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Decorating DIY {Ditto DIY Tray Project!}

by | May 6, 2013 | Decorating Inspiration, Details, DIY, my house

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Decorating DIY {Ditto DIY Tray Project!}

DIY Decorating Projects on a Budget!

Welcome to our first {ditto} DIY challenge!

Are you ready for a a series of fun and doable DIY decorating projects? Once a month, beginning today, nine very different bloggers are attempting to recreate in our own homes a project or design element inspired by a haute couture design selected by Darlene Weir of Fieldstone Hill Design. (For more details on what {ditto}DIY is all about, check out this Ditto DIY post!).

Decorating DIY {Ditto DIY Tray Project!}

In addition to Darlene, the participating bloggers include:

Ruth @ Living Well Spending Less
Cindy @ Skip to My Lou
Jen @ Balancing Beauty & Bedlam
Edie @ Life in Grace
Rachel @ Surviving the Stores
Karin @ Trophy Mom Diaries
Lauren @ I am THAT Lady
Kelly @ View Along The Way
Melissa @ The Inspired Room

Remember that beginning next month (on Monday, June 3rd) we are inviting you ALL to join the {ditto} DIY challenge! Be sure to visit Darlene to catch a peek of NEXT month’s {ditto} DIY challenge so that you ALL can join the fun! (Hint: We’ll be going for the GOLD!)

In case you’ve forgotten, this was our first inspiration photograph:

Decorating DIY {Ditto DIY Tray Project!}

{A chic painted tray and vanity vignette, from the home of nina bergsten, photography by marcus lawett.}

The {ditto} DIY Challenge:

Create your own painted tray and vanity vignette.

Here is my first {ditto}DIY project:

I had an hour to spare on Saturday so I headed over to the only local flea market I know of to see if I could find myself a tray to DIY. I was tempted to just buy a cute one I liked already and skip the painting part, but instead of making this easy on myself I was determined to play along and actually paint a tray.

Decorating DIY {Ditto DIY Tray Project!}

I spotted this round metal tray and knew it was the one for me. I liked that it was unique, round (kind of “porthole” like!) and I really liked the twisted handles.

But, it was NOT a precious metal and had a yucky not attractive wood center, so there was no reason NOT to DIY it! Right?

Yet, true to my experience with DIY, it did not come together without a hitch… here is the tale of my DIY tray.

Decorating DIY {Ditto DIY Tray Project!}

It was a lovely almost summer-like day, so I took the tray outside to spray paint it.

First I sprayed it with a primer followed by glossy white spray paint, followed by a gust of wind and dust, immediately followed by a large bug with wings flying directly into the wet paint and getting stuck.


Decorating DIY {Ditto DIY Tray Project!}

I will spare you the details of all that ensued with me trying to rescue the bug AND save the paint on my tray, but the end result was basically as you might have imagined.

Wings stuck to my tray.


Why do all my DIY projects end with some sort of crisis?

Decorating DIY {Ditto DIY Tray Project!}

Nevertheless, I carried on as best I could and the tray turned out just fine in spite of the bug crisis. You can’t even see the wings, thanks to some strategically placed items styled on my tray. WINNING!

Decorating DIY {Ditto DIY Tray Project!}

For this challenge, I simply used what I had to create a similar “vanity style display” with the tray, although I could take this same tray and style it in an entirely different way for another purpose.

That is the great thing about using a photo for decorating inspiration. You don’t even have to copy it, you can just be inspired by the idea, using what you already have or love!

Decorating DIY {Ditto DIY Tray Project!}

So, there you have it!

My completed {ditto} DIY tray!

Decorating DIY {Ditto DIY Tray Project!}

Remember that beginning next month (on Monday, June 3rd) we are inviting you ALL to join the {ditto} DIY challenge and post your own “after” project. This time we will “gild” something (i.e. paint it gold!)! You can find out more details on Darlene’s blog! The party will link up to ALL the bloggers listed above so it should be a FUN party!

*Be sure to check out everyone else’s Ditto DIY after projects via the links above, and visit Darlene’s blog for a peek at next month’s challenge along with some expert design tips on incorporating painted tray vignettes into your home.

Have you ever had a bug fly into wet paint?

How in the world do you get him out of there? Ha!


  1. edie

    I’m so glad you’re a part of this fun series! I LOVE your tray but the bug getting caught in the paint is priceless. Now that you mention it, my DIY projects are fraught with drama, too. Somehow, it doesn’t stop me! Hope your Monday is off to a great start.

  2. {darlene weir}

    Melissa, yours is so soothing and gorgeous. And simple… which I love!!!!! besides that dern bug, of course. haha.
    Beautiful tray!!!!!! And can I borrow your necklaces? Those babies deserved a tray of their own!

