Serving Tray Tutorial and a Hot Chocolate Station


 Before this HOT CHOCOLATE STATION was possible I had to create the perfect serving tray.  I love trays.  They make nice little vignettes on your counter or tabletops when combined with a few accessories.  And it's so easy to move them to another location if you end up needing the space.  They can be coordinated with the colors and style of any room.  You may have seen my first serving tray here.  These trays started out life as unfinished oak cabinet doors.  We were lucky to find a bunch of these doors being sold at an amazing price and of course we snatched them up.  So many possibilities!

I decided to finish this tray in a distressed black, so I gave it a couple coats of semi-gloss black paint and let it dry.  Then I started my search for the perfect words or saying.  I quickly settled on Galatians 5:22-23.  Isn't it nice!?  So I went to work printing my version of the quote in several different fonts.  I decided against cutting these words on my Cricut...either in vinyl or card stock.  Because of the thin, small letters it would have been a disaster trying to cut, arrange and adhere all of these letters.  Instead I printed up my words in the text size I wanted, then I placed the words where I wanted them on my board:

I traced over them with a ball point pen and heavy pressure.  This left slight indentations of the words on the board.  SEE:

Please forgive the flash glare!  I wanted to make sure I got a shot of the words traced into the board.  You can see them if you look closely.

It took a few LONG minutes to get all of the words traced onto the board.  My hand was a bit achy from the pressure I was putting into it! 

At this point, I was going to get out a very fine point paintbrush and some white craft paint, but I remembered the white Pen-touch Fine Point Paint Pen I got for writing on photographs.  I think this was a lifesaver.  I'm having a hard time imagining painting all of these words with a tiny little paintbrush.  I only wish the Pen-touch could have written a tad bit finer.  Either that or I should have done a slightly larger text size!  Although I didn't want to have the text overpower the tray.

Here's what it looked like once all of the text had been gone over with the white paint pen:

Not perfect, but I'm going to rough it up a bit anyway.  I don't like having things looking too new and "perfect" around here.  With all of the kids and activities that go on, I would be a wreck worrying about things getting messed up!

You can believe that at this point my hand was EXTREMELY ACHY.  I do believe it was stuck in a writing position for the rest of the evening.  Sigh...the things we do for our creativity...

After the text was finished I pulled out one of those sanding sponges and distressed the corners, edges, and even roughed up the top a bit where the text is. 

All there was left to do was add my accessories and ingredients for the HOT COCOA STATION:
(The dishes and accessories were all taken from other areas in our home.  We were able to create this without the purchase of any new accessories.  Yay for shopping your own home!!!)
Cocoa, Mini Marshmallows and Candy Canes!  Mmmmm...

Then came some fun Christmas Mugs:
I added in my little Santa Bell...he just seemed to go here. 
I swear, you'd think Starbucks pays me!  Quite the opposite, I tell you.

Our Snowman Cookie Jar:
I LOVE this guy...he holds yummy surprises  :)
 So here is my newest tray, with an inspiring quote, finished with some distressing and white ceramic and silver pulls as handles.  All ready to offer up some hot chocolaty goodness:

My kids are sooo going to love this!  I can't wait for them to see it.


I cannot take complete credit for this idea.  Although the designing and creating of the serving tray was all my own and my accessories are completely different than any others I've seen, I was inspired by Someone Else's hot chocolate station.  Creating our very own HOT CHOCOLATE STATION has been on my to-do list since I spotted a darling little cocoa space created in the kitchen at Sweet Something Designs. You'll have to go take a look at Michelle's house all decked out for Christmas and see what else she's been up to.   Michelle has a beautiful design style and her blog is well worth the visit.  :)   Just click the link here  to open Sweet Something Designs in another window.  Maybe even leave her a message and tell her Sherry from Pondered Primed Perfected sent you.  ;)

 Enjoy a sweet treat with your loved ones today,

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  1. Sherry, Thank you so much for your kind words and the link back! I love your tray and snowman candy jar!

  2. You did an awesome job on the tray! Your letters came out so well! I love the idea of a hot chocolate tray. My kids would love this even more! Did your kids squeal when they saw it?!

