how to turn a frame into a cheese tray


make your own cheese tray from a frame. An easy to follow tutorial for a great gift idea! |

This holiday season I've found myself really enjoying the old-fashioned, homemade gifts.  I love the extra gift of nostalgia that goes along with gifting a gift of old. Gifts that have are tried and true, appreciated year after year by all kinds of recipients, are the kind I want to focus on this year. The classics.  This year I'm setting out to create reminders of days gone by in new and practical ways. I feel this diy cheese tray fits the bill just right. I pair the old-fashioned skill of embroidery with a classic cheese tray that I DIY'ed. I used colors and finishes that remind me of days gone by and I love it so much that I'm thinking I'll make a second for myself.

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This Elizabeth Bradley needle-point kit is the perfect item to gift or, like I did, be part of a gift you create.  These needle-point kits are easy to follow and small enough for even the most impatient to tackle (me!).  They have charming, charming designs, and this Elizabeth Bradley needlepoint kit is a perfect addition to our DIY cheese tray.  Watching Jane Austen movies while finishing this kit was a perfectly lovely way to spend an afternoon. Knowing that the end result would be a charming, handmade gift for a friend was a bonus!

A cheese tray is an easy and quick project that makes a huge impact. These trays can be customized in so many ways and for so many recipients. Think about using various sizes of frames, antique drawer handles, different paint finishes, and artwork under the glass. Once you learn how to make the basic tray the possibilities are endless!

Materials Needed:

  • Wooden frame
  • 2 drawer handles
  • drill
  • strong adhesive such as superglue or E6000

make your own tray easily!

Step 1. Paint your frame.

Of course, you may choose to stain, gild, or even leave your frame natural. Whatever you choose you want to apply the finish of your frame before you continue the tutorial. Give it plenty of time to dry and keep a bit of your finish available for touch-ups (sometimes after inserting your handles you'll need to do a quick touch-up)


Step 2: Drill holes

Drill holes for the drawer handles. Be sure to use a drill bit that is as close to the exact size of your drawer pulls as possible. You need the drawer pulls to have a nice, tight fit. Tip: put a bit of chalk, marker, or paint on the bottom of the pulls and press against the'll know right where to drill without guessing!

Step 3: Attach drawer pulls

Because we aren't using the screws to attach the pulls we need to add some strong adhesive to the holes, or the bottom of the drawer pulls. Press the pulls into the frame tightly. Hopefully you have a tight enough fit and need to pull out the hammer to pound that drawer pull in. Let the glue dry after inserting the pull.

My drawer pulls were simple builder-grade pulls that I applied Rub n Buff to and antiqued a bit.

make a cheese tray from a frame. Easy to follow tutorial from

Step 4: Replace the glass

Put the glass back into the frame. Of course, this is a great opportunity to put in something beautiful between the glass and frame back. A beautiful piece of artwork, a card, craft paper, or...Elizabeth Bradley tapestry? We may be bias but we love the way our tapestry looks beneath the glass are so very excited to gift this DIY tray to a friend.

Optional: If there is a bit of a gap between your glass and the frame think about applying a very thin strip of clear caulk or hot glue to make for easy cleaning of the tray.

Optional: It's a nice touch to add a piece of felt or cloth to the bottom of the tray. Or perhaps, small wooden "legs". If you feel skilled enough try this extra step to give your tray that extra bit of something!

I would gift this tray with a collection of delicious cheese's and a box of limited edition Triscuit Cranberry & Sage holiday crackers. Create a nice basket with your tray, your cheese, your crackers, and and hand-written card. What a lovely, lovely gift that would make!

Make a gift of a cheese tray with this easy tutorial. All you need is a picture frame and a few other supplies and you are on your way to a great gift!

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