Photo Tray

I love family photos and am always on the lookout for unique ways to incorporate them into gifts and home decor.

So, when I saw a tray made to hold photos on sale on Black Friday, I asked my husband to get one. I wasn’t sure what I would do with it, but I knew I could make a really nice gift with it.

We decided to make something for my mother-in-law. While not strong enough to carry things on, I knew it would be perfect on her coffee table where they could set drinks without worrying about damaging the table.

The tray came with a photo mat designed to hold a collage of smaller photos. I knew I wanted to do something different, so I threw that part out.

It was my husband’s idea to print two recent photos of my niece and nephew that we knew she loved. One of them, in fact, she asked for a copy of. He printed them out as 8×10 photos and then turned them over to me.

My mother-in-law’s style is very different from mine. She likes a cleaner, simpler, more modern look than I do, and since I planned for it to go in her living room, I wanted to make sure it matched her decor. But, I didn’t want it to be plain and boring.

I was puzzled for a few days on how to cover the background without paper seams (the tray is larger than a 12×12 sheet). And then it hit me … using her rug as inspiration, I cut up pieces of Tim Holtz paper and created a smaller version of her rug, sort of speak, as the background.

I inked the edges of each square lightly in Distress Ink and cut the letters out with my Cricut. Because I love bling and had to put a little hint of myself in it, I sprayed the letters lightly with homemade Perfect Pearls mist. It gave it just a hint of sparkle, if the light was right.

Once I figured it out, it didn’t take long to put together and she loved it, which is really all the matters!