DIY Melamine Tray Makeover With Cricut Joy

Personalize your own melamine tray for summer using a Cricut Joy. See how we took a Target dollar spot tray and created a fun vinyl decal to make it perfect for summer!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cricut. All opinions are 100% mine.

As a long time fan of Cricut products, I was over the moon when Cricut reached out to offer me the chance to try out their new Cricut Joy product they were launching at Target. My two favorite brands were teaming up, and it was a match made in heaven.

I already have a Cricut Maker, which I use to create personalized decals for all sorts of things our family uses – mugs, water bottles, t-shirts, laptops, phone cases, etc.

But one thing that gets in the way of me using it more often is the fact that it’s a bit large and hard to use when you have four kids running around. It has its specific spot in my craft room, and there it stays until I have the energy and inclination to use it.

But the Cricut Joy is a brand new offering from the same brand, and in the short time I’ve been using it, it has won me over completely. Not only does it have the same fun features of the full-sized products – namely, cutting vinyl, making cards, drawing and printing with infusible inks – but it is in a much smaller size, so it’s totally portable!

a cricut joy and accessories on a table

It’s super cute, too! My kids have nicknamed it “The Kitten.” So we have obviously stuck with that name and they’re in the process of making it a cute tail.

Today, I wanted to show you one of the very first projects I made with The Kitten. Since Cricut sent me a whole bunch of fun materials and accessories to go with my new Cricut Joy, I wanted to get a feel for how everything worked by trying something super simple to see how it compared with my Maker.

a hand holds cricut removable smart vinyl

I figured the thing I was most excited for was the Smart Vinyl. This is vinyl that doesn’t require a mat! While the Joy does have super cute dinky little mats, I love that it also has a good selection of Smart Vinyl which lets you cut without any mat at all. This means you can cut extra long banners without worrying if your mat is long enough!

melamine tray with pastel stripes

While I was thinking about what to do, I ran across this cute melamine tray that I bought at Target last summer. It was in their Dollar Spot section, which I love to check out every time I go there. It was originally marked at $5, but since it was the end of the season, I actually got it for $1. What a steal!

pastel vinyl next to a pastel striped tray

I loved the colors on this tray, but I’d always intended to do something fun with it eventually. And as I was checking out the Smart Vinyl samples, I was struck by the similarity in colors! How amazing, right?? I knew I needed to use them on this tray.

With summer coming, I wanted to create a cute summer time tray that I can use for barbecues and for serving drinks on the patio. So I set about designing a nice decal.

I settled on Hello Summer to keep things simple. I went ahead and created my own image files so that I could make the words look exactly how I wanted them to, with some nice accents to make it extra special.

Once I had it looking how I wanted, I saved it as a png and then imported it into Cricut’s Design Space app right on my iPad. Since the Cricut Joy connects via Bluetooth, you don’t need a computer or laptop to connect to the app. No wires required! You can even use your phone!

ipad showing screen of cricut design space

I lined the images up linearly on the app so that I could get the height that I wanted for each one (I wanted the “hello” to be smaller that “summer”), while making sure that neither was too long or too tall for the Joy to process.

Then, I chose my two colors I wanted to use. I decided to go for a coral color and a teal color so that I could have the best contrast to each other and on the tray. They both seemed very summery to me.

ipad screen showing cricut design space

This particular Smart Vinyl was removable, but they also have permanent versions, too.

In the Design Space app, I made sure to hide one word as I cut the other. That way I made sure to only cut one word from each color.

weeding cricut vinyl
two colors of vinyl decals saying hello summer

After each word was cut, I used my weeding tool to weed out the excess vinyl so that only the words were left on the backing.

transferring a vinyl decal onto melamine tray

I then took some transfer tape, cutting out just enough to cover each word and lining it up using the grid lines to keep everything straight. I pressed down using another tool so that I could be sure to connect the tape to every part of the vinyl. This is important so that when I pull up the tape, it also pulls up every part of the vinyl and leaves nothing behind.

transferring a vinyl decal onto melamine tray

Finally, once I had the vinyl transferred to the tape, I could figure out the placement onto my tray. Using the stripes of the tray and the grid lines from the transfer tape, I could make sure everything was straight and exactly where I wanted it.

I decided to create a “Yin-Yang” effect by placing the warmer coral color on the cooler colored stripes of the tray and the cooler teal color on the warmer colored stripes of the tray. I wanted them to stand out, so I figured this was the best way to do it.

Once I had my larger “Summer” placed where I wanted it, I could then place “Hello” in exactly the spot I thought it looked best.

melamine tray with hello summer vinyl decal
cricut joy next to a melamine tray

In the end, I think it turned out amazing. I was so pleased with the end result, and I was really really pleased with the Cricut Joy and the possibilities it presents for the future.

melamine tray with a vinyl decal saying hello summer

How cute is this tray??

Can you just imagine how nice it will be with a pitcher of lemonade and some nice glasses?

melamine tray with a vinyl decal saying hello summer
melamine tray with a vinyl decal saying hello summer

I’m actually in the process of building a new table for our patio, and I can’t wait to see how this tray looks set on it when we go to have our first family meal there.

I am also really excited about the portability of the Cricut Joy. As much as I love my Maker, it is an inconvenient truth that my craft room is OFTEN a mess, and it can be difficult to clear out space to use it. The Joy can be used anywhere, so I don’t have to worry about space or setup.

melamine tray with a vinyl decal saying hello summer

I have a TON of ideas that I just can’t wait to make. In the meantime, I’ll be heading to Target.com to check out some more summer ideas to help makeover our patio and make this the best summer ever.

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Katie Reed

Katie Reed

Katie Reed is a 38 year old mom blogger from Salt Lake City, UT. She is married to the man of her dreams and together they have four beautiful boys. Dexter is 9, Daniel is 7, Chester is 5 and Wilder is 2. She writes about living with mental health issues while navigating motherhood. Her blog focuses on tips and tricks for moms, information and parenting news, kid-friendly recipes and crafts. She loves to reflect on the humorous side of parenthood and shares the reality of her life, with a "warts and all" attitude.

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Katie Reed [A Mother Thing] is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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