How to Use a Mirror As a Tray for an Ottoman

Written by gryphon adams
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A mirror tray for an ottoman adds an eye-catching element of hospitality to the seating area. Use it to hold a decanter and glasses, a tea service, magazines or a small floral display. As home-seating areas expand, the need for an additional serving area increases. One coffee table won't hold the drinks for everyone seated at a large sectional. Ottomans make a convenient additional surface for a tray. Adding a mirrored tray enhances the items displayed on it. Use a few design tips to make the most of your mirrored ottoman tray.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Large mirror with frame
  • Coasters
  • Mat
  • Tea or coffee set (optional)
  • Decanter and glasses (optional)
  • Ice bucket (optional)

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  1. 1

    Select a mirror to use for a tray. Choose a large mirror, at least 18 inches long. This allows room to place a decanter or tea set on it without crowding. Use a mirror comfortable to pick up, so that it works as a serving tray. For example, pick an oval mirror with a smooth wooden frame, a rectangular mirror with a wide wooden frame or a round mirror with a wide metal frame. (See References 1 and 2.)

  2. 2

    Choose accessories to use on the tray. Find some coasters made of natural materials with cork, felt or rubber backing to protect the mirror from damage. Select a mat to fit under the tea pot or decanter. Choose a non-scratching material, such as an attractive handwoven fabric, to coordinate with the ottoman.

  3. 3

    Set the mirror on the ottoman. If it's a square, oblong or rectangular mirror, place it at an angle on the ottoman. Keep the mirror tray at least 2 inches from the ottoman's edge.

  4. 4

    Set the coasters on the mirrored tray at least 2 inches apart so it will be comfortable to pick up the beverages. Set out coasters for the usual number of beverages and stack the extra coasters. For example, set out four coasters on the mirrored tray in a semicircle.

  5. 5

    Add the mat on the side of the tray nearest to the seat where the person who serves the beverages sits.

  6. 6

    Put the decanter, tea or coffee service on the mat and the cups or glasses on the coasters. Add additional decanters or an ice bucket if desired.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid placing hard objects on the mirror tray, such as bottles, keys, cutlery or pottery, as these can scratch the mirror.
  • Use a silicone pot holder or a place mat under glass or pottery snack dishes and always use coasters under drinks.
  • Self-adhesive felt, available from hardware and craft stores, works well on the bottoms of vases and decanters to prevent scratching mirrors. Don't immerse these items when washing them after applying the felt.
  • Avoid using a mirror as a tray on an ottoman in a household with small children, due to risk of injury.
  • Don't use a mirror without a frame as a tray, due to the risk of injury. Add a frame to the mirror before using it as a tray.

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