Rectangle Cardboard Tray

rectangle cardboard tray

 My mom had been looking for a tray to layout her earrings on but every place she looked she just could not find quite what she was looking for. So one day when she was visiting she saw a tray that I had in storage and made the statement that she could use something that size to store her jewelry. I told her that she could take it if she liked since I was not currently using it but she refused. I then asked her if she would like for me to make her a tray about the same size, she quickly accepted this offer. If you would like to know how I created the rectangle tray above, just continue reading. 



kraft paper

pen and/or pencil


craft knife and/or scissors

hot glue gun w/ glue sticks

mod podge 

mod podge clear acrylic sealer (gloss)

old paint brushes (for mod podge application)

OPTIONAL: (8) 8mm circular gold brads, (4) 10mm circular self stick felt pads and E6000 industrial strength adhesive


1) Take a piece of cardboard and lay on a flat surface. Mark then cut cardboard down to the size you would like your tray to be. My mom wanted a long tray that was not too wide with low sides. So I cut the following dimensions for her tray: 

bottom 19.5” long x 9.75” wide 

(2) side pieces 19.5” long x 1.25” wide

(2) side pieces 9.75” long x 1.25” wide

2) Hot glue the sides to the bottom. Make sure that all sides are glued together. 

rectangle cardboard tray, tray glued together
rectangle cardboard tray | tray glued together

rectangle cardboard tray, close up of glued bottom
rectangle cardboard tray | close up of glued bottom

3) Reinforce the bottom and sides of the tray with an extra layer of hot glue both on the inside and outside of tray.

rectangle cardboard tray, reinforced sides
rectangle cardboard tray | reinforced sides 

4) Wrap tray with kraft paper. Make sure kraft paper is long enough to wrap around bottom of tray as well as the sides (inside and outside) without having to add more paper. You can glue paper in place with mod podge as you wrap it. 

5) Cut a piece of kraft paper the size of the tray bottom. Try to make sure the sides and corners of the paper are as flushed as possible then glue to inside bottom of tray with mod podge. Smooth out any air bubbles. 

6) Apply a thin layer of mod podge to entire tray — bottom and sides — inside and outside. Let dry. 

7) Apply second thin layer of mod podge to entire tray — bottom and sides — inside and outside. Let dry. 

8) While tray dries between layers of mod podge, create paper handles using kraft paper to attach to sides. Cut three strips of Kraft paper (12” long x 1.5” wide) and glue together.  

9) Apply two thin layers of mod podge to both sides of paper handles. Remember to let mod podge dry between applications. 


10) Spray entire tray - top, bottom, sides and handles with clear acrylic sealer. Let dry. 

11) Attach paper handles to tray using hot glue gun or E6000 industrial strength adhesive glue. 

rectangle cardboard tray, fully assembled & accessorized
rectangle cardboard tray | fully assembled & accessorized 

12) You can leave the tray as is and start using right away or you can add any details, embellishments, or finishing touches you like. I decided to add gold brads to the handles as well as felt pads to the bottom of the tray. I glued all pieces into place with E6000 industrial strength adhesive glue. 

rectangle cardboard tray, gold brad detailing
rectangle cardboard tray | gold brad detailing

rectangle cardboard tray, felt pad feet
rectangle cardboard tray | felt pad feet

Until next time, let inspiration find you!

A. Cornelia