Tile Tray

by Chris on August 22, 2011

jewelry tray

Several months ago, I bought a couple of these little wooden trays at Target for $2.50. Gotta love their little “dollar” section.

cheap tray

Several months before that, I had purchased this mosaic tile from Home Depot for $4.99. I thought it was pretty. That was my only motivation behind the purchase. I don’t necessarily recommend that.

gray mosaic tile

I’ve never tiled anything before, so I’ll  admit now that I had no idea what I was doing. I purchased this all-in-one adhesive and grout  for about $8.00. I was already spending more money than I wanted to (keep that in mind from here on out).

tile grout

I spread the adhesive onto the bottom of the tray with a piece of scrap laminate that I had from the coaster project.


And since I didn’t buy a trowel, I used a fork to score it. Remember a couple of pictures ago when I warned you about my reasoning? Just remember that now.

mosaic tile

You’re supposed to let it set for 24 hours before you then use the same product as a grout. That sounds like a lead-in for telling you that I didn’t do that. I did. I followed the directions. Please mark the date.

mosaic tile help

Once it was dry, I used my scrap laminate trowel to spread the grout all over the tile. The hardest (and most imperfect) part was trying to keep the grout from messing up the sides too much. I knew it wouldn’t be perfect, but I tried.

tile diy

I used a damp sponge to clean it up as much as possible. Then when it dried, I used a damp cloth to wipe the light film off it.

mosaic tile tray

And here she is. I thought this might get me one step closer to finishing the never-ending master bedroom redo.

tile tray

While I prettified it for it’s debut, I think it might be a perfect tray for my husband’s change, bullets, and golf tees. An odd combo, I know.

tile tray

Including the grout, it was about a $15.00 project. Keep in mind, however, that the grout will be used again. So let’s pretend this only cost me $7.50. That’s what I’ll be telling my husband.



Danielle August 22, 2011 at 8:11 am

This is so super cute!

Mandy August 22, 2011 at 8:21 am

LOVE IT!! Such a clever idea!

Take Care!

Simply Sara August 22, 2011 at 8:28 am

Love that!!! So fun!! What a great idea!

Stephanie August 22, 2011 at 8:35 am

It’s really beautiful! Well worth a measly 7.50, I’d say. You’ll smile everytime you look at it…and that’s priceless!

Jordan@the2seasons August 22, 2011 at 8:37 am

So creative. I bought one of those trays at target as well and painted it a fun green, for our bar. I think adding some tile would be a great touch. Thanks I can’t wait to go do this!

Amy @ All In A Day August 22, 2011 at 8:39 am

What a great idea!! I absolutely love it!!! The tile is a great idea. You always see people line trays with fabric or paper, but I’ve never seen someone use tiles! Very creative! Great job!

Lili @ Relatable Style August 22, 2011 at 8:41 am

Very pretty! I like that a lot, and it would have probably cost more than what you spent now if you had bought it that way… So it’s definitely a WIN! :-D

Relatable Style

Melonie August 22, 2011 at 8:54 am

That’s a great idea! We just put up a tile backslash in the kitchen and we still have grout left and glass tile. I may have to try this. Thanks so much for posting!

Jessica @ Decor Adventures August 22, 2011 at 9:38 am

$7.50 is definitely a great price. I do love those tiles and you can use the tray for a lot of things, drinks, jewelry, fall candles. Nice job on your first time grouting :-)

Jenny@EvolutionofStyle August 22, 2011 at 9:38 am

LOVE this idea!! Such a high end look for a low end price – my kind of project. ;-)

amanda August 22, 2011 at 9:41 am

It looks beautiful..I think we have extra ground and trowls left over I could do this pretty affordable! I also love that bracelet you have. Im assuming its your kids names? I would love one of those where did you buy it from?

Bossy Betty August 22, 2011 at 9:44 am

I just loved this!

Anna@DirectionsNotIncluded August 22, 2011 at 9:47 am

They look great! I can’t believe you found those in the dollar bins at Target! I’ve been on a mission to get a handful for a few different projects and I haven’t found them cheap enough for what I want.

Anna@DirectionsNotIncluded August 22, 2011 at 9:48 am

That should say “It looks great”. I need more coffee…

Samantha August 22, 2011 at 10:28 am

I love it! AND I have the same bracelet as you…ok, not exactly the same, mine has my kids names, but you know what I mean. I love how simply clean this looks. Great idea.

Kristen @ More Than Mulberries August 22, 2011 at 10:35 am

Cute! I am so proud of you for following directions. I am the WORST at that. I always think I know better than those dumb people who write instructions on the back of things. I so don’t.

