Posted by: poofergirlsperspective | May 23, 2011

Travel Trays

We did a bit of traveling this past weekend.  And by a “bit” I mean the kids were in the car for nearly 5 hours straight.  Poor parents little people.  They did pretty well, though I believe that I have already forgotten what it was really like because I do recall asking “are we there yet?” more than once. 

Since we were picking up Veteran Haymaker and meeting Mrs. Veteran Haymaker at her sisters it was decided that I would just sit in the back of the van, freeing up the front seat and allowing myself to be available to the kids back there.  This arrangement had its pluses and minuses as you can well imagine … enough said.

Figuring ahead and knowing that 5 hours in the van would be a stretch for them I decided to make some travel trays.  Now, I have no idea where exactly I found the idea, but in my craft sites searching that I do from time to time I came upon it and committed it to memory.  So when I found these trays at a garage sale a few weeks back I knew just what to do with them.

The little old ladies (it was a church garage sale, my favorite kind) at the table looked at me a little funny when they could see I was pretty excited about those three old rusty trays.  I felt like I hit the jackpot with my .30 cent find and I guess I just couldn’t contain the excitement.  I said to them “you know what you do with those?  You paint them with chalkboard paint and make cute trays for passing time in the car where the kids can use magnets and chalk!”.  They were like “oh!, well that is clever”.  I think that they may have been humoring me but I didn’t care, I tossed them my 3 dimes and ran. 

If they wouldn’t have been so rusty I would have had a hard time painting over them cause I thought they were so fun.  The mushrooms were my favorite.  Seriously fun.

The process was simple.  Well, it would have been simple if I didn’t do them.  I wanted to use up some old paint that Farmer Neal had.  And by “old” I mean they were close to 20 years old.  Yep, 20 years.  We weren’t sure they would still be any good but wanted to try to use them first.  Two out of three worked great.  So I started with the white and purple which worked like a charm. Problems occurred when I ran out of purple mid-way and had to get more paint.  Not too surprisingly I couldn’t find the same purple 20 years later, or any purple actually.  So I went with yellow when I really wanted turquoise.  Turquoise exists, just not in my itty bitty town.  I was pretty bummed but I survived.

In the end they looked  a little bit more “bumble-bee-ish” then I had hoped but they were ok.  I decorated them with some stickers which wouldn’t have been my first choice, but it was what I had on hand and they only thing I could come up with to spruce them up a little.  I had to continue to remind myself that they were for the car and they would probably be thrown in 2 seconds.

But, they didn’t throw them.  In fact, they loved them. 

It didn’t make them happy for 5 hours or anything, but heck … any amount of happy on a 5 hour trip is good in this Mama’s book.



  1. What a great idea…I am going to look for them at garage sales this summer…Thanks Stephanie! You are so creative.

    • You can make them with cookie sheets too, that is the idea I saw but these were more fun and well, for a dime way cheaper. :)

  2. Very good idea! Cute, too.

  3. I’ve been looking for chalkboard paint, where did you find it?

    • Just got the paint at the hardware store … Home Depot I think it was.

  4. Cute as heck! Great idea, well done by you! :))) And the pics of your kids are so adorable.

  5. Those turned out so nice! What a great idea. I bought my blackboard paint at Fleet Farm….bet they don’t have them down south, though! I think you can buy green as well.

    I love all the hints that it wasn’t all fun in the back seat this weekend. It’s more fun to imagine what might have happened, actually. I have lots of ideas since I live with little ones everyday.

    This morning, one of my fairly new parents with a 9 month old carefully brought in her sleeping baby in his carseat, saying “Aren’t they just so sweet when they’re sleeping?” in a tiny quiet voice. I said “yes, but it doesn’t last long enough!:)” She didn’t think I was very nice, but it just kinda slipped out. He would have 3 more friends arriving any minute and I needed to feed him right away before the next one came with his mouth wide open waiting for cereal, so as soon as she left I took him out of his carseat and the blissful moment was over. That darn realism.

  6. Those are great. You must have come from a smrt family (:

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