Hand Made: Lacquered Pattern Trays

It’s been a while since I posted about these DIY lacquered trays while I was in India this past July.  I got so many emails requesting a tutorial, I decided now is the best time because these make really cute handmade Christmas gifts.

The reason I stalled on posting this tutorial for so long was because the plain trays are pretty unique. Usually, I prefer to only post with materials that anyone can get a hold of, so I felt it was unfair to post a tutorial using trays from a more obscure source.  Mine are from Muji, but you can use any plain wooden tray that you find which doesn’t have any other type of adornment on it already.

Anyway, on to the trays!

A few coats of decoupage followed by a few coats of clear spray glaze are what give these trays their shiny surface.  I love the contrast of high shine with the texture provided by the linens used for pattern. Wrap them up to show them off because they deserve to been seen.

If you’d like the step by step, continue reading for the full tutorial! If you just like to gaze at pretty pictures, stay right here!


  • Patterned Napkins or Tea Towels
  • Plain Wooden Trays
  • X-acto knife w/ cutting surface
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Decoupage
  • Spray Clear Coat (polyurethane)

ONE spray your plain tray with adhesive.  The spray adhesive gives a really even surface for ensuring that the fabric is even and smooth.  TWO smooth and stretch your fabric over top of the adhesive, starting in the center and making sure to smooth out any air bubbles.  THREE turn the tray upside and cut off the excess fabric with a very sharp craft knife. FOUR brush on a thick coat of decoupage. The coat needs to be thick enough to penetrate the fabric, but not too thick to pool in any areas.

Let the decoupage dry completely – this may take a couple of days – and put on a second coat in the same manner.  Use spray clear coat (available at both craft and hardware stores) to lightly spray three coats, allowing the trays to dry for about 30 minutes between each coat.

That is all you need!  It may seem like a lot of steps, but the multiple coats of decoupage and poly allow for a shiny, clear, lacquered surface.  Now go wrap those trays up (or keep them for yourself!)

Have a FESTIVE Thursday!




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