Also visit

A hodgepodge of accessories strewn on top of a dresser or counter feels like clutter, but a trinket tray magically transforms them into a curated collection.

Clearly defined borders are the key to corraling your prized possessions into a nice, tidy display. Add a favorite pattern or color, and your tiny tray can make a pretty big design statement too.

In my case, I needed something to organize a few pieces of jewelry that I wear daily, as well as a couple of skincare products that I apply religiously. Since I had some oven-bake clay left over (from this project and this one), I made a simple tray and painted it with a stylish checkerboard pattern. Now my things are easier to access and prettier to look at.

Ready to make one for yourself? Order all of the supplies online and pencil it in for an easy and enjoyable afternoon craft session. 




Work the clay in your hands for a few minutes to warm and make it more malleable, and then roll flat on a piece of parchment paper until it’s approximately 1/2-inch thick. Tip: I used a clay color called “Translucent” because it takes on a pink marble-like finish after it bakes.



Cut out a rectangle with an X-acto knife, using a ruler as a guide. I cut my rectangle to be 9 inches long and 5 inches wide.



Pinch around the perimeter of the rectangle to create a lip around the entire tray. If you’ve ever made a pie or tart crust, it’s similar.



Run your fingertip around the lip to smooth. It doesn’t have to be perfect but think less pie crust and more artisanal tray.



Carefully lift the parchment paper and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. Let cool completely for about 30 minutes.



Use a ruler and pencil to lightly draw a grid pattern on the tray. I made each square 1.1 inches by 1.1 inches to give me eight rows on the long side and four rows on the shorter side.



Use a fine-tip paintbrush to paint the squares with your desired colors. I opted to paint every other square with a beige color, and left the remaining squares unpainted because I wanted the pink marble-esque pattern to show. Let the first coat dry for 15 minutes, and then paint a second coat. Tip: If you need to clean up any paint lines or edges, use a cotton swab dipped in nail polish remover.



Let the second coat of paint dry, and then spray a clear topcoat over the entire tray to protect the paint.



Once the topcoat has dried for about an hour, you can style up your new tray!

*If you purchase something using one of the links in this article, we may earn a commission (at no cost to you). Rest assured we only recommend products we’ve vetted and loved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


We are no strangers to DIY home renovations at Semihandmade. After all, that’s where the idea for making doors for IKEA kitchen systems came from. So naturally, we had to dedicate an entire section of SemiStories to celebrating our design community’s ingenuity, from DIY kitchen ideas to thinking of smaller details like rattan glassware and easy-to-make wall hangings. Don’t just take it from us: we’ve tapped the best in the business. Anita Yokota shared her best trick for a $20 bathroom renovation, Jessica D’Itri Marés shared her favorite spray painter, and Jenna LeBlanc showed us how to give wall-to-wall storage a custom touch. Maybe you’re just dipping your toes in the world of do-it-yourself, in which case we recommend starting small: try your hand at making your own speckled candle holders, for example, or give your greenery an updated home with pretty stacked planters. If you have a handy side (maybe you’ve put together DIY kitchen cabinets or are not afraid to use a power tool), we have projects for you too: painting a hand-painted mural is a fun way to give your favorite room some life or maybe you’re game to try putting together your own TV cabinet like Sarah Sherman Samuel did (PS: she saved thousands in the process). Experts, we’ve got you covered too: from learning to tile and grout your own backsplash to painting your cabinets without a hitch, we have plenty of DIY kitchen renovation ideas to keep you busy. We don’t stop at the kitchen either: from wall-to-wall media centers to fluted doors made for playroom storage, you’ll find ideas to improve every room in the house