Upcycled Farmhouse Coffee Tray

Do you come across Umbra photo trays at the thrift store often? They make wonderful seasonal serving trays because you can simply switch out what you have displayed under the glass! Here I used scrapbook paper to transform mine into a Farmhouse coffee tray with rustic charm. Having paid a whopping $3, this makes for an inexpensive serving tray.

Rustic Coffee Tray Makeover

Upcycled Farmhouse Coffee Tray 

With just a little paint and a stencil, this upcycle is so easy to do and costs a fraction of the price of buying brand new. Upcycled trays make wonderful gifts too because who couldn't use a pretty tray? I've given them for Mother's Day, Bridal Showers, housewarming gifts, hostess gifts, birthday, and Christmas gifts. The nice thing is that it is a unique one-of-a-kind gift made with love from you!

Repurposed Photo Tray With Farmhouse Charm

This is what the umbra photo tray looked like before...

Upcycled Farmhouse Umbra Photo Tray Before

...and here it is after the makeover. Big difference, right? I'll show you how easy it was in the step-by-step tutorial below.

Upcycled Photo Tray With Rustic Farmhouse Charm

How to upcycle a photo tray with Farmhouse charm

This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

Prep the wood tray for paint

First, remove the wood photo mat from under the glass. Unfortunately, the glass cannot be removed from the tray so you may want to run a strip of painters tape along the edges of the glass for easy clean up when it's finished.

Because of the glossy finish, the tray needed some prep in order for the paint to adhere. Normally I lightly sand first to give the paint some bite but with the dark stain finish, I was guaranteed to get some paint bleed through the white paint. Instead, I opted to prime the tray with a clear shellac-based primer.

To give the tray that rustic charm, we'll be adding layers of paint, starting with a coat of white. Each layer of color is dry brushed, meaning that you dip a chip brush into the paint and offload it onto a paper towel until very little remains on the brush.

Brush the first coat with white chalk paint in long random strokes, not being concerned about full coverage because we want some of the stained wood to show through the paint.

Once the white paint is dry, dry brush a layer of dark grey. The color is used is called Rocky Mountain by Country Chic paint.

Once the second layer is dry, move onto the third color. I used Louis Blue by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. You can see the subtle layers in the photo below.

DIY Rustic Coffee Tray With Layers Of Paint

Protecting the paint

Once the paint is dry, protect it with clear wax applied with a lint-free rag. The pretty colors will darken with the wax.

Adding farmhouse under the glass

Glue two sheets of rustic barn wood scrapbook paper together with a glue stick, lining up the pattern of the wood slats. Cut the scrapbook paper to size to fit under the glass.

DIY Rustic Coffee Tray With Barn Wood Scrapbook Paper

Once the scrapbook paper is cut to size, stencil the top with this coffee stencil using the same rocky mountain paint color used on the layers.

DIY Stenciled Rustic Coffee Tray

Here it is stenciled. If you look closely you can see that I filled in the bridges on the letters using a script liner art brush. Once the stencil is dry, slip it under the glass and reassemble the tray without using the wood photo matt we removed previously.

DIY Farmhouse Coffee Serving Tray

Embellish the hands with twine

Wrap jute twine around each handle and hot glued it in place. This is totally optional but I dry brushed a little of the rocky mountain gray and white chalk paint over the jute twine to make it look aged.

DIY Rustic Coffee Tray With Jute Wrapped Handles

You may be wondering about my handy Pringle container. They are perfect to store twine, string, ribbon, or rope. Simply use a hole punch in the center of the plastic lid and run the rope through it (like pictured above).

This isn't my first upcycled Umbra tray rodeo. I gave this one a Valentine Shabby Chic Tray makeover. For more upcycled tray inspiration visit my Upcycled Trays page.

If you have any questions about this coffee tray makeover, please leave them in the comment section below or press the Contact Me button at the top of the blog to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!

I'd be so thankful if you pinned this project and/or shared it with a friend.

Upcycled Rustic Farmhouse Coffee Tray



  1. This is a great up-cycle project. I love the paper you used.
    Happy Valentine's,

    1. Thank you Kippi, it was fun transforming the Umbra tray. I see those photo trays often in the thrift stores. If only people knew how much you can do to them. Happy Valentine's to you as well!

  2. Such a lovely and rustic upcycle, Marie! Pinned!

  3. It is a fabulous upcycle. I love the wallpaper you chose.

    1. Thank you very much, Debra! It was such fun watching the dated umbra tray transform to farmhouse. LOL


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