Quick and easy DIY present idea for Mother’s Day

Decor, DIY

I love making gifts instead of buying them and with Mother’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to make something simple but special for my mom.


I got the idea for this project when I spotted these plain Jane wood trays at JoANN’s – they are a nice size ( 14″ x 11″ x 2.5″) and cost only $8 (and by using a coupon, I ended up paying just $5).


I had this gorgeous handmade and hand painted paper from another project and I had just enough to cover the bottom of the tray. I got this paper at World Market and though I don’t think they have this specific design anymore, they do have lots of other beautiful papers to choose from.


I started by staining the the sides of the tray in a couple of coats of a semi-transparent exterior wood stain in a dark brown color (I had this left over from another project as well – it’s from Behr and is in a color called coffee and a sample 8 oz size is more than enough to do this project).


I taped the sides of the tray to protect the sides with painter’s tape and covered the bottom of the tray with a coat of Mod Podge (satin finish), placed the paper on top and then sealed it with 2-3 coats of Mod Podge.


I let that dry and then removed the tape – since I didn’t cut the paper exactly to fit inside the tray, I had to use a utility knife to cut off the excess material along the edges.


To coordinate with the old gold tones in the paper, I finished the edges of the tray with a gold sharpie – I love these metallic sharpie pens so much! So much easier to work with than paint and they come in many different tones, like silver and copper.


This was such a simple project that I ended up buying a few more of those trays and I plan to personalize them to give as gifts to friends. I think they make the perfect gift: pretty & useful (who can’t use a cute tray around the house?!). But this one is going to my mom, hope she likes it!



  1. kate

    Great idea, food for thought!

  2. Sherry Fisher

    Love this!! Love your ideas! Still hope you get your own tv show!!


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