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Hobby Lobby Cheap Square Tray Makeover

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Using clearance items from the local craft store is a lot of fun. This Hobby Lobby Cheap Square Tray makeover was super easy and super affordable. Learn how you can do this square tray upcycle, too!

hobby lobby cheap square tray with kitchen elements


Have you ever shopped a Hobby Lobby clearance aisle?

Amazing, isn’t it?

We’re not talking the 60% clearance (although that is pretty fun, too). are we?

Or the 70% off clearance…

We’re talking that 80% or 90% clearance, babyyyy! Amaright?

You know I’m right!

One day last year, I happened to go in on a 80% clearance day, and I found a tray… or maybe it was a piece of wall art…

Well, whatever it WAS… it’s now a tray!

hobby lobby cheap square tray makeover kitchen vignette on tray

So, let me show you how to do a square tray upcycle!

This post may contain affiliate links, at no additional cost to you. For more information, see my complete disclosure HERE.

What You Will Need for a Square Tray Upcycle

Here are the items I used for this tray makeover.

hobby lobby cheap square tray makeover supplies on table

Not Pictured:

  • Painter’s rags (for wiping off stain)
  • Fabric of your choice, enough to cover the bottom of the tray
  • Fiskars Fabric Cutting Set (this is to cut your fabric to the perfect size!)
  • Matte Mod Podge
  • Two (2) drawer pulls
  • A Maker’s Studio Paint in Paris Flea Market
  • Paint brush
  • 220 grit sandpaper

How to DIY a Square Tray Upcycle

The steps to create this pretty little tray are really quite easy!

  1. Drill the holes for the handles on opposite sides of the tray.
  2. At this point, I gave the black drawer pulls a coat of Paris Flea Market paint.
  3. Stain the sides of the tray with the Varathane Wood Stain. I stained one side at a time and wiped it off immediately. This gave a coastal look that I was going for. (In my haste, I forgot to shoot a pic!)
  4. Again, if you have drawer pulls that need to be painted, while the stain is drying (it doesn’t take long at all), give the drawer pulls a second (final) coat of paint. When they are dry, distress them with some 220 grit sandpaper.
  5. After the stain has dried, using a sponge brush, cover the bottom of the tray with Mod Podge and then lay your fabric carefully on the bottom and smooth out.
  6. Add a final coat of Mod Podge to the top of the fabric and let dry.
  7. Add your drawer pulls to the tray, and you are all set!
instruction photos of square tray upcycle

Just a Couple Notes

You can use decorative paper to cover the bottom of your tray, too. I was going to do this and decided I liked the print of this fabric I had on hand much better.

tray with fabric

I actually ‘cannibalized’ my drawer pulls from some cabinets sitting by my dumpster! Thus the paint job. You can get LOVELY drawer pulls from you local Hobby Lobby (on sale, of course). Just be sure whatever you use that they fit the tray and don’t extend past the bottom of the tray. If it does the tray won’t lay flat.

hobby lobby cheap square tray with kitchen elements

Finished Square Tray Upcycle

So, if you’ve been around My Wee Abode for a while, you may recognize these photos from when I showed you how to create a beautiful kitchen vignette.

Well, I thought I would show you some closeups of how I used this Hobby Lobby Cheap Square Tray makeover.

kitchen vignette on kitchen counter with tray hydrangeas greenery and other decor elements
hobby lobby cheap square tray with kitchen elements
hobby lobby cheap square tray with kitchen elements
Hobby Lobby Cheap Tray Makeover with kitchen decor

You can see how to make the coastal wood bead garland HERE.

Now It’s Your Turn

So, what do you think? Wanna do a quick DIY square tray upcycle this weekend? Let me know in the comments if you try your hand at making your own inexpensive serving tray.

signature updated 2022

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  1. What a great find at Hobby Lobby and you turned it into something so useful and beautiful. My favorite part is that you got the handles for free by shopping the area beside your dumpster. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

  2. I love REAL clearance like you got! And a dumptster treasure! The price is right! Al just got from the dump. I asked him to bring me something back; but he didn’t! Last time I went I got a perfect old folding wooden laundry rack! I have some wood samples I want to make into trays so this was timely; thanx!

    1. I haven’t been to the dump since I was a young mom, for a field trip with the kids! 😉 I think I would see things in a whole new, diving type of way! LOL!

  3. Great upcycle, Julie! I never would’ve known that was a $3 Hobby Lobby clearance special…it looks so high end now! I love that you went “dumpster diving” too lol! Those handles were the perfect trash to treasure find. Your tray styling is lovely, as well 🙂

  4. I love this project. I love to buy at Hobby Lobby on sale, but I don’t know that I’ve ever seen 80-90%. Awesome. Trays are wonderful for all sorts of decorative uses and practical ones too. such a pretty pattern too and the chippy handles are perfect.

    1. Thanks, Carol… are you still a Maker? I meant to ask, because I want to refer someone for the paint!

  5. Such a nice vignette Julie. As soon as the border opens I am driving the 1000 miles or so to and from Hobby Lobby. This post isn’t helping lol. Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.

    1. You are so funny, Leanna! The Hobby Lobby here in my area JUST re-opened this weekend. I was there this morning looking around for a couple hours. It was nice, even while being suffocated by a mask! LOL! 😉

  6. Julie, this is so inspiring and beautiful!! I added it to my project list, Pinterest and sharing to my followers on Facebook. They will love it! Thanks for sharing for Charming Homes & Gardens!

  7. 80% off at Hobby Lobby – you go girl! This project turned out so very cute. I love the fabric with its warm nutmeg brown and soft blues, and the way you style it. Would you consider letting me feature it on my June 19th Friday with Friends post with the link back to you?

    Oh, yes, are you doing the online Haven? I’m all signed up, and excited for July 17th 🙂

    1. Thanks, Rachelle! Of course you may use it in your post! Anytime! 😉 Yes, definitely doing the Heart of Haven… I’m actually a mentor! 😉 Looking forward to ‘seeing’ you there! (BTW, I believe the fun starts on Thursday nite, the 16th! Don’t want you to miss out on the fun!)

  8. Oh, how I wish we had Hobby Lobby here in Canada. I’ve only been once and I stood in the middle of the knob & pull aisle almost in tears. Next time, I’m packing a lunch. 😉 Sweet deal on your tray and it looks so pretty! Love the fabric you used.

    1. I know, Marie… my friend, Rita, from Harbour Breeze wishes the same thing. Let me know if you ever want anything!

    1. Going to visit, Rachelle. And thank you! I think you missed linking the URL… so I’ll put it in my post! 🙂

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