How To Turn a Regular Photo Frame Into an Extraordinary Serving Tray

DIY photo tray

Turning a photo frame into a serving tray is a DIYer’s dream. You can you upcycle an unused frame into a unique piece of home decor, making use of an old item that might otherwise end up in the dump. Plus, you can use the serving tray for a variety of purposes. From a cocktail tray to a decorative tray for knickknacks, that photo frame isn’t just for pictures anymore.

Here’s how to assemble an adorable photo frame tray that’s perfect for holding all of your pretty things.

DIY photo frame tray

Photo Frame-Tray DIY

  1. Find the perfect frame.

Perhaps you’ve already chosen a frame you’re anxious to transform into a cool tray. If not, decide what you want from the tray before you select the frame. Is it for lying on an ottoman or a dresser? Since you will probably want it to sit on a flat surface, be sure the back of the frame won’t pose a problem. Your best bet is to choose a wall frame rather than a table-top frame so that it’ll lie flat on a table once you’ve turned it into a tray. If you have your heart set on a table-top frame, you can probably remove the stand fairly easily.

Another tip: decide on a size. I wanted something roomier than an 8 x 10, so I found an 11″ x 14″ frame that served my purpose.

  1. Find the perfect handles. You can often find these at thrift stores or antique shops. Ideally, you’ll already have something at home you can repurpose. I decided to repurpose handles from an old cabinet.
  2. Measure and drill. Measure it out so that the handles are perfectly aligned, mark the drilling targets and drill the handles into place.
  3. Now have fun! Turn the tray into a personalized piece of home decor by framing anything you love, like a tea towel, decorative paper, or a photo collage.

Find a Home for It

Now you can use your photo-frame tray for just about anything, like cocktails, afternoon tea, or breakfast in bed.

I’ve already put mine to good use for serving tea …

Photo frame tea tray

… and as a TV tray …

Photo frame TV dinner tray

… and as a dining room table centerpiece …

Photo frame dining room center piece

… and as a dresser-top jewelry holder.

Photo frame dresser-top jewelry holder

What will you do with your adorable new piece of home decor?

About the Author

Kelly Rae Smith writes on sustainable home décor and DIY upcycling projects for Shutterfly.com. Her upcycling ideas are inspired by the décor options on the Shutterfly website.

Originally published on October 14, 2015, this article was updated in July 2020.

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