I have finally finished my studded lacquer tray! It only took me a year ;)
In January, I purchased a rectangular gold tray from Target that was in the Holiday clearance section for $7.48:
It sat in our garage for forever (shocker), until I finally decided to do something with it the other day. First, I spray painted it white:
As I let the tray dry, I started thinking about what I would do to customize it.
While I was Pinterest browsing, I saw a lot of trays with thumbtacks or nail-head trim.
I'm a sucker for anything with nail-head detail, so I decided to go that route.
While I could have easily gone to Joann's & picked up some nail-head trim, it was even easier for me to go to Target & get some thumbtacks instead (I also figured it would be the cheaper route too). For some reason I thought the thumbtacks could be easily pushed or nailed into the tray...
Fail. The wood tray was just too tough for those little thumbtacks - they kept bending & scratching the paint. I don't have a photo of my first attempt failure, but it's pretty self explanatory. I also thought about cutting off the sharp tack portion & then just gluing the thumbtacks on - but then decided that was just way too much work. Back to the drawing board...
I took a trip to Michael's & spent like 30 hours in their bead & jewelry aisles looking for a solution. Finally, I found a box of plastic gems with all sorts of different shapes:
I actually preferred the gems multifaceted look over the more simple thumbtacks
& there were so many shapes to choose from. First, I organized the gems by shape & transferred them all to plastic bags (because I'm OCD like that):
After playing around a bit, I narrowed it down to the small circular gem & the large square. Since I still hadn't decided on a shape, I spray painted my two favorite shapes gold:
Once they were all dry, I played around with some different designs. If you follow us on Instagram you might have seen the final two options:
I decided to go with the round studs in the pattern shown above. Next, I got all my supplies ready - which included the tray, the gold studs, some Krazy glue, & a glue gun:
I did a dry run first to make sure all the spacing would work out evenly. Luckily, the dimensions of the tray & the size of the studs worked out almost perfectly - so I didn't have to worry about any weird spacing issues. I cut out a strip of note card & used that as my spacing guide between the studs:
Then I glued them on one by one. I suppose you could use most any kind of glue to attach them. However, I did find the hot glue to be a little more forgiving in that I could pry them off without the paint chipping off (in the event that I didn't place a stud correctly the first time).
After they were all glued on, I tested all the studs to make sure that they were all securely attached. A couple of studs did pop off when I pushed on them - so I used the Krazy glue to reattach them. Overall though, the hot glue seemed to work for most of the studs.
Next, I sealed the tray with some spray lacquer. I ended up spraying it several times - around 8-10 coats. I was going for a super shiny lacquered finish. Rustoleum also suggests that you can sand the lacquer & re-coat for an even higher-gloss finish:
It's hard to see the finish in most of the photos, but you can see the difference the lacquer made in this side by side comparison:
While the tray cured, I went to my favorite place on earth (Home Goods). I found some white & gold zebra print wrapping paper to line the tray with:
To size the paper, I took some newspaper & cut out a template. Here it is after the new liner:
And here's the tray on our ottoman in the living room:
The magnifying glass & white faux antler were some of my finds from Home Goods.
I looove the magnifying glass (check out how I made the beveled mirror vase here):
Now that the tray is done, I'm working on another small project to store & organize business cards - inspired by a little DIY from IHeart Organizing. Hopefully this one won't take me a year to finish... ;)