4.30.2013

DIY :: Wooden Coffee Table Tray

A recent visit to the Randolph Street Market left me with bags of vintage jewelry, unique vases (to come next week) and a wooden tray. I almost passed the tray over as it's a seemingly standard piece of wood, but when I saw "Clarence" written hurriedly on the side, I had to inquire.

As soon as I heard its story, the once dull tray became a unique gem. Turns out, it's from the 1920s and was used for baking bread in New York City. Though the shop name is unknown, one can presume that "Clarence" was a loyal employee. What a stud, eh?

While baking bread wouldn't be in this piece's foreseeable future, I knew it'd make a really interesting coffee table tray. I sought out weathered music sheets (also from the market) to give it a distinctive spin and turned it into my own. Clarence's handwriting and other innate markings were kept on the sides - the history, after all, is what makes pieces like this oh-so charming.

Directions after the jump!

Step 1: Clean wood of loose debris by wiping it down with a damp cloth. Let it dry. 

Step 2: Apply a thin layer of Tacky Glue to the backs of the music sheets. Smooth glue so that it isn't bumpy or visible from the front. 



Step 3: Set music sheets to board where desired. 

Step 4: Apply a thick layer of varnish. Be sure to choose a varnish that dries clear. It will appear white and thick when you first apply it but that is expected. Let varnish dry (approximately 3 hours).






Step 5: After the varnish has dried, the sheets will be set to the bottom of the tray. Style as you please and enjoy!

Care to dance? Follow my lead.

26 comments:

  1. So creative - i'd never think to do that!

    x Kelsey

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  2. You are the queen of crafting and DIY-ing Emily!

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  3. I LOVE this for so many reasons. It's a DIY and you found it all at a street market, gotta love it!

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  4. You did such an amazing job, Em! I love old pieces that have stories like this–I really want to know who Clarence was!

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  5. I love finding great vintage treasures like these. Makes me wonder what their previous life was like. Love the way this looks.

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  6. You did a great job on this project! If only I had some "surfaces" in my apartment, on which I could place cool things like this!

    xox
    Bailey
    http://akabailey.blogspot.com

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  7. LOVELY! Love antique finds, and wood always has so much character!
    Simona
    www.lakenmoon.blogspot.com

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  8. Turned out great!
    Love the story behind it. :)

    http://happinessiscreating.com/

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  9. Wow, what an amazing piece! Love what you did with it. :)

    -Ashley
    http://lestylorouge.com

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  10. This is great! I love the sheet music and I'm a sucker for a back story-thanks for sharing Clarence with us!

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  11. Love how you revamped the tray, it looks like a beautiful and decorative piece now!

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  12. beautiful! what a great find. you've styled it perfectly too.
    thanks for visiting my blog :)

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  13. What a thrifty find! I love that it has a bit of history behind it. PS - love the blog and the fun little illustration of you on the right! Can't wait to follow along.

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  14. Beautiful and crafty!
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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  15. thats so cool! you are so artsy. thanks so much for sharing :)

    -terry
    terrydunakim.blogspot.com
    Love Me to Pieces

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  16. I love that you were drawn to this piece because of the history. That's the reason I have for a few of my more random finds!
    Lori

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  17. Wow. Well done!! This is upcycling gone right. You gave a breath of fresh air to this beautiful piece of mundane history that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. I love projects like this. :)

    xo,
    -Nathy
    Earnestyle

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  18. This is beautiful, I love pieces with a story to them.

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  19. This is beautiful, I love pieces with a story to them.

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  20. Great styling! I love a tray! Caroline

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  21. Oh wow! Lovely makeover! It looks gorgeous!

    -liv
    http://chocolivlovelaugh.blogspot.kr

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  22. Oh wao!!! This is great! It looks beautiful. I love the idea of adding music sheets. Its very romantic.

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  23. This is so pretty!!! Love love love!

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  24. This is such a great idea!! On the hunt for a similar tray now- thanks Emily!! xx

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  25. what a cute little table!

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