Thanks everyone for the great suggestions for the tray!
I got a bunch of great ideas and had a few of my own. I wish I would have had more trays because I would have wanted to do this with one:
This was done by Michelle at ME AND MY SCRAPS. I love it! I'm going to keep my eyes open for something that I could do this with! Wouldn't it make a great gift for your mom or grandma?
I was really tempted to do this (and a lot of you reccommended scrapbook paper and mod podge)
I also really wanted to pick up some garage sale china to mosaic it. it would be SO fitting for a tray!
Something I didn't do but want to try in the future is Cheryl's faux leather look!
However, I settled on making a zen garden!!
Here are some of your ideas I used:
I painted the tray (duh!) and because I"m no good at folk art or anything of the sort, I decided to try a crackle finish. I saw this tutorial for a crackle finish with Elmer's glue, and gave it a try.
The Answer Is Chocolate linked up to a tray she made. I love the forks on there, and copied her idea of adding those half flat marbles as feet!
My main inspiration for the zen garden came from this instructable. I love Instructables. Last summer I worked as a kid's science camp instructor and we used it a lot! lol
If you want to make your own, or are just curious as to how I did it, here's the deets!
First I cut some basswood (you know, that really thin, light wood you can buy at hobby stores??) to size to glue onto the ends so that the sand wouldn't spill out of the handles! I used Gorilla Glue to stick it on. I've never used it for anything before and finally bought some to see what all the hype is about.
Next I cut smaller pieces of basswood to make an inner tray to separate the pebbles from the sand. I used my glue gun to attach these.
I then painted most of the box gold. Even the bottom because I wanted to try the crackle technique there to practice.
I crackle painted the rest of the tray.
I don't love the crackle finish. It turned out well, just not quite right for this project. I might re-paint it, but I was just too impatient and wanted to get the sand and rocks in!
Then I was ready to fill it with stuff. The pebbles I managed to get at Dollarama, they weren't exactly what I was looking for, but the price was right. The big rocks also came from Dollarama, they say believe, faith, and hope on the other side, but again, they were close enough to what I wanted.
Decorative sand was the hard thing to find. The stuff at the dollar store was too coarse that you'd never see the little rake marks in it. This was one thing I wasn't ready to settle on. I ended up finding it at a store with all that kind of decorative junk for your house. It was $7.00 which I think is a bit pricey for just sand, but I was tired of shopping. lol I didn't have quite enough sand, so I actually topped it up with a little bit of sugar. We'll see if anything terrible happens. lol
The rake was made from everything I already had. The teeth are from a bamboo skewer, the handle is a round chopstick, and the other part is just some more basswood that is 2 layers thick. I used my glue gun to assemble it.
Hope you like it. I was looking for a tiny Buddha to put in it, but all the ones I found were too big.
Thanks again for all your great input!! Can't wait to see what you'll come up with for next week's item!
Linking to these parties: