How to Make an Easy DIY Picture Frame Tray For Your Home

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Trays are fabulous pieces for home decor and this blog post is going to teach you how to create a gorgeous DIY picture frame tray you’ll happily want to display on your coffee table. The secret to the tray is picking an interesting picture frame, as that will take center stage together with a placemat for added personality.

You can always remove the glass panel that came with the frame, but I like the look of it!

Trays make for perfect home decor pieces because they are highly customizable and can add interest to a plain old tabletop. No matter what your style is, you can find or create a tray that will suit it perfectly. Trays are also great for displaying useful items without making your room feel overly cluttered.

Ready to get started? Let’s first figure out what we need to have on hand and then we’ll put our picture frame tray together step by step!

What You Will Need:

A plain old frame that you can find at any dollar store is perfect for this craft!

You don’t actually need a lot to get started on this tray project and most of what I bought, you can find at your local dollar store or even a Walmart.

  • Picture frame (I used size 10×13)
  • Placemat (Any material works, but you have to cut it down to fit it, so pick one that you’re okay doing that with!)
  • White paint (acrylic or spray paint works)
  • Folk Art’s Dragonfly Glaze
  • Paint brushes & Painting Sponges
  • Sealer (gloss or matte finish is fine)
  • Rotary cutter (I used this to cut my placemat)
Dragonfly glaze is a folk art paint that creates a beautiful holographic type look over top of paint.

Paint Your Frame

I like to use spray paint outdoors, but if it’s too cold, a garage with the main door open will provide you with plenty of ventilation to use your white spray paint to apply 3 coats to your frame.

Once the spray paint on your frame is dry, it is ready for the final touch of dragonfly glaze!

It’s an El Nino year, so thankfully, it was a nice sunny day with little wind when I did my painting. I could let the frame dry for a few hours out on my patio before bringing it in to complete the painting with the dragon fly glaze.

If you notice your white spray paint pooling when wet, you can use a smaller detail brush to spread it out if needed. I also missed a few spots I didn’t notice until later, so I used acrylic white paint to fill that in.

My tip is to use either a cardboard box or painting drop cloth to lay the frame on while painting and drying.

Glazing Up Your Frame

I recommend using painting sponges to apply the glaze over top of your white paint.

I let my frame dry for a few hours before I started painting with the dragonfly glaze. You can even let it dry overnight as well. Allow your glaze to dry at least two hours between coats.

Here's a close up of the frame with the glaze on it, you can see a bit of extra color on it!

Dragonfly glaze will go on cloudy and colorless before it cures into the lovely color shifting result.

Setting Up Your Tray

Once your frame is dry from both the spray paint and glaze, it’s time to assemble your tray!

I used the back end of the frame to measure out where I needed to cut my lovely wine themed placemat, using a rotary cutter to skirt the edges of the frame back. Work slowly so you don’t wind up cutting off more than you want to!

Display your favorite items on the tray for an updated look!

Once you size your placemat to fit your frame, you can assemble your frame with everything. I was fortunate that my frame backer had nothing on it, but you can remove the hanging hardware prior to this step.

I inserted the glass pane into my tray, mainly because I liked the glossy look, but if you prefer not to, you can take the glass away. You can use a hot glue gun to secure the placemat to the back of the frame or wooden plank to prevent it from moving around too much.

Another step is you can use nails to secure the backing onto the frame. I recommend small ones! I found the metal prongs on my frame worked just fine, though.

And your tray is now ready to be displayed on your coffee table!


Once everything is securely put together, your tray is ready to be displayed on your coffee table!

I love how simple this tray is to make, and it looks absolutely gorgeous. The dragonfly glaze added a lovely spring-like pop of color to the frame as well. If you want a little more personality to your tray, you can consider adding in handles (you can find drawer pulls at most home stores) or using hot glue to add in wooden letters or other things.

To accessorize your tray, consider using vases with seasonal flowers or even store your jewelry on it! The possibilities are endless to create a uniquely you style in your home with this tray.

Like this post? Make sure you pin it to Pinterest or share it on your other favorite social media platforms!

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Until next time, stay crafty!!

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