Wednesday, April 4, 2012

You Got Served

I will admit - I can be a dumpster diver. Not the real dumpster diver, but the kind of person that, on a walk, might see someone put their unused stuff out and finds a hidden gem.  I hate seeing good stuff go to waste.  In the 11 months that we have lived here, we have given a new home to an IKEA Billy bookcase, three practically brand-new Sterilite storage tubs, three unopened boxes of Christmas lights, and a bamboo serving tray.  I can't help it.  Maybe there's a dumpster diver anonymous somewhere out there for people like me.  

Anyway, this brings me to the bamboo serving tray that was sneak-peaked in my wicker set redo.  Last summer I had been looking for a cheap tray that I could fix up when the renters across the street peaced out and left a TON of stuff on the curb for the trash man.  Inconspicuously as I could, I tiptoed walked over to the curb to see what goodies I could find and noticed the tray. Score !  I nabbed it and brought it in my house where it laid under my couch until this past week.  

  • Something to cut with
  • Something to measure with
  • Something to write with
  • Choice color of spray paint
  • Primer (if needed)
  • Sand paper (if needed)
  • Resin (I used EnviroTex Lite)
  • Something to mix the resin in and with (I used a plastic cup and popsicle stick)
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Ribbon
  • Mod Podge (or some type of craft glue)
  • Sponge paint brush

First, I roughed up the edges of the tray with sandpaper to make sure the primer stayed on.  Then I sprayed the tray with the primer.  I let it dry for a day.  Then I sprayed one even coat of the Key Lime paint.  I let that dry for a day.

The Key Lime color is JUST the color I wanted to brighten up the patio.

After it was finished drying, I put the paper in the tray part. I fit the paper in to see where I needed to cut.  I cut - and then I placed the paper in... and it didn't fit :-/ 

Somehow I measured wrong, so now the design had to be slightly altered. I didn't follow the age old rule: measure twice, cut once. Oops !

Next, I put a circle of Mod Podge in the middle and spread it out with the sponge brush.  I let it sit and dry and weighed it down with a book to make sure it stayed flat.

In order to cover up the parts that didn't match, I used some green ribbon to line the edges. 

I measured (better this time) and cut the ribbon to fit the perimeter of the inside of the tray. I used clear Elmer's glue to glue the ribbon.  It looked good !

After that was all fairly dry, I started the resin.  Just follow the directions.  You have to mix equal parts resin and hardener into a clean container.

After mixing for about 1-2 minutes, I immediately poured it onto the tray.  I needed more resin, so I quickly made more (so about a whole blue cup of resin was used) and poured that as well.  I used the stick to sort of swirl it/spread it evenly around the tray.  Then I laid it on a flat surface to evenly dry.

Let dry for about 3 days before placing anything on the resin.
Now, one thing that I didn't think of was whether or not the resin would seep through the cracks of the tray.  The next morning when I went to pick it up, it was stuck to the coffee table !  Thankfully I was able to pry it off with minor damage to the table.  Phew ! 

Just remember to put something protective under whatever you are filling with resin, in the event it seeps through a tiny crack or hole.

Final results:

After ALL that work, it turned out amazing !  I love the colors and the design of the tray.

I'm excited for the next time we entertain so I can use it !

What have you done with your dumpster diving gems?

Now you can Do It Yourself Too !


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