Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Car time road tray!

I know, my title makes no sense. But you try coming up with a title for this!
Remember the TRAYS I talked about getting for free at a garage sale?
Well this is what the last one looked like when I was done with it:

I was happy with how it turned out but with not having much time to be creative, I decided to donate the other, larger tray. Then I had an idea!
I’ve wanted to make a Portable picnic play mat that I saw in the FAMILY FUN magazine May edition.
And yes, that is a photograph of the picture I tore out of the mag!
Basically they use a tablecloth, electrician tape, and black contact paper to make it. All fine and dandy until you price all that stuff and realize that do-it-yourself project can easily cost $30. No thank you!
So I had given up the idea (but kept the page) until I realized how much fun I could have with the idea and my donated tray. So I did the forbidden. I pulled the tray out of the donation box! Yes I know, sinner such as I am!
I started by painting it white:
Here you can see the ugly vintage mushroom that used to cover it.
After covering all of it’s former glory up with Kilz primer, (what I had on hand) I stole some of my son’s small cars and measured their width with pencils.
These wooden cars are the ones from his wooden train set.
Then using something to tape the pencil’s together at the right width, in this case I used a cap of a pen. and taped them together.
IMG_1292 IMG_1293
Then I quickly painted the “road” black with acrylic paint, staying inside and on the lines.
I then added some extra roads by freehanding it, making it a touch more complex.
Yellow paint added the road lines
I know, they aren’t perfect.
Then I added a lake. Yes, that is a lake, not a cloud. And I’m proud to say my son recognized it right off!
And some green grass. I didn’t do the whole thing green because I thought that would look a touch overwhelming.
Add the cars


And for a nice touch I added a stop sign, also from the train set. I used double sided foam tape I had on hand.
And a magnet that had broken off a food clip I had.
I intend to add magnets under each of the cars so they will stick when we are traveling in our car.
I am happy with how it turned out and my 3 year old son said, “Wow! Good job mom!”
Yep, all the praise I need.
Best of all he LOVES it and has been playing with it 24/7...almost. He wanted to sleep with it but I said no...I know, mean mom!
Now I have to go spray it with a clear coat!
Linked up here!


  1. what an awesome idea I see a christmas gift in the making thanks for sharing come see me at

  2. That is SOOOO stinking cute! WTG for coming up with something so creative when you are sleep deprived..or do you have that little one sleeping through the night?

  3. Almost! I'd say he sleeps through the night about 40% of the time, otherwise he wakes up 1x around two. Can't complain!

  4. Very cute! Looks like a lot of fun to be had there (even if your son wasn't very enthusiastic).

  5. Good job! So cute. The toy cars make it a lot better. You're so creative.

  6. That is a good idea. Boys always needs their cars, even during trips.

  7. what a great way to upcycle an ugly old tray! This is fabulous and I'm sure your lil guy is having tons of fun with it!

    Would love to invite you to stop by and link up to my weekly child centered linky party - the Sunday Showcase (open thru Thurs.)


  8. Great idea! That looks like a lot of fun. tfs! :)

  9. Okay, I just pinned this. Fabulous idea. At some point I will be making this and linking up here.

    I am a new follower from the Sunday Showcase. If you have a moment stop by

  10. Very creative and inexpensive way to keep your children busy! Thank you for linking up to The Sunday Showcase!