DIY & Crafts, Featured On, Projects, Roadkill Rescue

Upcycled Toy Bin to Spring Serving Tray

March 3, 2014
Upcycled Toy Tray | View From The Fridge

Upcycled Toy Tray | View From The Fridge

 

If you have kids, then you probably know Melissa and Doug. They make awesome wood toys, puzzles, craft sets, etc. My boys love playing with them, and I love that they’re not plastic! Their packaging, however … not great for STORAGE after opening. It’s nice, sturdy packaging, made of wood … however they have one BIG downfall. They never have lids! Because of this … they don’t work for us. Bins without lids hold toys for maybe 3 minutes before my two little boys dump the entire contents out onto the floor.

While the wood blocks tray in this project wasn’t actually a Melissa and Doug one, it has the same no-lid problem. Last week, I had finally decided that the blocks from this tray MUST go in another container. One with a lid. I emptied the blocks, and on the way out to the recycling bin a project idea flashed into my mind stopping me from throwing it in! This wood tray just might make a good serving tray. It’s very sturdy. It’s a great size. And why not save it from the trash?!?

 

HERE’S HOW IT LOOKED ON THE WAY OUT TO THE RECYCLING BIN …

Upcycled Toy Tray |  View From The Fridge

TRAY BEFORE

Upcycled Toy Tray |  View From The Fridge

 

With a little high-gloss craft paint, some fancy paper, mod podge, and some ‘rope’ … it’s now the prefect serving tray for cocktails out on the patio.

Upcycled Toy Tray |  View From The Fridge

  • I first painted to tray a glossy green (Martha Stewart craft paint).
  • I used Mod Podge to adhere this fancy paper from Paper Source to the inside of tray.
  • To ‘seal’ the tray and paper against any liquid that might spill, I applied two coats of Polycrylic.
  • Upcycled Toy Tray
  • Once dry, I drilled two holes in each of the shorter sides for handles.
  • Using some ‘rope’ which I actually bought in the ribbon aisle at JoAnn, I threaded it through the holes, tied a double knot in each side, and trimmed the edges. Instant handles (that actually work!).
Upcycled Toy Tray

ROPE ‘RIBBON’ FROM JOANN FABRICS

 

AND NOW … FINISHED:

Upcycled Toy Tray    |  View From The Fridge

FINISHED TRAY

 

Upcycled Toy Tray | View From The Fridge

TRAY AFTER

 

OUR PROBLEM NOW? OUR PATIO LOOKS LIKE THIS:

That's our patio table that Matt is standing on as he rakes snow off the roof!!

That’s our patio table that Matt is standing on as he rakes snow off the roof!!

 

So, until I can use this tray to serve cocktails on our patio … it fits pretty nice on our shelves. Love the spring colors!

Upcycled Toy Tray |  View From The Fridge

Upcycled Tray

AND ONE LAST LOOK AT THE BEFORE AND AFTERS …

Upcycled Toy Tray |  View From The Fridge

 

 

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52 Comments

  • Reply Melissa @ A Prudent Life March 3, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this Katie! That paper is awesome – I thought you had painted it. I see some new Melissa & Doug blocks in my nephew’s future…. They just may be missing a container when he gets them!
    Melissa @ A Prudent Life recently posted…Clearance Lamp Customization – Craft Room Project #4My Profile

    • Reply Katie March 4, 2014 at 11:11 am

      This paper is WAY easier than painting!! It comes in lots of colors, and I’m slightly obsessed with it. Yes, totally buy your nephew Melissa and Doug stuff (he’ll love the toys) and then you take the boxes!! Win Win!!

  • Reply Courtney @ Crafts by Courtney March 3, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Katie I feel your pain with Melissa and Doug products. I gotten a ton of their learning letters, number, and puzzles with no lids. I have to store them in ziplock bags or the pieces would be lost. But those wooden boxes are great. My favorite it the one with the musical instruments, we use it as a little barnyard. Hey maybe I can upcycle it into a new craft project. Ok, sorry for the rambling. Your tray turned out great and it was so clever using that. I especially love it because my favorite color is green.
    Courtney @ Crafts by Courtney recently posted…Easy-to Make DIY Wooden Pallet Mantle CenterpieceMy Profile

    • Reply Katie March 4, 2014 at 11:10 am

      Thanks, Courtney! Yes, we have pieces all over the house. I keep finding letters in random places. My boys are a terror when I let them play by themselves. They’re like two walking tornadoes. We’re working on the whole … clean up after yourself discipline, but I can’t say it’s going great :)

  • Reply Tasha @ Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body March 3, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Another FABULOUS project, Katie! You are on fire! I just love this. I have some similar toy trays that I was going to throw away, but not now! Pinning!
    Tasha @ Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body recently posted…Be Bold Challenge Party Features and a Giveaway!My Profile

    • Reply Katie March 4, 2014 at 11:09 am

      Thanks, Tasha! Yes … those toy trays were destined for the trash, but this was turned out great … and for basically FREE!

