Don’t toss out the old food tray. Here are 12 nifty ideas to try instead

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Most people assume food trays have one purpose: to carry food from one place to another. But what do you do with the trays when you no longer need them for food transportation? Throwing them out seems like a waste, but so does taking up cupboard space.
Instead of getting rid of the trays or putting them in storage, try some re-purposing projects. With these, you’ll have a new use for that old tray and be able to spruce up your home at the same time.
1. Chalkboard
While most classrooms are getting rid of their chalkboards, home decorators are embracing this product of our childhood. Chalkboard painthas become hugely popular in recent years, and old food trays are the perfect size to become a chalkboard to hang on any wall in your house.

FANCY MOMMA
2. Chore charts
Create individual chore charts for each kid by hanging an old tray on the wall and attaching magnets representing different chores. Every time a kid finishes a chore, that magnet gets moved to the other side of the tray. It’s a fun way for them to see how much progress they’re making throughout the day.

CRAFTAHOLICS ANONYMOUS
3. Memo board
Depending on what your tray is made of, you can use magnets or tape to post reminders and notes to this memo board. If you want to give the tray a personalized look, you can wrap it in fabric or decorative paper to match the theme of the room.

COUNTRY LIVING
4. Portable board games
This works best if you have a metal tray. Before you go on a long car trip, copy the boards of some of your kids’ favorite games. Laminate the game board and add magnets to the game pieces and you now have a travelling board game to keep the kids busy on the road.

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5. Serving Tray
To upcycle an old food tray into a fancy serving tray, add some paint or fabric. This is an extremely simple, cheap way to turn something ordinary into something that looks pretty and expensive.

COUNTRY LIVING
6. Floor protection
If you’re tired of everyone tracking dirt and mud into your house all the time, place an old food tray inside the front or back door. As people enter the house, they can remove their boots and set them on the tray, protecting your floor and keeping the entryway clear of stray shoes.

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