DIY Travel Trays

When we were prepping for our trip to Gulf Shores, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified of the idea of being in the car all day with small children.  It seriously scared the crap out of me.  It’s like seven kinds of Hell when kids are hungry or tired or bored or they simply want to be somewhere other than the car and you are trapped in a box on wheels with nothing to help them.  It makes my brain short-circuit.  It does things to my aura.  It makes my eyes twitch.  I was completely and totally dreading it.

In attempt to not completely lose my mind on the ride to our vacation, I started coming up with a list of activities for the car that would keep them occupied.  All-of-a-sudden, it hit me – there are so many more options for entertainment when the child has a surface in front of them.  Just think about it.  Plus, it makes eating in the car so much easier.  I knew that we needed travel trays for the kids, and we needed them ASAP.  Since time was of the essence (and because I’m a cheap skate) I opted to make my own trays in lieu of buying them.  So, I did just that.  And you know what?  They were a freaking lifesaver! I spent around $5 and about 2 hours to make them both. Allow me to walk you through the process. Your sanity can thank me later.

I bought 9×13 inch baking sheets. You could use a bigger size if you desire. This size fit perfectly in the carseat without hanging over the edges.

I marked where I want holes to be drilled. The plan was to secure the trays to the carseat with Velcro so they didn’t become projectiles during the trip.

I asked the handy man in my life to make those holes happen. He even sanded down the edges so there weren’t any sharp edges. You should definitely take the time to do that.

I spray painted the top and bottom of each tray with fun colors. Once it was completely dry, I broke out the Mod Podge and some coordinating scrapbook paper. I cut the paper to size (rounding the corners to better fit in the pan). A thick layer of Mod Podge later, my trays were ready to be installed. I used cord keeper Velcro straps to loop through the holes. The Velcro stuck to Luke’s carseat, but not Anna’s. For Anna’s, I used another Velcro cord keeper that was looped around the carseat frame to attach the tray to. Not quite as handy, but it gets the job done.

Coloring in the car (and not crying). Thank you, DIY Travel Tray!!

Eating in the car is no big deal with a traveling table. DIY Travel Tray, you are my new best friend!

Bonus – the trays are magnetic, so all of our toys with magnets were instant hits. DIY Travel Tray, let’s run away together?


9 thoughts on “DIY Travel Trays

  1. Pingback: Gulf Shores 2013 – Part 1 | The People Parsons

  2. What kind of spray paint did you use? I just tried this with Krylon (use for metal) and it puddled. Did you sand the cookie sheet first?

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