diy wednesdays: wallpapered tv trays

We’re not ashamed to admit that we’ve eaten our fair share of meals off of TV trays. We love them for their casual convenience, but do our best to stash them out of sight when company comes around. These, on the other hand, cleaned up so nice with so little effort, we think it’s about time to organize our first TV dinner party.

CLICK HERE for the full project* after the jump!

*This project is an excerpt from Lauren and Derek’s new book, Wallpaper Projects: More Than 50 Craft Ideas for Your Home, from Accents to Art.

Folding TV tray
Wallpaper scraps
Clear contact paper

Spray paint (Optional)
Metal ruler
X-Acto knife
Spray adhesive
Bone folder or burnishing tool


1. Spruce up an old tray with a coat of two of spray paint. Set it aside to dry.

2. Measure the dimensions of the tray top, and draw the measurement on the back side of your wallpaper with a pencil and ruler.

3. Cut out the piece of wallpaper with an X-Acto knife, using a metal ruler as your guide.

4. Apply a layer of spray adhesive to the back side of the wallpaper.

5. Carefully set the paper in place on your tray top, and use a bone folder or burnishing tool to smooth out any bubbles.

6. To protect and seal the wallpaper, measure and cut out a piece of clear contact paper the same size as your tray top.

7. Peel off the backing and place the contact paper over the wallpaper. Smooth out any bubbles with a bone folder or burnishing tool.

  1. d'Auria says:

    I’ve been looking for metal TV trays like you have pictured, any suggestions as to where to get them?

  2. Cammy says:

    These are fabulous. I am going to my first garage sale of the season this weekend. I’ll be on the lookout for some TV trays.

  3. Lauren says:

    I always love the patterns of wallpaper and fabric shown in these type of examples. Where do you find them? Are there any good online resources out there.

  4. Heather says:

    those are TOO cute!!

  5. Renae says:

    I love this idea! Thank you!

  6. What a great idea–I was actually thinking TV trays would be a handy way to display my wares at the farmers market–this would make them extra special, and then no need to drape it with anything. Thanks!

  7. neaner says:

    lovely, simple project. am wondering, however, where one buys/acquires cool wallpaper scraps such as the ones used in your project. any tips?

  8. i used to eat on these when i was a kid at gammys(grandma) house. cool

  9. Candis says:

    These are awesome . Something I would of never thought to cover.

  10. CottonColors says:

    What a cute idea. I am going to be on the lookout for some TV trays to salvage!

  11. I love the orange…very drawn to warm colours right now for some reason. Maybe because summer is on the way!

  12. Keri says:

    These are so pretty– and so lively! I love the graphic print.

  13. So great, and congrats on the book!

  14. the whole set up of this room is completely adorable! (:

  15. LPC says:

    But is there no end to sticking paper on things? To crocheting things? Somethings are what they are. I respect that thingness.

    Perhaps I am simply behind the times.

  16. off topic but…where did that amazing taupe throw pillow come from?

  17. Carolynn says:

    best idea ever LOVE THIS!

  18. Emily says:

    Great idea! I would love to know where both pillows are from too!

  19. Ashley says:

    Does anyone know where the sofa is from?

  20. Camila says:

    I love them! Great idea and that print is one of my favorites. Casa Pinka papered her fridge in it and it looks awesome!

  21. What a fabulous idea!!!

  22. Rebecca says:

    TV trays are really hard to find second hand. For some reason not many seem to have survived the past 30 years. I found some at Peppergreen in Berrima for anyone in NSW, Australia. (by the way I think this might be the most organised antiques Bazaar in th world.)

  23. Kate says:

    My parents have those exact same trays! Freaky.

  24. Karena says:

    Great idea, I love this look and there are so many endless patterns one could use!

  25. Amanda says:

    Adorable TV tray vignette photo.

  26. Bec says:

    Thanks! This is what I need! I’m sick of using those dodgy “Stable tables” from the eighties (not kidding). I always make sure they’re hidden if I’m expecting visitors.

  27. I’m in love with this! Maybe I need to doctor up my own TV trays, which are completely not exciting. Thanks for the inspiration, guys!

  28. Suzanne says:

    I agree with neaner and Lauren and I’m in the fabric business but have still not found a resource for small amounts of hip wallpaper. I’m dieing to do the inside of my black, glass doored china cabinet and don’t want to purchase a double roll and the cool w-paper cos. won’t even respond to the question. Help !!

  29. Kenziepoo says:

    Great Idea…Thanks for the Post!!

  30. Tanna Paradis says:

    Given the scarcity of TV trays, try lining a wooden or lucite tray to get a similar effect.

  31. cute tv trays? who knew? fantastic idea.

  32. CinfulArt says:

    Fabulous idea! Easy and the results are stunning!

  33. Ashley says:

    I think they’re cute but I do agree with LPC…. sometimes it’s good to respect an object’s “thingness” !

  34. Ali AVCI says:

    Best idea ever. I Thing

  35. gk says:

    i’m late to the discussion, but if there’s anybody in the dc area that would like to try this, my FIL just tried to give some old tv tray tables away to salvation army – and they wouldn’t take them! (perhaps this is why nobody can find them?) they’re not in the greatest shape, but would prob clean up real nice like these pretty wallpapered ones! email me at mog1980 *at* aol *dot* com if interested?

  36. Carrie says:

    If you live in OZ – GoLo has wooden foldaway TV-tray tables at the moment for $16.99. I snagged one the other day and am about to decoupage away (as it isn’t metal I have to go about this a bit differently)

  37. Carol! says:

    Responding to Lauren and Suzanne, a great place to start looking for small bits of cool wallpaper is in wallpaper sample books. Often paint/wallpaper stores will either give away old books of discontinued wallpaper (they are often happy to be rid of them) or will sell the books for cheap! Just ask with a big smile on your face.

    Good luck!

  38. KateR says:

    I found the deer pillow at K Studio in case anyone was interested. Here is the link:

  39. Amber says:

    Home Depot has wallpaper samples for about a buck 50 with no shipping charge. Pretty cute stuff especially if you’re looking for vintage like i was.(:

  40. Sarah says:

    Where or where is that wallpaper from? I’m dying to know! Please, please, oh pretty please let us know!


    1. grace says:

      hi sarah

      it’s orla kiely wallpaper :)


  41. veronica says: has the biggest and best variety of wallpaper! Sample sizes are pretty inexpensive. :)


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