Now, a cloth tray might not be the ideal tray for serving drinks, or carrying sandwiches to another room, but it does have its uses. There are lots of different ways to make a cloth tray and you don’t have to be a skilled seamstress to do so. Make your own, using some fabric and other materials, or use something you already have, and just turn it into a cloth tray. Either way, you can use the new tray in the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, or elsewhere. The tray has many different uses for holding everything from jewelry to makeup.
If you make the cloth tray yourself you’ll need to cut two pieces of fabric to be about 18″x14″. That size can be adjusted, depending on the size of tray you want, but a really large piece of fabric will turn out a floppy tray that won’t hold much. The fabric you choose for the tray can vary but should not be extremely thin.
After cutting the two pieces of material decide if you need a filler. The filler isn’t necessary if you’re using thick fabric, like denim. For light to medium weight fabrics, cut a piece of quilt batting – or even a piece of craft foam – to help make the fabric basket sturdier. Stack the two fabric pieces so that their right sides face and then put the filler on top of the stack.
Sew almost all the way around the place mats, but leave an area for turning, on one of the long sides. Turn the mats right-side-out and sew the opening shut. To make the mat into a basket, bring one long side, and one short side, up together. Pinch the corner together and pin it. Do this to all four corners and then sew them in place.
Although sewing two pieces of fabric together to make a cloth tray is not all that hard to do, you can make a quicker version by using something you might already have at home. A place mat is one thing that can be quickly transformed into a tray. The best place mat is a cloth one that is rectangular. Bring one long and one short side together, pinch the corner, and then pin and sew it. You can also use a dish towel to make the tray.
When you pin and sew the corners of the basket you can choose to allow the corner to be outside of the tray, or on the inside, and each one gives you a slightly different look. You can further sturdy the tray by making a cardboard tray, and setting it inside the fabric one. When you do that, you can build the walls of the tray much taller, and turn them into handy baskets. Use the finished trays and baskets to hold keys, jewelry, medications, toys, bath and body products, spices, napkins, and much more.