Carmie of the Single Nester August 22, 2011 at 11:01 am

Really lovely. And there is nothing wrong with buying tile because it is pretty. Just want to let you know that I did a tutorial of yours and posted it on my blog today referencing you.

Debbie August 22, 2011 at 1:07 pm

I love the project and what a cute idea for him!! I have a glad ware container for my husband’s change, bullets and golf tees. But he still can’t seem to get them in there. I have to come behind him and drop them in. But maybe if he had something open like that……

Tanya Anurag August 22, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Beautiful. I like the things in that tray too.

Juli Elgin August 22, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Thanks so much for the inspiration. I bought 2 of these and use one to hold spices in my cabinet but was feeling guilty about the other one. I will have to get out some grout and see what I can come up with.

Amanda @ Our Humble A{Bowe}d August 22, 2011 at 4:19 pm

The tray looks great! Oddly enough, my hubby usually has change, bullets, earplugs, golf tees, and screws in his pockets.

Brynn August 22, 2011 at 4:38 pm

What a great idea! I don’t think I would have imagined the possibilities for that pink polka-dotted tray. Way to day! Now I need to think of a place to put a tray…

Richella at Imparting Grace August 22, 2011 at 5:40 pm

I LOVE this Chris! It’s beautiful! And the tiles make it perfect for a man, I think–it’s beautiful but also masculine-looking, if that makes sense.

I must at this point also say that I have that exact same bracelet. Except, of course, that the children’s names are different. And mine has three strands, since I have three kids. But otherwise it’s exactly the same! I feel so proud that I have an accessory just like yours!!

BTW, I love your son’s name. My husband is Jack, and Jack is short for Jackson. It’s just such a wonderful, strong name, isn’t it? Of course, we’re Southerners, so Jackson is practically the name of royalty around here. :)

Brenda Kula August 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Very fetching!

Rita August 22, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Great tutorial! You made it look easy. Now you have the mixture for more projects.
The tray turned out great.

Kelly B. August 22, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Very nice! Can I ask what kind of tree did the purple/burgundy leaves come from?

LESLEY August 22, 2011 at 9:01 pm

What a pretty tray. I love the colors. It turned out great!

Erica August 23, 2011 at 9:48 am

That is such a great idea! I just recently did a tray with fabric.. I am going to try this one next. Thanks for sharing!


Celeste August 23, 2011 at 5:00 pm

I thought I was the only one that found strange things like bullets in my husband’s stuff!

Becky August 23, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Buberrry Weekend. Love!!

ThE miller's August 24, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Ah! I got the same tray, wish I would have picked a few thou. Know bettter for next time. They turned out great!

The Miller’s
Prezidential life

Denyse@Crazy Beautiful Life August 25, 2011 at 1:18 pm

LOVE IT!!! This is a great idea…Thanks for sharing!!!

Dream Mom August 27, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Looks great! I did a project a while back and used wallpaper to line a wooden tray that I purchased at Michael’s and covered it with Modge Podge. I like the tiled tray much better.

Dream Mom August 27, 2011 at 12:32 pm

P.S. I used your furniture painting instructions last weekend; turned out great. Thanks.

Jennifer S August 28, 2011 at 9:11 pm

I love this project so much that I pinned it! Thank you for sharing!

cassie {hi sugarplum} August 29, 2011 at 9:21 pm

I was just looking at those tiles at HD this weekend and thinking, “hmmmm”

We have matching ‘jackson’s’…mine is 10 and thinks he’s king of the world now that he’s in 5th grade. Yours?

WhisperWood Cottage September 10, 2011 at 8:30 pm

So pretty! Such a transformation!!

Erin October 28, 2011 at 10:34 am

Thank you for the inspiration and step by step directions. I made my own here: http://frostedsquare.blogspot.com/2011/10/tile-tray.html

Sharon Thurston January 22, 2012 at 11:10 pm

Where, oh where, did you get the bracelet from that is on tile tray that you did up from Target? I love it and I want one. Please reply asap to my email address. Thanks so much. PS Loving spending lots of time (too much time) on you lovely website.

Chris January 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Hi Sharon,

I’m afraid I’m not sure where it’s from. My husband bought it for me for Mother’s Day one year. I do know that he bought it from a local woman that makes them. I would be you could find something just like it on Etsy. Sorry I couldn’t help more. Good luck!

Sharon Thurston January 28, 2012 at 6:49 am

Thanks for replying Chris. Should you ever find out where your (wonderful) husband got it from please let me know. I’m loving etsy but wouldn’t know HOW to search for such a fine bracelet.

Chris January 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm
Sharon Thurston February 3, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Oh thanks so much Chris for the links. I shall and do some “shopping” now. Thanks again for the effort. I fell in love with it when I saw it (oh and the tiled you did was pretty good too). Ta.

Previous post:

Next post: