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Fun with Mod Podge: How To Decoupage a Serving Tray

The word decoupage comes from the French word, decouper, which means to cut out. For decoupage crafts, you cut out images and glue them to a hard surface. You then protect the images with Mod Podge or some other protective coating. When done well, decoupage projects will look hand-painted. Almost any clean, hard surface can be decoupaged. You can use this technique to transform boxes, trays and furniture into something artistic. Here, a small serving tray is decorated with decoupage and made into a lovely conversation piece.

Things you need:
Unfinished Wood Tray
Paper images, can be floral, abstract, animals or whatever you’d like
Clear Acrylic Spray
Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint (in your choice of colors)
#120 grit sandpaper
Mod Podge
Masking tape
4 – 1″ Foam paintbrushes
2, 1/2″ Foam paintbrushes
Hobby knife
Cutting mat
Tack Cloth
Drop cloth

Things to do:
1. Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area. Protect your work area with the drop cloth. If the tray has a finish, sand it until smooth then wipe clean with the tack cloth. If unfinished, a very light sanding will do.
2. Vintage papers can be very fragile and thin, so be sure to spray them first with acrylic spray to make them more durable. Lay them out and allow to dry before using.
3. Use the 1″ foam brush to apply primer to the tray. Start with the bottom of the tray and work with the wood grain. Allow to dry completely, then turn over to prime the top. Let dry.
4. Use another 1″ foam brush to apply the paint. Work with the wood grain on the bottom of the tray first, let dry, then do the top. Allow the paint to dry completely.
5. When the paint is dry, lightly sand the top of the tray, wipe with the dust rag, and apply another coat of paint. If needed, a third coat can be applied once the second coat is dry, make sure you lightly sand again between coats.
6. Using the hobby knife and cutting mat, carefully cut out your images. Take care in cutting out small details. It helps if you turn the image as needed instead of trying to maneuver the knife at awkward angles.
7. Arrange the images on the dried tray the way you want them. Secure them on one side with small pieces of masking tape.
8. Use the 1/2″ foam brush to apply a thin coating of the Mod Podge to the wrong side of the images, repositioning them right-side up as you go along. You can use a credit card or your fingers to immediately smooth out any creases or bubbles. Allow them to completely dry.
9. Use a foam brush to apply two topcoats of Mod Podge over the entire tray surface, letting it dry between coats. Once the top coat is dried, you should still wait 3 or 4 days for curing before handling or using the tray.

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