How To Turn A Picture Frame Into A Coastal Serving Tray

One can never have enough trays, am I right? Used for their intended purpose, to create seasonal vignettes on a coffee table, or to corral objects in a bathroom or on a bedroom dresser. But did you know that you can turn a picture frame into a tray?



To demonstrate I'm repurposing a beat-up picture frame chalkboard into a lovely coastal serving tray with rope handles for summer and I'll show you how easy it is to do. No power tools are required to make this tray but it goes much quicker if you do.



How to easily repurpose a picture frame into a handy serving tray for summer with wood slats painted pretty coastal colors and sisal rope handles. #summertray #diyservingtray #pictureframeservingtray

Repurposed Picture Frame Coastal Serving Tray

Hanging on my DIY Potting Bench is a warped and battered chalkboard menu from being left out in the elements during the winter. When I heard our Thrifty Chicks group challenge this month was picture frames, my thoughts immediately went to salvaging the beat-up frame.



How to easily repurpose a picture frame into a handy serving tray for summer with wood slats painted pretty coastal colors and sisal rope handles.

If you are not familiar with our Thrifty Chicks group, on the second Wednesday of every month my creative junk-loving friends and I come together to transform, upcycle or repurpose a junk find based on a theme.



This is what my beat-up picture frame looks like now, repurposed into a summer serving tray. Big difference, right!



How to easily repurpose a picture frame into a handy serving tray for summer with wood slats painted pretty coastal colors and sisal rope handles.

What Type Of Picture Frame Do I Need To Turn Into A Tray?

If you don't have an old picture frame available, there are so many budget-friendly options available at thrift stores. Don't worry about what the print looks like inside because we'll be replacing it with wood slats later. Look for a solid wood picture frame that is wide and sturdy enough to add handles.



How to easily repurpose a picture frame into a handy serving tray for summer with wood slats painted pretty coastal colors and sisal rope handles.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to make the repurposed picture frame coastal tray, almost all of the DIY projects shared here at Interior Frugalista have step-by-step tutorials so why not get your budget DIY on and subscribe. You can also follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.



How to easily repurpose a picture frame into a handy serving tray for summer with wood slats painted pretty coastal colors and sisal rope handles.

What You'll Need To Make It

These are the supplies I had on hand to make the coastal serving tray. Use what you have or look for chalk-style paint in coastal colors.



I've included 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.



How to easily repurpose a picture frame into a handy serving tray for summer with wood slats painted pretty coastal colors and sisal rope handles.

You'll also want to get pine wainscotting (tongue and groove wood slats) to use for the base of the tray. It's easy to install and adds that lovely coastal charm, especially when painted.



How to easily repurpose a picture frame into a handy serving tray for summer with wood slats painted pretty coastal colors and sisal rope handles.

How To Make A Serving Tray From A Picture Frame

Prep Picture Frame For Paint

Inspired by the chipping paint on the old frame, instead of removing it, I decided to work with it. First I removed any loose paint with 150-grit sandpaper and sealed the remaining paint with a stain blocker/sealer that I had on hand.



How to easily repurpose a picture frame into a handy serving tray for summer with wood slats painted pretty coastal colors and sisal rope handles.

How To Paint The Picture Frame With Dry Brush Layers

Not wanting to cover the sage green and primer red chippy paint colors, I used a dry brush technique to add more layered paint colors. This will give the tray a weathered wood patina in coastal colors.



First Paint Layer

Start with the darkest color, Peacock blue. Dip just the tips of an inexpensive chip brush into the paint and offload the excess onto a paper towel.



You want very little paint left on the brush, hence the term dry brush. With light pressure on the brush apply the paint in long random brush strokes. The goal is not to cover each layer of paint.



Second Paint Player

After the first layer dries (mere minutes), repeat the step above with the next slightly lighter color, mine is called The Gulf.



Third Paint Layer

And finally, layer the lightest paint color, mine is Sea Glass. See how the original chippy paint colors still show underneath and the new dry brushed colors give it more of that weathered patina? But we're not finished with the layers just yet.



How to easily repurpose a picture frame into a handy serving tray for summer with wood slats painted pretty coastal colors and sisal rope handles.

How To Age Paint With Glaze

Both to protect the painted frame and aged the weathered paint patina, we're going to layer two different colors of glaze over the paint.



Pro-Tip

My preference when using glaze is to dampen an inexpensive chip brush first by dipping just the tips in water or spraying the brush with this handy misting spray bottle. It helps the glaze move over the paint and go further.



Glaze Layer One

We'll start by using Van Dyke Brown glaze. A little goes a long way! Dip the tips of the dampened brush into the dark glaze and brush it on much like you did the paint. Make sure it nestles in all the ridges of the frame and remove the excess with a lint-free rag.



Glaze Layer Two

Next, add a second layer of Whitewash glaze, applied in the same manner.



Adding A Wood Slat Base To The Tray

Knotty pine beaded wainscot (wooden tongue and groove slats) found at most home improvement stores are perfect to use for the base of the tray. They are easy to cut and install and give the tray a wood slat appearance.



How to easily repurpose a picture frame into a handy serving tray for summer with wood slats painted pretty coastal colors and sisal rope handles.

