bloggers are attempting to recreate in our own homes a project or design element inspired by a haute couture design selected by Darlene Weir of Fieldstone Hill Design. (For more details on what “{ditto}DIY: Design for the rest of Us” is all about, check out my intro post.)

In case you’ve forgotten, this was our first inspiration photograph:

ditto DIY{A chic painted tray and vanity vignette, from the home of nina bergsten, photography by marcus lawett.}

The {ditto} DIY Challenge for this month:

Create your own painted tray and vanity vignette.

It’s a known thing around this home that I have a love affair with trays, so when I saw our first challenge, my heart skipped a beat and then I chuckled. The LAST thing I need is excuse to buy another tray. I have quite the collection.

Yep, tray hoarder, that’s me.

side table decor $8 + 60 Minutes = Perfect Yard Sale & DIY Treasures

This gorgeous turquoise tray was an ugly rusted, should be thrown out,  yard sale find that I converted in minutes.

($8 + 60 Minutes = DIY Patio Redo)

spray paint chalkboard paint Handmade Marketplace: What are Your Crafting/DIY Projects?

Yard sale trays with chalk board paint declaring truth.

Painted serving tray that we use for all our breakfast in bed traditions.

$1 glass yard sale tray used as a centerpiece of memories for our son’s 16th birthday party.

Yes, I admit, those are just a sampling of my trays. I knew I should NOT buy another one, so I decided to use the paint and supplies that I had on hand, plus re-do a tray and cart that was burn pile bound.

The challenge was to create a vanity vignette, but my goal was to do something useful for my home as well.  Since I’m attempting to solve my overwhelming jewelry assortment with the inspiration from  my 15 Fabulous DIY Jewelry Organizers, I knew a small vignette wouldn’t help, so I went with an outside use. The great thing about what I created was it can be brought inside at any time, and would work perfectly for an vanity items.

Here is my first {ditto}DIY project:

As some of you know, we recently built on a wrap around front porch, so I’m in much need of beverage service areas for our lemonade and sweet tea times.

I started with this.

I purchased this in horrible condition at a yard sale a few years back and had painted it red at the time. You can tell, since then, it became the spot where I spray painted other finds.

Since I already had silver on hand from spray painting my kitchen cabinet knobs, I used Rust-Oleum  Metallic Spray in Silver for the tray portion and Krylon White Interior and Exterior Decorator Paint  for the base.

Last week, I was planning on burning this cart.

I am glad I didn’t.

Since I only used things I already had on hand, I began by gathering items from my kitchen to see what would work.This took me all of five minutes. I first layered two other yard sale trays that I purchased for $1 a piece. One was brown and I spray painted it white, the other glass with fake gold handles which I also gave a quick coat of white.

I used the sugar container right off my counter to hold the white roses and gathered my already burned candles from the kitchen table. What I love about trays, is that you can use anything and it creates a cozy spot where ever you choose to place it.

Since I decided to make it practical, I gathered this for a snack on the porch.

Won’t you come join me? Imagine sharing life over a piece of cheesecake on those yard sale plates. You are welcome any time.

My goal is to show you that simplistic beauty can be created for pennies.

Everything you see here, including the cart, glasses, silver pitcher and even the silverware came to under $10. YES, TEN DOLLARS!

And with full disclosure in mind, some may be wondering where the bottom of the beverage cart has gone, since the silver tray has been placed on a piano bench.

 Did I mention that it’s been pouring for the last two days and I have no garage?I spray painted this underneath our back gazebo and it needs on more coat of paint, but it’s still raining. Pouring, in fact.

Yes, beauty AND bedlam.

The cart is being held hostage on our back deck full of bedlam, while the silver tray waits patiently for him to join her in pure front porch beauty, and I can’t wait to reunite them.

Do you love trays as much as I do?

(Remember that beginning next month (on Monday, June 3rd) we are inviting you ALL to join the {ditto} DIY challenge! Be sure to check out everyone else’s projects and to visit Darlene’s site for a peek at next month’s challenge along with some expert design tips on incorporating painted tray vignettes into your home.)

