How to Decorate an Ottoman Tray

Are you looking for ways to spruce up your living space while adding your own special touch? Ottomans are a great option in any room, and they can be easily transformed with some simple décor. Whether you’re just starting out or want to take an existing ottoman to the next level, try decorating it with an ottoman tray!

How to Decorate an Ottoman Tray

From functional storage solutions to stunning statement pieces, trays can instantly bring a unique sense of style that will tie together the entire look of your home. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to decorate an ottoman tray by starting with picking out the right tray design, styling it according to your aesthetic, and then accessorizing from there, so keep reading on for more décor tips!

What is an Ottoman Tray?

An ottoman tray is a decorative and functional piece that can be used to place items or display décor. These are typically placed on top of an ottoman, adding height while creating extra space for storage and decoration. They come in all shapes and sizes, so you can pick out the perfect one for your home!

The Benefits of Decorating an Ottoman Tray

1. Add Style

A decorative ottoman tray can add style and function to any room. It’s a great way to make a statement while also providing extra storage for books, magazines, remotes, coasters, or other small items. An ottoman tray is also perfect for displaying plants, picture frames, or other décor pieces that you want to show off in your home.

2. Create More Space

An ottoman tray can provide extra space in any room. If you have a small living area, an ottoman tray can help maximize the available space by creating additional storage and seating options. It’s also perfect for entertaining guests as it gives them somewhere to rest for drinks or snacks without taking up too much space in the room.

3. Easy to Clean

Ottoman trays are easy to clean and maintain. Many ottomans come with removable trays, which makes it simple to dust or wipe them clean when needed. This can help extend the life of your furniture and keep your home looking neat and tidy.

Required Items for Decorating an Ottoman Tray

Now that you know the benefits of ottoman trays, let’s talk about what is needed to decorate one. Here are a few items that will help bring your vision to life:

  • Tray: Of course, the centerpiece of your project will be the tray itself. Choose one that matches the size and shape of your ottoman.
  • Accessories: From books to plants, trays can easily become collages for all your favorite items. Choose a few unique pieces that you want to decorate with.
  • Fabric: You may want to add material or fabric around the edges of the tray for an extra touch of style.
  • Paint: Use paint to add some color or patterns to the tray.
Use Paint to Add Some Color the Tray

How to Choose the Right Ottoman Tray

When shopping for an ottoman tray, there are several factors to consider:

1. Size

Measure your ottoman before you shop so you can find the perfect size. This will help ensure that the sides of your tray don’t hang over or get lost in the folds of your ottoman.

2. Style

Choose a style that fits with the rest of your décor. Whether you go for something modern, rustic, or bohemian, make sure your tray is in line with the theme of your room.

3. Material

Think about which material will hold up best. Wood and metal trays are often the most durable, but there are also some great options out there for less expensive materials like plastic or bamboo.

4. Color

Choose a color that will complement your ottoman and other pieces in your room. Pick one color as the primary shade and then add fun pops of color with accessories and fabric to make it your own.

10 Step-by-Step Guide on How to Decorate an Ottoman Tray

Now that you’ve chosen the perfect ottoman tray, it’s time to get creative and start decorating! Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do just that:

Step 1: Prep Your Tray

Make sure your tray is clean and dry before you start decorating. If it’s wood, give it a light sanding to remove any surface dirt or residue. While preparing your tray, take the opportunity to check for any nicks or chips in the material and make repairs as needed.

Step 2: Add Fabric

If you choose to use fabric around the edges of your tray, this is the time to do it. You can either purchase pre-cut pieces or cut your own fabric to size for a custom look. Attach the fabric along the edges of your tray with hot glue or staples.

Attach the Fabric Your Tray With Hot Glue

Step 3: Paint If Desired

If you want to add a splash of color to your ottoman tray, now is the time to do it. Pick out one main color and then use different colors for patterns or accents. Paint pens can also be used to create designs or write inspirational words on the tray.

Step 4: Add Accessories

Now it’s time to accessorize! Start with the largest items first and then add smaller pieces around them for a layered look. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns and textures or incorporate other decorative items like candles, books, or plants.

Step 5: Incorporate Pictures

Picture frames are a great way to add some personal touches to your ottoman tray. Use different sizes and shapes of frames so the images stand out and draw attention. This is also a great way to display photos of family members or cherished memories.

Step 6: Use Coasters

If you plan on using your ottoman tray for drinks, consider adding some coasters to protect it from stains or spills. Look for coasters that match the style and color of your décor, so they blend in with the rest of the accessories.

Step 7: Utilize Books

Books can be both decorative and functional. Use them to add height to the tray and help tie together the other accessories. If you plan on using books, make sure they come with protective covers so they don’t get damaged or dirty over time.

Step 8: Protect Your Tray

If possible, use a sealant spray like polyurethane to help protect the tray from scratches or wear and tear. This will also keep your decorations safe, as sealant helps to lock in the colors and prevent them from fading over time.

Use a Sealant Spray Like Polyurethane

Step 9: Put It Together

Once everything is set, it’s time to put the pieces together. Lay out all of your items to get a feel for what they will look like before arranging them onto the tray. Don’t be afraid to move things around until you find the perfect combination.

Step 10: Show It Off

Finally, take some pictures of your finished product and show it off! You can post pictures of your ottoman tray on social media or display it proudly in your home. With a little bit of creativity and imagination, you can turn an ordinary ottoman tray into something truly special.

Following these steps can help you create the perfect ottoman tray for your home. Whether it’s a unique centerpiece in a hallway or an eye-catching accent piece in a living room, ottoman trays are the perfect way to spruce up any space. So get creative and have fun decorating!

6 Additional Tips to Make the Tray Gorgeous

There are many ways to make an ottoman tray look like a piece of art. Here are some ideas to help you get started:

  1. Incorporate your favorite colors into the design. Think about how you want the colors to layer and blend together as they work across different surfaces and shapes.
  2. Add texture for a unique look. Incorporate fabric, sequins, and ribbons to add texture and dimension to the tray. While adding a new texture, be sure to keep the overall look cohesive.
  3. Use stencils to create an interesting pattern. You can use a variety of different stenciling techniques to create intricate patterns for the tray’s surface.
  4. Incorporate meaningful items into the design, such as family photos, charms, or mementos that have special significance to you and your family. These items will add personal touches and make the tray even more special.
  5. Place plants and flowers in the tray for a fresh look. Choose pieces that are easy to care for and will last long term.
  6. Finally, don’t forget to accessorize! Add coasters, napkin holders, and other small items to make the tray even more beautiful and functional.
Use a Variety of Different Stenciling Techniques

By utilizing these tips and tricks, you can create a truly stunning ottoman tray that your family will love. With the right design, you can make any ottoman into a beautiful centerpiece for your home. Have fun with the process, and most importantly, enjoy the results!


Ultimately, decorating an ottoman tray is a fun and simple DIY project that adds personality to any living space. Whether it’s a playful pattern like chevron or something more classic like stripes, the options are practically endless. When it comes to outfitting an ottoman tray with greenery, plants certainly can’t go wrong. However, don’t count out objects such as books, picture frames, and decorative boxes.

Not to mention pillows! Adding a few cozy floor cushions next to your newly decorated ottoman tray might be the perfect way to complete the look —sitting alone in your room feels different than having friends over!

By keeping things organized and following these design tips on how to decorate an ottoman tray for decorating an ottoman tray, you’ll have a timeless centerpiece for your living space sooner than you know it!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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