These little snack trays are simple to make, fast to make, and best of all, they save on paper plates for snacks and sandwiches. You can coordinate your trays to your tablecloth or picnic spread, or use them for popcorn for movie night at home. (One has an iron-on laminate, so it can be wiped out and reused easily!)
You don't need a pattern and you can make these as small or large as you want. You control the depth of the sides, so you can have a tray or a basket. (Easter basket anyone?) Large scraps or fat quarters are perfect for these!
I've filled the basket with 6 little mini-trays - just right for a serving of chips, popcorn, apple slices, baby carrots, .....use your imagination! Even cookies will work in these! Of course, they don't have to be for food. You can use these little trays to hold jewelry, mail, make-up, sewing notions, socks in a drawer, fat quarters, Legos, dry cereal snacks for toddlers, etc. etc.
Here's how they're made:
First decide on a size. If you want a tray that is 7" x 9" with 1 1/2" sides, you will cut your fabric and batting 10" x 12" (7 + 1.5 + 1.5 = 10), (9 + 1.5 + 1.5 =12) You will need a fabric for the inside, one for the outside, and a batting for the inside to give it body. (Yes, you could use interfacing, but most of us have scraps of batting around and it works well.) NOTE: If you want a laminate inside, you can buy an iron-on type that is very easy to use. You just press it on, using the paper it comes on, and treat it as a piece of fabric. Be sure and follow the directions on the brand that you buy!
Layer the batting between the inside and outside fabrics, right sides showing! Using a glue stick or a little spray basting will help it all stay together while you work. Even spray starching will help.
Different set here, but you can see on this piece that you will then mark 1 1/2" (or whatever depth you want for your sides) around the sides and sew along the mark. I use a Frixion pen that disappears when I iron the piece. I also zig-zag along the edge.
Use your ruler to make a mark that is a continuation of the stitch line you made. Do this at both ends. (It doesn't matter which two sides you choose.) This will give you a guide for the next step. At this point, you may want to make some simple quilting lines in the area that will be the bottom of your tray. I made an X on the small ones, and parallel lines on the larger ones.
Fold on the diagonal at each corner and sew across the line you have just made. You will be stitching from the corner of the stitches in the middle to the edge.
You will have a box now with sides that poke out!
Fold the sides in as shown (I chose to fold them in on the shorter sides, but that is up to you.) Sew across the top to hold them in place. If you have laminate on the inside be careful to not touch the laminate with an iron, but press these in place. (You can sew the flap down along the diagonal fold if you wish. It is a little hard to do on the small ones with laminate, but easy on the larger ones.)
Cut a strip to use for binding. 2 1/4" wide will work unless you've made your tray really thick! Fold it in half lengthwise and press.
Before sewing it on, turn one end under 1/4" so that the raw edge is hidden. Leaving the first 1 1/2" free, sew it on as you would a quilt binding - raw edge to raw edge, sew 1/4" from the raw edge, and when you come to the end.....
...slip the end inside the end that is turned under. Sew the remainder on. You will be stitching this closed by hand.
Press the binding open. Remember to use the paper over any piece with laminate!!! Turn the binding to the other side to just cover the stitching and sew down either by hand....
Here is a basket (deep sides) and here are the trays (shallower sides).....
If you want sharper corner edges, just topstitch them! You can add a handle, or handles, to make a basket. Simply cut a strip about 3" wide, put a 1" wide strip of batting in the center, turn one edge in about 1/4", overlap the edges with the turned under edge on top, and topstitch. A glue stitck makes all of this much easier!
Give it a try!
Until next time......