Easy DIY Picture Frame Tray

Posted in DIY Home Decor
DIY Picture Frame Tray
Easy DIY Picture Frame Tray

Hello creative friends! Today’s project was a “let’s see what I can create with this” idea. Actually, I was waiting for the paint to dry and was bored. After a quick search on frames via Pinterest, I came up with this DIY Tray made out of an old picture frame. Here is how it turned out. Super cute and easy!

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DIY Tray From Old Picture Frame

Create a beautiful DIY picture frame tray with a few simple items that you may have lying around right now.


Prepping The Frame

I found this vintage frame at a garage sale for .25 cents. SCORE! That’s why I have a junk pile laying around for picking. HA! But you never know when the creative mood strikes, and I want to be prepared.

The bonus with this frame is that someone had already painted it a beautiful farmhouse green. I could have used it as is, but I want a more subtle look for my picture frame tray. The first thing to do is to clean up the frame. I used my foam sanding pad to remove any chipped-off paint and clean it with a damp cloth. Now it’s ready for paint.

Remove and rough spots by sanding the picture frame before re-painting.

Painting The Picture Frame Tray | No Prep Paint

The next step is to paint. I used my favorite chalk mineral paint in buttercream. A beautiful vintage color that works well with my farmhouse decor. The reason I love this paint is that there is very little prep when using it for home decor. When I’m creating DIY home decor, I usually paint right over whatever I’m working on. Just like I did here. As long as the paint is intact, you should have no problems painting over the existing finishes. It seems like I find someone else’s projects more and more and give them a third time to go around. I LOVE that!

I used a vintage color chalk mineral paint for my DIY picture frame tray.

Measuring The Boards For The Tray

BUSTED! I didn’t paint the underside of the frame. So, if you happen to come to my home, don’t turn anything over. LOL, it’s a waste of good paint.

Next, you’ll need to measure the opening for the bottom of the picture frame tray. You’ll do this by flipping the frame over and measuring from edge to edge where the picture is inserted. Since it will be used as a tray, I measured from the longest end to end. Then you’ll need to cut your boards to the correct size. Because every frame is different, you’ll need to adjust the boards (or wood) you’re using. For this project, it just happened to work out without having to adjust too much. I did leave a little gap between the boards to make up for the difference. And I see no reason that you couldn’t use different-sized boards. That would add to the charm.

Measure and cut the length of the boards that you will need to build your picture frame tray.

Securing The Boards For the Picture Frame Tray

Use good wood glue to secure your boards to the picture frame. You can use glue, but you may also want to secure them with nails. It just depends on what you’re using it for. Is it functional or decorative? I didn’t nail my boards because it’s just for decor, and I have had no issues with it being secure.

Using wood glue, I added a bead around the picture frame before adding the boards.

Distressing The Paint For An Authentic Farmhouse Look

What’s a farmhouse picture frame tray without distressing? Everything I have is scuffed up. If it’s not, to begin with, I have grandkids and furry friends that will take care of it for me. So why not? Remember, these were beautiful farmhouse green in the beginning. Distressing over the chalk mineral paint allows the beautiful farmhouse green to peek through. It’s perfect!

*In the finished pictures below, I added little dry brushing with the buttercream chalk mineral paint over the rough fence picks. It was just a bit dark for my like. Much better.

I adding some distressing to the paint on my DIY picture frame tray to add a bit of a rustic farmhouse feel.
Must try DIY! Easy Picture Frame Tray

How about that for a “waiting on paint to dry” project? Now I have a beautiful picture frame tray that will surely spark conversations when guests come to visit. Yep, I did that! And my favorite part of this DIY home decor project is the visible holes in the fence pickets. 10 years ago, I put those holes there while building that fence. It feels like an old friend has come to visit.

Love this project? Let me know in the comment section. I’d love to hear your feedback. Or just say hey!

Until the next project… xo, Do



  1. Cool project & great end result! Love your “show”!!! I just smile when your posts pop up as I already know you’re bringing us great stuff. Plus funny comments & Do Wisdom😜

  2. Great idea and great job Do.
    I love seeing what you are up to next.
    Keep the nifty ideas coming.
    Thank you.

  3. Thank you Do! This tray is so pretty and I love the idea of having something to do during the wait for the paint to dry on your other project!

  4. I’ve only had a chance to check out a few of your projects, but I’ve never been disappointed. You’re creative, talented & very entertaining!
    You’ve planted several idea seeds in my mind.
    Thank you!

  5. Donna, I absolutely love your picture frame tray. I also love the handles. Could you please let me know where you bought these handles? Thanks very much.

  6. Love love love! Wait, how many loves can I give it? I’m obsessed with trays. I “love” how this came out. Your whitewashing of the boards came out fantastic! The color is more to my liking too. I can do glue, okay maybe nails too if I try. Better yet…can we be best friends so you can make me one? 😊

    1. Hi Mary! I laughed out loud… of course, we can be friends. It sounds like we have a lot in common. Don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, and I’ll send all my DIYs via email. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  7. Hi ~
    I love your rustic farmhouse tray! I searched the internet for just this type of post and found your website yesterday. I love it!
    I have an idea to cleanout my house that has way too much “stuff” and I want to upcycle and repurpose all that I can. I have old picture frames, books and videos, and a ton of unused elementary school classroom supplies. I have leftover Christmas wrapping paper and greeting cards, and leftover crafting supplies for making dried flower arrangements. I’ve been on Pinterest searching for any helpful ideas.
    Does anything come to mind for you… of things I could do with all I’ve listed? I bet you have other posts that I’d love to read. Do you know of something you’ve written that may spark some ideas that can try? Thank you for your time!
    LeAnne Lav

    1. Hi Leann! I’m so glad you found me. I have so many blogs about DIY home decorating and decor. Even furniture! The best way to find related blog posts is to use the search bar on my website. For example, search with the word you’re looking to use. Search books, picture frames, and you’ll find related blog posts—the same with wrapping paper. Oh, and don’t forget to sign up and subscribe to my weekly newsletter. It’s free, and I share projects weekly. 🙂 Have a fantastic week, my new friend. xo

  8. Beautiful projects. I will be using pallet boards, painting them various colors from my livingroom and standing too. Then put them in a mitral frame. I have tons of hardware from my friend that refinish’s furniture and gives me the old hardware.

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