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Holiday Crafter

Craft Project - Manly Tray
by Wen Zientek-Sico

Here is a great project that is easy and inexpensive to make for your favorite guy. This brightly colored tray is fun to make and is very easy to personalize. It is also a great project to make with the kids!

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Manly Tray

Give your favorite guy the gift of his favorite things…or at least pictures of them! These trays are practical to use and surprisingly attractive when hanging on the wall. Best of all, they are very easy and inexpensive to make. This tray is also a great project for children of all ages who will really love choosing and sorting the different sizes, colors, and shapes of the items used. Make sure to never cut anything from a catalog or magazine without permission. Fun themes are pictures of cars, fish and fishing tackle, hunting motifs, sports stars and equipment, or any hobbies your recipient will enjoy.

1 11.5 inch by 14.5 inch wooden tray

Acrylic paint

1 large brush

Assorted sporting, gardening, automobile, fishing or other "manly" magazines and catalogs


Decoupage glue

Clear varnish

Cover your work surface thoroughly with newspaper. Choose a paint color that your favorite guy will like, or that you think will go well with his favorite hobbies Paint the first coat of acrylic paint on the top and sides of the tray using the brush. Let dry thoroughly for a few hours, and then repeat with the second coat. Let the paint dry thoroughly. Sort through the catalogs and magazines and cut out all the pictures of items your recipient enjoys. Titles like "Big Fish" or "Good Sport" can also be cut out and added to the tray. The items do not have to be perfectly cut, but most of the background should be cut away. Starting in the center of the tray, glue down a cut out item using the decoupage glue. One by one, add the items, overlapping each flower slightly. Fill in any gaps with smaller items. Let the glue dry thoroughly. Brush on at least one coat of varnish over the decoupaged area of the tray and let dry completely according to the package directions. Brush on another coat of varnish over the entire tray and let dry completely before using or wrapping.

Project Developed by Wen Zientek-Sico.

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