Vanity Tray Makeover with Lace & Mod Podge

May 28, 2013Allison Murray

Today we’re going to work on a really simple vanity tray makeover with Mod Podge!

Vanity Tray Makeover with Lace & Mod Podge

Welcome to Mod Podge Week Project #4! I think that growing up we all had a friend who had a fancy mother. The kind who doesn’t really know how to cook and has all of her perfumes in fancy aerators. The kind who keeps those fancy perfumes on a gorgeous mirrored vanity tray on their honest to goodness vanity. With a little bench and all of that fancy schmancy lady stuff!

I remember seeing my friend’s mother getting ready to go to work or out with her friends and always thinking of how glamorous she was. Even today I equate that vanity and vanity tray with sophistication and elegance.


Roaming through a thrift store (which screams elegance, right?) I found this little vanity tray that had seen far better days. They wanted $3.98 for it and although the mirror was aged and spotted I picked it up. I probably partially purchased it because after I started carrying it around a lady followed me to see if I was going to ditch it.

The plan? Clean up the metal and remove the strange orange and brown stains and cover the mirror with lace to hide the spots but still have bits of mirror peering through. Sounds simple enough.

Vanity Tray Makeover with Lace & Mod Podge

I get this thing home and it’s basically a nightmare. The metal won’t clean up and the bottom of the thing used to be felted and now it’s stained my jeans a weird brown color. I scrape the nasty off of the bottom and try cleaning the metal again only to realize that the cardboard underneath is starting to bubble. So no go on the cleaning.

Basically what you see here isn’t exactly what I had pictured when I was DIYing my little thrifty item in my head. I wanted clean, simple and elegant and instead I got bright and attention grabbing. But you know what? For all intents and purposes, this thing probably should have been trashed instead but it works and I’m pretty darn happy with it. Rock on plan b!

For this project you will need:

Vanity Tray Makeover with Lace & Mod Podge

First things first, we need to cut our lace the same shape as the tray. But if you’ve ever tried cutting lace in a shape you know it can be a nightmare. So take your piece of cardboard and cover with a piece of wax paper.

Now to avoid that whole little jiggly fabric problem we’re going to dunk our cut of lace into the Mod Podge matte. Get the entire piece of lace wet with Mod Podge and wring out the excess back into the jar.

Vanity Tray Makeover with Lace & Mod Podge

Take your lace and spread it out over your cardboard. But be smarter than me and make sure your wax paper side is up or you’ll be pulling cardboard that sticks to the lace off of the backside for the better part of an hour.

Vanity Tray Makeover with Lace & Mod Podge

After your lace is dried and firm take a marker and trace the outer edge of your tray.

Vanity Tray Makeover with Lace & Mod Podge

Cut just inside of the traced line about the approximate thickness of the edge of the frame. Place to be sure it fits inside and trim as needed for a snug fit.

Vanity Tray Makeover with Lace & Mod Podge

So here’s the part where we bypass the nightmare of trying to clean the uncleanable and move on to where I thought that my sister would love it if it were neon. Enter hot pink spray paint!

Vanity Tray Makeover with Lace & Mod Podge

To be honest I was pretty irritated that my plans had been derailed and so I didn’t tape the mirror off as well as I should have. I used a razor blade to scrape the mirrored surface perfectly clean.

Vanity Tray Makeover with Lace & Mod Podge

Now we’re going to affix the lace to the mirror of the tray. I used glossy to keep from dulling the mirrored surface underneath. You may have noticed that I used matte to make the lace stiff but that was simply because I had far more matte than gloss at the time. Either will work for that.

Vanity Tray Makeover with Lace & Mod Podge

After the lace was dry I poured on a decent coat of Mod Podge hard coat and smoothed it out with a brush into the nooks and crannies of the lace. It took me two fairly thick coats but I was able to level out the tray’s surface. You may only want to do a coat or two to make the tray easier to clean. I worried about powdered makeup and what not finding its way into the lace and not being able to remove it which is why I went thick and heavy. But note, that also eliminated a lot of the mirror’s reflective properties.

Go ahead and on your last coat, hit the metal up (if spray painted) to protect the painted surface from little dings and scratches.

Vanity Tray Makeover with Lace & Mod Podge

And there she is, all finished up and looking considerably better than when I purchased her. Neon is in and I will always absolutely adore lace. What do you think, are you digging it or would you have gone a different color? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Oh, and just in case you’ve missed out on this whole little crazy Mod Podge experiment I’ve cooked up check out post #1 – Mod Podge & Gift Wrap Lamp at Mom Spark. #2 Mod Podge Outlet Covers. #3 Mod Podge Lace Vases.

Written by Allison Murray - Visit Website

Comments (4)

  • adhaincroi

    June 8, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    Awesome I picked up on almost identical to yours also in a thrift store last week. Washed it but it was pretty beat up so I retfurbed mine with guilders paste and topped it with a coat of Renaissance wax….the mirror wasn't in such bad shape but I took some glass etch to it and a stencil and it came out very pretty…lol all I need now is a vanity/dressing table as we say in the UK to put it on….Yours looks so fun I hope your sister loved it

  • Allison Murray

    June 9, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    Ooh, I wish I'd have thought of glass etch. I forget that a mirror is glass! I'll keep my eyes open for something mirrored to play with that on. I'm sure yours is lovely!

  • adhaincroi

    June 10, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    I have to say the guilders paste is also very useful if you have never tried it… is where I got mine and she also has a youtube where she does plenty of how to videos…I make jewelry but it sort of spills over onto anything shiny or blingy …I am a bit like a magpie..and you can incorporate quite a lot of sewing and fiber crafts and many other components also so its a wide range of toys to play with…loving you blog thanks L

  • Allison Murray

    June 10, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    I've never used guilder's paste but I'll give that a go sometime. My parents always told my sister and I that we were like monkeys. Always drawn to shiny things :)

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