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Make a Fall Tray with Buttons

Add a fall tray to your Thanksgiving table with this easy DIY tutorial.
1 day 4 hours
Total Time 1 day 4 hours
Author Angie Holden

What You Will Need

  • Assorted buttons
  • Tray mine came from the thrift store
  • DecoArt Americana Gloss Enamel Paint Antique Gold you can use the color of your choice
  • Beacon 3-In-1 Advanced Craft Glue
  • Alumilite Amazing Clear Cast
  • Paintbrush
  • Lighter or hairdryer


Step 1: Paint

  • Start by giving the tray a few coats of the gloss enamel paint of your choice.  I like the shine that the gloss enamels give this project.  It took me two coats to get the tray properly covered.  After the paint had dried and cured, I started laying out various buttons into a pattern I liked.

Step 2: Add Buttons

  • I chose a fall tree with falling leaves but you can make any fall scene you would like on your tray.  Don't want a fall tray?  Try another pattern with buttons on the bottom of the tray to match your home decor or the season. I even made one for summer here. Glue the buttons in place with adhesive.  TIP:  Try to pick flat buttons as you will be covering with epoxy and don't want to have any sticking up.

Step 3: Cover with Epoxy

  • Once the glue was completely dry, I mixed a two-coat epoxy to make my tray nice and smooth.  Don’t be afraid of epoxy!  Just mix and pour according to the package directions.  I spent quite a bit of time using a flame (in my case a lighter) to pop bubbles that come up from the epoxy itself and the buttons.  You can use a hairdryer set on low as well but be very careful.  Yes, my finished project still has a few bubbles but overall it looks amazing.  The buttons seem to create more bubbles than is normal with an epoxy project.
  • The epoxy on your tray needs to dry for at least 24 hours before you even touch it.  Don't be tempted!!  You will ruin your amazing project.  You will be left with a glass like surface that has a button mosaic embedded inside.  I love this tray!  If you find some of your buttons stick up out of the epoxy, you can do a second pour.  Just follow the directions for that in your epoxy packaging.