This tray is a lovely way to display needlework, scrapbook layouts, and even special holiday cards, while keeping them safe and clean. The fact that the serving vessels don’t sit directly on the doilies or tray liner makes unevenness and spilling less likely. If there are small spills or drips, the Plexiglas liner keeps them from staining the special items below.
To make this project, you will need:
An unfinished tray in the size of your choice
Quarter round wood molding
Plexiglas sheet as large as or larger than the tray
Stain or paint
A short length of grosgrain ribbon
Begin by painting or staining the tray and the molding. Use whatever finishing technique you would like, and seal the finish with a coat of clear spray-on polyurethane.
Measure the inner dimensions of the tray and cut the Plexiglas to fit inside. To cut Plexiglas, clamp a straight edge along the correct line and score the plastic a number of times with a razor blade. Wearing heavy gloves to protect you hands, snap the plastic along this line.
Make the inner trim for the tray by cutting the molding at a 45 degree angle to fit each edge of the Plexiglas. After checking for the correct fit, use the contact cement to fasten the molding directly to the surface of the Plexiglas liner following the manufacturer’s instructions. Insert a loop of grosgrain ribbon at one end between the molding and the plastic to provide a grip for lifting the liner out of the tray. Clamp the molding to the plastic for 24 hours, or the amount of time stated on the contact cement package, to make sure of a strong and permanent bond.
After touching up the miter seams on the inner trim, the tray is ready to use.
This display serving tray is versatile because it can display heirloom crafts, your own special work, or even a special collection of vintage needlework. I’ve gotten many compliments on mine, and it’s always a conversation starter.
You could also use this tray for special occasions, such as birthdays, by laying out a photo collage of the guest of honor through the years. Everyone will have a great time reminiscing over the birthdays and other special days in years past that are pictured.
A rotating seasonal display is fast and easy to set up using this tray. This can be accomplished with special greeting cards reflecting the holidays and sights of each month or season. Arranged with ribbons, paper doilies, scraps of fabric or paper in the appropriate colors, these make an effective reminder of the fun in each season.
These trays would also be a wonderful place to display special scrapbook pages. By rotating them every few weeks, you’ll be able to see and enjoy those pages from years past more often. This is also a wonderful way to share a scrap booking hobby with guests, especially if they don’t have the time to look through the scrapbooks themselves when visiting.