I told you in an earlier post that we have moved seventeen times.  This is because my husband was a career U.S. Navy physician for thirty years.  I had to have furniture that is adaptable.  Several years ago I discovered the beauty of a tray table.  They can be large, but mine are small and I can move them from room to room with little effort.

The first one pictured below was easy to make.  It all started when I found the base at a yard sale. It is hinged so if I do not want to use it, I can just fold it up and put it in the back of a closet or under a bed and it will be flat.  I found the arched wood cut work pieces at another yard sale.  I loved the shape and knew that I would find some use for them one day.  Then it hit me! I realized that I could use the cut work pieces as the “handles” for a tray table on the metal base that was folded and in the garage.  My sweet husband helped me put sides on a piece of wood from the lumber yard and suddenly I had a tray.  The corners are not mitered, and frankly, I don’t care.  I painted the tray with a watered down wall paint….tried to decide between an enamel and a flat washed look and the weathered look won.  Right now it is on my screened porch.

Before I go on, I want to share with you these beautiful sunflowers.  I put scotch tape in a grid pattern across the top of this vase and inserted the sunflowers.  The tape keeps them in place.  The sunflower heads are heavy and without the tape they would flop everywhere.  Don’t sunflowers just make you happy?

Here is a better view of my tray table.  I did not try to paint every inch of the wood…kept it light and rustic on purpose.

Here is the same table in the bedroom of our last house.  It is holding clear glass candle sticks and a brown and white transferware urn.  Sorry that it is in the background and appears so small, but when I took this photo I had no idea I would need it for this post.

As I was writing this, I remembered a black tray table base that was living out in the storage room.  I bought it at a yard sale for $6.00 six or seven years ago.  I ran out to get it, grabbed a metal tray that was in the same storage area and brought them inside to go beside this green chair.  People used to sit in this chair and have no where to put a glass or a book.  Now they do!

By now, you know that when I like something, I REALLY like it.  I found this small mahogany tray table at a thrift store for a whopping $6.00.  While I am not always big on trying to match wood finishes, it does match the cherry in the master bed room.  Now, it sits beside a blue tub chair.  The handled tray lifts off and leaves a solid surface beneath. Maybe one day I will get breakfast in bed from this tray!

I had this ottoman and my daughter gave me a beautiful mirror with raised edges.  When I put it on top of the ottoman, it became a tray table.  The mirrored finish reflects light in an otherwise dark room.

Here is a tray table beside a bed.   I love the way that the table is styled.  The plant in the transferware is great and the bed linen is gorgeous.  Notice that the lamp is up on some books for instant height. I  love the bamboo styled headboard.  Looks very British Colonial to me.  Actually, the British carried tray tables with them when they were out colonizing the world.  They were light of weight and could be carried on ships or the backs of animals to new places like India.

Zuniga Interiors traditional bedroom

Zuniga Interiors

Crazy About a Porch eclectic porch

Christie Thomas/Rock Hill,S.C.  Houzz
This tray table must be on a porch.  The urn with the candles and moss is just too pretty.
Give tray tables a try.  They are a way of commiting to a design without really commiting.  If you tire of the look, put it away for a while.  Storage is not an issue.  Or, you can change the look by putting a different tray on top of the base.
Create and be happy!