DIY French Cottage Tray

DIY tray makeover wax paper transfer mountainmodernlife.com

DIY French Cottage Tray

I hope you are all enjoying your 3 day weekend! I apologize for posting my Makeover Monday so late, because I had originally planned on having it ready before we left on our road trip. However, life got in the way {as it usually does} and a few issues arose before we could leave, such as our dryer breaking down while I still had another load in the washer, boooo.

I think Nancy over at ArtsyChicksRule must have influenced me last week with her projects {thank you!} because I was itching to transfer some words onto something other than a plain piece of wood, haha. I also wanted to try out a different transferring technique. I don’t have a cricut or silhouette machine so this time I decided to go with the wax paper transfer method. Here is a tutorial on how I turned a plain Ikea tray into a DIY French Cottage tray with the help of The Graphic’s Fairy.

DIY French Cottage Tray

DIY French Cottage Tray - Tutorial on how to turn a plain Ikea tray into a French Cottage style tray using wax paper transfer! UpcycledTreasures.com

{Full Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience, meaning if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps me run and maintain the site, thanks for your support! View My Privacy Policy here.}

Materials Needed: 

Step 1: 

Disassemble Your Tray – I had to disassemble my tray because I needed to flip the laminated/plastic side over since I wasn’t too sure how well the paint would stick <– I can thank Eric for that tip :) However, if you are using an all wood tray you can skip this step.

DIY French Cottage Tray - Tutorial on how to turn a plain Ikea tray into a French Cottage style tray using wax paper transfer! UpcycledTreasures.com

Step 2:

Paint your tray – I decided to do a white-wash on the wooden parts of the tray, which is essentially mixing your paint with water to thin it out so that you can still see part of the wood grain underneath the paint. I would say I mixed about 25% paint with 75% water and then wiped it off with a rag. I went over the wooden parts of the tray 2 times to achieve the look I wanted. I then painted the actual tray part with 2 coats of grey chalk paint I had on hand.

DIY French Cottage Tray - Tutorial on how to turn a plain Ikea tray into a French Cottage style tray using wax paper transfer! UpcycledTreasures.com

Step 3: 

Prepare your Graphic for Transferring – Once my tray was dry and put back together it was time to print my graphic out on wax paper. I used a french typography graphic via The Graphic’s Fairy, plus she already includes the reversed graphic which is what you will need. If you are using your own image then you can reverse it using various photo editing software. If you have paint {which comes standard on most PC’s} then you can simply open your image, Click “Rotate” and then “Flip Horizontal” and you’re done :) You will then need to print your image onto wax paper, which can be purchased at any grocery store, target, etc.  I cut my wax paper to roughly the size of printer paper so that it would fit in the printer {I have a Canon Ink Jet Printer}. Here is what I learned:

1. Trying to print onto wax paper is NOT easy. First off, you will want to make sure to print on the “waxy” side and because wax paper is so thin, it easily gets jammed in the printer or wrinkles up and tears.

2. It may be easier to tape your wax paper onto a plain piece of copy paper using double sided tape along the edges, but your wax paper will still more than likely get jammed up in the printer or wrinkle up, even if you try to guide it. {Photo 2 below shows my FAILED attempt of printing with the wax paper taped to a piece of regular copy paper}

3. Cardstock Paper is GENIUS when it comes to wax paper transfers. I had some extra sheets of Kraft Paper #70 and decided to tape a piece of wax paper to it {waxy side up} using double sided tape along the edges. I put it in the printer and Voila! My graphic printed out beautifully without getting jammed up or wrinkled, yay! {The 3rd photo below shows my wax paper taped to a piece of the Kraft Cardstock Paper}

Side Note: You will want to work quickly after you print your image, so make sure you have everything ready prior to printing it out.

DIY French Cottage Tray - Tutorial on how to turn a plain Ikea tray into a French Cottage style tray using wax paper transfer! UpcycledTreasures.comStep 4:

“Burn” Your image onto your Tray Using a Spoon or Credit Card – So now that you have your graphic printed out, you will want to remove the wax paper from the cardstock and place it where you want it on your tray. You can lightly wet down the area of the tray you will be applying the transfer to – I used a damp paper towel but a rag would have been better. You don’t want your tray to get soaked, just a little damp which will help the image transfer over a little darker and you will also want to work quickly. You will place the image, ink side down, onto your tray and make sure you put it exactly where you want it because if you move it the ink can smudge. After you have it down in place you will want to start rubbing over the entire graphic with a credit card or you could use the bottom, rounded part of a spoon. Again, be sure to keep the paper in place so that the image doesn’t smudge or move. {I learned about this wax technique via Unexpected Elegance and the spoon technique via Country Design Home – I used the spoon first and then the credit card but think the card worked better}

DIY French Cottage Tray - Tutorial on how to turn a plain Ikea tray into a French Cottage style tray using wax paper transfer! UpcycledTreasures.comStep 5:

Complete touch-ups using a stencil marker or Paint Brush – I went over my graphic with a stencil marker I had picked up in a pack at Michael’s last week. You could use any kind of permanent marker or even use a paint brush with some watered down paint to fill in any areas you would like.

