Have you ever been shopping and thought, “My former self would have bought this [random item]”?
That happened. Last week.
Because four and some change years ago, Robert’s and my first apartment had all dark wood furniture, burgundy decor, and a wine theme. No idea why. I wish I had a picture to show y’all.
Back then, I never thought about what decor I really liked and why. I just decorated our tiny apartment according to how I saw other people doing it. And if a tray could ever illustrate my old decor, this would be it:
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with dark wood, burgundy, and wine graphics. I just knew that style wasn’t me.
But I bought that little $4 tray because I felt like it needed me. Its former owner had given it a splotchy gold spray paint job, and it was shoved to the very back of a bottom shelf at the thrift store for goodness knows how long.
Then, I waved goodbye to my old decor circa 2011 with a spray paint can in hand.
Supplies used: (Affiliate links are used below and noted by asterisks. For more information, see my full disclosure policy.)
- Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint* (My fave that I use on everything!)
- White acrylic paint*
- Clear paste finishing wax* (or any clear wax of your choice)
- Paint brush or wax brush* (I like using the cheapo chip brushes.)
- 2-3 pages of sheet music
- Mod Podge*
- Large craft brush
- Clean lint-free rag
I gave the entire tray two even coats of spray paint first. After using my DIY liming wax on my book page botanical art, I loved the results! So I tried it out again on the sides of the tray.
I just mixed 1 tablespoon of white craft paint with 3 tablespoons of clear paste wax with a plastic spoon until blended well. Then, pounced my chip brush in the newly made liming wax to drag it onto the sides of the tray. I wiped away just a little of the excess with a rag.
And after all those times of digging through the music stack, this little newspaper clipping fell out.
That dapper guy pictured on the right is my grandfather just before heading off to fight overseas in World War II. I completely believe that instances like this where loved ones show up out of nowhere are little messages from heaven. He was just stopping by to say hi.
I grabbed 3 sheets of music from the pile, trimmed the edges as I needed, and used Mod Podge to decoupage them onto the bottom of the tray.
It was so easy. And now that Labor Day has passed, I had to give it a little end-of-summer beginning-of-fall decor.
I can’t wait to change this baby out for Christmas and later spring. It’ll be really versatile with the seasons I think.
Isn’t that little white pumpkin so cute? My mom picked it up at Pier 1. She’s always surprising me with goodies.
I found that green glass bottle in the clearance section of Marshall’s two years ago, and it’s always coming in handy.
I’ve used those little natural spheres from Target all over our house too.
And of course books because…I mean…books. This former English teacher has to represent sometimes.
And I don’t know about y’all but I hardly ever buy fresh florals for our house. 1. Our kid would have a blast pulling off the leaves and flowers. 2. I’m never good at buying things I know will die in a matter of weeks when I can spend the same amount on greenery on sale from Michaels that will last forever. Maybe that’s just me.
I love them, but real flowers are extremely rare in our house.
Oh, and can you believe I found those candle holders at Goodwill for $2 last year? I use them all the time on tablescapes.
Considering I used just supplies I already had in my stash (that happens a lot around here), the entire thing only cost what I paid at the thrift store. 4 bucks!
Now if only the temperatures would drop about 30 degrees outside so I don’t feel like a crazy person for busting out the fall decor. But I’ll leave the wine theme in my past life.
Be sure to stop in and check out the other incredible before and afters over on these other talented bloggers’ sites! Once a month, the five of us get together for a fun trash to treasure transformation. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do!
Girl in the Garage