  3. Diane

    You set the perfect stage for all the lovelies on your tray!
    That tray would have also looked great with the wood painted with black chalkboard paint….
    I also love the detailing on the wall with the board with the plate attached. That is fabulous.
    Sorry for your DIY difficulties…bummer. Glad you pushed through with great results!

    • Melissa

      YES! In fact, I was thinking I could paint chalkboard in the middle and hang this on the wall! Wouldn’t that be cute?

  4. paige

    This is a great DIY challenge concept! Also, WHAT IS WITH BUGS AND FRESH PAINT? Our backyard is nearly bug-free, except when I start painting something. Then they’re suddenly everywhere!

    • Melissa

      Maybe they like the smell, haha!

      • paige

        Paint-huffing gnats, tsk tsk!

        • Melissa

          I think you are onto something…bwahaha!

  5. Natalie

    Well THAT is why I don’t attempt DIY! Hysterical. And I love that you recreated an inspiration photo in your own style, that gives me hope. Your tray looks great, so much fresher and prettier in white!

  6. Adelina Priddis

    I have been loving on all the trays I’ve seen lately. Must find and make me one!

  7. MarieRoxanne

    Poor bug… and poor tray! I guess there is no easy way to pry bugs out of paint.
    I think the whiteness of the tray looks clean and fresh.

  8. Jen (Balancing Beauty and Bedlam)

    I painted a dresser last week and yep, totally had bug guts stuck in my paint as well. Too funny and too cute. LOVE your tray. :) Chalk board paint would be adorable.

  9. the gypsy magpie

    I am laughing myself silly reading this post… too funny about the bug tragedy. Those darn bugs- can’t they see where they’re going??? Regardless, your tray turned out darling. What a great idea!

  10. Crista

    Melissa, thanks for the post! I know how frustrating DIY can be sometimes, but always worth it. I can remember a cute night stand I found at a garage sale that I painted in our garage. My husband was also working in the garage building something which included using the saw. A huge wind came through the open garage door and picked up his saw dust and put it all over my night stand! Oh well, it still looks beautiful after all the sanding I had to do!

  11. Calista

    What a great idea for a challenge/link party. Looking forward to joining the fun! When I spray paint I have to watch out for stuff falling from the many trees in our yard.

    • Melissa

      Me too, I think maybe I’ll make a little spray paint tent next time to avoid these types of calamities! :-)

  12. Rachel

    The tray is beautiful! I didn’t have any bugs stop by during my painting session, but my husband had just mowed the day before and we still had lots of grass clippings floating around.

    I love those necklaces too!

  13. Barbara (WA)

    We have a local flea market ??? Gust of wind, bugs, wouldn’t you know it. . . but it turned out lovely!

  14. Kelly

    “You can’t even see the wings” <— I laughed out loud at this! Poor little guy. Sometimes beauty takes sacrifice, I guess?

    Your vignette is beautiful! Love that pretty round tray!

  15. Juliane at Modern Mural

    This is beautiful! I’m glad you were able to see past the terrible wood. It looks so lovely in white!

  16. Pam

    Love this fun series! Despite your friend trying to photo bomb the tray and styling are beautiful!

  17. Bev

    I love your tray! Unseen bug wings and all!

    Here I thought I was one of the few to have multiple issues on projects…I always chalk it up to my ‘learning curve; because I have always had to learn everything the hard way. My more recent was trying to stencil with a pouncer using milk paint that was pretty thin. Had to sand and strip the table top and redo it all. 2nd attempt resulted same is first attempt. This time I painted over the milky mess, dried with hair dryer and used acrylic paints with a brush to get the job done. Mind you, the table top is black with green stenciling, so my hands and floor and several rags were black.

    You did a fabulous job on this tray! Thank you for sharing it!

  18. Kayla

    Oh man!!! I just spray painted a chair this weekend and had plenty of wind gusts too!!! It’s so frustrating. Your projected turned out great despite the wind!!!


  19. Sharon B.

    I have been visiting all the ditto diy projects and I think you win the funniest story award for your tray. :) It turned out great! I love how you took an old tray and made it look great. :)

  20. Claire

    Oh my gosh the bug story! So funny! So this is my last stop along the “Ditto Tray Tour” ;) and I love the vignette you created {not to mention the jewelry and the plate above the tray!!}. Beautiful!!
    xoxo, Claire

  21. Kerry

    Looks darling — what a fun challenge! I did one last year with a cheap wooden craft store tray, luckily with no flies in my paint!

  22. Kara

    I had the exact same thing happen to me, but mine was a plate. Darn bugs! Glad you were able to make it work anyway, it turned out lovely! :)


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