Repurpose Flea Market Finds

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Everyone knows that I love to go flea marketing… I love the thrill of the hunt as well as finding the unexpected.  I also LOVE nothing more than coming up with ways to repurpose my flea market finds! My good friend Catherine Russell has traveled (and shopped) the world with me on a variety of girls trips… She’s a really bad influence because she, like me, is a repurposing genius.  I’ve asked Catherine to share some of her repurposing tips on the blog today.

Catherine writes:

Nothing beats a weekend morning spent browsing the flea markets and discovering some forgotten treasures that are too good a deal to pass by.  I’m always searching for easy, useful and decorative DIY ideas to repurpose my finds, and I found two great ways to repurpose trays and platters. If you can follow my photos and instructions, these DIY projects are great for your home.

repurposed vintage tray - DIY memo board, Repurposing Flea Market Finds, Repurposing Vintage Trays, Decorating with Trays, Catherine Russell


This craft project is both useful and decorative for the kitchen or office. You can find vintage trays in many shapes and sizes, so you can easily find a tray to fit an empty spot in your home to organize business cards, receipts, recipes, and delivery menus or to write messages, notes, or grocery lists.


1 A clean metal tray with a smooth surface

2 Chalk board paint (easily found at a craft or hardware store)

3 A paintbrush (I like the disposable sponge brushes)


1 Wash and dry the tray

2 Paint with 2 coats of chalk board paint, allowing to dry completely between coats. I like to paint the flat interior and leave the rim original, but you can also paint the entire surface.

Decorate the tray with fun magnets to hold your notes, and keep a stick of chalk nearby to jot down a quick note. That’s it!  I attached my tray to the kitchen wall with double-sided 3M adhesive strips so there are no holes to drill or marks left on the wall.

Et voila! Your tray is ready to use or to give as a gift.

(Hmmm… you’ll NOTE my friend Catherine has not GIFTED me one of these…. I’m putting in my request now!)

repurposed vintage serving pieces and trays- DIY art, Repurposing Flea Market Finds, Repurposing Vintage Trays, Decorating with Trays, Catherine Russell


An eclectic collection of trays and serving pieces of varying sizes, shapes and colors are all that’s necessary to create an original art piece. After the fun of collecting trays is long past, your original art piece will decorate your home for years.

Tip: This is a great way to repurpose cherished family trays and serving pieces as well!


1 An assortment of trays that nest inside each other

2 A small mirror

3 Metal glue (I use Gorilla Glue but many craft glues are designed for metal)



1 Wash and dry the trays

2 Arrange the trays to next inside of each other to show off the trays varying sizes and colors

3 Glue each tray on top of each other and allow to dry completely

4 Glue a mirror or other decorative item (crystals, lace, a photograph) in the center of the top tray

Hang and display. A small tray collage can be hung on the walls using 3M adhesive strips, heavier trays will require a plate hanger or drilling a hole and attaching hooks and wire to hang securely on your walls.

Trays can also be organized and glued as wreaths, a collage, or other interesting shapes.

Next time you hit the flea market look for vintage trays and serving pieces. They can easily be found for very little money— $1-5, are small and light weight so they’re perfect to collect on vacations, and there are many ways to repurpose vintage trays to use in your home or as gifts.

vintage flea market trays and serving pieces, Repurposing Flea Market Finds, Repurposing Vintage Trays, Decorating with Trays, Catherine Russell

Here are a few more ideas to repurpose and showcase your vintage tray collection:

1 Group and display a collection of trays on the wall as art

2 Decoupage a photo, art or wallpaper and use to hold jewelry on your vanity or dresser

3 On your coffee table to corral a collection of books, picture frames, and small objects

4 Use your chalkboard tray to write the family dinner menu

5 Spray paint for holiday themed message boards

Happy Flea Marketing!

Catherine Russell, Toma Clark haines, The Antiques Diva, Stacey Thompson

The Antiques Diva® & Co – With a little help with a guest blog from a good friend!
Catherine Russell is a genius content marketer, freelance blogger and social media strategist who loves travel, antiquing,  and chai lattes. Contact Catherine at hireCatherine for digital marketing solutions and strategies, and follow her blog She’s Shopping Now.


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Author: Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines is a Global Tastemaker, Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur; and founder and CEO The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe, Asia and America's largest Antiques Sourcing & Touring Company.