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Upcycling: Tiered Serving Tray

Green decorating expert Danny Seo creates recycled crafts in his book Upcycling. Here, he makes a tiered serving tray.

Fri, 22 Jul 2011|

Hi, I'm Danny Seo, author of the book Upcycling, and today I'm gonna show you how to take a pile of mismatched chips, unwanted plates and cups and a candle stick and things you might have at home or things you'd find for next to nothing at a flea market or at a thrift store and turn them into this beautiful and great item for entertaining tiered tray right here. Now, I always hesitate to call this a project because it really is way too easy and way too simple with super dramatic results. In fact, the only step in the whole process is glue but the key thing here is to choose the right adhesive. If you use a regular craft glue, if you use hot glue from a hot glue gun, clearly it's not gonna stay together when you put it all together. You wanna make sure it's really sturdy. So, my favorite adhesive is something called E-6000. This is from my personal well-loved and well-used collection right here. But this glue, I promise you, it is the glue of glues, nothing is gonna move, nothing's gonna budge. This stuff is incredible. Now, to make your tiered trays, you wanna start with the largest plate on the bottom. Then, you wanna build up and so I think this one here is a great candidate for the bottom plate. There's even a little chip here which I love because it gives a character and some age, and then I think the next thing-- maybe this candle stick right here would look really good. So, you just wanna center that. Then, use a medium sized plate for the next one and then I kind of love this stray coffee cup right here. We're gonna center that again and this really, really pretty blue and white plate, I think, would look really great on top and then I feel like it just needs one more thing and I think this adorable sake cup would be great, repurposed as a little bed vase on top. Now, this isn't clearly done. If you move it around, it's gonna topple, it's gonna fall. You can't entertain with this. So, we're gonna glue it together now, now that we're happy with the design. First thing you wanna do is take your E-6000 glue and you're gonna put it on the bottom of the candle stick and you wanna put it on the part of the candle stick that's gonna be in contact with the plate. So, if you notice on this candle stick, there's actually a little indentation on the inside. So, if you were to glue the entire inside of this candle stick, it wouldn't touch anything and you've wasted a lot of glue then. So, this is a decent amount right here and then we're just gonna center it right in the middle of the plate, press it down with your fingers. Then, the next step is we're gonna put more glue on top of the candle stick or if it's a tea cup or it's a statue you might have that's even and level, whatever you have. You just wanna find areas where everything can be in contact with each other when you glue it. The next plate, this great little spring plate here and I'm just gonna center it. I think that looks pretty good and then the next thing was this tea cup. So, we're gonna put it on the bottom of the cup and the reason I love E-6000 is that I'm convinced it's called E-6000 because there's more than 6000 uses for it. Down the center and you'll notice it's still a little wobbly but it's okay. It's gonna hold it enough for you to get enough secure of a connecting with every level; so that when it's finally dry, it's gonna be this great permanent tiered tray for your next party. We've got that layer right there. Well, I'm just gonna center the next plate on top. It looks good and then right on the bottom of the sake cup, I'm just gonna put a little here. I want this to be really secure and just place it on top. Now, what you wanna do now, after you've got your tiered tray and by the way, you can build this as high as you want, you could use glass, you could use different types of materials. I like to mix actually glass and ceramics together. It's a nice interesting combination material, you wanna set it aside to dry for more than 24 hours in a really dry place so the glue completely secures and everything really bonds together well, and if you're questioning how one little tube of glue could be so strong, let me just show you this. Here's a finished tiered tray right here. I'm gonna grab it in the middle of my hands. Would you do this with any other glue? I mean, look how strong and permanent this is. So, for your next party that you're gonna have, grab a couple of chipped and mismatched plates, a candle stick, a creamer, a coffee mug, glue them together and create your own beautiful and super useful tiered tray.