Any beer lovers tuning in? If there are… forgive me. I am not a beer drinker (not even a little) so my knowledge of beer and the appropriate language that reflects this world of all things beer is non-existent.
I may not know much about beer, but there is one thing I do know about it. Loyal beer lovers have an entire language and lifestyle that revolve around their favorite brews. So when my brother-in-law and avid beer fan celebrated a birthday recently, I knew that I could try my hand at a craft beer, wait… I mean a beer craft.
Introducing the beer lover’s beverage tray.
How to Make a DIY Beer Tray
This DIY tray is the perfect personalized gift for any beer fan because it can reflect that secret language and those favorite brews you beer lovers spend so much time dreaming about.
Supplies for DIY Beer Tray – Part 1
Circular wood piece (can be found at Home Depot in the lumber aisle for around $5)
Paintbrush/Sponge (or both)
Credit card or old gift card (not pictured but so important to eliminate air bubbles when mod podging)
Printed COLORED labels of your favorite beers (I used google images to find mine and printed two copies of each label)
Steps to Create a DIY Beer Tray
The first thing you should do is cut out each label…I printed two of each of the labels. It’s better to have too many than not enough. Because there is some layering that is involved and awkward sides to cover when folding over the labels, it’s better to have lots of labels at VARYING sizes.
Using mod podge, I attached one label at a time until the entire tray was covered (no rhyme or reason in placing the labels).
Here are a few tips I would recommend when mod podging the labels onto the tray.
Tips for Mod Podge
1. Apply mod podge onto the tray AND onto the label separately, and then place the label onto the mod podged area.
2. After placing the label onto the mod podged area of the tray, use an old credit card or old gift card to eliminate any air bubbles under the label and to secure all sides onto the tray. Some extra mod podge may ooze out of the sides… that is a good thing!
3. If you want, paint some mod podge onto the top or sides of the labels for extra coverage. Trust me… although it looks cloudy, the mod podge will dry CLEAR and will not damage the label, but will make sure the label stays flush against the tray.
4. Folding the labels over the sides of the tray can be tricky. The paper will probably crease along the edges. That is okay! As long as it is not creased on the top of the tray, or as long as there are no air bubbles anywhere…everything is okay. The creases add some character.
5. Make sure you apply mod podge to bottom of the tray before applying a label that will wrap around to the back. Like Tip #1 says, there must be mod podge on both the tray and the label before the two meet.
The sides are awkward when wrapping the labels around. For the few parts that were still bare after wrapping the labels around, I cut some pieces of the remaining labels to size and attached them to each bare location.
Once the entire tray is covered and you are happy with the “design”, paint a full layer of mod podge all over the tray and all over the sides of the tray. I know, I know… this doesn’t sound safe for the paper, but trust me, the tray will dry CLEAR. You will NEED this layer of mod podge to protect the paper before moving onto the next steps, so do not skip the top layer of mod podge.
Before moving on to the next step, let your tray dry OVERNIGHT.
Now, it’s time to add some handles to your tray and WATERPROOF your tray so it can hold drinks, resist spills, and be a part of any patio party without a problem.
Okay, now it’s time to drill your holes for the handles. Make sure to drill from the top of the tray down, this will help eliminate the possibility of your labels ripping. Once you drill the holes, insert the screws on the back and use the screwdriver to secure the handles. Try to tighten the handles enough so that they are flush with the back of the tray and the tray can sit on a tabletop without wobbling. You can also use a countersink bit so the screw is pushed in a bit more.
I decided to attach the tray’s handles BEFORE the pour-on glaze because I didn’t think it would be a good idea to drill into the glazed surface after the fact.
Finally, all that is left to do is to waterproof this baby!!
This part was definitely a little intimidating at first. I am not at all familiar with pour on glaze and knowing that this step was “make or break” made me extremely nervous.
After doing a little research about pour on glaze, I kept finding one tip: MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS EXACTLY.So that’s exactly what I did. I read the directions several times and literally followed them to a T.
The super glaze that I used instructed me to use three plastic cups and a wooden stir stick. The directions were extremely detailed and very clear. I poured the two mixtures accordingly, followed the precise stirring times and directions, and worked as carefully as I could.
Now that I’ve lived through super glazing, I would give the same advice: Follow the directions EXACTLY and you will be okay. But I would also add…wear gloves, open a window, and be ready to let your project sit for at least 72 hours (yup, that baby isn’t going anywhere fast).
72 hours of “curing” later, my DIY beer tray was completely waterproof & ready to be served to the birthday boy!
This picture shows the “glazed” or finished look that the super glaze created. The stuff is seriously amazing!!
Who needs craft beer when you have beer crafts?! Cheers!