Fix It

Turn a Frame Into a Decorative Tray

I wanted a tray to use in my decor, but didn’t want to go buy one. Building one was an option, but then I remembered we had a frame I bought YEARS ago that I have been meaning to put a family picture in. Since doing that requires taking a good family picture AND getting it printed out, the hurdles were just too great and the frame would have most likely sat vacant forever, haha.

If you don’t have a frame at home that’s not living up to it’s potential like I did, go grab one from a thrift store or garage sale. Please don’t buy one for full price at a store…frame prices are ridiculous and people are always getting rid of their old frames for a couple bucks.

I used scrapbook paper for mine, but you could paint the glass or use any other option you can think of for the center of the tray.


Spray paint the frame. I wanted black to show through for a vintage look, so I only did 1 coat with no primer. For a solid look, spray with primer first, then spray paint 2-3 light coats or use regular paint. You could even use chalk paint and not have to prime.


I had some handles I’d taken off an old dresser, so used those. Measure to find the center, mark where to drill, then drill 2 holes. For these handles, I just drilled my first hole, put the handle up to measure, then marked where to drill the 2nd.

Pay attention to the angle of your drill. I didn’t, and ended up drilling right through the front of the frame. If this does happen to you, sand it down, use wood filler, then repaint.

Either paint the glass or put your scrapbook paper in the frame.

The handles were already this color, but you could recreate this look by spray painting with gold, then whitewashing.

Use the tray on a coffee table, side table, nightstand, or anywhere you want to bring a cohesive look to multiple decor items! This project is so simple, quick and inexpensive!



  1. I love these picture frame trays! Yours is beautiful with those handles and the pretty paper you chose. Great Project Sara! Thanks so much for sharing it with us! Pinned 🙂

  2. Very classy looking tray with pretty handles. You are so right about prices of frames and finding frames at thrift stores or yard sales for so much less. There are several ways to glam up this tray, you did lovely on yours. RE-using items is so much thriftier and can make it your way. To me figuring how to re-use thrift item is half the fun, enjoy it so much more than if I paid retail.
    Enjoy rest of week

  3. LOVE this idea! Thank you for sharing with us on the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth! 🙂

  4. I’ve been looking for a tray, but I haven’t been able to find one that is exactly what I have in mind. So, now I think I will just make one! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  5. What a simple and beautiful tray! I appreciate our tip about the drill – an easy thing to forget!

    I’ve seen similar projects before, but I really like the little handles on your tray. They really add character and help it stand out! Stopping by from SITS Girls, hope you have a great weekend!!

  6. I love serving trays! They are great for organizing (like all those remote controls!). And they are pretty in any space. This is a clever idea. Never thought about using a picture frame before. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  7. Good morning! Just a little note to let you know we have featured this post today on the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth! Thanks for joining us! 🙂

  8. Hi! I’m one of the co-hosts from the Welcome Home Wednesday Link up. I am in love with this super cute tray. I never thought of making them from picture frames but now that you’ve shown me how i’ll be making them all the time! I love how easy this is. Thank you for sharing.

  9. I was thinking the other day of a few places I could use trays to corral things and make the space neater. This is a great idea. #HomeMattersParty

  10. This is such a cool way to turn a frame into a serving tray. I totally agree to buy used frames whenever possible. They are so expensive to buy new. #HomeMattersParty

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