Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Inspire Me Tuesday

Today's inspiration comes from my local dollar store. I LOVE the dollar store for creating fun pieces that look so much more expensive than their combined pieces!  I think we have all seen dollar deals before and that's what inspired me to create this fun project.

These trays in oval, round, and rectangle shapes, are always plentiful at my dollar store. I've looked at them for years wondering, "what fun crafts can I make with these guys??"

Then it hit me....I paint everything else, why not paint the tray!? So I set to work. Only this time, I used acrylic paints. I started by sanding the heck out of it with super coarse sandpaper. From here any directions of precisely how I got this exact look gets a little murky as I worked as I went not knowing how each step would turn out. How I achieved the final look is honestly hit and miss, trial and error. I didn't take pics along the way either, as I was basically flying by the seat of my pants. However, it was fun to play with different mediums, colors, and techniques as the project progressed, so I would suggest just grabbing your materials and jumping in. You might get a totally different look that is more amazing than my finished tray. Note: I did only the top; the back of the tray is still shiny silver.

Ok, so I started with the coarse sandpaper and sanded like a mad crafter. Then I literally poured out about half a bottle of acrylic paint and spread it over with a foam brush, being sure to get all the details around the edge filled with paint. It dries pretty quickly, but you can also help it a bit with a heat gun if you get impatient or to be sure the textured edge is dried. Then I inked around the edges with walnut stain Distress Ink, using a foam applicator. I then took a soft rag (a piece of tee shirt) and gently rubbed the edge. I didn't want to remove the ink, just soften the look so it seemed aged. I liked how that looked, so I also added ink to the center of the tray in a circular motion, then rubbed that to make it look old and "dirty-ish" too. It looks awesome!!! But now what do I do to keep the paint from peeling off the metal? The sanding helped the paint stick some, but it IS metal still, so I knew it would scratch off easily.....hmmm......but of course! MOD PODGE! For my tray I used matte finish mod podge. I didn't want it too look too shiny and new, and the matte was perfect.

It's fun to use as a prop with my other Halloween projects. Also this cute little glass of bubbling purple potion was a thrift store find for ten cents! Isn't it cute? Here it is with this tag I made using My Creative Time, Just Tags and the coaster using the MCT doily die.....

and here with the dollar store candy globes.

Looks pretty cool, huh! I love how it turned out. It would be fab to make several in different shapes to use on the buffet table or Candy Bar at a Halloween party. Or to hold your watch or jewelry on your dresser for that matter. I hope you like my project today and will be inspired to create awesomeness from a thrift store or dollar store find. :)

Product List:
My Creative Time, Just Tags die
My Creative Time, Doily die
My Creative Time, Cloud speech bubble
My Creative Time, More Chocolate Greetings stamps
Dollar Tree metal tray, coarse sandpaper, Folk Art Linen acrylic paint, foam brush, Distress Ink Walnut Stain
Stickles, glass beads


  1. Oh my gosh girl what the heck I think you coined the phrase you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear!! Oh but SHAR can. I don't think there isn't anything that you can't make into a craftin' master piece. You have to be the most talented and creative person on this earth!!! Oh heck the world. MY gosh you are so gifted, talented and creative!!!

  2. Shar ~ Okay this is unbelievable COOL! I can't believe that silver tray turned out looking so FABULOUS! Actually so Spooktacular!!! I want the potion too! YUMMY! Then your candy bar idea! LOVE this post ~ so many wonderful ideas!

  3. What a fun project. You sure made that shinny plate look old and grungy. The spider and potion are super.
    quilt 4 fun 2 at hot mail dot com


Thanks for stopping by the studio. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments or email me directly. :) ♥ ~Shar


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