Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Guy Gift- Valet Tray Tutorial

Do you ever find it hard to make gifts for men?? Brothers, dads, husbands, father-in-laws etc....
Not anymore, people. I have found my 2011 guy gift.

My husband's boss went to New York. He brought gifts back for his faithful workers. My husband received this. A valet tray. It was the first time I had ever heard of one. Isn't it pretty :)
My husband keeps it on his night stand and uses it to hold his change, wallet, keys, chap-stick etc.
It's made out of leather and is handmade. I think the price tag was close to $75. Who wants to pay that when you can make something just as stylish and chic?

Want to make one?? Here's what you need.

1 10.5 x 12 piece of fabric (this will be your main piece that will fit on the inside of the tray).
1 10.5 x 12 piece of fabric (this will be for the outside of the tray...the gray piece on mine).
1 10.5x 12 piece of batting (I used warm and natural)
1 10.5 x 12 piece of interfacing (I used the heavy weight kind).
thread, sewing machine, fabric marker
1. Attach your interfacing to your outside fabric (in this case, the gray colored fabric). I have made one where I interfaced both sides, but it's really not necessary.

2. Layer your fabric pieces. Place the batting on the bottom. Then the outside piece, right side up, then the main piece right side facing the outside piece as shown.

3. Pin, pin, pin through all three layers.

4. Sew, sew, sew...leaving a 3 inch opening on one end or side. I used a 3/8 seam allowance.

I usually use a 2.3 or 2.4 stitch length.
5. Clip the corner. (Uh, don't use this method with the rotary cutter. Just use scissors. You don't have as much control this way and might mess up and clip more than you intend. Just sayin'.)

6. Turn it inside out.

7. Make all your seams flat by working them out with your fingers, smooth out the corners and press.

8. Next, measure 1.5 inches from the seams and mark. You are going to top stitch this line.
9. Top stitch 1/8 inch around the entire tray. (Before you do this step you could blind stitch the opening by hand...this is what my mom would do, but I just closed the opening with my 1/8 inch top stitch). I use a 3.0 stitch length for top stitching.

10. Next, top stitch over the lines you drew. You will be sewing a square in the center 1.5 inches from the edge.

11. Fold one of the corners like this, and draw a line 1.5 inches from the tip. Repeat for all 4 corners.

12. Sew along those lines at each of the 4 corners.

13. Admire your work. Give as a gift or keep it for yourself. I have this one sitting on my sewing table filling up with some sewing notions, but it will be going to my brother for his birthday. He's an optometrist, so I think the fabric is very appropriate.

Weekend Bloggy Reading

handmade projects


  1. Way cool... forget my husband, I want to make one for MYSELF! Thanks for the tutorial :)

  2. What a great idea! I love this and what a great choice of fabric!!!

    Also, I have a great Dove chocolate giveaway going on right now and would love if stopped by and entered:

    ~Katie @ Eye Spy DIY

  3. So cool, Janna!! This is a fabulous tutorial. You did a wonderful job explaining each step. Love the glasses fabric. I have heard of valet trays, and now I think my husband needs one. ;)

    Thanks so much for joining my Weekend Bloggy Reading party (and for linking back--I appreciate that!!). :) Have fun finding some new reads, and I hope you'll visit Serenity Now again soon. :)

  4. You really gave a good tutorial, these are great replacements for a boring store bought tray, plus it looks like it won't require a lot of fabric, great for scraps I have laying around. Saw this on Amanda's link party.

  5. Really great idea! I think I might have to make one of these for my hubby for Father's Day.

  6. I love it!!! Great tutorial. Thanks!
    PS- I wish I had a fancy shmansy sewing machine. It looks like it is very nice.

  7. what a great idea. it is hard to buy for men, much less make them something!


  8. I love this project! I work at a store that sells a full leather one with snaps at the corners, but it's crazy expensive!! Love this idea, boys are so hard to buy for!

  9. I have made a smaller one of these but, I really like your tutorial on this and the size is very nice!! I love it!

  10. that's perfect-and great tutorial! super fun fabric, too!

  11. I love this! It would make a great gift for my husband. Fabulous tutorial and I love the glasses fabric. =] Thanks for sharing.

  12. Darling Darling, great fabric pattern too! winks-jen

  13. It´s a great tutorial! I love that fabric.
    I´ll try to make one for me
    Hugs from Spain

  14. Thanks for the tutorial! This is a really excellent idea!!

    ~ Jen @

  15. I just finished making one of these and my hubby loves it. Thank you for the great tutorial. I was able to start and finish this while my son napped this afternoon.