Most of these are Amazon Affiliate links. Any purchases using those links, will result in Amazon paying me a small commision. Fairfield World and Dritz provided me with their products for this project. DecoArt provided me with some of the paint. Fairfield World paid me to create this project. I use these links as references to show you the products I used, if possible.
- Oversized rectangle wood tray - Mine is a Goodwill score
- Black cotton fabric
- Fairfield World Smooth Fusible Interfacing
- Black thread
- 3 Bags of Fairfield World Poly Pellets
- Fairfield World Crafter's Choice Poly-Fil
- 4 Packs of 5/8" Dritz Black Decorative Nails
- DecoArt Media White Gesso
- Fine grit sandpaper
- DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint in:
- Pistachio Mint
- Sea Aqua
- Sea Glass
- Bluegrass Green
- Whispering Turquoise
- Bahama Blue
- Desert Turquoise
- Indian Turquoise
- Turquoise Blue
- Blue Harbor
- Ocean Blue
- True Blue
- Wild Orchid
- Purple Pizzazz
- Dioxazine Purple
- Lamp Black
- Wide flat paintbrush
- Medium flat paintbrush
- Small liner paintbrush
- Cup of water
- Paper towels
- Paper plate
- Krylon clear polyurethane
- Clear quilting ruler
- Dritz blue dressmaker's pencil
- Black marker
- Ironing board
- Straight pins
- Ad Tech two-temp hot glue gun
- Ad Tech multi-temp hot glue sticks
- Dritz Tack hammer
- Dritz Tack remover
1) My tray has black handles that are screwed on. I unscrewed the handles. I set them aside with the screws attached to the handles. If your tray doesn't have handles, skip this step.
2) Flip the tray over. Using the wide flat paintbrush and white gesso, paint the tray back and sides. Let dry and repeat in a different direction. Let fully dry between layers. Once fully dry, sand the surface, to remove any bumps. Use a paper towel to remove the dust. Rinse and dry the paintbrush.
3) Squeeze a little of each paint color, except black, onto one or two paper plates. I used two, because I had too many colors for just one plate.
4) Paint an abstract patchwork using all the colors. I try to balance out the shades. Some colors might need multiple coats until the color is opaque and not streaky. Let the paint dry between coats, for more even coverage. There's no wrong way to do this.
5) Squeeze some black paint onto a paper plate. With the liner brush, paint alternating scales. These are basic curves like you would do to form a D.
6) For the sides, continue the edge colors down in stripes. Rinse and dry the paintbrush between each color. With black, paint semi-evenly spaced stripe lines. I segmented the colored stripes with black lines. The line don't need to be even. We're going for whimsy, not perfection. Rinse and dry the paintbrush. Let the paint dry completely.
7) Shake the Krylon Clear Polyurethane can for 1-2 minutes. Spray a thin even coat on the top and sides. Let dry for 15-30 minutes. If it's humid outside, bring the tray inside to dry. Give the tray a second coat.
8) Screw the handles back onto the tray.
9) Measure the outer tray edge. My tray is 18" by 21.75". Add 5" to each measurement. That made mine 23" by 26.75. On the black cotton, with the ruler and dressmaker's pencil, mark out a rectangle that is the exact tray measurements and another than is the increased measurements. On the Smooth fusible interfacing, mark out a rectangle that is slightly larger than the increased measurements. Cut out all piece.
10) Iron the cotton rectangles flat. Fuse the bigger rectangle to the Smooth rectangle. Fold in the edges 1/2" and iron into place.
11) Load the sewing machine with black thread. Straight stitch 1/4" from the folded edges.
12) On the Smooth side, with the black marker, draw squares 1.5"-2" in at each corner.
13) Fold the corners along those lines, like a dart. Straight stitch down those lines. This boxes out the fabric. Trim the bulk back to 1/4".
14) Center the smaller rectangle inside the Smooth rectangle. Straight pin in place. At the sewing machine, straight stitch around the smaller rectangle's edges, leaving a 6" gap. This is a separation for the Poly-Pellets, so they don't mix with the Poly-Fil.
15) Cut one corner of a Poly-Pellets bag. Pour the pellets into the separation, through the gap. I used three full bags.
16) Straight stitch the gap closed.
17) Center the tray onto the smaller rectangle. Plug in the hot glue gun and add a glue stick. The glue is a temporary hold, before adding nails. Work one side at a time, lifting the tray slightly. Hot glue the fabric edges along the tray sides, overlapping about 1/2"-1". Leave one side open.
18) Stuff the tray and fabric with Poly-Fil.
19) Hot glue that last fabric edge to the tray.
20) Prop the tray up on one side. Starting by a corner, hold one decorative nail with your fingers or pliers. Using the tack hammer, hammer the nail into the wood tray. Repeat by the other corner. Then, the center. I continued to divide the section with nails, to make the nails as evenly spaced as possible. If you wanted these exactly even, measure with the ruler and mark with the dressmaker's pencil. I eyeballed it. Next time, I might measure.
That's all for this project. All week, the Fairfield World Master Makers will be posting their Poly-Pellets challenge projects. I'm currently on vacation and unable to link to those for you all. I'll throw their project links on here, if I can, when I return. Like I mentioned before, you can choose any design and colors you want. I think this design is pretty simple and imperfect, which is great for beginner painters. My tray is oversized, but your tray might be smaller. This project can be scaled to any size. Just remember that smaller trays may not need as many Poly-Pellets to weight the bottom, so use less bags for a small tray. Whatever you're making, have fun with it! Happy Makery!