Sometimes the simplest ideas end up being the best ones. And since so many of you mentioned on my recent Instagram poll that you prefer quick and easy projects over the big stuff, today I’m sharing a simple idea with loads of style. Full disclosure, this project isn’t exactly the world’s most innovative DIY, but it is a clever way to reuse something you (probably) already have in your home…
These little DIY trinket trays / jewelry dishes are just upcycled plant saucers and planters! Which means this do-it-yourself idea only requires a couple of materials…
Add personality to terra cotta with colored pencils or chalk and repurpose them as stylish containers for everyday items…jewelry, keys, office items (like pushpins and paperclips), candle holders, etc. Lots of uses for these little guys! And so many pattern / drawing options too.
So for these little dishes and elevated trays, I think the thing that makes them look the coolest is starting with the right shape. A standard saucer leftover from a broken pot, etc is a great option. BUT my favorite? One that has a more streamlined edge (and is higher quality terra cotta – which means a bit more expensive).
Luckily, I’ve already found the perfect source! I’m sure there are others out there if you want to do some research, but I love the planters and saucers from Michiko Shimada. I have purchased several sets in the past (they used to be available on Urban Outfitters, but now they’re on Etsy) and find them to be the perfect size and shape for these little trinket and jewelry dishes / trays. I’m using the smaller size set (called A Set).
- small terra cotta planters and saucers (I like these)
- high quality colored pencils (like Prismacolor) or chalk*
- matte medium or sealant (if desired)
- gorilla glue or similar (optional – only to be used for making elevated trays)
*If you want a non permanent option, use chalk. You can use regular chalk, colored chalk, even chalk pencils for more detailed doodles and patterns. And for a more permanent option, use a high quality colored pencil. The ones you can buy at an art store work great. Or you can buy something like these on Amazon.
For extra protection to your drawings, you can add a layer of matte medium or sealant. I actually prefer the rawness of not sealing the drawings, but that’s just me.
I don’t know if you can really call this a ‘how to’, but here we go…Test out the colors (or practice patterns) on the underside of the piece first. Then, flip over and use colored pencils or chalk to create a pattern or drawing directly onto the surface. Add a sealant if desired (only to be used if you used a high quality colored pencil – wouldn’t recommend using with chalk).
And to create an elevated tray, once the drawings have been completed, attach a generous amount of heavy duty glue (like Gorilla Glue or something similar) to the underside of the terra cotta pot and then attach the saucer to the pot to create an elevated surface for trinkets, etc.
Side Note… I included a few photos that show designs drawn onto ‘regular’ plant saucers that you can find at home improvement stores so you could see what that option looks like as well.
I didn’t like the way they looked quite as much BUT they are more affordable (saucers and planters alone are anywhere from 50 cents to $3 for small sizes. So, if you want to go that route instead, it’s a good budget-friendly option.
Think you’d give this five minute DIY a try? I’d love to know what you think!