How to Make a Monogrammed Tray

Instead of the customary bottle of wine, give your favorite party host or hostess a monogrammed serving tray that can be used throughout the year.

Green Serving Tray With Trellis Pattern and Monogram

Trendy Green Monogrammed Serving Tray

Materials Needed:

  • wood serving tray
  • acrylic craft paint in 3 coordinating colors
  • graphic patterned stencil
  • stencil brush
  • painter's tape
  • pencil
  • computer and printer
  • scissors
  • graphite transfer paper
  • 1.0 liner brush
  • 1/2" flat brush
  • 2" sash brush
  • spray polyurethane

Paint Tray

Using a 2-inch angled sash brush, apply one to two coats of acrylic paint to tray. Note: Most acrylic paints have good adhesion, so a primer is not required, but when painting a slick surface a primer and/or sanding may be necessary to prep tray for painting. Allow paint to fully dry.

Paint base coat

Paint Tray

Stencil Design

Tape off inside border of tray with painter's tape. Also tape off a square or rectangle in the tray's center for the monogram or use a piece of card stock or paper to mask it off (Image 1). Make sure pieces of tape are firmly pressed down to avoid bleed under. Place stencil in top corner of tray and apply paint with a stencil brush using a straight up-and-down pouncing action. Tip: Don't overload the brush with paint, and wipe off excess to prevent bleeding under the stencil (Images 2 and 3). While the freshly stenciled design dries, clean any errant paint off the front side of the stencil to prevent smears. Working in sections, line up the pattern, then repeat the stencil until entire tray is covered with the design. If stencil pattern smears, go over design with an artist's brush to sharpen them up.

Paint Borders

Allow stenciled design to fully dry, preferably overnight. Tape off a 1/4-inch stripe around the stenciled design and the center box (Image 1). With a 1/2-inch flat brush, paint a border between taped lines (Image 2).

Create, Trace and Paint Monogram

Using a word processing program on your computer, design a monogram. It can be a single letter or three initials. Tweak the font size until the printed design will fit in the monogram box on tray. Print then cut out the chosen letter or letters. Also cut graphite transfer paper to approximately the size of the monogram. Place monogram on top of graphite transfer paper with the dark side facing down. Check that monogram is centered in the box then trace lettering with a pencil or the back side of paintbrush handle (Image 1). Paint lettering with a 1.0 liner brush; apply a second coat of paint if necessary (Image 2).

Apply Topcoat

Once the painted design has fully dried, apply two to three coats of non-yellowing polyurethane. Allow finish to fully dry between coats and to cure for a few days prior to use. Tip: It takes approximately 30 days for most paints to fully cure, so be gentle with the finish during that period.

Finish the tray with a clear topcoat

Apply Topcoat

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