How To Decorate Plastic Black Catering Trays For Reuse

        Elevate your party table with a touch of creativity and practicality! Transforming those plain black catering trays into colorful trays that seamlessly blend with your party theme is so easy. It is a food-safe solution to decorate trays and is not time-consuming. I tried and tested this technique a few times for parties and it works great! What is the best part? It is a hassle-free tray cleanup and we can keep these trays for your next party event. Check out the simplicity and charm of this creative hosting hack!

*In my photos above I used paper napkin colors for a Mardi Gras holiday table. In the photo below I used 2 shades of green napkins to cover the Spring theme tray for my chocolate covered strawberries.

 *Check out the sandwiches page, link below! I have so many tips on where to buy trays in the USA and more.

Recommended ⇒ Easy Make Ahead Cold Sandwiches For Large Crowd With 9 Tips

What we need:

  1. Paper napkins ( or thin scrapbook paper or wrapping paper )
  2. Plastic wrap
  3. Plate smaller than tray ( to press plastic to the tray)

Photo Plastic wrap burger liningRecommended ⇒ 15 Creative Ways to Use Plastic Wrap in Your Kitchen


  1. Place paper napkins as you like the design on the tray.

*Don’t use too many napkins, so you can able to lock the cover to the tray.

2. Cover napkins with plastic wrap and make sure you have on both sides enough wrap, so when we turn the tray we can stick plastic to each other. Place a second tray on the top of the tray to hold the plastic wrap in place. It is a necessary step to press plastic with another plate! If you don’t, our tray will be like a drum, plastic doesn’t stay sticking to the tray. There still will be some plastic elevation above the tray with a plate too but we will be able to place food easily and there will be not much air under.

*We can use instead of a smaller tray the same size black tray to hold plastic with napkins down.

Photo Dessert garnished with melon ballerRecommended ⇒ How To Use Melon Baller 13 Ideas With Photos

3. Turn around the tray and stick plastic wrap to each other in the bottom as I show in the photo.

4. Turn around and repeat the same as many times as you need to cover well napkins.

*How many layers of wrap we make depends on what kind of food we serve and how thick plastic wrap you use. Keep in mind, that catering trays have locks, and for convenience and safety of food if you don’t have don’t use many layers of plastic wrap. For example, for deviled eggs, I covered 3 times 16-inch tray with a 12-inch with my plastic clear food wrap.

5. If too much air is trapped beneath the plastic wrap on the top of the tray. A simple fix is to put the tray upside down and make small openings in the plastic. The weight of the food pushes out the air.

My tray match Mardi Gras theme is ready and it took me a few minutes to cover the tray.

I like to use catering trays to transport and serve party food, especially for large parties and outdoor events. Trays are perfect for sandwiches, appetizers, cheese-meat platters, fruit platters, vegetable platters, baked goods, and much more. I like to reuse these trays and usually cover them with plastic wrap with decor paper or without. We don’t need much cleaning after removing the plastic from the trays. However, I suggest rinsing and drying trays with lids before storing them, no matter how clean they look.

When transporting food with someone, it’s a good idea to use painter’s tape to securely seal the lid on a tray, preventing any accidental openings. Painter tape is easy to remove and it leaves no residue behind.

Recommended ⇒ Photo How to decorate paper plates with napkins FlowerMany Ideas How To Decorate Table With Paper Napkins For Party

The photo below is from a real-life celebration of Mardi Gras 2024, held at the car repair auto shop owned by my husband’s friend. On the trays deviled eggs and stuffed jalapeno peppers. I removed the covers from the trays after the event and the trays look clean. I rinsed them at home and dried them with paper towels. I can reuse them again, they look like new.

Photo Jalapenos Peppers With Cream CheeseRecommended ⇒ Baked Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers With Cream Cheese Garnish Idea And Recipe

Spring Theme Tray With Chocolate Covered Strawberries

         In my spring theme tray, I used 4 green napkins to cover the bottom of the tray. My green tray matches so well liners for cupcakes. Much better looks than if I place it directly on a black tray. It took me a few minutes for this transformation. We can do it easy in a few days in advance, cover it with the lid for storage. Great technique, if you use black trays for serving food for the party.

I like to use liners to serve strawberries because easy to use for guests as individual cups. Additionally, I make use of leftover chocolate. I use it to make chocolate-covered pecans and almonds. I place nuts with strawberries in each cup instead of directly on the tray.

I used this catering tray for convenience to carry to the family’s Easter tea party. Then we transfer strawberries and nuts to a fancy plate. It is so handy to have these catering trays on hand!

Recommended ⇒ 5 Clever Uses for Paper Cupcake Liners Besides Baking


How to cut watermelon for partyRecommended ⇒ 5 Ideas How to Cut Watermelon into Fancy Shapes for Your Next Party

⇓ Check My Newest Posts ⇓

⇓ Find More Recipes ⇓

Recipe Index

Logo on White

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *