Make shabby chic accessories to decorate your home

I re-purposed this breakfast tray to keep my coffee table clean and organized.

My fiance and I live in a one bedroom apartment in York, and since we moved in together about two years ago, I’ve always been looking for ways to use every bit of space and make it feel like home instead of a temporary space.

I read a blog post the other¬†day about how someone used a breakfast tray to organize a coffee table. I’m all for that. Ours is usually cluttered with books, newspapers, drinks and more. The woman who wrote the blog post I read used the tray to hold magazines, a lamp and a flower vase. It made everything look held together and less cluttered.

This is the finished product with nothing on it.

We’ve had an old brown tray in the closet for a couple years. I never knew what to do with it and I hate to keep something we aren’t using. I could use that closet space for something else!

Instead of tossing it, I decided to give it a fresh coat of paint and use it to hold the many items that  clutter our coffee table.

A little paint, a little sand paper, and we’ve got ourselves a shabby chic tray. Here’s how to turn your home accessories into similar accent pieces.

  • Find the item you want to transform. The tray was pretty basic wood — no gloss or stain or anything. I was working with a blank slate.
  • Purchase supplies. You can find paint for glass, wood, ceramics and many other items at your local craft store. And they’re super cheap. A bottle can range from 97 cents to $2. I also suggest stocking up on an array of sponge brushes. I bought a four pack for less than a buck.
  • Make a clean work surface. Lay out old newspapers so you don’t get paint anywhere you don’t want it. And wear old clothes you wouldn’t mind a few stains on.
  • Practice patience. The craft paint I used required an hour minimum of drying between coats. I painted two coats and then waited 24 hours before sanding it down.
  • Use sandpaper from the craft store or whatever you might have around. Rub the sandpaper over the same spot until you start to see the paint fade away and the wood shoes through. You’ll have some paint dust produced by this, so use a face mask or be in an open air area.
  • You’re done. Take you shabby chic item and use it as you choose.

It’s easy to choose an item in your home that can be redecorated to brighten up a space.

Rebecca Hanlon

Rebecca Hanlon is the health reporter with a religion sub beat at the York Daily Record/Sunday News. Follow her on Twitter @mrsbeccahanlon or on Facebook at

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1 Response

  1. May 4, 2013

    […] crafty this afternoon and create a shabby chic accessory to corral items that clutter your coffee table or […]

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