{ditto} DIY: Inspired Design for the Rest of Us

In addition to Darlene, the participating bloggers include:

Ruth @ Living Well Spending Less
Cindy @Skip to My Lou
Jen @ Balancing Beauty & Bedlam
Edie @ Life in Grace
Rachel @ Surviving the Stores
Karin @ Trophy Mom Diaries
Lauren @ I am THAT Lady
Kelly @ View Along The Way
Melissa @ The Inspired Room


  1. Jen – it is simply beautiful! Great idea! I love love love it!


  2. What a great idea. Those trays in-store cost a fortune!


    Jen Reply:

    they are so expensive. That’s why I love finding them for $1. 🙂


  3. I must be the weirdo here… I just sold two trays on our local buy-sell-trade Facebook page. Trays annoy me. However, yours are beautiful!!


    Jen Reply:

    Nope, no weirdos here. We all have different tastes. That the beauty of life. 🙂 And it’s always fun to trade for something you’d rather have. 🙂


  4. Oh, that is cool Jen! I love it! That’s going to be a useful piece to have all pretty and ready for summer! 🙂


  5. Thanks for the inspiration! It looks beautiful. I’m going to try and work up the courage to attempt some similar projects this week! 🙂


  6. I like the plain oval one. Sometimes plain trays are necessary when you have beautiful things to display in them


    Jen Reply:

    Yep, sometimes the simple things bring the most beauty. I tend to forget that as I layer too much. 🙂


  7. Katie Mascheri You can do it!! The best part is that it’s only an hour or so of your time and if you don’t like it, you can just repaint over it. 🙂 Share a picture when you’re done.


  8. Jen, seriously – everything you create is so beautiful! I love that silver spray that you used too. One day when we get a big front porch I might do something similar on ours! Love it!!


  9. I have been anxiously awaiting this challenge. And yours is beautiful. I love that little garden cart. What a find. Can’t wait to see a picture of it when it is all back together. Good job!


  10. Jen I love what you created for this project! And what an amazing budget – it’s so wonderful to repurpose these “burn pile bound” finds. Beautiful, I love it!
    xo, Claire


  11. Beautiful! I love that you made something useful. You sound like a girl after my own heart with all this yard sale talk! My husband and I spent eight hours this weekend hitting up sales since my MIL is in town and had the kids. Date mornings can sometimes be just as good as date nights!


  12. I LOVE trays, Jen, and yours is lovely!!
    And the cart? I’m so jealous!


  13. I ADORE how you thought outside the box! That is JUST the point of being truly inspired by designers. Springboards… then do what works best for your needs! Love your trays, and I can’t wait to see your cart all finished!!


  14. Kristina says:

    Love it! It’s more fun if you challenge yourself, isn’t it?


  15. I must admit – I have a little thing for trays, too. I have loads of them, especially silverplate ones, that need some TLC. Now I have lots of ideas for those beauties!


  16. I love trays, too. I have to seriously cover my eyes and push myself away from them. I love all these ideas!!



  1. […] @ Living Well Spending Less Cindy @ Skip to My Lou Jen @ Balancing Beauty & Bedlam Edie @ Life in Grace Rachel @ Surviving the Stores Karin @ Trophy Mom Diaries Lauren @ I am THAT […]

  2. […] @ Living Well Spending Less Cindy @ Skip to My Lou Jen @ Balancing Beauty & Bedlam Edie @ Life in Grace Rachel @ Surviving the Stores Karin @ Trophy Mom Diaries Lauren @ I am THAT […]

  3. […] via darlene weir on […]

  4. […] @ Living Well Spending Less Cindy @ Skip to My Lou Jen @ Balancing Beauty & Bedlam Edie @ Life in Grace Rachel @ Surviving the Stores Karin @ Trophy Mom Diaries Lauren @  I am […]

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