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Fantasy Tray Collage

By: Gail Green from
Fantasy Tray Collage
Fantasy Tray Collage
This image courtesy of

From the Designer: "Transform a plain tray into a WOW table or wall decor masterpiece by using surprise paint techniques and decoupage on popular coloring book pages! This project is a great way to "upcycle" an old tray, as well as think outside the box with coloring book pages. Painting the tray with your hand (wearing a disposable glove, of course) instead of using a brush is also a fun way to paint and blend colors."

Time to CompleteWeekend project

Primary TechniqueMixed Media


Project TypeMake a Project

Materials List

  • Leisure Arts-Art of Coloring Animals book
  • Plaid Enterprises-Mod Podge Gloss and Super Gloss
  • Plaid Enterprises-Ceramcoat Select Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Paint (04034 Chestnut)
  • Plaid Enterprises-FolkArt Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Paint (2942 Fresh Foliage)
  • Plaid Enterprises-FolkArt Premium Acrylic Paint (6457 Wisteria, 2552 Citrus Green, 2579 Fresh Cut Grass, 2553 Lime Green, 6459 Ocean Blue, 2558 Cinnamon, 6448 Daybreak, 2575 Deep Tomato Red, 2548 Apple Red, 2391 Podge Orange, 6446 Cottage White)
  • Plaid Enterprises-FolkArt Blending Gel Medium
  • Plaid Enterprises-FolkArt Metallic Acrylic Paint (K660 Pure Gold)
  • Plaid Enterprises-Brushes: #6 Flat, #2 Round Scrubber and 1 utility synthetic bristle
  • Wood, woven or other natural fiber tray
  • Printed music and book text sheets
  • Die cut doilies or other shapes of your choice
  • Non-stick mat
  • 1 yard of flat white lace
  • Palette with air tight lid for mixing gel paints
  • Scissors
  • Non-latex gloves
  • Old credit card or squeegee


  1. Wearing a glove on your dominant hand to paint the tray, squirt a small amount of Chestnut and Fresh Foliage paint onto your index finger, mix slightly with your thumb and apply to the tray, rubbing the paint along the grain and smoothing and blending the colors as you go. Mix Pure Gold and Cinnamon into a small amount of gel medium and add color accents with your gloved finger to the tray, as desired; dry completely. Note: Create your transparent gel paint by mixing the various acrylic paints listed with Blending Gel medium. For more opacity, use less medium; for more transparency, use more medium.

  2. Mix Cottage White with gel medium to create a semi-transparent gel paint. Using the glove method again, rub gel paint onto the sheet music so some of printed portions are visible and others are more muted. Apply Chestnut, Cinnamon, Fresh Cut Grass, Pure Gold and Citrus Green (mixed with gel medium) around edges as desired; dry completely. Rub any gel paint remaining on your glove onto both sides of the lace; set lace and sheet music aside to dry.

  3. Cut out images of your choice from the coloring book. Mix transparent gel paint using the paint colors listed or use colors of your choice. Paint the images as desired with the #6 Flat and #2 Round Scrubber brushes, blending and shading overall shapes and coloring in pattern sections of your choice; dry.

  4. Place music sheet wrong side up on non-stick mat. Using the 1" wide brush, apply Gloss Mod Podge generously in center of tray and across the entire wrong side of the music sheet. Attach sheet to the tray per instructions, burnishing smooth with an old credit card or squeegee. Trim lace, doilies and painted cut images as desired. Apply Gloss Mod Podgeto one piece at a time and attach to the tray. Dry completely. Add Super Gloss Mod Podge layers to seal and add shine. Allow to dry and cure before use.

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