This copper and marble tray was a classic case of “I can make that!” when I saw this one at Terrain. Just glue some copper handles to a piece of marble, and bam, you’re done, right?
Well, hold your horses. I tried that, and it didn’t work. But I figured out a better way to make my own marble tray.
After trying two different types of glue, I gave up on glue. I didn’t think I’d be able to trust that I could actually carry the tray by the handles, without worrying the heavy marble tile (and the stuff on it) would go crashing to the floor. So I decided that I need to drill baby, drill. But I’d never drilled marble or tile before, and googling for tips made me worried that it would be difficult.
Good news, though: It wasn’t. You do need a specialty stone or tile bit, and it takes a little bit of patience, but it was totally fine in my experience. It’s always nice when the lesson you take away from something is that it’s probably not as hard as it sounds, give it a go and it’ll be fine.
Another point where I learned a lesson with this project involves spray paint. When it comes to metallic ones, they are NOT all created equal. I have a big pile of silver metal handles left over from renovating our kitchen cabinets, so after failing to find any suitable copper handles at my go-to local salvage sources, I decided I’d just paint a couple of those. I really wasn’t happy with the first copper spray paint I tried (Rustoleum), and I was ready to give up and just order these copper handles until I saw someone use Krylon copper spray paint on another project. It comes in a smaller-than-standard size bottle, for the same price as a larger bottle, but it’s worth it because it’s a much better color than the other one I tried.
Anyone have other good metallic spray paints to recommend?
For the two bottles of spray paint I bought I could have bought inexpensive copper drawer pulls online (if money were no object I’d have used these or these, but these, these, or these look nice), but that’s not the case if you get the spray paint right the first time. So learn from my mistakes!
Also, if copper isn’t your thing, I bet this would be gorgeous with some pretty brass handles. If your handles are already the color you want, this is even easier, because you can skip the painting, and just drill.
Copper and Marble Tray
Marble tile – I used these 6″x12″ tiles, which come in a pack of two.
Drawer handles – Mine have screw holes that are 3 3/4″ apart.
Screws – You’ll need to buy shorter screws than the ones your handles likely came with. 1/2″ or 3/4″ machine screws worked for these handles and tile.
Copper spray paint – I used Krylon Premium Metallic Finish in Copper Brilliance (but I might’ve tried the Dusty Pink if my store had carried it).
Rubber or vinyl bumpers – Similar to these.
Masking tape or painter’s tape
Marker or pen
Dremel or drill
Diamond bit for stone or tile – The bit I used is a cone-shaped one that came from a set like this one. Make sure that it’s big enough that the screw will be able to fit through the holes!
1. Drill holes in the scrap wood the same distance apart as the holes in your handle, then insert the long, original screws your handles came with, and screw on your handles so that they’re held above the wood. Spray paint the handles with a few coats of copper paint, following the directions on your bottle for re-coating and drying times.
2. Measure where you want to place your handles, centering them on the short edges of the tile. Place tape where you’ll be drilling, and mark the locations of the holes. Be sure not to put the holes too close to the edges, or your tile will be more likely to crack.
3. First, put on eye protection for drilling. Since this was my first time ever drilling tile, I used the advice I read on the internet that said to start with the bit at an angle at first, then move it perpendicular to the tile. Keep the speed at medium to low, and don’t apply much pressure. Just be patient, and let the drill do the work. If you have a spray bottle, you can spray the bit with water to help keep it cool, or you can occasionally turn it off and dip it in water to cool it. Repeat for all 4 holes.
4. Clean the stone dust from your tile, then screw the copper handles onto the marble tile through the holes you just made.
5. Add stick-on vinyl or rubber bumpers to keep the screws from scratching surfaces.
Christen your new tray with drinks and cheese!