Embellishing A Tray With Thumbtacks

Embellishing A Tray With Thumbtacks

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, then you might have noticed how easily I can get carried away talking about the story behind every project. I really enjoy sharing how each of them started and how it ended up, with all the in between stages and little details.  I also like showing you what inspired me, as well as some of the low cost alternatives that I come up with. Well, today is just another of those stories. Among the blogs that I follow is Finding Home. On more than one occasion, I spotted this tray so beautifully arranged in the blogger’s home (and what a lovely picture, too!).


I was really curious to find out more about it, so I contacted Laura from Finding Home who was so nice to get back to me; her tray was a purchase from Pier 1 Imports (no wonder it’s so pretty!).

I ‘ve had a faux leather tray too, for over 6 years.  Mine was a present from my daughter from when she was only 12, about six Christmases back, purchased from Greece. I can still see her happy face when she got back home from shopping with a girlfriend with her present all wrapped up and placing in under the Christmas tree. It was a set of two nesting trays and I left one back in my home in Greece. So many years later and it still looks nice and stylish, and you can definitely tell I’ve put it to use because the edges are a little worn out.Tray Before

But I thought I could add that little something that would keep it going for another few years and make it look like my inspiration. And that something was just  plain, regular, inexpensive thumbtacks that I found in a drawer.

Thumb Tacks

They were brass plated, just the perfect color to match my inspiration. I also used a couple of more things that we all have at home to transform my tray.


… and started … thumbing, at first without calculating where exactly to place them.  Not a good idea:

Not Measuring

So I measured and marked halfway through the height of the side of my tray and started thumb-tacking away! You need to place and push the thumbtack straight into the tray, otherwise it won’t get in right. Sometimes, I used a hammer to make it go all the way in.  In that case, I covered the top of the thumbtack with a towel to protect its shiny brass head.


Some of the thumbtacks bent while I was trying to put them in place. Actually, there were a lot more than those few, but they’re so inexpensive that it really doesn’t matter.


Finished and stylish!

Tray Ready

For now, it will go on a shelf into the master closet to decorate the space and hold a few essentials!

Tray From Up Above

The thumbtacks are no upholstery nails but they did the job just fine!

Close Up With Scarf

My inspiration tray had two rows of nailhead trim, but my tray wasn’t as high and two rows would have been too much, so I went for one, middle row.

Glasses And Scarf In Tray

Such an easy project for just under an hour! And so inexpensive!  I don’t think that I used more than $2 worth of thumbtacks!

Tray Close Up

Thumbtacks worked so much better than upholstery nails which are longer and would have come out from the inside of the tray. You don’t need to have a faux leather tray for this project.  I’m sure it would work just as well on any wooden tray you have in your home!

Tray In Master Closet

Thank you Laura for the inspiration!

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Hi! I'm Angelica! For the last ten years I've been sharing my cooking, home projects and ideas with my sister Irene. "Once Again, My Dear Irene" is just an extension of our daily chats. Moreover "My Dear Irene" Continue Reading