  • Reply Sonnet @ SohoSonnet Creative Living March 3, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Wow, I love the colors you picked! This is such a smart idea. I actually have just a plain serving tray my husband uses to eat on sometimes and have been thinking about upcycling it…. just to look nicer. This has inspired me!! I love the way you decorated it as well :)
    Sonnet @ SohoSonnet Creative Living recently posted…DIY {No Sew} St. Patrick’s Day Toddler Tutu DressMy Profile

    • Reply Katie March 4, 2014 at 11:08 am

      Thanks, Sonnet! For a pretty much FREE project, I’m so happy with how it turned out. And I’ve suddenly become obsessed with green and yellow. Must be hoping for Spring here!!

  • Reply Southern Scraps March 4, 2014 at 5:24 am

    Great idea and your tray turned out beautiful!
    Southern Scraps recently posted…5 Fabulous Ways to Decorate for SpringMy Profile

    • Reply Katie March 4, 2014 at 11:04 am

      Thank you!! I’m happy with how they turned out, too. Now … if we could just use them on our patio. Have a great week!

  • Reply Renee @ CreativeMamaMessyHouse March 4, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Love, love, love it! I think sometimes children’s toy designers don’t actually have extremely active boys to test their products/packaging on. But then again, I have bins with lids and the toys still get dumped on the floor. You win some, you lose some…
    Renee @ CreativeMamaMessyHouse recently posted…Decorating for St. Patrick’s Day: Lucky Shamrock BuntingMy Profile

    • Reply Katie March 5, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      Thanks, Renee!! I hear ya! My boys can seriously destroy a clean room in 3 minutes. Why bother cleaning?!? I wonder if girls are different? Ha! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Jamie @ Anderson and Grant March 5, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    This is such a great idea for repurposing something that wasn’t needed. The pop of color is fabulous and I’m loving the paper choice!
    Jamie @ Anderson and Grant recently posted…Making My Own Version of Cornish Pastie Meat PiesMy Profile

    • Reply Katie March 5, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks, Jamie!! I don’t have green anywhere in my house, so I’m loving the change, too! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Julie March 6, 2014 at 2:27 am

    I love how you have taken something much to nice to just throw away (but not useful) and made it into something beautiful and useful. I also love the idea of “cocktails on the patio” very grown up!

  • Reply Mindie Hilton March 7, 2014 at 7:07 am

    Beautiful! Please come share at Bacon Time if you haven’t already :) We surprisingly didn’t get a lot of snow this year. We usually do.
    Mindie Hilton recently posted…Anything Goes Linky # 144, A Creative Princess Review, And Let Them Eat Cake FeaturesMy Profile

  • Reply Christy March 7, 2014 at 11:48 am

    What a great transformation, Katie! It’s so pretty!! Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Reply Katie March 7, 2014 at 9:28 pm

      Thanks so much Christy!! For a free project, I’m happy with how it turned out! Now … I need Spring to come!

  • Reply Carrie This Home March 8, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    This is so cute! I need to keep this in mind as I’m sorting through my kids toys! I’m sure you’ll have so much fun in the spring serving up some delish drinks on your patio!
    Carrie This Home recently posted…How To Paint With A Dark ColorMy Profile

    • Reply Katie March 8, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      Thanks, Carrie!! Can’t wait for spring (and cocktails after baby 3 is born!!)! Have a great weekend!
      Katie recently posted…DIY SUNDAY SHOWCASE 3/8My Profile

  • Reply Antionette Blake March 8, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    This is a fantastic DIY, I have a soda bottle case in need of a makeover and this is perfect. Hopefully today’s snow melted all that snow and you’ll be on the deck soon. Thanks for coming back and linking up with us at the #WWDParty.
    Antionette Blake recently posted…Spring Forward SaturdayMy Profile

    • Reply Katie March 8, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      Thanks, Antionette! I am happy with how it turned out! Good luck with your project!!
      Katie recently posted…DIY SUNDAY SHOWCASE 3/8My Profile

  • Reply Bobbi Convery March 9, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    That is such a good idea and it turned out beautifully! That will make me stop and think before I throw something like that away!

    • Reply Katie March 9, 2014 at 11:14 pm

      Thanks, Bobbi! I live how it turned out, too! Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week!

  • Reply Cara March 9, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    How cute is that?? Not sure where you live, but I’m in MN and that is exactly how our patio looks too, lol!!
    Cara recently posted…Quinoa Vegetable SkilletMy Profile

    • Reply Katie March 9, 2014 at 11:13 pm

      Oh, we’re also in MN! Can. Not. Wait. For this snow to melt and Spring to come!!

