Embroidery Library

Serving Tray with Embroidery

A plain wood tray, transformed into an embroidered masterpiece!

Whenever I need to move several things from point A to point B, I always have the same goal....to make only one trip. I just hate to have to retrace my steps and bring another load up the steps or onto the porch.

That's why I love this project. The tray is large enough to transport everything that I need for afternoon tea (or TV snacks), and it's beautiful to boot!

Supplies needed:

  • Wood tray -- the one used in this project was found at Target

  • Piece of glass

  • Fabric -- we used canvas -- a little more than the dimensions of the tray

  • Clear caulk/adhesive

  • Blue painter's masking tape

  • Small putty knife

  • All-purpose spray adhesive

  • Hobby knife and ruler for trimming.

Embroidery Design from Embroidery Library:


Measure the tray's height and width. (The tray is 12-1/4 inches high by 20 inches wide.) Note the measurements.

Have the glass cut 1/8 inch smaller at each dimension.  (The glass was cut to 12-1/8 inches high by 19-7/8 inches wide.) Any hardware store, home center, or framing center can cut glass for you.

Mark the fabric. Start with the outer marking, the same as the tray's measurement. The inner marking is 2 inches in from the tray measurement.

Print templates from your embroidery software, and use these to determine placement for your designs. We placed  the corner designs and then, along the inner marked lines, we centered the small flying bird designs between the corners along the short sides and the feather designs along the long sides.

Mark the center point for each design by poking a hole in the template and marking through the hole. (The center of our corner designs ended up being about a half-inch in from the inner markings.) 

Sew out each design as you planned during placement.

Cut out the rectangle about 1/4 inch outside the outer markings.

Remove all markings according to your marking pen's instructions. Important: if you must dampen the fabric, allow it to dry completely.


Use the blue tape to protect the wood surfaces of the tray from adhesive. I left 3/16 inch exposed above the flat surface of the tray.


Lightly spray the flat surface of the tray with the spray adhesive, and lay out the fabric in the tray. There should be about 1/4 inch of extra fabric on each side. You may, as I did, find that the tray is not exactly square, so there may be a little more fabric on the edges in a couple of places and a little less in others.

Make sure that the fabric is pushed well into the corners and sides of the tray. 

Place the ruler along each side, and use the hobby knife to trim away the excess fabric.

Clean the glass on the side that is to lay on top of the fabric. Lower the glass carefully into the tray with the clean side down. You may want to wear gloves when handling edges of the sharp glass.

Squeeze a bead of the caulk/adhesive along the entire outer edge of the glass. Make sure that the adhesive is meeting both the glass and the wood part of the tray. 

Run the putty knife along the outer edges to push the caulking/adhesive into the gap between the glass and the wood. This will also smooth out the top of the caulk.

As you go, use a paper towel to wipe off the putty knife as necessary.

Here is a closer look at the finished edge. The caulk fills the gap, and it is flush with the top of the glass.

Use a sharp razor blade to remove any caulk/adhesive from the surface of the glass after it is dry. As it cures, the caulk becomes clear.

Remove the tape and allow the caulk to dry for at least 24 hours, or according to the package directions.

Here it is!  All ready for my get- together with friends for our weekly gossip session.  Lemonade in the gazebo will be perfect on a beautiful spring day. I can hardly wait to give it a try!

Click here for a printable version of these project instructions.

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Products used in this Project: