How to Paint and Mod Podge a Wooden Tray

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I have some really cute cupcake-themed fabric that I thought would be perfect for decorating a party tray, so I’d like to show you how to paint and Mod Podge a wooden tray for a unique and creative way to serve your party desserts.

Keep in mind that you can choose any fabric print to make this craft project by following the same instructions that I’ve provided. Just switch out coordinating paint colors that match your fabric and you’re good to go.

HOW TO PAINT AND MOD PODGE A WOODEN TRAY

how to paint and mod podge a wooden tray finished project

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SUPPLIES NEEDED:

  • unfinished wooden tray ~ 11×14
  • JoAnn cupcake fabric
  • foam paint brush
  • artist brushes
  • Mod Podge ~ matte
  • Apple Barrel paint
    • bright magenta #20591
    • kiwi #20221
    • white
  • Folk Art Multi-Surface paint
    • patina vert patine #2951CA
  • scissors or rotary cutter
  • iron
  • ruler
  • pencil
supplies needed to complete the how to paint and mod podge a wooden tray project

HOW TO PAINT A WOODEN TRAY

Use acrylic craft paint on your wood tray, like Apple Barrel or Folk Art by Plaid.

Important Tip: Make sure you paint the inside bottom of the tray the same as the main color that is in your fabric. This way if your fabric is somewhat thin then the wood color will not alter the color of your fabric after using the Mod Podge.

Paint the bottom of the tray and the outer sides in white using a foam paint brush.

Next paint the inside of the tray that co-ordinates with your fabric.

Paint 2 coats on areas where needed.

inside of tray painted turquoise

HOW TO DECORATE A TRAY WITH PAINTED DESIGNS

I chose to pick out a couple of designs that are seen in my fabric piece to decorate the tray, such as, the curved cupcake icing edges and large and tiny dots.

pencil traced shapes on the how to decorate and paint a wooden tray project

You can trace designs on the outer sides by using a stencil, making your own, or using a household object to trace around.

I traced half of a circle from a stencil to mimic the icing curves.

To make the dots I used the end of a pencil for the large dots and an artist brush for the tiny dots. You can also used a dotting tool.

painted and dotted designs on the how to decorate and paint a wooden tray project
designs painted on the end of the wood tray

HOW TO MOD PODGE FABRIC ON WOOD

You don’t need to buy a lot of fabric, just a “fat quarter” measures 18 x 21 and is plenty for a wood tray. Hand wash the fabric, roll in towel, then press with an iron.

New fabric contains sizing and I don’t know the interaction with Mod Podge, so I erred on the side of caution and washed the fabric.

Measure the tray inset and then measure and mark fabric piece. Cut out the rectangle with either scissors or a rotary cutter.

fabric and mod podge with foam brush ready to be used on the wooden tray

Place fabric in tray then pull back half. Apply Mod Podge on only half of the tray using a foam brush.

Press down and smooth with your fingers.

TIP: Use a plastic plastic bag (ziploc) to help smooth the fabric.

TIP: Do not push hard while smoothing as it will stretch your fabric.

Next, apply Mod Podge to the other half of the tray and then lay down the rest of the fabric, press and smooth.

I waited until that step was dry before applying a thin coat of Mod Podge on top of the fabric.

FYI: Mod Podge dries clear.

how to paint and decorate a wooden tray completed project with cookies displayed on it

Now that you know how to paint and mod podge a wooden tray, I think you will enjoy making a party tray for your holiday or family celebrations!

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pinterest graphic for the project "how to use mod podge on wood for a party tray"

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE TO SEE THESE WOOD TRAY IDEAS:

DIY PAINTING IDEA FOR A WOOD TRAY

WINTER TRAY DECOR IDEAS

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This month, I’ve joined in with a group of bloggers for a Creative Craft Hop. Donna @ Modern On Monticello is our host this month. You’ll find seven additional craft and decor projects, at the end of my post, that are being shared with all of our readers. Visit their links to see what these creative bloggers are sharing. Don’t miss out!

CLICK THE LINKS BELOW TO SEE MORE CREATIVE CRAFTS!

graphic logo for a group named creative craft hop

Cecilia @ My Thrift Store Addiction ~ Easy Clearance Wreath Upcycle

Terrie @ Decorate and More with Tip ~ Dollar Tree Hand-woven Basket Stand

Jenna @ The Painted Apron ~ Welcome Home Painted Birdhouse

Donna @ Modern on Monticello ~ DIY Mid Century Modern Inspired Wall Sculpture

Niki @ Life as a Leo Wife ~ Indoor/Outdoor DIY Farmhouse Lantern

Gail @ Purple Hues and Me ~ Tattoos on Glass Decor

Ann @ The Apple Street Cottage ~ Finally a Frame

Sharing my painted and mod podged tray at these fabulous blogs!

author of the southern sunflowers blog
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Allyson

Allyson is the founder and content creator of Southern Sunflowers, which shares tutorials for DIY crafts and decor on a budget.

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28 thoughts on “How to Paint and Mod Podge a Wooden Tray”

  1. This is just the cutest tray! What a fun idea. . . and if you tire of the look, you could easily change it up later. Love it!

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!

  2. This is just the cutest! I love the painted design round the edge especially, it really adds to the fun of this tray. This will be a feature at Handmade Monday this week 🙂

  3. This is so, so cute! I love trays, and this one would be perfect for birthday parties, kid’s sleepovers, or for a fun-filled dessert. Using fabric was a great idea. Again, just too cute! I hope that you’ll come and share it on Crafty Creators! I know our readers would love it!
    XOXO,
    Niki

  4. This is too cute Allyson! I haven’t ever used fabric for decoupage before, wow, that opens a whole new world of possibilities! I love the combo of painted elements and decoupage and the cupcake fabric is adorable! Pinned!

  5. Your tray is adorable, Allyson and you know how I love Mod Podge! This project is perfect for a birthday party – love it!

  6. That fabric is so cute, Allyson! I really love how your mod podged tray turned out–Pinned! Blessings, Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

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