Step 6:

Add a Stencil to your Graphic – You could skip this step, but after transferring on the image, I felt like the tray needed something more. I picked out one of my Martha Stewart stencil’s and taped it into place above the graphic. I then used my black stencil marker to fill in the stencil and repeated this step for below the graphic as well.

DIY French Cottage Tray - Tutorial on how to turn a plain Ikea tray into a French Cottage style tray using wax paper transfer! UpcycledTreasures.com

Step 7: 

Distress your graphic with sandpaper – As you can see in the image above, my stencil came out too dark and I also wanted to distress the graphic transfer as well. I used 220 grit sandpaper to lightly sand on top of the graphic and stencil to give it that worn, aged look.

Step 8:

Rope up the handles – This is another step you could skip but I just love the texture rope or twine can add to a project. I was all out of rope but had some natural sisal twine on hand so I used that. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of this step, but I basically just cut off a realllllllllly long piece, tied it onto the handle with the knot hidden on the underside, and started wrapping it around. You could also glue it into place. I did this to both sides.

Step 9: 

Protect your new DIY French Cottage tray – Now that your tray is finished you could brush on some Polycrylic to protect it.

Step 10:

Enjoy your new French-Cottage style tray! 

That’s it, your DIY French Cottage tray is now ready to be used and enjoyed :) Here are my after photos:

DIY French Cottage Tray - Tutorial on how to turn a plain Ikea tray into a French Cottage style tray using wax paper transfer! UpcycledTreasures.com

DIY French Cottage Tray - Tutorial on how to turn a plain Ikea tray into a French Cottage style tray using wax paper transfer! UpcycledTreasures.com

DIY French Cottage Tray - Tutorial on how to turn a plain Ikea tray into a French Cottage style tray using wax paper transfer! UpcycledTreasures.com

DIY French Cottage Tray - Tutorial on how to turn a plain Ikea tray into a French Cottage style tray using wax paper transfer! UpcycledTreasures.comBefore and After:

DIY French Cottage Tray - Tutorial on how to turn a plain Ikea tray into a French Cottage style tray using wax paper transfer! UpcycledTreasures.com

So what do you think of the DIY French Cottage Tray? It may not be perfect, but I’m pretty happy with the results and will definitely be using this technique on future projects. Happy Memorial Day!

21 Comments
  • Great job. The rope is a nice finish on the handles.

    May 27, 2013 at 11:17 pm
    • Thank you so much! I definitely agree and think the rope handles are the perfect touch – but didn’t know if that’s just because I’m a rope-aholic, lol.

      May 28, 2013 at 7:13 pm
  • This looks so beautiful! Love the graphic. ~M.

    http://redesignedbym.wordpress.com

    May 28, 2013 at 1:26 am
    • Thank you! I am definitely a huge fan of the Graphic’s Fairy and can’t wait to use some more of her images and typography on future projects :)
      ~Katie

      May 28, 2013 at 7:14 pm
  • What a great idea! All pinned up and facebooked:). Thanks for linking up at the Owl’s Skull today:)!! Jess (aka Alice)

    May 28, 2013 at 9:15 pm
  • Oh I love how it turned out Katie! And so sweet to mention me, thanks! :)
    I have used the wax paper transfer method on a few things and used a credit card. Works well. Gives a little different look than the regular hand painting in of the graphics but sometimes it’s nice to do it this easy way, right?!! 😉 I LOVE that you added the stencil pattern to the top and bottom. Perfect.
    Thanks so much for sharing on Project Inspire{d}. Pinning :)
    Nancy

    May 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm
    • Thank you Nancy! Yes, I need to work on a steadier hand before freehand painting these on and kudos to you mastering it! I did go over it with a stencil marker and even that made me nervous, haha. I think it worked out okay for this project just because I wanted that distressed look anyway, but I will definitely have to up my ante here soon :)

      May 29, 2013 at 11:44 pm
  • Love how this turned out!!! What a fantastic project! thanks for sharing at Give Me the Goods Monday Link Party! Can’t wait to look at your other posts and ideas!

    May 31, 2013 at 5:24 pm
  • Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co.
    Reply

    What a great project! I love the graphic and the cute wrapped handles!

    June 2, 2013 at 9:15 pm
  • Love your tray Katie! I’ve picked it as my Feature from last week’s Project Inspire{d} linky party! Thanks so much for sharing it! :)
    Nancy

    June 3, 2013 at 3:26 pm
  • Katie-
    That is soooo pretty! Love it!
    Thanks for sharing at the party!
    Stacey

    June 3, 2013 at 7:34 pm
    • Thank you Stacey! Oooh I’m excited to check out your chicken wire frames!

      June 3, 2013 at 10:10 pm
  • This looks awesome, I love the twine added to the handles!

    June 5, 2013 at 6:04 pm
    • Thank you Karen! I really want to get some super thick rope to use on projects but haven’t come across a price I’m happy with. I’m on the lookout though. Thanks for stopping by!
      ~Katie

      June 5, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Post a Comment