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The tiger who came to tea

Project ideas and inspiration from Good magazine

Trays are such a useful item to have in the home – they are obviously great for serving food and drinks, particularly breakfast in bed!

However, they’re also handy for organising items in other rooms such as perfumes on a bedroom dresser, or displaying books, candles, and small plants on a coffee table. Decorating a tray using Resene wallpaper offcuts is sure to make an eye-catching statement in any room and will no doubt make teatime even more enticing.

Decorating a serving tray with wallpaper
Wallpaper offcuts make an eye-catching statement!

What you'll need

Additional materials for the coasters:

Step by step instructions


Decorate a tray with wallpaper - Step 1Step 1
Use a fine grit sandpaper (180 grit) to remove any old finishes and surface imperfections from your tray, remembering to always sand with the grain of the timber. Resene Colorwood is translucent, so make sure to remove marks and blemishes as best you can, otherwise these will show through. Use a vacuum cleaner to thoroughly remove dust particles, followed by a final wipe with a lint-free cloth.

Decorate a tray with wallpaper - Step 2Step 2
Using a Resene testpot brush, coat the sides of the tray liberally with Resene Colorwood in Resene Dark Rimu.

Decorate a tray with wallpaper - Step 3Step 3
While the stain is still wet, use a clean, lint-free cloth to wipe the Resene Colorwood stain along the grain to ensure it is applied evenly and that any excess is removed. Leave to dry.

Decorate a tray with wallpaper - Step 4Step 4
Measure and cut a piece of Resene wallpaper that fits the dimensions of the base of your tray.

Decorate a tray with wallpaper - Step 5Step 5
Mix the wallpaper granulated size according to the packet directions. Using a testpot brush, coat the base of your tray evenly with the size.

Decorate a tray with wallpaper - Step 6Step 6
Carefully lay down your Resene wallpaper over the base of your tray and use a clean cloth to gently smooth it out to the sides and corners. Apply a coat of Resene SpaceCote Clear to give the wallpaper extra protection.

To make the coasters

Prime the coasters with Resene Quick Dry waterborne primer. Once dry, paint the coasters with two coats of Resene Palm Green, allowing the paint to dry completely between coats. Cut a square of wallpaper for the middle of the coaster, leaving enough space for a border. Stick the wallpaper onto the coaster following steps 5 and 6 of the tray instructions.

Tip:  For extra visual impact, paint some small décor objects to display on the tray using Resene testpots that match with the wallpaper’s tones.

Words and styling Shani Luckman. Photography Amanda Reelick. 2023

Download this article as a PDF

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