DIY Mosaic Picture Frame Tray

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Square closeup of a finished DIY Mosaic Picture Frame Tray

Make a beautiful Mosaic Picture Frame Tray in just a few easy steps. First, hit the dollar store, the thrift store, or search around your home for a few colorful ceramic plates (chipped or broken plates are even better) and a picture frame to make this gorgeous serving tray!

Photo taken overhead of finished blue and white Mosaic Picture Frame Tray shown on a glass table with a succulent and two candles on the left-hand corner of the tray.

I’ve had this frame for a while now. It’s just been sitting in the basement waiting for a purpose. I rarely pass up old wooden picture frames when I find them at yard sales or thrift stores, especially ones with depth and character like this one!

Check out the easy tutorial below to learn how to make your own mosaic picture frame tray. And if you’d like to see how this beautiful gem emerged, check out the video below.


DIY Mosaic Picture Frame Tray – Video



DIY Mosaic Picture Frame Tray - supplies shown: handles, board, old picture frame and colorful blue and white dishes.
  • Paint (I’m using Rust-Oleum Chalked Spray Paint in Linen White)
  • A paintbrush (if needed)
  • A wood picture frame
  • Small nails (sometimes called finishing or picture frame nails)
  • Two cabinet handles
  • Wood panel or craft plywood (for the bottom)
  • Colorful ceramic dishes (I found mine at Dollar Tree)
  • Tools: Safety glasses, a hammer, a screwdriver, a drill, and a small putty knife
  • A ruler and a pencil (to line up and mark the holes for the handle)
  • An old towel or cloth (to break ceramic plates under)
  • A sponge and a bucket of fresh water (to remove excess grout from the ceramic pieces)
  • A soft cotton cloth (to clean mosaic)
  • Tile grout
  • Craft glue
  • Spray sealer (optional)

How to Make a Mosaic Picture Frame Tray – 4 Easy Steps

STEP 1: Secure Plywood Base, Paint & attach Handles

To start, remove the backing, glass, and hardware from your picture frame. Then, cut a craft plywood board to size and secure it to the back of the picture frame using small nails or screws to make a bottom for your tray.

Spray paint your picture frame tray front and back.

Rust-Oleum Chalked spray paint in Linen White shown with spray painted picture frame in the background. Picture frame will be used to make a DIY Mosaic Picture Frame Tray.
Paint your picture frame!

Recommended: Add a protective sealer to your freshly painted frame to protect the finish! Use a clear coat sealer like Polyurethane, Polycrylic or a Lacquer. Most are available in brush-on form or a spray and come in matte, semi-gloss, or gloss finishes.

Attach the handles to your frame. Depending on the type of frame you choose, drill holes and attach handles to the top or sides.

Closeup of handle being put on tray with screws and a screw driver after hole were drilled into the picture frame to make a DIY Mosaic Picture Frame Tray.

STEP 2: Break Ceramic Plates as Shown Below

The best way I found to break plates is to cover them (front and back) with a thick towel. Simply fold a towel in half and place your plate in between. Use a hammer to break the plate into small pieces. You can also use a handheld tile cutter. Wear safety glasses when breaking or cutting glass!

Check out the Video above for more details on how to make this beautiful tray!

Breaking ceramic plates to use as a mosaic for a DIY Mosaic Picture Frame Tray.
Ceramic plate pieces.

Note: Throw out any curved or thick pieces from the rim of the plate. Use flat pieces to avoid curves and dips on your tray’s surface.

STEP 3: Glue the Mosaic Pieces

Spread an even layer of craft glue over the surface of your tray.

Spreading Tacky craft glue on a white picture frame tray in order to glue mosaic pieces to it.
Apply a generous amount of craft glue to your tray.

Arrange ceramic pieces like a puzzle. Leave 1/4 to 1/2-inch space between pieces and remember to leave space around the edges. Be careful handling broken ceramic pieces–they are sharp!

White picture frame shown with a generous amount of tacky craft glue on it with blue and white mosaic pieces being glued down.
Glue mosaic pieces down leaving about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of space in between and around the border.


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STEP 4: Grout Your Mosaic Tray

With the craft glue dry, it’s time to grout. I’m using a pre-mixed tile grout that you can find at any hardware store. If you have a powder grout, prepare it according to the instructions.

Mosaic picture frame in white in the background with all mosaic pieces in place. Container of pre-mixed grout in foreground.

Smooth the grout over your ceramic pieces using a putty knife. Make sure to push enough grout between the tiles and don’t worry if you get a build-up in the corners, you can remove that with your putty knife at the end.

DIY Mosaic Picture Frame Tray half way grouted with white grout.
Applying grout to DIY Mosaic Picture Frame Tray.

Before letting your tray dry completely, remove excess grout from the surface with a small damp sponge. Make sure to wring as much water out of your sponge as possible and change the water out as needed.

Important: Don’t dump the water down the sink. Take it outside as it may clog the pipes.

Using a damp sponge and fresh water to remove excess white grout from diy mosaic picture frame tray.
Remove excess grout from the surface right after grouting and before letting the grout dry completely. Use clean water and a damp sponge.

Use a soft cloth to polish each mosaic piece before letting the grout dry for 24 hours. Apply a sealer if needed to protect your new tray.

Using a soft cotton cloth to remove grout haze from the surface of each mosaic piece before letting the grout dry.
Polish each mosaic piece with a soft cotton cloth to remove as much of the grout from the surface before letting the tray/grout dry for 24 hours.

I love how this tray came out with pops of blue surrounded by crisp white edges! Here’s another photo of the finished tray.

Finished blue and white Mosaic Picture Frame Tray shown on a glass table with a light blue cloth underneath with a succulent and candle on one corner of the tray.
DIY Mosaic Picture Frame Tray


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Vertical image to share on Pinterest. Overhead shot of finished blue and white Mosaic Picture Frame Tray on a tuft bench. Wood flooring underneath.
If you love this DIY, Pin the image above to your Pinterest craft board to come back to later!



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