Duo Ventures

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

DIY: Studded Lacquer Tray

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...   ;)



  1. Thank you for this makeover its so beautiful your instructions were so clear too :)

    1. Absolutely! Glad you liked it Rose! Are you going to make your own? :)


  2. Yes I am looks easy enough for me to handle I make things all the time lots of projects to do.

  3. you are super funny and talented. I'm at work reading this laughing out loud. it always amazes me how people can think alike about a situation and have the same response. soul sista.

    1. Why, thank you! That's the best compliment ever! Thanks for reading & taking the time to comment - made my day! :)