The tray portion was an unfinished wood serving tray purchased at Wal-Mart. It was stained and varnished, except for the inside bottom, which I covered with a thin layer of batting and brown Ultra Suede. I then covered and padded the outside bottom of the tray in a fashion similar to a lap desk. I used a wonderful Hoffman print that coordinates with several items I purchased from a company called Sew Wonderful. In fact, the pincushion I mounted in the box is a Sew Wonderful piece. I strengthened the fabric with heavy iron on interfacing, sewed in the mitered corners and attached the bottom with a staple gun. Before I closed the last side, I stuffed it with fiber-fil. I then used a decorative trim and upholstry tacks to cover the raw edge and the staples. I made a beaded lanyard with a lobster claw clasp at one end and attached it to one of the handles to keep my scissors handy when I work. The small dish in the upper left hand corner is a shaker pincushion base, that has been lined with matching ultra suede. It also contains a sweet little acorn box made by the late Harvey Helmkey in which I keep my Thread Heaven. Below that is a turned wooden needle case.If you are interested in making your own beading tray of a similar fashion,
Don't stain or varnish the inside bottom of the tray. It makes it more difficult for the glue to adhere.
Use real Ultra Suede - not Doe Suede or other pseudo ultra suede. Now, I know what you are thinking - that stuff is VERY expensive - but be creative! The Ultra Suede used for my tray was a skirt purchased at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop for $3.95! Some of my fellow beaders have used the Doe Suede and after some use, it has obvious wear.
Use heavy interfacing with fabric or use tapestry material. Of the trays I have seen made, mine is the only one that hasn't used tapestry material. They are very lovely and will stand up to much wear.
Depending on the look you want - use foam cut to the desired shape or fiber-fill in the fabric base. The cut foam will be very angular - the fiber-fill can be rounded.
Lastly, if you have any questions, just e-mail me.
It's really sort of funny how this whole ensemble addiction got started... it was that print! It is wonderful - all of my favorite colors and even my favorite flowers! I was just starting my design business, not otherwise working outside of the home, and had just had my third child. (Needless to say, not a lot of disposable income!) I was selling my designs at a Heartland Region, EGA Meeting when I first met Beth-ann from Sew Wonderful. I couldn't afford all of the pieces that I really wanted so I just bought the scissors case, needle book, pincushion, hair scrunchie and a key ring with a little wallet attached (which I used until it was thread bare). In talking with Beth-ann, I found out that the fabric was a then recently discontinued Hoffman print. My quest began! I searched local fabric stores until it was found and I purchased several yards! A good friend of mine made me a Longaburger basket liner for my large market basket and a needlework tool pouch and I was good to go! Then the following fall, at the Spirit of Cross Stitch festival - several friends who had been in the Merchandise Mall before me couldn't wait to tell me that in Sew Wonderful's sale bin was the matching tote bag! Well you know what that meant! LOL! When it came time to decide what fabric to use to on my beading tray- the choice was obvious! I was so psyched about how well the bead tray turned out, I even made a stand up liner for my Hope basket!With My Needle