WHICH CRAFT: Make a special tray for Dad's day

Posted May 19, 2008
Updated May 22, 2008

— Here's an idea for Father's Day that will make Dad smile every time you bring him breakfast in bed, even before he drinks his coffee.

It's a wooden tray on which photographs of loved ones are scattered under glass, a keepsake for all times. For the photographs, think about your best family shots, including the formal, holiday ones. Don't forget the family pets (if he likes them).

Maybe the project could zero in on a theme, such as a favorite family vacation. Or pick out the goofiest shots of everyone in your family, and run with those. Humor sells.

While sorting, make sure you choose photos in which the people, places and things are large enough to be identifiable. Aim for pictures that are in focus.

This is a collage - under glass - so you'll want to round up more photographs than you'll need, so you'll have ample choices as you position them inside the tray. Cutting off the sharp angles makes the photographs more appealing, and overlapping pictures gives the composition a more carefree and creative feel.

This is so easy that even small children can help out without too much fuss. Most kids enjoy working with the decoupage glue, and this project uses a lot of it.

The project also is fast: In under an hour you'll have a Father's Day gift that'll beat any necktie.



You'll need:

Wooden tray


Paper plate


Family photos (on photo paper or office paper, or use photocopies)

Paper (construction or scrapbook), enough to fit inside bottom of tray

Decoupage mixture (such as Mod Podge)

Piece of glass that snuggly fits inside tray base (make sure the glass fits, and can be removed, before you begin the project)



1. Pour a small amount of decoupage glue onto the plate, and use a paint brush to spread a thin layer of the mixture inside the bottom of the tray and place paper on top. This is your background (dark colors generally work best).

2. Cut out family photos and arrange them inside the tray. Round out sharp corners or cut around photo subjects for a collage look. Overlapping pictures helps.

3. Settle on your layout. Starting with the largest pictures, pick them up one by one, and, using the paintbrush, glue the photos into place on the paper background. Use a thin layer of decoupage glue for this.

4. Decorate the tray with whatever stickers, markers, cutout magazine words, etc., that suit your fancy.

5. Apply a thin layer of decoupage mixture on top of the artwork, covering the entire surface.

6. Before it dries, carefully place the piece of glass on top, making sure it sits on the bottom of the tray, and press. If a few places appear cloudy, don't worry. The decoupage eventually will dry clear, even under the glass.


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