  3. So Awesome! It almost has a "Chalkboard" look to it. I love the fact that you used cabinet doors, perfect for re-purposing. Come check out my site and follow me and I will follow you back.

  4. So much fun but so much work. I do love a frugal start to finish project. This is a great jumping off point for future inspiration. Thanks. Jo @ Let's Face the Music

  5. Love how this turned out. Thanks for sharing with my newbie party.

  6. Love your trays! I'm a tray lover also and have painted a few myself. They make great teacher gifts~

  7. A ball-point pen. You're a genius! I don't unfortunately have a cricut machine as much as I'd like one so I've experimented with other ways to get neat pretty designs on things. Some work...some, not so much. I'd never thought to just trace the design with pressure first and then use that as my guide. Thanks for the inspiration! I love your tray and that hot chocolate station! So cute! I too love trays. There's just something about them that begs for decoration.

  8. Such an adorable idea! The addition of thehandles just puts it over the top . I love it.
    Eileen@ cottage beach house

  9. That is so cute!! What a fun piece to have out at any time of the year...it would be perfect for Christmas Eve with the hot chocolate. :) Visiting from Home Stories A to Z. Hope you'll stop by my blog too. :)

  10. Sherry,
    Seriously, you are a creative genius. This is the cutest station ever. Man you have me thinking about the perfect people I could make one of these for. Thanks to you I will be taking out my Cricut machine I begged my hubby for last Christmas and never used (Shhhhhh don't tell him that...lol). Oh please link this post to our What's it Wednesday linky party as well.

    Paula, your newest follower.

  11. I'm suddenly craving hot chocolate :) Your tray looks amazing! I can't believe you wrote the quotes out by hand, that's real DIY love. Beautiful job!

  12. The hot chocolate tray looks so festive and whimsical. I LOVE it!

  13. Your tray is really great. So often I see signs or craft projects with words and I automatically assume they were made with a fancy die cut machine. I will definitely give this project a try. Thanks for sharing.

  14. so so cute!!!! And I am just drooling over those pens-----I need to find one NOW! I have been wishing for one wayyyy to long!!! :o) so so cute.

  15. I just found a different project on Pinterest that I wanted to try, but couldn't figure how to transfer the text. Thanks for the hand numbing tutorial!

    I love how your tray turned out - as well as your cocoa station. We'll be having a cocoa station this Christmas as well.

    Merry Christmas to you - I'm stopping by from the No Minimalist Here Open House Party.


  16. Fantastic idea!!! I'm "middle-aged" now with the occasional tangle with arthritis in my hands, so it may not be the project for me. For those young people whose bodies haven't started to turn on them yet, however, I think it would be a wonderful project to do!!! It looks absolutely expert! Congratulations on a job VERY well done...and your cocoa station looks great! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  17. Really great idea. Your's is one of the cutest stations I have seen, love the writing. It looks really nice with the black background. Very good job. Thanks for sharing at Sunday's Best and wishing you Happy Holiday's.

  18. Aren't you just the best? I love the tray and a big thank you for showing us how you did the lettering. I have had my trials with my silhouette when it comes to smaller letters too. I really like the look of white lettering on black and I am always looking for a good white pen. Some are too transparent and I have been so disappointed with the Sharpie paint pens because they dry out so fast. Thanks so much for the link up of your post to this week's Motivated Monday at BeColorful.

  19. This is completely lovely! Such a sweet idea. I would love for you to share this at my special holiday linky party going on right now! http://everything-underthemoon.blogspot.com/2011/12/12-days-of-christmas-holiday-linky.html

    Happy Holidays to you and yours!!
    ~Nikki ...xoxo

  20. Just wanted you to know I featured your post on this week's Motivated Monday at BeColorful.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

  21. Your hot chocolate station is adorable, Sherry. But it is your lovely serving tray - with its sweet sentiment - that makes it so special. ;)

    Thanks for linking to Time Travel Thursday. Hope to see you each week. Be sure to stop by tonight, and see yourself featured.

    Liz @ The Brambleberry Cottage

  22. My husband will love this!!! He's a hot chocolate addict. :)

  23. I know this is an old post, but where can I find the adorable snowman cookie jar? I must have it!