  • Reply Marty@A Stroll Thru Life March 10, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Gorgeous. What a clever idea. I would love for you to link up to my Inspire Me party this afternoon http://www.astrollthrulife.net. Hope to see you there. Hugs, Marty
    Marty@A Stroll Thru Life recently posted…How To Make A Print Look Like An Oil PaintingMy Profile

  • Reply Emily March 10, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Such a cute idea! I love upcycle projects!
    Emily recently posted…Sapphire and Ruby Corundum Jackpot!My Profile

  • Reply April Hoff March 11, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    This tray is so cute, Katie! Love the lime green color! Thanks so much for linking up to the “Get Your DIY On” Challenge! Be sure to come back on April 6th for our “Think Spring” challenge!

    • Reply Katie March 11, 2014 at 10:29 pm

      Thanks so much, April! I’ll be back in April … love your party!

  • Reply Aniko@PlaceOfMyTaste March 12, 2014 at 4:43 am

    This is so clever. I love the colors you chose! Featuring you today at WIW.Xo~
    Aniko@PlaceOfMyTaste recently posted…DIY SUNBURST MIRRORMy Profile

  • Reply WORK IT WEDNESDAY No.38 - March 12, 2014 at 7:59 am

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  • Reply Katie @ Addicted 2 DIY March 13, 2014 at 12:12 am

    I wish I had saved all of those old boxes of Melissa and Doug toys instead of donating them to Goodwill. This serving tray is so pretty! The paper is the perfect touch! I can’t believe the weather you are getting. I hope that you will get to use your tray for serving drinks on the patio soon!
    Katie @ Addicted 2 DIY recently posted…Star Wars Stenciled Storage BoxesMy Profile

    • Reply Katie March 15, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Katie! I’m hoping for some good weather soon, too! Hope you’re having a good weekend!
      Katie recently posted…DIY Sunday Showcase 3/15My Profile

  • Reply Thursday S.T.Y.L.E. Link Party #11 March 13, 2014 at 7:00 am

    […] pretty much in love with everything Katie from View From the Fridge creates! Can you believe this green tray used to be packaging from a kids toy? I ADORE it.  I’m infatuated with it. I need Katie to […]

  • Reply Thursday S.T.Y.L.E. Link Party #11 - Well-Groomed Home March 13, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    […] A Prudent Life’s Pick: Upcycled Toy Bin to Spring Serving Tray […]

  • Reply Kristina and Millie March 14, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    That is so neat, and ingenuitive. Most would have just thrown it away, I love that you revamped it into something awesome! Thanks for linking it up to Snickerdoodle Sunday.
    Kristina and Millie recently posted…Save Up to 50% on All Craftsy Classes!My Profile

  • Reply Christy@Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer March 15, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    I’m aloud to comment twice on the same project, right?! This is the perfect trash to treasure project, so I had to pick it as one of my features for tomorrow’s Get Your DIY on features post! You always blow me away. :) XO

    • Reply Katie March 15, 2014 at 9:28 pm

      Ha! You are allowed to comment twice … especially with news like that! Thanks so much! Hope your weekend is going well!
      Katie recently posted…DIY Sunday Showcase 3/15My Profile

  • Reply Share It Sunday {19} | Our Rosey LifeOur Rosey Life March 15, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    […] no less green is this awesome tray from Katie at View from the Fridge. You won’t believe what it’s made from and isn’t it great […]

  • Reply Share It Sunday {19} - March 15, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    […] no less green is this awesome tray from Katie at View from the Fridge. You won’t believe what it’s made from and isn’t it great […]

  • Reply 25 Amazing Trash to Treasure Projects | Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer March 16, 2014 at 4:01 am

    […] Upcycled Toy Bin to Spring Serving Tray by Katie at View from the Fridge {Christy’s pick} […]

  • Reply ANG March 17, 2014 at 10:15 am

    You have the best projects! :)

    • Reply Katie March 17, 2014 at 4:53 pm

      Ha! Thanks, Ang!

  • Reply DIY Koozies April 22, 2014 at 7:32 am

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  • Reply 14 Diy Serving Trays ideas April 27, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    […] source […]

  • Reply Michelle Franklin June 20, 2014 at 12:41 am

    What a fantastic way to turn something simple into something elegant! I have a similar tray and over the weekend I will be attempting the same project. Please, wish me luck!
    Michelle Franklin recently posted…Famous Furby Album Covers – William KWMy Profile

    • Reply Katie June 20, 2014 at 3:47 am

      Good luck, Michelle! Thanks for stopping by today!
      Have a great weekend!

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  • Reply 18 Amazing DIY Transformations You HAVE To See! | How Does She March 6, 2015 at 11:28 am

    […] 14. Toy tray to pretty serving tray […]

  • Reply 25 Amazing Trash to Treasure Projects! - Just a Girl and Her Blog October 21, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    […] Upcycled Toy Bin to Spring Serving Tray by Katie at View from the Fridge {Christy’s pick} […]

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