Sweetheart Tray

By Kate Riley February 14, 2011

My honey and I aren’t big on lavish expenditures on Valentine’s Day.  Usually, we spend it at home with just a few decadent treats like dark chocolate and champagne ~ a thoughtful card with a sweet sentiment is always exchanged.

For the longest time, I’ve been wanting to craft something with the sheet music from our wedding song, but couldn’t decide what to do.  A card?  A picture frame mat?  Then it came to me a few days ago!  How about something sentimental we could actually use?  A decoupage tray!

sheet music tray


Perfect for serving chocolates and bubbly today . .

cg tray



We’ve been married over 11 years, and our wedding song was Harry’s version of ‘It Had to Be You’.   It’s still one of our all time favorites.

it had to be you heart


Sing to me darling, sing to me!


Where was I?  

*dazed by Harry*

Oh yes!


Making a Sheet Music Tray

I started with an old melamine tray with a floral pattern I’ve had for years but wasn’t using.  I applied one coat of primer to the entire surface, then a quick coat of white paint to the edges (where the paper would not cover the surface) to coordinate with the color of the sheet music background.

prime and paint


Next, I snagged the pages of sheet music from my stash.  You can find the music for most songs online, simply print at home on your printer.

sheet music


Knowing I’d never fit all three pages, I cut the excerpts from the stanzas into strips.  Then I laid out the design on the tray to get an idea of where the strips of sheet music would go.

You could use this same idea for a favorite poem, lullaby, quote, whatever !

strips of music


I applied a thin layer of Mod Podge to the tray, then attached the sheet music on top one strip at a time.  Bubbles happen, so I carefully smoothed them with a dry finger.

mod podge music


Finally, I applied 2 extra layers of Mod Podge to the top to seal and protect, allowing to dry between coats.

layers of mod podge


We’re soooo sentimental, but wedding day reminders sure keep the romance alive!  A large framed print of our wedding day is displayed proudly above my hub’s dresser, and now our wedding song holds his accessories.

wedding pic and song


For the rest of the year, the tray will hold coins, watches, eyeglasses, etc. for my Mister.

tray in master


But today, we’ll be celebrating by serving up some bubbly and savoring some homemade chocolate covered strawberries  . . .

cg sweetheart tray tulips

. . . all while humming along with Harry

musical notes

‘It had to be you . . it had to be you . . .

I wandered around and finally found the somebody who . . .’


Wishing all who celebrate a very:

happy valentines day on tulips

Cheers !




  1. what a sweet idea. I’ve haven’t decopauged anything since I was about 9 and I have no idea why. I feel like going to Goodwill and finding something ugly to love on and make beautiful with decopauge. your tray looks beautiful.

  2. Well, you just helped me decide what to switch Pandora on to. :) Love the Harry!

    I loooove the idea of using “your” song as decor. It turned out just beautifully…something you can cherish all year! :)

  3. What a Centsational idea, Girl! Hee, hee, get it? Centsational. Girl. Hardy har har! Ok enough with the silliness. Really, I do love the tray and that you used yall’s wedding song (great song sang by great guy, btw) for it. I might just have to copy that for my hubby’s and I’s anniversary. :)

  4. This is just so romantic and so wonderful. Love the wedding picture and now the tray underneath, what an inspirational way to remember such an important day in your lives! Be happy and in love this Valentine’s Day! Jules

  5. I love sheet music and this is such a great way to incorporate music into your decor. Love it!!

  6. What a great idea! I love useful things with meaning – and it’s pretty to boot. That song is the best!

  7. Oh my! I am so in love with Harry Connick Jr. My husband even knows that Harry is my back up husband. Thanks for brightening my day. Oh, by the way, love the project also. ;-)

  8. That wedding photo is gorgeous. My husband and I generally don’t do anything extravagant for Valentine’s (it is a greeting card holiday, afterall) but I am a sucker for chocolate covered strawberries.

  9. I love, love this sweet gift and it is my Son’s and DIL wedding song also. I think this would make a wonderful anniversary gift!! You are one clever lady. KS

  10. What a great idea! I haven’t used Mod Podge for years either, although I did buy a bottle not long ago. Now I have ideas swimming in my head. LOL! Thanks for the tut!

  11. That is such a sweet idea, and it’s so beautiful! I’ve been trying to think of ways to incorporate wedding momentos into our home without seeming too sappy, so this is a great idea!

  12. Wonderfully cute idea! If you knew, before-hand, what song someone was going to have at their wedding, it could even make a great wedding gift (or anniversary)!

