Remember this face lift I gave to a wooden craft store tray? Well, I decided that a tray is pretty much the greatest thing to DIY around. It’s useful, easy to work with, and small enough to put in any room of the house. I grabbed this guy at Goodwill for $3 the other day. But this one was for Eleanor to decorate.
(Oh, and before I forget… if you haven’t already, “Like” the Ciburbanity Facebook page! Look to your right and there’s a link right there all nice and convenient for you!)
These bags of square glass tiles were at Michael’s for $1.99. I grabbed three which wasn’t even close to enough- should have used my high school geometry… luckily we also had some bags of round glass beads on hand so all was not lost.
Admittedly, this won’t be the chic-est tray of her life, but Eleanor loved playing around with the tiles and the patterns.
She laid out the tiles on the tray. (I don’t know about your almost-4-year-old, but mine is waaaaay into patterns… “Mummy, THIS is a pattern: blue, blue, red… blue, blue, red…”) The next day we voted and decided to integrate the circles with the squares for an alternating circle-square pattern.
Once we’d settled on the tile layout, we dumped them out and painted the tray with craft paint. Eleanor chose her colors which are pretty consistently pink and purple.
I went ahead and glued the tiles down. Since Eleanor had worked so hard to place them the first time, I didn’t have the heart to make her lay them all out again! I let the glue set for a few hours to make sure it was totally dry before moving on to the finishing touches.
Oh, and here’s what these projects ACTUALLY look like around here. Props for the wide shot.
Get your slow clap ready, because the finishing touches are what make this project. These tiles needed a mortar of sorts (something to fill in the gaps), but because they were also a little uneven, I decided to use one of my crafty all time faves: resin. I mixed it up according to the package specs, and poured it over the tiles just enough to make a smooth top coat.
Note: I ultimately used the entire package, but the directions call for mixing equal parts of the two enclosed bottles. I used water to determine how much liquid this plastic cup would hold, then marked the inside accordingly (in this case, 1/2 cup increments). When it came time to mix the resin, these marks made it easy to determine ‘equal parts.’
It takes a while to dry, but it looks cool, right? (I could resin anything… dirty socks? Sure. Gravel from our driveway? Could be industrial, why not?) It takes a few days to set, so I was nervous to display anything on it…
Eleanor was super duper pleased with herself. And I’m a proud craft mom. Could that be the newest TLC series: Craft Moms. “Spread that Mod Podge THINNER, you imbecile! More glitter! Come on, that stencil edge needs to be CRISPER!”
Again, this tray is a little on the cheesy side (ok, a LOT), but it’s a really fun project that kids can manage. Aside from the resin, there wasn’t one part of this that Eleanor couldn’t have done for herself. That’s my kind of kids’ activity!
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