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Buy vs. DIY: Modern Mirrored Serving Tray

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of mirrored serving trays over here at Celebrations. Our own Paula Biggs featured a beautiful one in her Sophisticated New Year’s Eve Centerpiece tutorial, and I’ve added it to our list of holiday serving essentials.

They are an elegant way to display candles, cocktail glasses or other trinkets, and can be used as a piece of chic home décor or a staple in entertaining. But as much as we love mirrored serving trays, even the plainest ones can cost you an arm and a leg.


DIY: From Trash to Treasure (Literally)

Luckily, making your own isn’t as complicated as it may seem. Jane, middle school teacher and founder of the fab DIY blog Urbane Jane, was inspired to make her own mirrored tray after seeing a white modern serving tray at a local bookstore.

As fate may have it, she spotted a dingy tray on the side of the street, ready to be picked up by the garbage truck. But Jane saw the trash and knew it could be a treasure, so she and her husband scooped it up, brought it home and she got to crafting.

Before: Jane's tray rescued from the trash

Although she saw the beauty in the beast, the tray was covered in a layer of fake wood that had to go.

“I decided to peel off the layer of fake-wood paper that it was covered with, and did so by giving it a soak in the bath tub,” she says. “With a bit of scrubbing, it seemed to peel off well, and it revealed the drabby grey underneath. At least I knew I could spray paint it and not have the paint peel off with the paper with use.”

With a clean slate, Jane painted the tray all white (a color she knew her husband would also like). But she immediately knew something was missing.

“I thought that leaving it white would be a little too typical, and seeing as I love adding touches of glam throughout the house, whether through sparkly items, or spray painting as many things gold as my husband will let me get away with, I thought about the tray at the bookstore,” she reveals.

"And knew I wanted a mirrored tray.”


Mirror, Mirror in the Tray

To get the mirror size she needed, Jane called several custom-cut glass and mirror companies to see if they could deliver what she wanted at a reasonable price. Luckily, she found a place that would cut a mirror to size and glue it to the tray for just $10. It only took a couple days to be completed, and Jane says she “couldn’t be happier” with how it turned out.

After: Jane's finished white mirrored tray

“One thing I love about the tray is that it is extremely versatile, and classic. It doesn't matter what season or holiday, it always shows well, and gives ordinary tea light holders, or a simple vase with a flower that extra touch of sparkle.”

And with the holidays coming up, she plans on decorating her tray with textured mercury glass, tea light holders, ornaments and some greenery.

For $10, Jane says the project was well worth the work, especially for a fifth of the price of the trays she had been admiring. This creative blogger got the tray for free, had some spray paint already on hand and just needed to pay for the custom-cut glass.

So what did she learn from this project?

“Always be open to where inspiration strikes –even if it means grabbing someone else's garbage,” Jane says. “Sometimes the best and most timeless pieces in our home have come from the least likely of places.”


Buy: Modern Mirrored Trays for Sale

If you’re not lucky enough to find some usable trays in the garbage, or just don’t feel like committing to a full-fledged DIY project, there are several options available for purchase.


Inexpensive: Target, $39.99

Target has a simple white mirrored tray, in a square shape that’s a good size – 14-by-14 inches. But since it’s made from wood composite, you might be better saving on the $40 price tag and making your own.


Mid-Range: Carlyle Avenue, $120

This chrome rectangular mirrored tray from Carlyle Avenue is definitely a gorgeous and unique piece, and is a versatile option to display cocktail glasses, liquor bottles or other home décor trinkets. $120 on CarlyleAvenue.com.


High-End: Neiman Marcus, $360

For an all-over mirrored look, Neiman Marcus has a large mirrored serving tray by Regina-Andrew design. It’s a gorgeous and glamorous décor piece, but for $360, it’s definitely an investment.



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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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