  13. This is just about the cutest thing I have seen! How special… may have to steal the idea for our 10 year anniversary this summer. “Fly me to the moon…”

    Wishing you a very happy Valentine’s Day my dear!


  14. This is lovely! I love sentimental ideas. This is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. I may have to do this for our upcoming anniversary. Your wedding photo is beautiful! Happy Valentine’s Day, Kate!

  15. I love this idea!!!! We are coming up on our 5 year anni, and this will be a perfect gift, without breaking the bank, as requested by the hubby. Thanks!!! And Happy Vday!

  16. I love this idea! I just got married this past year and our song was Better Together by Jack Johnson. I think I will steal this idea for our 1 year ann and arrange desserts for fondue (our fave romantic evening in) on it! Thanks!!

  17. Lo-ver-lly, Kate! Celebrating our 44th Valentines day, and 43 years of marriage this anniversary!I would love to do this for our two sons and their sweet wives for anniversary gifts as someone above commented… I thinks it’s a very thoughtful and sweet gift idea!
    Did you save some yummy pralines to share today?

  18. Very sweet way to bring some sentiment and romance into your home everyday! And I want one of those yummy strawberries :). Happy Valentine’s Day Kate!

  19. Very inspiring! I think I might have to make something with my wedding song, too! I love personal touches like this. Thank you for sharing this idea!

  20. Love this idea… I’m a huge fan of using sheet music in decorating. It’s so easy to make a project personal! Enjoy your Valentine’s Day celebration. :)

  21. Mary [email protected] says:

    Love that tray! You are so talented!

  22. Umm.. I don’t even know where to begin on this post. Lovely sheet music, awesome song, gorgeous wedding picture, champagne, strawberries, chocolate, flowers…!

    You really outdid yourself on this one gal!

  23. Fantastic idea! It looks so well done! I also love your gorgeous wedding photograph. I’ve been meaning to blow up a wedding picture for quite some time now. I absolutely love the large scale size of yours!

  24. Love it! We used the same song at our wedding 13 years ago. Gotta love Harry :) Thanks for sharing and ALWAYS inspiring me!!

  25. This was also my wedding song (from almost 17 years ago!) We are huge HC fans, went with some friends to see him when we were in college. I think we were the only ones tailgating the concert! Beautiful idea! Oh, and I also picked up some tulips the other day, and the lady at the store told me to put a penny in with my flowers, that they’d stay standing up. I’ll be darned if it’s not 4 days later and only one flower has drooped! Enjoy Valentines Day…..

  26. This is such a GREAT (!!) idea :) I can’t wait to try it. It’ll go perfectly in our house, which is always FULL of music! Thanks for sharing, these are great how to tips for a first timer.

  27. Love the tray. I just bought a tray at a thrift store, and it had a grat shape, but oth.erwise was in very bad shap. I was going to spray paint it, but now I’m thinking of trying this out

  28. What a lovely (and personal) idea! I love the way it’s functional everyday on your dresser, but can still be used for romantic wedding anniversary breakfasts in bed. Great post :)

  29. Aww! I love this! I just did a quick search for sheet music for my wedding song (I’ll Be -Edwin McCain) and I found some! Thanks! I’ll be using it on our invitations to our vow renewal this summer!! :) So excited! Thanks so much Kate!

  30. Love this idea. I am going to replicate it. Except that for valentines day I did the candles with the sheet music of our song, so it might be overkill if I put our song all around our house?

  31. What an awesome idea!! I am working on transforming a dresser right now. I have been trying to come up with cute decor for the top and a tray similar would be perfect! I loved your pictures too!! Great post!!

  32. I’m a new fan – thankyou for this great blog – I’m really loving it. I live in Australia and have been unable to source MOD PODGE which I’ve read about here and in a few other US sites. Any idea for alternative products which may serve the purpose? I can’t figure out actually what it IS other than a sealer??
    Many thanks!

  33. I just Stumbled Upon this (literally on SU) and am in LOVE!! This is SOO fantastic!! Such a great idea!!

  34. What a pretty tray. I love the sentiment behind it too. Nice!
    Dropping by from How To’s Day. Hope you’ll come see the informal picture wall How To I did for DD2.


  35. It turned out beautifully….. and I ADORE sentimentality, so it’s right up my alley!

    Happy Valentine’s Day…. a smidgy late.

    Warm blessings,

  36. Kate, that is so adorable. I just love it. Congratulations! I love receiving your blog and spend hours on all the links.


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