Craft Idea: Vintage Tray or Gift Basket

I love vintage maps - they have such  sense of adventure and they're a great start for day dreaming about travel and exciting overseas trips. This wicker tray started as a fugly, dusty tray wedged under a heap of junk at the recycling centre but with a good wash and a decoupage makeover it's ready for a new life as a vintage wicker tea tray. Gorgeous. 

To Make the Vintage Tray / Gift Basket you will need:

  • An old wicker tray with a flat bottom
  • Some vintage paper or decoupage paper (old maps, sheet music, wrapping paper, magazines or newspapers)
  • Matt white craft spray paint 
  • White craft glue (aka PVA glue) or decoupage glue
  • Clear polyurethane

1. Clean the tray thoroughly and leave to dry fully. Clip off any loose bits of wicker. 

Ew...ugly tray. That's not real cork it's a vinyl print!
 2. In a well ventilated area (I always go outside) spray the wicker with a matt white craft spray paint. You may need to do several coats to get into all the nooks and crannies of the wicker. I did 6 coats in total. Spray the underside of the tray too if desired. 

3. Cut your paper to size; you can use one large sheet like I did or make a collage of several smaller sheets of paper. Glue the back of the paper with white glue and spread evenly with a brush then glue the base of the tray. Leave the paper until the glue makes it curl up under itself then stick it one the tray (this helps to prevent bubbles). Use a scraper or piece of card to smooth the paper down on the surface. 

Glueing the paper onto the tray, note the gorgeous white spray paint job on the wicker - fresh!

4. Leave to dry for 6 hours (or overnight). Coat with two coats of polyurethane and leave to dry for 10 hours (check the can as each brand will vary) in between coats. If you're using the tray in a "wet" area (such as the kitchen) consider coating the base with polyurethane and doing and extra coat or two to improve the water tightness of the tray. 

Completed wicker tray with decoupaged map of Greece and the Aegean Sea - sigh!

5. When fully dry stand back and admire your handy work! This tray will also make a great gift basket. Fill with goodies and wrap in a generous amount of cellophane sealed with ribbon.

Use the tray as a funky Christmas gift basket

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