However, the problem we have always had with this fabric ottoman is that there is no place to put a plate of food or a drink – a big issue when we entertain. I have used a couple of small trays and even a framed mirror:
but with three kids I worried about this option – they are not exactly gentle, my cherubs. So the mirror went onto a wall, where the darlings are less likely to shatter it, and I was back to my ottoman issue.
I simply could NOT find a tray that was big enough and within my budget. So what’s a girl to do but build her own tray? When I recently “inherited” some nautical charts from my parents-in-law, I realized one of them would be perfect in size and color for my tray project! The end result is super functional as well as bringing a little personality to our family room.
This is a really easy project for a newbie carpenter, just a few cuts and joins!
HOW I BUILT THIS MAP TRAY
1 | I bought a piece of 1/4″ oak plywood – oak because it seemed to be the most non-warped of the plywoods, but birch is another great option because it’s smooth. I had the plywood sheet cut down to a smidgen bigger than the map in the store.
2 | Then I sanded the edges and Mod Podged the map onto the the plywood. I also coated the top of the map with Mod Podge so the surface of the tray would be protected from spills.
It’s not huge, but big enough for some refreshments, plus it makes the ottoman look less like a twin bed in the middle of our family room, and more like an actual coffee table.