Tray Makeover Ideas (8 ways!)

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Tray Makeover Ideas (8 ways!) So many different things you can do with old thrift store trays!

Hello beautiful friends! Today I thought I would share trays, trays, and more trays!! Haha! I do make over quite of few of these so I thought I’d share some of the different ways I do. Trays are great for all kinds of things in your home and decor and are usually easy to find at the thrift store, so I hope this will be an inspiring post for you.

trays before

Tray Makeover Ideas

Tray makeover ideas you can do! These are not hard to do.
That’s the best part! Well, the best part is that you paid thrift store prices for a beautiful piece for your home. Even better!

Click the link underneath each photo for the full tutorial and details on each tray project.


This old tray has a wonderful new look.

dark wood tray

It always amazes me how different things can look! (you can find this pretty transfer here)

white tray with pink flowers and coffee cup on table

See more here “Floral Tray Makeover with Transfer”

This one goes from dark…

dark brown and gold tray

…to light…with butterflies. (you can find this transfer here)

white tray with butterflies

See more here “Thrifty Butterfly Tray Makeover

Can you imagine painting a metal tray like this? You can.

silver metal tray

And I did! (this transfer is no longer available but you could do something similar with this one here)

white tray with pink flower

See more here “French Rose Decal Tray Makeover

Remember these two metal trays?

two white trays plain

They look completely different now with paint and transfers. (you can find these transfers here,hereand here)

white tray with gold edge and pink flowers, black tray with gold and white flowers

See more here “Two Trays Two Ways

This is a tiled tray that gets “butterfly” tiles instead of fruit!

wood tray with white tiles and fruit motifs

I painted it white, used caulk to fill all the gaps, and used pretty butterflies on the tile along with some script too. (you can find the butterfly & script transfer here)

white tray with script and butterflies on each tile

See more here “Butterfly Tray Makeover

Basket tray, but bleh.

orange basket with yellow plaid bottom

Not bleh anymore! Paint and transfers updated this one into something special.

aqua basket tray with white base and black French script

See more here “French Basket Tray


So many things you could do with this one.

wood tray with metal edges

I created a napkin decoupage design for it.

tray with napkin decoupage on bottom and silver metal edges

See more here “Wood and Metal Tray Makeover

This was an interesting tray!

yellow basket tray with dark bottom

Sort of “basket-ish”. I painted it and added this pretty tissue paper. (you can find the tissue paper here)

white tray with pink floral base

See more here “Decoupage Tissue Paper Tray

Another metal tray that I brightened up!

maroon metal tray

And added tissue paper.

creamy off white tray with newspaper tissue paper base

See more here “Mini Tray Makeover with Tissue Paper


Sometimes you don’t even have to do much! If anything.

chevron patterned wood base wood tray

I changed this one up only slightly with the help of some stain. The design shows through but has a completely different look now. (you can find the stain here)

chevron base wood tray with stain

See more here “Stained Tray Makeover

Worn out wood tray. What to do?

scratched and worn wood tray

Sand it! (and apply a new and different stain) Wow, what a difference!

stained tray on counter with bowl of fruit and green plant

See more here “Kitchen Island Tray Makeover


Metal tray?

gold metal tray

Paint it!

aqua painted tray with white compass rose in middle

See more here “Compass Rose Tray

Old cow tray, knobs, and handles.

cow motif tray

Put together to create this new look.

blue painted tray with white script

See more here “Dated Decor Turned Weathered Finish Tray“‘

This is a tray I have owned for over 25 years at this point. I painted it this color at some point in the past.

coral colored metal tray

Then painted it again and gave it the look it has had ever since.

white painted metal tray with pink flowers on counter

See more here “White and Gold Tray Makeover


I see basket trays from time to time too.

basket tray

I painted this one and added a printable. (it’s in our free library!)

basket tray painted white with merry christmas printable on base

See more here “Merry Christmas Printable Tray

This was a “playing card” tiled tray to start.

tiled tray with playing card motifs

I gave it some color with pretty floral images I found online and printed out.

white tray with colorful flower printables on the tiles

See more here “Botanical Decoupage Makeover


Another wood tray! I love wood trays because there is so much you can do.

dark stained wood tray

And for this one, I tiled it with pretty mother-of-pearl tiles. (you can find the tiles here)

wood tray painted white with white tiles and green plant

See more here “Mother Of Pearl Tiled Tray

Nothing special about this one to make it stand out.

white wood tray on floor

But now it does! TILE…what a difference tile makes, right??

white tray with gold handles and white tiles on counter with green plant

See more here “Simple Thrift Store Tray Makeover with Tile

This one didn’t even have a bottom when I found it. Weird.

wood frame

But no worries, a bottom it got along with the prettiest blue and white tiles.

wood frame with gold handles painted white with blue and white tiles inside

See more here “DIY Blue and White Tile Tray Makeover

Okay, so this one didn’t start out as a tray, but it is a tray now!

wood frame with raised edge and old print

With those raised sides, it was just begging for tile and handles (and knobbed feet) to be a tray.

tiled wood tray with handles on each side and knobs for feet

See more here “Thrift Store Makeover with Tile


I never realized I found TWO of the same tray until now! Not exact but pretty darn close, too funny!

maroon metal tray

Well, this one got paint, “feet” and scrapbook paper!

white tray with knob feet and pink flowered scrap paper on the bottom

See more here “Scrapbook Paper Decoupage Tray Makeover


This is still a tray makeover because it is a tray.

brown tray

But now it’s a “message center”! This one was so much fun to do!

aqua tray with area that is chalkboard at top, clips for notes, and mail area with hangers on bottom for keys hanging on wall

See more here “Repurposed Tray Turned Message Center

Lots of different ways to update and give trays a whole new look! I hope these tray makeover ideas will inspire you on your next thrifting trip or even provide inspiration for any tired home decor you may have!

PIN it to save it!

trays after

Go find a tray or two to give a new look to!



  1. Hey Nancy! You have inspired me soany times with your trays. I haven’t tried the tiled trays yet though. Those are next. Thank you for all you do

  2. They are all so pretty! I’ve been wanting to do one for a while. I do have some tile samples that would work also. Love how you made that one into a message center. So clever! Wondering how Ryder is doing? Is he ok? Last I heard you found another lump on him. Hope he’s ok!

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