Everyone has a favorite piece of old clothing that they just can’t bare to part with. I adopted one of Alberto’s. His navy Coca-Cola t-shirt was my favorite because it was so comfy. It had been worn for so long that it was all soft and light. But after so many years, the holes were getting a little large, and I couldn’t repair it because the thread would only rip more of the fabric. When the hole under one of the arms became so large that it exposed most of my side, Alberto had enough. He wouldn’t allow me to wear it any longer, but I still couldn’t part with it. Then this weekend, we were planning to make a tray using some of the old fabric from past projects, and then I got this great idea . . . why not use the t-shirt?! We could preserve it for memories sake, and turn it into something useful and fun. It turned out great!
Here’s what we used to make a tray:
- 6-foot of 1″ x 3″
- 1/4-inch plywood cut to 12 1/2-inches by 18 1/2-inches
- Old t-shirt (or your favorite fabric!)
- Blue gloss spray paint
- Resin and hardener
- Two silver handles
This is what we needed to put it together:
- Saw, drill, and router
- Nail gun (or hammer and nails)
- Sander and sandpaper
Let’s make a T-Shirt Tray!
- Start by clamping the 1×3 piece of wood to a bench, and route a trench the length of the board 3/8-inch deep about 3/8-inch from one side.
- Next, cut one end of the 1×3 at a 45 degree angle. The cut should angle into the trench.
- Now, measure 12 inches from the inside of the board, and cut another 45 degree angle flaring out from the trench. (We measured the t-shirt and realized that we only had 12″ x 18″ of usable fabric, therefore the inside of the tray will be 12″x18″.)
- Using the board that you just cut as a template, cut another piece to match.
- Next cut two 1×3’s so that the inside measures 18 inches and sand the pieces of wood until they’re smooth.
- To fit the handles, measure the handles, and drill the holes on the 12″ pieces.
- Next, nail a 12″ piece to the end of an 18″ piece. Be sure the trench lines up on both pieces. Then, nail the other 12″ piece to the other end of the 18″ piece. Unless you had the plywood pre-cut, cut the plywood to 12 1/2″ by 18 1/2″.
- Paint the inside and top of the 1×3’s and plywood. Add several coats.
Right to Assemble!
- Once the plywood is dry, spray the painted side with fabric adhesive.
- Next, center the t-shirt over the plywood, and smooth it down. Cut the excess t-shirt away from the plywood leaving about 1/4-inch of fabric hanging over the side.
- Slide the plywood with the t-shirt into the groove of the frame.
- Taking the last 18″ piece, place it over the end and nail in place.
- Place the tray face down, and nail the plywood to the 1×3’s. This will help the tray hold its shape. While the tray is still upside down, paint the outside and bottom of the tray. Apply several coats.
- Once the paint is dry, place the tray on wax paper, and pour the resin and hardener over the top. Be sure to apply evenly, and you’ll need several applications to add the thickness.
Well it takes several hours for the resin to get hard, so we have plenty of time for a cocktail break! We did everything we could on Saturday so that all we’d have to do on Sunday is apply the resin so we could watch the Super Bowl (Congrats to the Giants!). Just to be clear, Alberto loves to watch the game while I like the commercials and half time. For whatever reason, Alberto was craving a Key Lime Pie. (He has a massive sweet tooth.) When we ran across the Yoplait Key Lime Pie yogurt, he suddenly realized that he could make (into a cocktail) his pie and drink it too! The result is a delicious Key Lime Pie Margarita! I love drinking my dessert!
Handle with Care!
- Once the resin is dry, attach the handles to the sides.
I’m so glad that we got to keep one of our favorite t-shirts. It may not be wearable, but it will bring a smile every time we use it, and a very unusual story for our guest to hear!