DIY Faux Bois Tray for Mother’s Day

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Faux Bois means ‘false wood’ in french, but in Carrie speak it actually means ‘motif that I’ve been coveting for half a decade’.  I’ve been a fan of the style for years but wasn’t sure how exactly to replicate the look myself.  Thankfully Martha Stewart fixed that problem by sending a goodie box of supplies– and like a kid in a candy store, I started looking for surfaces to add a faux bois touch.  My mom is visiting this week and we’re going to squeeze in an early Mother’s Day celebration, so it occurred to me how fun it would be to serve her breakfast in bed on a DIY faux bois tray!

 How to Paint Faux Bois

Enter this generic breakfast tray that we’ve had for at least a decade, the type you get at Bed Bath & Beyond in the hopes that life will be filled with breakfasts in bed and lazy Sunday mornings.  Then the reality hits and you find your 2-year-old using it as a surfboard down the deck stairs.  HYPOTHETICALLY.

DIY Faux Bois Tray {Mother's Day Gift Idea}

My first step was to lay down the base color.  I taped up the sides so the paint wouldn’t get on the wood.  For the first layer I used a simple cheap-o white craft paint and let it dry completely for 24 hours.  If you want a perfect finish, you’ll want to take more time to make the surface really even so there’s no traces of brushstrokes– perhaps use a roller.  I went for ‘pretty not perfect’ in this particular example, but if I were doing a whole wall or piece of furniture I’d take a little more time to make the base surface flaw free.

DIY Faux Bois Tray {Mother's Day Gift Idea}

Then I used a 2″ brush to paint a top layer of the most scrumptious gold metallic paint from Martha Stewart.  Don’t you want to dive in that jar of golden hued bliss?  HYPOTHETICALLY.

DIY Faux Bois Tray {Mother's Day Gift Idea}

DIY Faux Bois Tray {Mother's Day Gift Idea}

Since the surface was so small, I only needed to make three passes down the tray using a few specialty tools– a wood grain rocker and the uneven side of a graining comb.

DIY Faux Bois Tray {Mother's Day Gift Idea}

My assistant asked to hold the comb for the photo.  And then said ‘CHEESE!’  Such a sweet little helper!

Martha Stewart faux bois tool

DIY Faux Bois Tray {Mother's Day Gift Idea}

I used the rocker for the first line, the comb down the middle, and the rocker again for the third.

Martha Stewart Faux Bois Tools

When you use the rocker, you’ll gradually roll it from tip to end as you pull it down the tray.  The size of your arch depends on how much (and how fast) you roll it.  It sounds difficult, but really was intuitive once I got going.

My last step in the plan was to spray paint the wood tone a gorgeous green/blue hue to really make the gold paint pop, but alas, it’s unseasonably chilly here this week so the temps aren’t ideal for spray painting.  I’m happy with how it looks now, very calm and classy.  I’ll shake things up once the weather turns warmer.

How to Paint a Faux Bois Finish

Now the fun part– breakfast in bed!  Add in some sweet touches like fresh flowers, favorite china, and a pretty napkin.  Perhaps some vintage beehive salt & pepper shakers.

breakfast in bed with vintage petalware

vintage beehive salt and pepper shakers

Of course, breakfast isn’t complete without food (though I HAVE been known to turn coffee into breakfast on occasion).  In our house we rave about the popovers, but don’t let these fluffy goodies sway you:

Amazing Popover Recipe

Okay.  Let those sway you.  They’re perfect for a relaxing breakfast in bed on a beautiful DIY faux bois tray.  I’ll do this for my mom while she’s here, and hope a certain husband is reading this post and will replicate it for me when Mother’s Day rolls around again.  Of course, I’m also hoping for a Tamron Macro Lens for my Nikon, but who’s counting?  {ME.  I’m counting.  Wink!}

Want more Mother’s Day gift inspiration?  Here’s two of my favorite homemade gift ideas from the archives:

