DIY Inspirational Quote Tray

| August 12, 2013 | 1 Comment

This easy DIY project creates a beautiful tray with a motivational quote on it. It’s perfect for keeping you inspired all day long.

DIY Inspirational Quote Tray | Motivational Quotes

In a few short weeks, I will have two kids in school full-time. I can hardly believe it. Of course, they will be on different school schedules, but that’s okay. It comes with the hidden bonus that they each get an hour alone with me each day. That alone washes away any nerves I had about the thought of starting the day at 6:30 to spend two hours getting kids off to school. Because those two hours, one with each child? That’s precious time.

I can’t wait.

tray in use

I also can’t wait for the luxury of creating a work schedule that meshes with my personality. It will include a lot of time spent writing, pitching, promoting, etc. But it will also include an hour of wind-down time. Just me, a book, a light lunch and some tea. And it was with that in mind that I created this DIY Inspirational Quote Tray. For about $5, it’s perfect for holding everything I need for that time — which is a much-need bit of quiet in my hectic (and hopefully super-productive) life.

For my tray, I chose my very favorite motivational quote from Walt Disney: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Want to make your own? Here are a few tips to get you going …

How to Create a Fabulous DIY Tray

  1. Plan Ahead. Nothing derails a project more than being all gungho and realizing that you forgot to buy paint brushes. Or you are out of paint. Or just plain winging it. Making a plan sets the whole project in motion in the right direction.
  2. Color, Color, Color. Look, I know you are wild for the 27 colors in your acrylic paint collection, but seriously? You need to choose just a few to work with on each project. More importantly, make sure you match them up so that everything you do is deliberate. Also, limit how many you use. Unless you are looking to create something worthy of Rainbow Brite’s serving piece cabinet, you’ll want to limit your color choices to 2-3.
  3. Take Your Time. What’s the rush? As the old story goes, slow and steady win the race. So, work carefully and slowly and make every paint stroke count.
  4. Keep it Simple. Believe me, I know how tempting it is to play with the pearlized, glittered, bejeweled stuff in your craft cabinet. But for pieces you can be proud of, you’ll want to keep the whole project simple.

And now, the directions to make it …

DIY Inspirational Quote Tray

You’ll need:

  • 1 unfinished wooden tray
  • 2-3 colors of acrylic paint
  • brushes
  • a quote
  • Mod Podge Super Hi-Shine Sealer Spray

(Hint: Looking for the perfect motivational quote for you? Check out 15 Inspirational Quotes for Goal-Chasers, Dreamers and Anyone Totally Going For It for ideas)


the tray

Set the tray on a surface that won’t be ruined by painting, such as newspaper or cardboard. Working outside works too. Using the paint, first paint the tray all over with one color. You will need 2-3 coats to fully cover it.


Using a fine brush, paint the quote onto the tray, taking care to place it as you want it. If necessary, lightly write with pencil before painting — though you may not need to do that.

Tray in Progress

Paint any details, such as the two line details, on the tray, as desired.

DIY Inspirational Quote Tray 2

Spray all over with 2-3 coats of Mod Podge Super Hi-Shine Sealer Spray. Let dry completely. Enjoy.

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Category: DIY, Inspiration

About the Author ()

Sarah W. Caron is a freelance writer, editor and recipe developer. She lives in Maine with her two kids. And she loves the beach, writing and good books ...

Comments (1)

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  1. Heather says:

    Love this quote and your tray looks so beautiful! Thanks for sharing at Project Inspired!! Pinned to our group pinboard for some extra luv! Heather

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