DIY: Bar Tray from a RIBBA Frame

I am in love with the styled bar carts all over Pinterest. Who isn’t? But when you already have a full-on bar in your apartment, adding a bar cart is a bit overkill. My family already thinks I’m an alcoholic. (I swear I’m not, Aunt Tracy!) 

As much as I love my bar, I’d mostly neglected it as of late, and the middle display cabinet had become storage for knick-knacks I couldn’t find a place for. Exhibit A:

oldbarSo I decided to clean the whole thing out and use some of that Pinspiration to set up a vignette of my own.

The problem: $10 budget. The solution: Work with what you have! (The other problem is taking pictures of something that has a mirror behind it… don’t judge! These aren’t the best.)

DSC00475The common denominator in the bar cart pics I liked was a serving tray. It added visual interest to break up (metaphorically) a bunch of glassware. But not only was I limited on budget, I was also limited on size: It had to be less than 10 inches wide for it to fit in the cabinet and the glass door to still be able to close.

I looked and looked and the closest thing I could find at the right size was a bathroom tray. But it looked… well, like a bathroom tray.

So I got creative! How many of those trays do you think are actually used for serving people? Hardly any, right? They’re decorative. So I just needed something that resembled a tray. Who needs handles anyway?

I’ve been on a big organizing kick (more on that later), and so I just happened to also be cleaning out my closet, where I store a lot of (other) household things that are looking for a home or are seasonal. Low and behold, a RIBBA frame falls into my lap—quite literally. (Luckily, the glass didn’t break!) And it was the PERFECT size.

DSC00472Here’s how to make your own:

1. Remove everything from the frame, including the glass. (Sometimes they’re glued a bit in the corners so be careful! Some GooGone will remove any residue left over.) You can throw out the mat or reuse elsewhere.

2. Remove the arm from the backing (it’s just glued on), so all you’re left with is the thin piece of particle board. There will be two small holes, but nobody is ever going to see those anyway. Put the board, holes down, back in the frame.

3. Cut decorative paper to size and place on top of the board in the frame. Scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, a scrap of fabric, something cut out of a magazine—almost anything will work!

4. Place the glass on top of the paper/fabric. And ta-da! That’s it. You have yourself a customized serving tray in less than 10 minutes.

DSC00473Now, you could definitely get more involved than this. For instance, there’s little metal clasps around the outside of the frame that are used to hold the picture in and the back on. You could get a pair of pliers and remove those or flatten them. They’re generally pretty hard to see though once the board, paper and glass are all back in there.

I’d also suggest adding a few of those stick-on felt buffers (you usually put them on furniture legs so they don’t scratch up wood flooring) on the front of the frame for good measure.

DSC00480I already had all this stuff, so essentially the cost for me was free, but let’s say you had to buy everything: It’d still come out to under $10!

Frame, $4.99
Paper, $3.99 (we’ll pretend it’s fancy paper)

barnewLuckily, the RIBBA series comes in black and white, and a few different sizes so it should be easy to find a “tray” that works for you. (Not to mention the endless possibilities if you bring spray paint and/or washi tape into the mix.)

Have you done any projects with RIBBA frames?

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