Guest Post: Doupage an Art Tray – Easy Craft 'Makes' for Kids by The Artworks


A couple of months back I asked the Clare and Julie of The Artworks, which holds Lewes-based art and craft holiday workshops, if they’d like to become regular guest posters on Little Lewes. They agreed! If you missed their first ‘make’, it was for weaving what they call a ‘Wonder Box’ and it’s here.

Welcome back Clare and Julie, and readers, check this out: a super easy decoupage project that would make a fancy little Easter gift for grandparents…

Over to you Artworks chicks!


Decoupage an Art Tray


Decoupage is the art of decorating an object by glueing coloured paper cutouts on to it and covering it in layers of varnish. Decoupage was used by Victorians to decorate household objects, and comes from the french word ‘découpée’ meaning to cut out. [Ed’s note: Matisse used this method to make paintings in his later years – remember this post, in which my son and I made an activity of a beautiful book that told Matisse’s story? Sorry for interrupting you Clare!]

Here is a project to try out the art of decoupage and re-vamp an old tray!

Age range: 4+ (with a little help from a parent)

Length of time: 1-2 hours


* 1 x old tea tray (jumble sale or charity shop!)

* A selection of magazines/comics/old book pages/patterned paper

* PVA glue

* Glue spreader/stick

* Scissors

* Spray paint (optional)

* Coloured tape (optional)



1. Decorate the rim/edge of your tray with spray paint or coloured tape – or both.


2. Cut up your variety of papers into random shapes e.g. triangles, diamonds or circles.  There’s no right or wrong here, use your powers of imagination – anything goes!


3. Brush PVA glue (if it’s too thick, water it down just a little) all over the flat surface of the tray.


4. Stick your paper shapes on to the gluey surface of the tray (but not on the rim/edges). Play with shapes and textures and mix it up a little!


5. When you’ve finished decoupaging, brush another thin coat of PVA glue over the whole tray (just the top, not the underside of the tray). This will act like a varnish and sealant.

6. Leave to dry and VOILA: one beautiful art tray to use, display or give as a gift.



The Artworks are running their usual imaginative roster of kids’ art workshops during the first week of the Easter holidays term from their beautiful studio on Valley Road in Lewes.

Dates, times and themes are as follows:

Tuesday 31 Mar * 10am-2pm * Clay Relief and Woodland Animals

Wednesday 1 Apr * 10am-2pm * Printing Techniques on Canvas Bags (kids can also bring an old plain T-shirt if they’d like to personalise it!)

Thursday 2 Apr * 10am-2pm * Mask-Making

Age range 5-12 years old

The cost of a workshop is £18 per child, £16 for siblings. Please pack your kids a lunch of healthy food (no nuts, fizzy drinks or crisps please) and put them in clothes they can make a mess of. Aprons will be provided, but still, don’t let them wear anything fancy.


Tel. nos: Julie – 07900 245 563, Clare – 07944 043 539

Disclosure: I approached Julie and Clare about contributing this guest post to Little Lewes as part of a new thing I’m trying to bring more varied and hopefully useful and inspiring content to Little Lewes’s pages. In return I hope it’ll also raise awareness of their workshops, which I know are amazing because my son has done a couple. There are a couple of affiliate links to Hobbycraft within this post, in case people are pushed for time and want to know where to find materials online. No compensation, financial or otherwise, was offered or accepted for the publishing of this post – giving me great content is payment enough!

Also, if  you make your own Art Tray, Julie, Clare and I would love to see it on Instagram – share it with @LittleLewes and with @artworkslewes hashtagging #decoutray so we can check it out.


If you’d like to write a guest post for Little Lewes about something you like doing with your kids, food, craft or anything else relevant to the blog’s reason for being, please get in touch through the Contact page.

>> Little Lewes is currently on a break. If you’d like to know when the blog is back in full swing, hit the ‘subscribe’ button in the bar to the right on desktop, or below if on mobile to receive updates in your inbox <<


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I’m Kate, a copywriter, brand consultant and editor who creates messages that are clear and clean. I create these for brands and agencies both big and boutique, in areas including design, homes and interiors, travel, fashion, lifestyle, beauty, food, and kids and families. I believe clear, clean messages bolster brands and businesses. They evoke emotion and ignite inspiration, and when written well, they’re easier to absorb – and respond to. I live in Copenhagen and am half-English, half-Danish. I write as comfortably in American English as in British, and behind the scenes I'm also studying Danish. Need help getting your message out? Contact me.

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