Tips and Guides

7 Creative Ways to Use Trays

Discover fun ways to use trays at home: from carrying, serving, storing, or just plain showing off your home and personal items


We're sure you have trusty trays at home. Aside from being used to serve food, there are fun ways to use these trays. Read on and learn a couple of creative tricks.

Photographed by Vincent Coscolluela

1. Makeup organizer

Your toiletries and makeup don’t have to be scattered about on your bathroom counter. A small but gorgeous tray keeps them neat and gets you in the mood while dolling yourself up.

2. Space for muddy boots and wet shoes

An old, slightly deep serving tray lined with garden pebbles (from hardware and garden stores) make for a practical place to park those wet shoes or muddy boots when you enter the house.

Take note: While the moisture on the tray and pebbles will eventually evaporate, regular cleaning of the tray is still a must.

3. Receptacle for your collections.

An elevated tray is a good platform to display a collection of yours.

4. Dinnerware Storage

When storing dinnerware and other breakable items in your cupboards, putting them on a serving tray makes it easier to take them out when you have company.

5. Book Organizer

Do you love reading books before going to sleep? You may add a colorful try on top of your bedside table to hold your books.

6. Home Office Buddy

Small trays can act as desk organizers for pens, notepads, and other trinkets when placed on the table.

7. Serving Breakfast

Bring in the brekkie on a serving tray with folding legs to keep that cup of coffee and bowl of oatmeal nice and stable – and not on your sheets.

Keep in mind these additional tray ideas:

- Have a condiment tray for all those spices, oils and salad dressings. You can put it on the table during dinner or next to the salad greens for a small salad bar.

- Small trays can act as catchalls for car keys and loose change when placed on the table by the foyer or at the door.

- Constantly baking brownies or cookies? Turn an old baking pan into a tray that can hold what else, but all your baking ingredients.

- Rustproof metal trays can hold your indoor garden. Put pebbles and water (as high as the pebbles) in the tray before putting your small potted plants. Be sure to place the tray where the plants can receive enough sunlight, to water the plants, and replace the tray water when needed.


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