 Homemade Lavender Bath Salts

Homemade Lavender Bath Salts for a Mother's Day Gift

Handmade Mother’s Day Photo Book

Homemade Photo Book {Mother's Day Gift Idea}

A few of my blogging friends also got together and are having a Mother’s Day Blog Hop with more DIY gift ideas as well:

Mother's Day DIY Gift Ideas

  Wednesday, April 17th~Cupcakes and Crinoline
Thursday, April 18th~Dukes and Duchesses
Friday, April 19th~Setting for Four
Saturday, April 20th~Yesterday on Tuesday
Sunday, April 21st~Uncommon Designs
Monday, April 22nd~ homework
Tuesday, April 23rd~ Making Lemonade
Wednesday, April 24th~ Domestically Speaking
Thursday, April 25th~Alderberry Hill
Friday, April 26th~My uncommon Slice of Suburbia

And, shhhh… we just might be giving away something BIG starting on Saturday just because we love you.  It rhymes with ‘Boo Hundred Dollar Bisa Gift Card.’  Allegedly.  🙂

How to Paint a Faux Bois Finish

Anyone else obsessed with faux bois?  Are you a breakfast in bed kinda person, and if so, what would you like to find on a Mother’s Day breakfast tray?  Anyone else want to cover themselves in that luscious gold paint, or have I gone off the deep end?

Many thanks to Martha Stewart Living for providing the paint and tools for this project.  All opinions are 100% my own and I was not compensated for this post.  This post contains affiliate links which offset the cost of running this site.

{Linking up with: Whipperberry |House of Hepworths | DIY Showoff | I Heart Naptime |  Home Stories A to Z | Today’s Creative Blog |  Monday Funday}

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41 Comments

  1. Now I know what faux bois is! I haven’t felt this enlightened since you taught me about cloches. Super cute. This reminds me that my in-laws have a tray that was made for them by friends by decoupaging a favorite New Yorker cover on it. I feel like you need to make one of those for me.

    1. I’ll decoupage a Blueberries for Sal illustration onto a tray so you can forever be enshrined in glossy fabulousness. 🙂 I sense a Jenny/Carrie crafting session coming on.

      1. OMGYES! Wait a minute, why haven’t you done that yet…crafting parties where people can bring some amount of money to pay for the supplies and then get to spend the afternoon semi-drunkenly completing a craft that you teach us!!

  2. Super cute and thoughtful idea for your mom 🙂 Sure she’ll love all the details you put into her special day!

  3. That is an absolutely beautiful tray! Perfect for Mother’s day or many other gift giving occasions. I love it.

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  5. Oh, Carrie ~ this is so beautiful! I would love to get a gift like this for Mother’s Day.

    Hugs,

    Mary Beth

  6. That is absolutely adorable! You crafty people get me every time. I wonder if I make it for myself if the kids will get the hint that I like breakfast in bed? 😉

  7. What a cool finish! I wouldn’t mind being served breakfast in bed on that! 😉

  8. I love the tray!! It turned out beautiful!! I love breakfast in bed, but somehow I never get it….but there is still hope 🙂

  9. Well – you know I love how you glammed up this serving tray with gold metallic paint Carrie! Gorgeous! (what an adorable helper you have too!)

  10. Very cute! What a fun project to make to share for all family birthday breakfasts.

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  15. Hi Carrie! I had always wondered how to create the Faux Bois look… thanks to you (and Martha) for solving the mystery. What a fun project. I hope your cute family serves you breakfast in bed on if for Mother’s Day!

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    1. Thanks so much, Carolyn! I LOVE your new site, by the way. Thanks so much for featuring my tray!

  17. This is allllll kinds of awesome! 🙂 Gold + faux bois? It’s too much! It’s just too good! 🙂 Thanks for linking up to Ditto DIY!

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  20. love this project sweetie 🙂 you gave me the perfect gift idea i could give my mom this mother’s day. thank you!

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