Thursday, 27 February 2014

DIY ~ Styles Eats: Acrylic Trays

A lot of caterers use acrylic trays as a way to present food. It is a really clean and modern way to serve food to your guests. This project shows you how to make your own tray. We’ve done it here for cotton candy but you could use it for just about anything on a stick. It is really simple, all you need is to be able to drill a few holes. I think these would be great for a cocktail party or baby shower, or making an awesome Amy Atlas style dessert table. I also really like that you would be able to reuse these over and over for future parties!

Full instructions after the jump…
To make the cotton candy you can rent a cotton candy machine. We decided to buy one of these at-home-machines for $40. I was pretty pleased with the results. They work great for small parties but if I had to produce a lot for a school class or large group I would still rent a large machine from a party supply store. (Tip: we found we had better luck spinning the cotton candy on a wood stick rather than acrylic so we transferred them over to the acrylic sticks afterwards.)

Materials Needed: Thick acrylic slab, 1/8″ drill bit for plastic, 1/8″ acrylic sticks.

To make acrylic trays like this cost effective, the key is to hit the remnant bin at an industrial plastic store. Here in San Francisco we have TAP Plastics. They have large thick slabs in various colors and thicknesses for about $10. (If you don’t go the route of the remnant bin they can cost from $30-$50!) In addition we picked up 1/8″ thick acrylic sticks that we cut down to the size we wanted–about 7″ long. We also purchased a $5 drill bit in 1/8″ that was specifically designed to drill through plastic. All the supplies for the tray came out to about $20 and every tray after will cost about $10.

Step 1: Figure out how big you will make your cotton candy and decide how far apart you want your holes. Mark the liner on top of the slab where you are going to drill your holes.

Step 2: Using your drill bit for plastic make a hole 2/3 of the way through the slab. Check if the stick fits, if it doesn’t work the drill in the hole to widen it until it fits.

Step 3:  Peel back the liner and voila! You’ve got a tray for your party!


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