DIY tray: Distressed Decou-Page Tray

Disclosure:  I am a member of the core blogger program with DecoArt.  I receive compensation and product for my partnership with this brand.  All ideas and opinions are 100% my own.

I put on my crafting hat recently to help with an organizing problem we were having and I bet you might have this same problem in your house too.  Am I the only one that their hubby could use a bit of help corralling all of his “pocket stuff” in one place and neatly?  You know, I think I figured it out… you know how our purses always get in a mess with receipts, coupons, and who knows what else thrown in there?  Well imagine not having a purse – where would all of that end up for a guy?  In their pockets and then at the end up the day emptied out usually on the nightstand or dresser!  You know pocket change, keys, receipts, pens, watches, etc. 

So I thought I might provide a bit of solution of where he can empty his pockets at night and then grab everything from it the next day – and of course make it attractive so it fits in my décor too!    (And hint: Father’s Day is just around the corner so this might be a fun DIY gift you could make or have the kids help make for their dad.)

DIY tray: Distressed Decou-Page Tray

I am going to be sharing several projects in coming months that you can create with a craft line called Americana Décor or DecoArt that you can easily find in any craft store.   Back in December I shared how I made these painted mason jars with Americana Décor Chalky Finish paint and it is just a lot of fun to work with.  So I knew I wanted to use it for this project and add a little extra to it using some Decou-Page and some Decou-Page paper.

DIY tray: Distressed Decou-Page Tray

So here’s what you need:

DIY tray: Distressed Decou-Page Tray

One of the unique things about chalky finish paint is the ability to layer different colors of paint to create a fun distressed/vintage look to whatever you are painting.  So if you are wanting that 2 color distressed look, paint your darkest color or whatever color you want to come through when you sand it first.  I painted my tray with one coat of “Relic” first.

DIY tray: Distressed Decou-Page Tray

And then painted it with 2 coats of “Yesteryear.”

DIY tray: Distressed Decou-Page Tray

After fully dry, distress to your liking.  I wanted a good bit of the dark gray paint to show through so I made sure to sand not only the edges but also the surface of each side of the tray.  You can do this technique on anything – furniture, candlesticks, whatever you are painting with a chalky finish paint.


Then it is time to Decou-page!  Decou-paging papers onto something whether it be around a candle, in the bottom of a tray, in the back of a cabinet – whatever you choose – is a fun and easy easy way to add pattern and interest without trying to paint it or stencil it.  I thought this “key themed” paper was perfect for this project since it is going to help corral keys!

Cut your paper to size, apply the Decou-page to the back of the paper, and smooth in bottom of tray.  Then you will want to apply several layers over the top of the paper to protect it.  I did 3 coats of Decou-page letting it dry about 10 minutes in between each coat.  It will go on opaque but dry completely clear.  The Decou-page I used was a matte finish because I didn’t want a lot of shine to it but there is all different sheens from Gloss, Satin, to speciality Decou-page that is specifically made for use on fabric, for photos, and even dishwasher safe Decou-page. 

DIY tray: Distressed Decou-Page Tray

And here’s the finished tray… I just love the 2 toned distressed look.   And that fun paper inside just gives it an extra fun look too.

DIY tray: Distressed Decou-Page Tray

And you know… maybe the keys on the DecorArt Decou-Page paper inside will help be a reminder to put the keys IN the tray and not next to it all over the nightstand. Winking smile

DIY tray: Distressed Decou-Page Tray

DIY tray: Distressed Decou-Page Tray

With Father’s Day coming up, this would make a perfect gift to get the kids involved and have them help create a fun tray for his nightstand or dresser. 

What would you Decou-page?  A candle, a tray, maybe even the front of a dresser drawer?  The possibilities are endless!

You can find more ideas using Decou-Page on DecoArts website or follow them on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter.


  1. Love it!! I added something similar (without the cool paint/paper) to my husbands dresser when we remodeled it and it’s a perfect catch-all!!

  2. DH would probably put all his stuff beside the tray – LOL – like he does his clothes and the wash basket/hamper

  3. This certainly is a coincidence. I’m decorating a brand new table and I want to include a wooden tray but I can’t find a tray I like that doesn’t cost more than I want to pay. So, here comes your blog with complete directions for how to decoupage a plain tray and list of the supplies I need. Thank you! XO

  4. This is such a good idea! Right now, the hubs has a really pretty ceramic tray with blue trim on his chest of drawers to put his stuff in. But I want it back on my vanity top to put MY stuff in. So… This wooden tray looks like the perfect solution. Thanks for the ideas!!

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