Upcycled Umbra Photo Tray For Valentine's Day

Every home could use a tray or two, right? What about having ONE tray that can easily be changed for each season by simply switching what's displayed under the glass! Here I'll show you how I gave a thrift store tray a Farmhouse makeover and used fabric to display the upcycled Umbra photo tray for Valentine's Day.

Upcycled Seasonal Ottoman Tray For Valentines Day

Upcycled Seasonal Umbra Photo Tray For Valentine's Day

I see these photo trays often on thrift store shelves so this is a budget-friendly option for an ottoman tray. They are a perfect tray to use as a seasonal tray because they are designed so the back is easily removed to change out the photos displayed under the glass.

When you live in a small home like I do, home decor with a multi-purpose is key to avoid having to store it during the off-season. I do the same thing with seasonal pillows. I keep one size pillow form and change out the pillow covers ONLY for each season like I did with these Christmas Ornament Pillows.

Upcycled Farmhouse Ottoman Tray For Valentine's Day

Painted a neutral white to work with every season and lightly distressing the paint, gives this upcycled tray lovely Farmhouse charm.

DIY Valentine's Day Serving Tray

What can be displayed under the photo tray glass?

The possibilities are endless for what can be displayed under the glass of an Umbra photo tray. Anything from scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, wallpaper, napkins, doilies, or fabric like I did for Valentine's Day.

Upcycled Umbra Photo Tray For Valentine's Day

You can only see the bottom half on the table in the photo above but I also upcycled a dollar store glass cylinder into a pretty Ombre Heart Valentine Flower Vase with mod melts. It's another easy Valentine craft that you may like.

You can also see the Fleece Valentine Heart Pillow that I made in the photo above. It's the same red and white heart print fleece remnant that I'm using for under the glass of this seasonal ottoman tray.

Upcycled Valentine's Day Ottoman Tray Fleece Fabric

To see where we started, here is the thrift store Umbra wooden photo tray before...

Upcycled Seasonal Umbra Photo Frame Before

This isn't my first Umbra photo tray upcycle, a few years ago I upcycled an identical one with rustic scrapbook paper displayed under the glass to use as a Coffee Tray With Rustic Charm.

How to give the photo tray a Farmhouse makeover

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.

Step 1 - Prepping the glossy tray for paint

There are a few things that need to be done first before we paint the tray. First, remove the backing and the wood photo mat (which we will not be using but saved for a future project).

Sometimes the glass can't be removed because it's glued down so I recommend running a piece of painter's tape along the edge of the glass for easy clean up after it's painted.

With 150 grit sandpaper lightly sand the glossy finish on the wood to rough it up just a bit to give the paint some bite. Because the tannins in the dark wood are guaranteed to bleed through the paint, it should be primed first with a stain-blocking primer.

Another sand-free option for priming the glossy wood is using this primer for glossy finishes.

Seasonal Thrift Store Ottoman Tray Primed

Step 2 - Painting the tray

Now the tray is ready to be painted with neutral white water-based paint. I used a mineral paint in the color Raw Silk. If you notice pink spots coming through the paint then you'll need to add another coat of primer.

Seasonal Thrift Store Ottoman Tray Painted White

Once the last coat of chalk paint is dry, lightly sand along the edges with 220 grit sandpaper for a distressed finish like pictured below.

Umbra Wooden Photo Tray Makeover Before and After

I used white wax applied with a round wax brush to protect the paint.

Step 3 - Displaying Valentine's theme under the upcycled tray glass

Now we're ready to replace the photo paper that came with the tray with pretty seasonal fabric or whatever you choose to make it festive.

For my Valentine heart fleece fabric, all I did was wrap it around a piece of cardboard cut to size and secure it on the back with tape. Easy peasy!

Step 4 - Assemble the tray

Clean the glass inside and out and make sure the glass is completely dry before inserting your pretty fabric or paper. Assemble the frame and you're done!

You can find more DIY heart day inspiration on my Valentine's Day Decor page and more upcycled tray inspiration here on my Tray Makeovers page.

If you have any questions about this 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!

If you like this idea, I'd be so thankful if you pinned this project and shared it with a friend. With gratitude! -Marie

Upcycled Seasonal Umbra Photo Tray For Valentine's Day

I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.



  1. Turned out great Marie! I love things that you can use for all seasons/holidays!


    1. Thank you Tania! I can't wait to decorate it for Easter soon.

  2. Love this idea Marie! And I have a stash of tray and tray project to play with. Happy Valentine's to you. :)

    1. It's always fun giving old and dated serving trays a fresh new look. I hope you have fun giving yours makeovers. I know they'll be stunning!

  3. Marie that is such a sweet idea. I need to find a tray like this to add to my living room. I have been looking everywhere and can't seem to find one at a reasonable price.

  4. Oh no, that's too bad Mary, they come a dime a dozen over here. I hope you have success on your quest soon. Looking forward to switching my tray to Spring soon!

  5. What a great idea. I'm here from Snickerdoodle and pinned this for later. :)


    1. Thanks for stopping by and the pin! I'm glad you like this space-saving tray idea.

  6. This is very nice! It may be time for my son and me to hit the thrift store and see if we can find some furniture to spruce up!

    1. Furniture or home decor, the possibilities are endless for a home filled with inexpensive but well made pieces with a custom look! I don't remember the last time I decorated or furnished our home with off the rack pieces.

  7. LOVE the tray... and the candle charm, too... Did you create that? Thanks for sharing at Homestyle Gathering! Pinned!

    1. Thank you Julie 😊 The candle charm is a necklace that I wrapped around for added charm to my Valentine vignette.

  8. Replies
    1. Thank you Randi! Such fun coming up with new ideas to display under the glass for each new season.


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