Monday, 12 October 2015

Tray Desk Tidy Tutorial

Mod Podge and paper tray
This is a project that I originally shared over at the Pinning Mama in January. It's something I use everyday so I thought it was high time I shared it here with a little "how it looks now" update.

When I'm not here, doing this blogging malarky, or doing family things, I work in an office doing spreadsheets, pulling database reports and other admin type stuff. Last Autumn I moved desks so I wanted something to both beautify my new area and help keep all my bits and pieces together. You know the idea, a place for everything and everything in it's place - well I can try...

I found this fab wooden tray in the Charity shop for £1.59 - oddly priced but I am not one to argue so I snapped it up.
I gave it two coats of white gloss paint. I think spray paint would be great for this but I was having some problems with the spray paint I had, so gloss and a paint brush did the job.
As you can see I did give the base a quick coat but then remembered I was covering that with paper so it was completely unnecessary! The gloss gave it a lovely shine look and is pretty hard wearing so all is well.

Next I measured and cut some patterned paper roughly to the size of the tray base.
This paper is the same that I used for some of the Speech Bubble Cards I made ages ago.
I'd done that thing when you buy something lovely then think it's too nice to use so it just sits in a cupboard, now I know I can't be the only one who does that!
Anyway, I digress! I just used my finger nail to push it right into the edge and crease the paper to exactly the right size.
Then I turned it over and cut along the creases.
Next I Mod Podged all over the base of the tray (no photo - I did take one but you couldn't see it on the streaky paint!) Then carefully glued the paper on, smoothing any bubbles and creases.
I let that dry, then gave it 2 coats of Mod Podge over the top.
Lastly, just to make it super hard wearing, I gave it 2 coats of clear sealer spray.
This stuff stinks to high heaven so I highly recommend doing this outside!
I made a little pen pot to match, just like I did here from an empty gravy granules tub.
DIY Desk tray
How organised is that!
So to summarise, to make something similar you need:
A wooden tray
Paint
Wrapping paper (not too filmsy)
Mod Podge
Clear Spray Sealer (optional but advised)

Now finally a little confession. Those photos are showing a few desk items, tastefully chosen to match with the paper.

I've been using this in real life for just over a year now and this is the slightly less tastefully arranged reality.
Hummm, I think I may need to make another in my elusive quest for tidiness!
The good news though is that it remains undamaged. The layers of Mod Podge and sealant are doing their job. I throw my stapler (yes - that is my name taped to the top, what a cliché!), calculator and all sorts of other bits onto it every evening as I pack up and not a scratch, rip or dent. I just need to give it a bit of a sort out.....
You might also be interested in:
Comic Book Glasses Case
Comic Book Glasses Case
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IKEA Cactus Gift Wrap
Share a Coke With Picture
Share a Coke With Picture
Washi Tape Berry Boxes
Washi Tape Berry Boxes
I'll be linking up this project at all these lovely link parties

19 comments:

  1. What a cute little desk organizer! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. What a great little upcycling project! I love the paper you chose too....so pretty! Thanks so much for sharing this with us at Merry Monday! :)

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    1. I love this paper too Christine, so much that I'm reluctant to use it , even though I know that makes no sense!

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  3. Wow looks fantastic. Had a tray made a few months ago paid a lot more than 1.59 eek! plan to put a tile design rescued from the old kitchen in the bottom, you have now inspired me to make a start

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    1. Thanks Carolee, I was super lucky to find the tray at that price. A tray with tiles sounds lovely, good luck!

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  4. I really have to get myself a pot of that modge podge stuff! Love what you've done with this tray! I need something like this for my stationery bits and pieces!

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    1. I was using ordinary pva and I'm still not entirely sure what the difference is but the Mod Podge seems to go on better and be more durable too. My big pot seemed expensive but it's lasting and lasting.

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  5. I finally have come to realise the beauty of trays to keep things all in one spot and to make it easier to pick up and clean around. A good stapler is a must when your the admin girl (20 years of admin later I know!) so I totally get having to put your name on it so it doesn't go for wander.

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    1. Yes, it all helps! I just feel putting my name on everything is such a cliché but so essential if I ever want to see things again! No one steals intentionally at work but they walk away with my stuff in their hands and I have to declare an amnesty to get it all back!

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  6. I love the "tastefully styled" vs the reality photo ;) No shame in a the reality as it still does the job of keeping things contained and within reach. Great project.
    Thanks for sharing with us at the #HomeMattersParty link party.

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    1. I think it doesn't hurt to share a little "reality" now and again! I dread to think how easy it would be to loose all these bits if I didn't have the tray to hold them all together! Thanks for stopping by.

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  7. I work from home and really need to make one of these. I move from the desk, to the couch, to the kitchen table. I would be great to move my laptop, planner, pens, etc...all at once!

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    1. Good idea, perfect for people who "hot desk" even at home!

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  8. What a great idea and so cute! Thanks for sharing at My Flagstaff Home!

    Jennifer

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  9. It's a fabulous tray, I think if I made one it would definitely look like your "in use" picture - and probably have a lot more stuff all over the place too.

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    1. Thanks Lucy - ah yes, our "stuff" has a habit of spreading doesn't it?

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  10. Awesome ideas. Shared and pinned. Your friend, Linda

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    1. Thanks for the share Linda, I appreciate your support.

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