I can't even believe it's already May, which means Mother's Day gift time is just around the corner! One of my favorite luxuries to indulge in on those special days is breakfast in bed, whether it's cold cereal with milk lovingly poured by my kiddos, or a fancier plate cooked with just a little help from Daddy — it's just so nice to have a relaxing morning with yummy food! (This year I'm debating about requesting lemon waffles or a cinnamon french toast bowl, maybe both since they both are delicious!) No matter what is being served though, you gotta have a tray to put it all on for proper delivery, so I sent Justin out to the garage where he put together a few patterned trays using some scrap material and some gorgeous agate printables we partnered with Canon to create for you.
I'm hoping now that we have the trays, breakfast in bed will happen more often! Maybe we'll have to take turns serving, or teach the girls to make toast to add to their repertoire. Of course, these will be great to have around the house to help organize tabletops and countertops, too, since trays are so useful for functional decorating.
I love the bright colors I've been seeing with the agate art lately, so we printed the vibrant agate printables on the Canon PIXMA iP8720 using 13″ x 19″ photo paper so that we could make the trays nice and big to hold all that breakfast. (We used the same large format printer for our swappable holiday watercolors, pennant calendar, and XL hand-drawn feather prints, too.) The printables scale up to that size perfectly, or you can scale them down to fit a smaller tray or frame as well, by just adjusting your print settings to your page size.
For a tray liner, we'd recommend using the glossy photo paper, like we used for the blue agate print; we printed the orange agate on the matte paper and once we added the epoxy resin to seal it, it discolored just a little bit, where you can see that the whites aren't quite as white as they are on the blue one. It still looks amazing, though!
In addition to the blue and orange, we also have a green agate printable included in the printer pack, plus a set where each agate pattern has a small saying on it so that you can just print and frame any of them that you'd like. They'll look great framed on their own or mounted like this, or you could frame them like this menu board to make an easy but colorful dry erase message board, too — wouldn't an extra large one like this look amazing?
Get the free agate printable pack (all 3 colors, plus the posters with the sayings) by clicking here, and check out the video and tutorial below to see how we built the trays and made the print durable for use (and spills!) using a two-part epoxy resin glazy. And if you haven't subscribed to our channel on YouTube, please click that button so you'll be first to see our new videos every week!
How to Make an Easy DIY Patterned Tray with Printable Agate Liner
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Materials and Tools
Our trays are about 19.5 x 13.5 x 2.5 but it is so simple to customize to whatever dimensions you want.
- 1″ boards, scrap wood, or simple trim molding — about 2.5 inches wide unless you'd like a deeper tray
- a small piece of plywood
- agate printables
- craft spatula (seriously worth it for this project alone!) – I used a flexible one like this, but a firmer one like this is a great tool as well.
- mod podge
- 2 part epoxy resin sealant (we used Super Glaze pour on finish)
- tray handles, such as drawer pulls or rope
- miter saw or miter box and hand saw
- table saw or circular saw
- drill press (optional, for cutout handles)
- brad nailer or stapler
How to Build the Tray
First, cut your plywood base to size, or have it cut to size at the lumber store. You'll cut the base about 1.5″ smaller than your finished tray size, since the boards or trim will add the remaining .75″ on each side. Our base is 12″ x 18″.
Next, cut your boards to the size of your tray, mitering each end at a 45 degree angle to make for a really clean cut. A power miter saw is the quickest way to do this, but it would be easy to use a miter box, too. For our 12″x18″ base, that means that the shortest end of the mitered section is 12″ for the shorter ends, and 18″ for the longer sides.
Finish building the tray by gluing and nailing the sides on. Run a thin bead of glue along the edges of the boards that will be meeting, and then assemble and nail them into place.
Stain or paint the tray (and fill any nail holes) before moving on to adding the pretty printable liner!
How to Add and Seal the Printable Tray Liner
Cut your printed liner to the size that you need for the tray. Watch the video for an easy trick to getting it just right (without having to measure!).
Put a layer of mod podge on the bottom of the tray, place the print on top, and smooth it out.
Allow the mod podge to dry completely, and then seal it. For our rustic tray we used several coats of matte Mod Podge since we didn't want it to be too glossy inside, but for the other trays we used a 2-part epoxy resin to give it a really durable and shiny finish in the bottom of the tray. Just mix the two parts according to the manufacturer's directions, and apply a nice thick coat (about 1/8″). Stir and spread carefully so you don't create bubbles in the mixture. Let it set up and cure following the instructions on the package — and make sure you have the tray set on a level surface for this part!
Finishing the Tray
Once the epoxy resin has properly cured, just add your handles. Now all that's left is to fill it up with breakfast and deliver it!
We are so happy to be working with Canon to bring you all some easy home printer projects to make your home more beautiful and to make gift-giving a bit simpler. Please help us share the word about these fabulous projects by sharing on Pinterest or Facebook! And check out the Canon PIXMA iP8720 — the extra large print size is life-changing!