Submitted by Momma Told Me
“Some of life’s luxuries can still look expensive without really breaking the bank- that’s something my frugal mother taught me. Mother’s Day is definitely a day to pamper the mothers in our lives and this $6 Custom Vanity Tray does just that!”
– Jenna (Momma Told Me)
So a few weeks back on Pinterest I saw some ‘suggested for you’ PINs pop into my feed and one was of a handmade vanity tray. The tray looked amazing, but when I clicked through to check out the materials things began adding up very quickly. The blogger had essentially used a bought tray ($20) and painted/refinished it to fit her decor. It was cute, but I knew I could do better for much cheaper.
The toughest part of my mission, or so I thought, would be finding a sturdy and sizeable surface to be functional at a vanity, or by the tub, while still holding a decent amount of weight without falling apart. Our local 99 Cents Only Store always has a section of aisle (usually across from the kitchen-wares) with home decor such as frames, mirrors, plaques, canvas art and more. Surprisingly I found 3 different options for my tray base that suited my needs.
I ended up deciding on a framed personal wall mirror for $1.99- it had a nice stylish pink border which would have worked great in my home, but not so much my mother’s. I knew I wanted to give the tray handles of some kind, to make it easily transportable, but they had to adhere on their own since the tray’s surface was essentially a mirror. In the electronics and accessories aisle I found some adorable smartphone ‘rings’ intended to support up 4lbs weight (each), which self adhered thanks to a sticky back. Then all I needed to do was decide on a color to paint my frame, and pick up a few accents to adorn my finished product.
To begin this very simple, anybody can do it, project I first taped along the inner edges of the mirror to protect from any paint residue during the process of painting the frame. I also wanted to dress up the mirror surface a little so I used my tape to make an inner ‘frame’ which I could paint over to reveal a designed pattern.
I’d picked up some decorative baubles at my local 99 and wanted to tie in my copper color to them as well- giving the edges, or entire objects, a quick coat of paint really helped tie my finished product together and elevate it to a whole new classy level. How adorable is that ceramic pineapple and sea turtle?
Once my paint had dried I carefully peeled off the tape- it’s okay if you weren’t perfect on your lines, the mirror surface will often be covered and imperfections give it a handmade feel. You may want to give your mirror a clear coat finish if you are worried about scuffs or scratches in use.
Next I pulled out my smartphone ‘rings’ and applied them in the center of each of the mirror’s shortest ends. Voila! Instant tray! I was surprised how strong the grip of these rings were, and they easily carried a full load of items.
I have to say pictures don’t do this beautiful tray justice. The metallic paint really pops and you can’t tell I only spent $6 on it- I definitely want to make one for my own home now, too! It is incredibly sturdy and functional, and if it ever gets damaged no tears will be shed. I don’t know about you- but those are some magical features to a mother!
I’ll admit, I really ‘broke the bank’ spending an extra couple of bucks at the 99 Cents Only Stores on my accents. What can I say- everything on the tray itself was a whopping $7. I included a few moisturizers and a bamboo bath scrubber to add some functionality to my gift, as well as Godiva chocolates to sweeten the sentiment. This is definitely a gift I’d love to receive; and I know my mother will be proud of (when she hears how little I spent.)