Tuesday, May 6, 2014

DIY Fruit Tray

Back in February, on impulse, I bought a copy of Woman's Day magazine.  The little green circle on the front screamed "Only $2.79" which fits better in my ever-tightening budget than the $6.99 and $7.99 of other magazines.  Inside was an article entitled "So-Simple Tiered Tray".  The minute I saw it, I thought of how nice it would be to make and clean up the counter where I keep multiple bowls of fruit.

Now, I didn't care much for the rustic look of the metal trays she used, so I set out to find some stuff at the Dollar Tree.  I did find the candlesticks there, but I couldn't find any graduated sized plates that weren't glass.  Since I still have young children *and* I'm a touch clumsy, I decided glass would be a bad idea.  

<shudders at the thought of bajillions of glass shards skittering across the tile in the kitchen>

After a bit more searching, I found some plates in Big Lots for $1.50 each, in various sizes.  I decided a bowl on top would be nice to corral smaller fruits.  I liked the look of the candlesticks unpainted, so I went wild and made my own tiered tray.

I'm pretty happy with it!  At left is the tray empty, and right is with fruit.  I especially love the little kiwi on top that looks like it's standing up!  Haha.  But, one big problem emerged. This tray is simply not big enough for the amount of fruit we consume.  As you can see, there's no room for apples. :( 

So, off to the store again and this time I decided to show my steps.  I did things a little differently than the article's writer.  Mainly because I didn't really want to use the Gorilla Glue!  My hubby had a hard time getting the cap off when he needed.  No way was I getting the cap off without his help.

So, here's my take on it.  

3 graduated size trays (plates, bowls, platters, cake pans, etc.)
2 candlesticks, any size or shape
E6000 glue
Patience :D


Pardon the picture layout.  I'm not sure what Blogspot is doing.  ._.  These pictures must've been naughty because they are each in their own corner. :P

I learned the hard way from my first tray that the best thing to do when using E6000 is to give it 24 hours to sit.  I moved my first tray a few hours later and it just came apart.  So, this is a multi-day process for me.  If you have good luck with E6000 in shorter time frames, go for it!  Humidity down here in the south may simply extend drying times.

So, after eye-balling the trays and candlesticks for a while, I decided I wanted them upside down like on my first tray.  They look a little less like candlesticks to me and was pleasing to my eye.  Do a dry run with your candlesticks and trays to see what you like.  After I made my decision, I glued the candlesticks to the bottom of each smaller tray first.

The picture at the right shows the E6000 a bit gooped up on the edge, but that's because I was trying to squeeze that tube and take a picture at the same time!  When you smash the glued side down onto the plate, it seems to even out, and isn't terribly noticeable (see picture on left).  My other edges were much cleaner.  I simply eye-balled the centers, so mine are a touch off, but you could mark yours with light pencil marks if you prefer something even. 

Anyway, I let that sit, candlestick side up, for 24 hours.  I then glued the middle sized tray to the bottom tray, roughly eye-balling the center of the big tray.  Luckily, the big tray had an ever-so-slight indention in the middle, so I used that as best I could.  Again, I let that sit for 24 hours.  Actually, I completely forgot about it and it sat for 3 days. 

I finally added the smallest top tray.  No indention to help this time, though.  I also decided to take a picture of where the pieces are glued together.  As you can see, the glue is clear, so it's very hard to see if you gooped it up, or did it perfectly.  

There are probably prettier candlesticks out there for a project like this, though they may be more than the $1 I paid to get mine.  The trays were bought at Winn Dixie in their seasonal section.  I think I paid $6.99 for the big tray, and $3.99 for each smaller tray.  It's likely too seasonal-looking to keep out year round.  What I'll probably do is keep an eye on Hobby Lobby and when they clearance out after seasons end, I'll get more then.  

Or, I'll get a burr in my saddle and go buy them on the 50% off sale with my 40% off coupon!  Who knows?  Maybe the thrift stores will finally have something I can use.  

I'm happy with it anyway, and both trays side-by-side hold way more fruit and take up way less space than the army of bowls I was using before.  I don't have pictures, but they are currently holding bananas, apples, and avacadoes. And since it's almost summer, they feel very "current".  

I hope you are inspired to try this yourself!

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