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A TV tray makeover – take ’em outside!

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Our family is a camping family. Starting in March of this year (I know – we were NUTS!), our camping season began.

We have a travel trailer, and like any good upcycler, I love to think of ways that I can “glamp” up the campsite with used and thrifted goods.

We often sit around the campfire with our friends and kidlets and eat dinner, roast marshmallows or just have good long conversations. I had been searching for side-tables that were lightweight, but would also add some personality to the campsite.

Then…I stumbled upon these TV trays.


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You probably recognize these from your memory bank. They’re faux-wood with landscape scenes sweeping across the trays. I got them from a woman who was cleaning out a barn.

A BARN. That’s where these trays lived.

Needless to say, they were very inexpensive.

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I broke out two colours of spray paint. The first was Rustoleum Metallic Gold.

This stuff is the workhorse of spray paint. It gets amazing coverage and I love its metallic sheen.

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The second spray paint was Rustoleum Dual Paint and Primer in Royal Blue. I just couldn’t get the coverage that I wanted with this paint. Those houses were determined to stay.

I admit, at first, I was discouraged. As I was working in the craft room while the paint dried, I had a realization.

I could fix this!

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Removable (self-adhesive) wallpaper! That would jazz up the trays without having to spray 18 coats of blue paint.

This wallpaper acts just like contact paper (which would also work very well on this project) – it’s easy to take up if you’ve applied it on a weird angle. It also has a durable finish, which is perfect for wiping up spills and drink rings.

I used a craft knife to trim the wallpaper and then I applied it.

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On the gold TV trays, I cut out images using my Silhouette Cameo. This machine is one of my crafting must-haves. It cuts out shapes from adhesive vinyl, which I can then apply to almost anything.

If you don’t have a cutting machine – you can use wall decals in place of the vinyl. They’ll work essentially the same way, and can be found in nearly any DIY or decor store.

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I loved the feathers. I wanted to leave this TV tray in my living room, I was so taken with it.

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But Mr. Suburble’s favourite was the one with the “cute sayings”.

As in, “Why didn’t you make more with the cute sayings? I like those ones. You should get more TV trays.”

Have you ever imagined that your husband would ask you to get more TV trays?

I was flabbergasted. This is exciting! I’m granted permission to scour my local UsedEverywhere listings again.

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The blue TV trays turned out very sweet. I think I will leave them at home for nights on the patio.

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And my flashy gold fellas will come with us on our glamping trips.

Who knew that TV trays could be this fabulous? Don’t let those listings pass you by. Snap them up while the gettin’s cheap!

Useful links:

Find TV tables on your local Household>Accessories Category by searching for “tv trays,” “tray tables” and “folding tray tables.”

Find camping supplies on your local site here.

Find lawnmowers on your local site here.

Find gardening supplies on your local site here.

Find building supplies on your local site here.

Read more of our great gardening blogs here.




Tara is the writer and flurry of chaos behind Suburble - a blog about life in the 'burbs. Whether it's decor, DIY, upcycling, cooking or just getting crafty with the kids, she loves working on all things that make up a home. She loves a good cup of tea, funny people, and getting her hands dirty.

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