Small Paper Trays

A couple of weeks ago I had an idea. I was feeling crafty, plus I was missing my small dish that I keep my everyday jewelry in. These two things combined to create the idea of making some small paper trays.

Why paper? 1. I love decorative paper and am always interested in new ways to use it. 2. Paper is super lightweight-always a consideration for RVers. 3. Paper is also super cheap. Gotta love an inexpensive, but awesome craft. So, here’s what I did:

Micaiah and I went to Hobby Lobby to get supplies. Mod Podge, foam brushes (didn’t need this  many, just got a good deal) and 6 in. double-sided, decorative paper. It is very important that the paper is patterned on both sides. The glue, pencil, scissors, and ruler we already had at home.

papertrayssupplies I cut off the small strip of white at the top of the paper so that the paper was exactly 6in x 6in.


I chose which side of the paper I wanted on the inside of the tray and put it facing up. I set the ruler across the paper so that the left side was at 0 and the right side was at 6″. I then made a small mark at the 1″ and 5″. I did this toward the top, middle, and bottom of the paper. (I switched paper so you could see the markings better, and my sister is our lovely hand model.)


I used the three marks to line up the ruler so I could draw a line down the left side and the right side of the paper 1″ in from the edge.


I rotated the paper 90 degrees and lined my ruler along the lines I just drew with the new left side at 0 and the right side at 6″ once again. I then marked the 1″ and 5″ along the line for both lines.


Now I had something that looked like this. (Minus the “1in” and arrows)


I then cut along the lines only to the 1″ marks.


Here it is with all four cuts:


I folded over the first long side at the line I had drawn.


I then unfolded it and folded it in half so that it met the line.


I unfolded it just enough to put a line of glue down the inside,


and then held it down for a few seconds so the glue could set.


I repeated this process on the other side and ended up with this:


Next, I folded the two short sides in at the 1″ marks.


then unfolded them and folded them in half just like I had previously done on the long sides. (Am I making any sense?) (Also, I rotated the paper. Not sure why.)


And here’s where it gets hard to explain. I then unfolded the non-glued edges and folded up the ends of the two glued edges. (Hopefully the picture helps.)


Now, holding the paper, I folded the non-glued end around the two folded in ends of the glued edges. I then put some glue down the pieces like so:


and folded over the final edge and held it down for a few seconds to set.


I repeated this process (that is much more complicated to type out than to actually do) on the final side. I forgot to take a picture of this, but it looks just like the finished ones only not covered in Mod Podge. Give the glue some time to dry and then cover the inside and edges with Mod Podge to strengthen and protect. After that has dried, flip it over and cover the bottom and edges with Mod Podge.


I put down foil to Mod Podge on, but you still need to move it to a new spot as soon as you are done painting the Mod Podge on the bottom and edges because it will stick to the foil and peel off when you try to pick it up. (I know from experience.)

We made quite a few because the kids wanted to make their own, plus it made a cooler picture. I ended up using two of them for my jewelry on the bedside table. If you want them to be even more protected you could do two coats of Mod Podge, but we just did one and that was fine for what we are using them for.



I love how you see both patterns with one on the edges and one on the bottom. Can you think of another use for these? I was thinking they would work great for small office supplies like paper clips and thumb tacks. You could glue three together in a row to have a sort of partitioned tray. They could also make a cool 3D wall treatment if you make a bunch and put them in a grid on the wall. Hmmm…what else…

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