Every room should have a conversation piece, even if it is not a room for conversing. I just made an incredible new statement piece for our master bathroom. It kind of makes me want to invite people in there just to chat about it. Seriously, this is one of my all-time favorite DIY projects.
Organization experts will tell you everything looks neater on a tray. It is actually true, unless the tray is overflowing with stuff. We have gone through a few different vanity trays in our bathroom with little success. The plan was to use a small tray to store our most used items in plain site. There were two problems with this plan. First, the space between the sinks is only big enough for a small tray, especially if we still want some open counter space (which we do, white space is good). Second, our most-used items list grew beyond the size of a small tray. I think this was a bit of laziness on our parts and a bit of disrespect for a well-styled tray.
My inspiration to solve the tray problem came from an unlikely source. Remember this thrifted solo silver candlestick? Whatever would you use one lonely candlestick for? Well, this guy saved the day in my bathroom. I knew when I thrifted him, he would become a tiered tray. Any candlestick that unscrews on the bottom can be turned into a pedestal or tiered tray. Look for this:
It was later that I spotted various sized wood slabs at the craft store and the lightbulb went on. How amazing would the slabs be as tiers for the tray with the shiny candlestick to support them? Well, I made it…the rustic glam tiered tray. It was probably one of the easiest and cheapest DIY projects I have ever done, but I think it looks like a display you might see at a high-end soap or perfume shop. It cost me less than $15 to make, thanks to the thrifted candlestick and a few craft store coupons for the wood slabs.
Here is how I did it:
1. My first order of business was to prepare the wood slabs. I needed to tone down the rustic and make them bathroom friendly. To nourish the wood and richen the color slightly, I applied a few coats of teak oil. This helped bring out the wood grain in the rings. It also took the natural, ashy color to a warm golden tone.
2. To get a glossy finish and help protect against moisture, I coated the slabs with polycrylic in gloss finish. I gave each side 3 coats. I also coated the bark. I coated the bark last to avoid any bark pieces getting in the polycrylic. To cover the bark, I laid it on pretty thick. I propped my slabs up on a small bowl over a piece of wax paper. The excess polycrylic dripped straight on the wax paper.
3. I dismantled the candlestick by unscrewing the nut at the bottom with a pair of plyers. All the pieces came off the threaded rod once the nut and washers were removed. Other than cleaning wax off the candlestick, I left it slightly tarnished.
4. I drilled a hole slightly larger than the threaded rod in the center of each wood slab. I used a 3/16″ drill bit.
9. I added the next piece of the candlestick. With the addition of the two wood slabs the threaded rod, was not long enough for me to thread on the base of the candlestick. So, I used some random washers inside this piece and resecured the nut that came with the candlestick. The nut held the whole tower together.
The completed tray is the showpiece in our bathroom. Coupled with the mercury glass votives I thrifted at the same time as the candlestick, the tiered tray is a lot more glam than rustic. There is just enough rustic glam contrast to make it interesting and beautiful.
The tall pedestal bases keeps the lower tray up off the counter. I like a clean counter.
I filled the trays with our everyday items, including lotion, perfume, cologne, and our toothbrush clock. Thankfully, other than the clock, most of our favorite bath items have pretty packaging.
The mercury glass votives conceal some of the less attractive items. One of the votives holds my husbands shave oil and brush. The other holds our dental floss and chapstick.
I love the organic shape of the trays and the warm wood tone. The two tiers hold more items in the same amount of space. The rustic glam tray looks stunning on the white counter and reflected in the mirror…double the glam!
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