Cut The Wood Slat Tray Base

Cut the pieces to fit either vertically or horizontally on the tray with a miter saw. If using power tools isn't an option, they can easily be cut with a miter box and hand saw


I chose to lay mine vertically and lucky for me, four full pieces fit the length of the tray perfectly without having to trim the boards.



How to easily repurpose a picture frame into a handy serving tray for summer with wood slats painted pretty coastal colors and sisal rope handles.

Paint The Wood Slat Tray Base

Paint the beadboard slats before installation using the same coastal paint colors as the tray. Once the paint is dry, age the beadboard with the same colored glazes used on the frame as well.



On the underside of the tray, either paint them the same colors or use just one paint color like I did. It's optional whether you age the painted slats on the underside with the glaze.



How to easily repurpose a picture frame into a handy serving tray for summer with wood slats painted pretty coastal colors and sisal rope handles.

Wood Slat Tray Base Installation

Apply a thin bead of No More Nails Glue onto the tongues of each slat and glue the slats together. They will bond within minutes so this step doesn't take long with this amazing glue.



How to easily repurpose a picture frame into a handy serving tray for summer with wood slats painted pretty coastal colors and sisal rope handles.

Flip the picture frame upside down and add a bead of glue along the bottom edge and set the beadboard base over top. Add some weight onto the base to hold it down while the glue cures.



How to easily repurpose a picture frame into a handy serving tray for summer with wood slats painted pretty coastal colors and sisal rope handles.

Protecting The DIY Wood Tray Paint Finish

To protect the paint finish, brush two or three thin coats of clear coat. I used Dixie Belle Paint Company Gator Hide, which I had on hand.



How To Add Rope Handles Onto The Coastal Tray

Determine where the rope handles will go on each side of the picture frame. Find the center and measure two inches on either side and mark with a pencil and repeat on the opposite side of the tray. With a 1/16-inch bit, drill a pilot hole on each pencil mark.



How to easily repurpose a picture frame into a handy serving tray for summer with wood slats painted pretty coastal colors and sisal rope handles.

Determine the thickness of the sisal rope and drill a hole approximately the same size (5/16-inch drill bit).



How to easily repurpose a picture frame into a handy serving tray for summer with wood slats painted pretty coastal colors and sisal rope handles.

Thread the sisal rope from the top and knot it on the underside. Measure the handle to approximately 7-inches long and thread it through the opposite hole and tie a knot. Repeat the above steps on the opposite side of the tray.



How to easily repurpose a picture frame into a handy serving tray for summer with wood slats painted pretty coastal colors and sisal rope handles.

That's it, you're done! While it may seem there are a lot of steps in this tutorial, it really is quite easy and doesn't take long to make. The chalk-style paint and the glue do not take long to dry so the picture frame serving tray can easily be made in an afternoon.



I'm almost embarrassed to share this link but when I first started blogging I made this ornate Picture Frame Serving Tray. I kept the glass on that one and placed pretty scrapbook paper underneath the glass. You can find more homemade tray ideas on my DIY Tray Ideas page.



Thanks for stopping by the Interior Frugalista today. I hope you were inspired by the repurposed picture frame tray for summer.



If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below or the Contact Me tab at the top to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!



If you enjoyed this idea for recycled DIY wind chimes, I'd be so thankful if you shared it with a friend and pinned it to your DIY Wind Chimes or DIY Outdoor Decor on Pinterest.




How to easily repurpose a picture frame into a handy serving tray for summer with wood slats painted pretty coastal colors and sisal rope handles. #coastaltray #repurposedpictureframe

Now let's see my talented friend's picture frame ideas by clicking the links below.


How to repurpose a picture frame by the Thrifty Chicks Blogging Group
Update A Frame For Valentine's Day | Shoppe No. 5
Frame Transformation + Vintage Button Valentine | Adirondack Girl At Heart
Upcycled Valentine Picture Frame | Little Vintage Cottage
Sheet Metal Frame | Lora B.
Picture Frame Coastal Serving Tray | Interior Frugalista (that's me)


I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.



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Comments

  1. This is gorgeous, Marie! I love the idea, colors and materials you used! So clever! Thanks for linking up with us on Inspiration Monday this week and sharing your fun ideas!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kristi, I'm glad you like the picture frame tray! Thanks for co-hosting the IM party, one of my favorites 😀

      Delete
  2. Wow! What a change! A wonderful idea and the result I like it very much.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Simona, I'm glad you like this idea 😀

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  3. What a great upcycle and I just love those colors. Thank you so much for sharing with To Grandma's House We Go, I'll be featuring you next week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm thrilled you'll be featuring it, Chas, thank you so much!

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  4. Loving this and the color choices. It's perfect. I love to upcycle frames and plan on making one like this. Create idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Michele! So glad I inspired you to make one. Super easy to make. Have fun makng yours!

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  5. One of my all-time fave posts! ;-) I have it pinned on several boards! LOL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You just made my Sunday morning, Julie! Thank you so much and for the multiple pins 😊

      Delete
  6. Thanks for sharing at Inspire Me Monday. I wanted to let you know that you are one of my featured links this week. Come check it out at https://www.farmhouse40.com/inspire-me-monday-228

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Bonbon, you made my Monday morning! xo

      Delete

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