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Thursday, May 16, 2024

Wall Hanging DIY

From Tray to Treasure: Upcycle a TV Tray into Stunning Wall Art

Looking for a creative way to upcycle a vintage TV tray or serving platter? Transform it into a stunning wall hanging with this easy DIY project! It's a perfect way to add a touch of personality to your home decor using items you already have.

Upcycle tray
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Grandma's Tray Gets a New Life

When we had my grandmother's auction, my sister won a "lot" that included this Coca-Cola serving tray. She told me, "I don't want it, do you want to take it off my hands?" Who am I to say no, especially to a free upcycling project?

Not this gal, that is for sure.

At Christmastime, this serving tray got a make over with green chalk paint, and then sat in my crafting station area leaning up against the wall. I had plans of using a Christmas rub-on-transfer, but nothing seemed right for this tray.

I am so glad I waited to finish working on it since I like to think it's makeover is a stunner.

Marrying Items Together: The Upcycled Wall Hanging is Born

When I went to the basement the other day, I was on a mission to declutter. My goal was to get at least two things out of the basement, and combining items together was on the agenda. More would be ideal, but I was settled on two at the very least.

I picked up the neglected tray, and said today is your day for a makeover my friend!

You see, I had already found this lovely border from Longaberger a few weeks ago stored in a box. We'll just say at this point, we can call it vintage wallpaper scraps, it's that old! I guess I saved things long before I was a blogger.

Longaberger Wallpaper Boarder

I thought hmm... how can I use this border with this serving tray for a wall decor piece? I settled on using white and antique wax from Waverly, and then cut out two scenes from my Longaberger wallpaper border.

Initially, I cut out the pictures, but then decided I wanted a vintage vibe for my tray, and used a straight edge, or in my case a stamp (grab what is close - teehee) and used it to tear along the sides to create a weathered edge look.

What to do with wallpaper scraps

Let's Get Upcycling!

If you would also like to upcycle a TV tray into a beautiful wall hanging, then let's get started.



  1. Paint your TV tray or serving tray using chalk paint. I had no issue with the paint sticking to the metal.
  2. Let the paint dry completely.
  3. Apply a second coat of paint and let it dry again.
  4. Sand the edges of the tray to your liking. I wanted mine to appear well worn.
  5. Add your wallpaper scraps or border to the tray.
  6. Apply white wax to the entire tray to protect the chalk paint. You can then buff off some of the wax for a weathered look.
  7. Add antique wax for an aged appearance.
  8. To create a rusted effect, use Apple Barrel Nutmeg Brown Paint in light strokes.
  9. Cut your rope to the desired length for hanging and hot glue it to the back of the tray in a secure pattern. You can use duct tape for extra reinforcement (optional).
  10. Add a ribbon for a decorative touch (optional).

DIY Tray Decor

Trash to Treasure

Reuse Wallpaper Scraps

Paint tray

Age Paper with Paint

Add wax for a aged look

Scrap rope wall hanging

How to hang wall art

Easy wall art

More Than Just Paint: The Magic of Wax

Now, I don't know about you, but my DIY projects tend to evolve the longer I work on them. There are two reasons for this: One, I like to experiment, and Two, I just keep thinking of ways to add more! This simple tray really got a wax work out.

diy door hanger for wreath

I have found adding wax to my pieces really elevates the look of my DIY crafts. Have you ever tried wax?

Upcycle and Share Your Creation!

Door Wreath

I hope this inspires you to upcycle your own TV tray or serving platter! Share your creations with me on social media using #UpcycledWallHanging for a chance to be featured.

Vintage Inspired Door Wreath

Maybe you can help me, I couldn't decide, bow or not? Comment below to let me know your opinion.  



Would you like to comment?

  1. Wow, this looks great!! Good Job!!

    1. Thank you so much Jenna! I had fun recreating this old tray that no one wanted.

  2. This is such a great idea Cara! I would have never thought to make wall art out of an old TV tray! I bet you were excited to use that wallpaper too! It turned out so cute!

    1. I was so happy to get a few more things out of our basement. I'd take y'all down to the basement and share our mess, but I think I would be too embarrassed to share it. We have a lot of stuff after clearing out two family homes. If it weren't for me being so sentimental, we may not have so many things. I do not even need the personal attachment to an item, I just feel bad, and never want items to be thrown out in trash, it's a personal problem, I guess. :)

  3. I love the colour of this, and how it makes use of something that could end up just being thrown away. It looks really lovely and gives off great cottagecore vibes!

    1. Ah, thank you so much Molly! I am a lover of all things cottage, so I take that as a huge compliment. I had a lot of fun once I got started and knew what I was going to do with this tray. I so love taking items no one else wants and giving them a loving makeover. I am looking forward to the next project, and do not think I will ever tire of continuing to do this!

  4. This is a beautiful transformation, Cara. I love the images you chose!

    1. Thank you so much Ann! It has been so much fun seeing what I can come up with for items we already have here. No buying needed in this household, I have enough stuff to last a lifetime!

  5. You are killing it with these wall art ideas, Cara! I love the color you painted the tray and how you added the vintage wallpaper and dark wax too. It has such a pretty antique vibe that feels layered and collected. Great job sweet friend, CoCo

    1. Thank you CoCo! This tray was a doozie, grandma had scratched it all up! You actually could not see how bad of shape it was in by looking at the photo. I do love taking things from my husband's and my family and remaking them into home decor we will actually use. My grandpa had a knack for that, he was always changing things up with paint, or remaking them in some way. For the longest time, I didn't want to change anything from their original look, but then I thought about how my grandpa was always changing things up, and I thought to myself, he would love the makeover, and how it created a new project, so I followed in his footsteps. I like to think he would enjoy these projects, and would even jump in if he were still here. <3