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Help Kids Make a Custom Valet Tray for Dad

Every father needs a place to corral the contents of his pockets at the end of a long day. Help kids create this practical tray to display their artwork and provide the perfect spot for Dad's wallet, loose change, keys and cell phone.

Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors
Finished Do-It-Yourself Tray Project

Materials Needed:

  • wooden tray
  • wood stain
  • spray polyurethane
  • clean cloth
  • latex gloves
  • waterproof crack sealant
  • pourable high-gloss finish
  • white mat board cut to size of tray surface
  • acrylic craft paint
  • artist's brush
  • plastic cup and spoon

Stain Tray

Wearing latex gloves, apply wood stain in desired color to raw wood tray with clean cloth (Image 1). Cover entire tray surface with stain. Wipe away excess and allow to fully dry (Image 2).

  • Wood Staining
  • Pre-Project Cleaning

Seal Tray

Apply spray polyurethane to entire surface of tray to seal wood and allow to dry. Tip: For a smooth, drip-free finish, spray using long, even strokes keeping can equidistant from tray.

Sealer Application

Waterproof Cracks

Apply waterproof crack sealant to all seams on tray to prevent pourable high-gloss finish from leaking through gaps.

Linning With Glue

Kids Create Artwork

While crack sealant is drying, kids can create artwork using acrylic craft paint on white mat board. Tip: Mat board is a must as card stock or printer paper is not thick enough to use under pourable finish. Mat board can be found in the framing section of craft stores and can be cut to size. Allow paint to fully dry before moving on to the final step.

Father's Day Paint Project

Apply Pourable Finish

Mix pourable finish in plastic cup according to manufacturer's instructions. Pour small amount into tray, using just enough to cover bottom of tray in a thin layer (Image 1). Press artwork into finish firmly to release air bubbles (Image 2). Pour remaining finish over artwork and spread with plastic utensil (Images 3 and 4). Allow finish to fully cure before use.

  • Waterproof Test
  • Sealed Paint Project
  • Paint Sealer
  • Father's Day Tray
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