DIY Cardboard Tray

17 Apr

DIY Cardboard Tray

As I mentioned in a post last week, I have decided to challenge myself by crafting only with objects lying around the house. This week’s challenge was to create a home decor accessory out of fabric. The obvious project would have been to create a throw pillow. However, I didn’t have enough materials and I really wanted to think more innovatively about the challenge.

This past Saturday I decided to do some spring organizing, in particular our two main closets. When you live in an apartment, space is tight and your sanity often depends on how efficiently you’re using your closets. Well my husband and I have been tripping over one too many items lately, so we decided to take a trip to Target and get some organizers. After assembling a shoe shelf, I noticed that the box it came in had real DIY potential. The cardboard was really sturdy and after deconstructing the box a bit, I concluded it could work perfectly as a serving tray. Here are some materials I used for the project:

Project Supplies


  • Cardboard box – preferably one that is really sturdy. Food and cereal boxes may be too thin
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint brush
  • Pencil/Pen
  • Ruler
  • Exacto knife or razor blade to use deconstructing the box
  • Fabric – I used a lightweight cotton

Deconstructing the box:


After deconstructing the box, make sure to save the scrap pieces of cardboard so you can build any missing tray sides. You will also need a large piece of cardboard to cover the inside of the tray. I used Mod Podge to glue the sides together and to adhere the fabric to the cardboard (Tip: Wrap the tray like a present. Lay out a large piece of fabric and place the cardboard tray in the middle of the fabric, bottom side down. Fold the fabric over the sides of the tray.). For a more finished look on the inside, I applied another piece of fabric to a large piece of cardboard the same size as the tray’s bottom. I then popped it into the tray to hide the messy fabric edges.

Finished Tray!

Not too bad for a simple cardboard box and fabric!

Happy crafting!

xoxo, Andi

13 Responses to “DIY Cardboard Tray”

  1. Jamie April 17, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    I love it! I wish I could post pictures in the comments so I could show you the tray I crafted with a picture frame and some cute fabric. It turned out so well that I a small one to use as a soap dish in the bathroom 🙂

    • allputtogether April 17, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

      Sounds cute! You will have to send me a pic sometime!

  2. Jamie April 17, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    *I made a small one (seems I was missing a word)

  3. Cyndi April 18, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    Lining the tray with another piece of finished cardboard is a great idea. Nice finished look.

  4. Melissa April 24, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    Super cute! Love reusing the shelf box.

  5. Rachel | 52 Weeks Project July 11, 2013 at 1:49 am #

    Absolutely adorable. I love your fabric choice!

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