Secret Santa Thrift Flip–The Tell-Tale Tray

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m sure you’re looking forward to the weekend like we are. Michael will be putting the finishing touches on Claire’s tack trunk, which is essentially a hope chest to store her saddle and barn supplies. He used the power tools he received for Christmas and now all I can think is, “What can I talk him into building for me?” I’ve dropped numerous subtle hints that I want a large wooden dining table for the back porch. This is how our most recent conversation went:

S-I have an idea of what you can build next. We could really use a nice dining table on the back porch.

M-I already told you I don’t know how to build a table.

S-Don’t worry. I half-listened to a building presentation at a blogging conference. I remember something about flipping every other board. It’s going to be fine.

M-[mumble, mumble] [exit scene]

I’ll show you pictures of two of his projects on Monday. He sells himself short with his woodworking skills, and no, none of it’s rubbed off on me yet.

Do you remember when I did the Secret Santa swap, hosted by my sweet blogging friend Sara last month? Included in our package was a thrift store item that we were supposed to somehow flip or repurpose. Now, I don’t remember this part when I signed up to participate. I was evidently too focused on the “getting presents” bit. Thrifting isn’t my thing, and I’m fairly certain that the Frisco Resale is where I contracted a nasty case of pink eye, because my other stop that day was Target, and Target wouldn’t dream of giving me an infectious disease.

Amanda, my Secret Santa, sent me the most wonderful assortment of gifts, including this lovely little tray. It’s so pretty and I never see stuff like this at the thrift store. Never.

Kromex trayThe tray has an interesting history. It’s a vintage Kromex piece, popular during the 50s and early 60s. The tray is made of chrome, which was the “it” material of the mid-century period. Chrome found its way into furniture, cars, and even serving pieces. Kromex products were only produced for a short period of time, and while they aren’t considered rare, it’s a nice piece of history to own.

Watertown NY Daily Times 1965 Oct Grayscale - 0412 (1)jpegI had a month to come up with some way to reinvent the tray. It sat on my counter like a crafting Tell-Tale Heart, so I put it in the cabinet for a while and hoped for inspiration to strike. I couldn’t think of anything that would improve upon the already pretty little tray, or think of another purpose that would do the tray justice. Thoughts included painting it, which seemed a mortal sin, or making it into a jewelry holder that I didn’t need. Also a mortal sin. (Thump, thump. Thump, thump.)

I took the tray back out of the cabinet and consulted friends and family, then summarily dismissed their suggestions. Make it into a candle (???), key holder with hooks, belt buckle (because everything’s bigger in Texas)–and the tray sat some more, the heartbeat growing louder and louder as the post deadline loomed. Then suddenly I knew what to do.

Kromex trayNothing.

Sure, I polished it up a little bit. But I loved the tray when I first saw it and found no need to alter it in any way. The tray can do a few remarkable things just as it is.

tray with flowersIt makes a pretty holder for bud vases and fresh flowers.

soap and tray 1It can make a guest feel special and welcome in our home.

tray with notecardAnd it can be a lovely little spot to hold my note cards, gently prodding me to put pen to paper every now and again. I’d like to think I’m the kind of person who can find hidden beauty in something and bring it to light when needed.

flowersBut I’d much rather be the kind of person who knows when something is beautiful just as it is.

Now please go and see what my infinitely more creative friends made, because I know I sent Sara a thrift item that wasn’t beautiful in its original state. (I thought she would enjoy a challenge?)

Thrift Collage1. The Dean’s List Blog // 2. Pretty Practical Home // 3. Casa Watkins 4. The Twin Cedars // 5. Our Crafty Mom // 6. Twelve on Main // 7. Creatively Homespun // 8. My Life From Home // 9. Hobnail House // 10. Domicile 37 // 11. Beauteeful Living // 12. Knock it off Crafts 13. Pocket of Posies 14. The Weathered Fox // 15. Shabby Grace Blog

I’ll see you on Monday, and if you haven’t voted in the kitchen quandary yet (look–I learned how to spell that!), speak now or forever hold your peace. Also, don’t forget to enter the Instagram giveaway I’m co-hosting with Lamps Plus. (The contest ends tonight!) Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

24 thoughts on “Secret Santa Thrift Flip–The Tell-Tale Tray

  1. I am so happy that you did not do anything to it. It looks very well taken care. I also like how you styled the piece, the pink flowers compliment the tray nicely…also, you have the best stories!

    1. Thanks! It has just a few minor scratches, but you have to look really hard to see them. I’m glad you like the stories–writing is my favorite part of blogging. 🙂

  2. I love your story Sharon! I laughed out loud at your thrift store story! Although I am sorry that happened. Your tray is beautiful just the way it is! I’m glad you didn’t change it! I don’t know if I would have been able to change it either!


    1. Thanks, Cat! I haven’t had pink eye since I was in college, so it was not a good re-introduction into the world of thrifting for me. I might try it again and keep my hands to my side to prevent further issues. 😉

  3. My heart almost stopped when I thought you were going to change it…so glad you didn’t! It’s a beautiful piece and thank you for including the history! Haha – I had to laugh at your conversation with the hubs…I find there are similar ones in my own home! Lol – life of a DIY blogger…

    1. Of course I tell myself that I should figure out how to make stuff myself, but then I cut myself a whole lotta slack because my tagline is “reluctant DIYer” and I plan on riding that as long as possible! No way could I change the little tray–I’d feel like a DIY monster.

  4. I am actually Relieved you didn’t do anything to it! When I found it in the store I thought it was so pretty and never even considered the fact that you were supposed to repurpose it! I love that it came in that bag and with the little paper! I’m sure it looks beautiful in your home!

    1. Ok, that’s what I thought when I saw it! I figured you saw a silver tray and knew I’d like it. I couldn’t bring myself to mess with it but felt bad about breaking the swap rules. I don’t think Sara’s the kind who minds, though. Plus my readers all know that crafting and me don’t mix. Thanks again for the lovely gifts, Amanda!

  5. Wouldn’t it have been funny if I did nothing with my piece and said they were beautiful LOL. Yours IS beautiful and I’m glad you didn’t do anything to it!!! All polished and shiney! It totally looks your style too. And you’re killing me with the pink eye! Lmao!!!

    1. You’re crazy!!! I’ve seen your house too many times to think you’d like those colors! I knew you’d do exactly what you did–make them light and pretty. No more thrift stores for me–drop-off only. 😉

  6. Sharon, you are so right! That tray is just beautiful! I love how you provided the history for us! Also, I can’t wait to see the dining table your husband builds for your deck! What is the saying…happy wife, happy life, lol!

    1. I’m glad you feel the same way about the tray, Michelle. I’ve already picked out a few table plans and hope to be more hands-on for this project. Happy wife, indeed! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    1. It’s taken me 17 years of prodding and complaining to get him to this point. 😉 I could probably be a master carpenter by now if I’d just taught myself how to build things. My plan is to take a hands-on approach with the table building. Now my problem is that I prefer the manual tools–yes, it’s more work, but I’m less likely to slice off my finger.

    1. Thanks, Amy! I had a hard time figuring out that it was supposed to be my thrifted item because it was so nice and I said I liked vintage silver pieces.

  7. Cute ideas! I don’t think I’d have altered it either. I’m also pretty sure pink-eye is one of the only things you CAN’T find at Target. I absolutely love knowing the history behind it! Hasn’t this been a blast?

    1. It was most definitely a fun blog hop, Kim! I’m glad to hear so many say they would’ve left the tray alone. Makes my lack of crafting creativity more bearable!

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