I like to mix a little boho decor with my vintage decor pieces. Or as I like to call it, my somewhat eclectically eccentric vintage-loving decor.
I feel the old bamboo pieces so easily found at thrift stores and estate sales give a little bit of a classic, bohemian aesthetic along with a bit of whimsy.
The key is to use them in small bites here and there so as to not be overpowering.
Today I'm going to show you how I updated a well-worn bamboo serving tray I found at the local thrift store. If you want to jump straight to that project just use the Table Of Contents below to get there (I won't be offended if you don't want to read through my blathering on and on about my other bohemian bamboo pieces).
Boho Bamboo Around The House
For instance, I have this wonderful bamboo plant stand in my entryway.
Or is it a washstand? Side table?
Whatever it is it is one of my favorite pieces I've found lately. I picked it up at a local 2nd hand shop.
And I have this honest-to-goodness plant stand that I picked up at Marshall's a few years ago.
OK, Marshall's is not exactly a thrift store or anything, but it is a great place to find quirky inexpensive items for the home.
And who can't use a sturdy plant stand?
And to get even more off the thrift store beaten path, I bought both of these bohemian-styled pieces at Walmart last year.
The woven lantern is actually an outdoor summer dining table piece and the 4 legged elevated plant stand was sold in their garden center.
I wonder if Walmart will go for the boho bamboo look again this year or move on to something else? You never know with those guys.
BTW, the big-leafed plant just peeking out to the left is a Fiddle Leaf Fig.
I have a love/hate relationship with these guys. They are quite finicky and I don't always have time to play their games (they don't like to be moved around a lot, so pick a good spot for them and, for all things Holy, leave them be).
✨ If you're interested in more information on houseplants, I have a post about my favorite 9 Easy To Care For Houseplants - HERE.
Updating A Thrift Store Bamboo Tray
When I found this well-worn tray at the thrift store I had to buy it and try to revive it.
It had a lot of the original finish worn off on the rim and quite a few stains on the tray part of it but was still in good sturdy shape.
It had a lot of life left to live.
An interesting thing about this tray is that it says "Made For Elizabeth Arden in Hong Kong" on the bottom.
I'm assuming for the Elizabeth Arden beauty counters at high-end department stores and not for Ms. Elizbeth Arden herself. Was there an actual Elizabeth Arden?
I'm picturing a lot of perfume bottles that have sat on this over the years and that is where the stains came from.
(This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. You can read my full disclosure policy here.)
- Thrift Store Bamboo Tray
- Stencils (Hello Hobby Paisley set at Walmart #49882)
- Paints (Waverly Chalk in Ivory, Elephant and Mineral)
- Artists Brushes
- Pouncer Brushes (Hello Hobby at Walmart - 10 pack)
- Painter's Tape (Scotch Blue)
- Cute little tray for paints (optional)
- Repositional Spray Adhesive (Elmer's Craft Bond Multipurpose Spray Adhesive) -optional
- Clear spray protectant (Rust-Oleum Satin Clear Enamel) - optional
Time needed: 20 minutes
Tray Upcycle Project
- Tape Off Tray
If planning on using two or more colors of paint, tape off the bottom portion of the tray.
- Taping Round Corners
If the tray has rounded corners you can cut small pieces of tape and layer them around the corners to make it easier to contour the tape.
- Paint Sides
Using a paintbrush, paint the bamboo edges with the off-white paint (Ivory).
- Paint Base Of Tray
Using the dark grey paint (Elephant), paint the bottom of the tray.
- Add Stencils
Cut out your stencils (they come in a sheet with many stencils on one page).
You can either spray the back of the stencils with a repositionable* spray adhesive to make them stick to the tray or just do it the old-fashioned way by holding them down with painter's tape.
*If using the spray make sure it says it's repositionable and not permanent, or you will have trouble getting the stencils up.
- Paint The Stencils
I ended up switching from the foam pouncer stencil brushes to a traditional stencil brush with bristles. I felt the foam brushes weren't getting into the crevices of the bamboo well enough.
I used the light grey (Mineral) for the stencils.
- Remove Stencils & Let Dry
When you are done stenciling, carefully lift the stencils and allow the piece to dry.
You can add a coat or two of CLEAR enamel for added protection. I find that chalk paint by itself can be easily scuffed, so if you are going to use it as a real tray (like putting glassware, plates or plants on it), a protectant is a good idea.
I put my tray on my bookshelf along with some pieces of milk glass.
I believe the ones with the bumpy bits are Fenton Hobnail design. And the ones with the scroll design might be Anchor Hocking Old Colony design milk glass.
I could be wrong though as I am just a casual milk glass collector and basically just grab it when I see it at the thrift store!
Along with the milk glass I have some old clarinet cases, colorful books, some wooden office supply boxes and a clock on the shelving.
Also a head. Gotta have a doll head lying around.
Yes, that is a fall wreath on top of the bookcase. Good eye.
I liked it so much and felt since it wasn't shouting FALL (not tons of pumpkins, mums and cornstalks) I decided to leave it out year-round.
Or until I find another wreath I love as much.
Where To Find Bamboo Decor Pieces
Back in the 70's and 80's inexpensive bamboo and wicker were hot, hot, hot!
Now that Grandma and Grandpa are getting up in years (that's better than saying dying, right?), those pieces are finding their way to thrift stores, yard sales and estate sales.
Anything from end tables to bookshelves to fancy wall art, bamboo and wicker is easily found and fairly popular again.
Thrift Store Decor Team Projects
Let's pop on over to the other Thrift Store Decor Team's sites and see what they've been up to this month!
Thrift Store Decor Team Projects
Eleven Washboard Upcycled Decor Projects - Organized Clutter
DIY Love Sign- Petticoat Junktion
Thrift Store Box Makeover - Our Southern Home
DIY Vintage Aged Pottery Vessel - My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Upcycled Cedar Chest - Shop At Blu
Vintage Headboard Makeover - My Repurposed Life
Upcycled Boho Bamboo Decor - House of Hawthornes (that's me)