My Five Budget Friendly Tips for Decorating a Beautiful Tiered Tray

Are you ready to create a beautiful home décor display but don’t know where to start? When I became interested in styling tabletop décor, I fell in love with the professional looking tiered trays and cocoa bar posts I saw on social media. But once I got started designing my display, I realized that matching many of these styles was $$$$ that was outside of my discretionary design budget. Who else knows what I am talking about?


I simply could not put so much money into something that was seasonal, decorative, and that my family wouldn’t appreciate as much as I do. Because a tiered tray is one of the most versatile, and fun, ways to decorate your space check out my tips on creating a beautiful display in a way that won’t break the bank. Let’s get you closer to creating your beautiful décor!


  1. When you are visiting sites like Pinterest and Instagram to find inspiration, take note of the styles not the individual items as you might be falling in love with something outside of your budget. A style can be duplicated with items in a range of price tags, and you can find the perfect items for your display in your budget without copying each individual brand/item.

  2. Find a tray that meets your needs AND fits your budget. If you are crafty, you can build your own tray. My first tray was a couple of Dollar Tree plates glued together on a candlestick pedestal with a candleholder beneath it to give the tray some height. The grand total of this project was $4 for the supplies and a couple of dollars for the glue and about an hour of work time. There are also beautiful trays at hobby stores, and even stores like Target, Walmart and some dollar stores. I have several trays that I have bought from the Target Dollar Spot that costed about the same as my first homemade tray but cut the hassle of putting it together. I also shop the sales at Hobby Lobby and have bought a couple of trays from Hobby Lobby the week that they are on sale for less than $20.

  3. Shop around your home or at a local thrift store or garage sales for decorative items and antiques that match your décor theme. Teacups, cute pedestals, mini clay pots make great choices that you can find just about anywhere for great prices. You can pick up many items at your local dollar store and DIY them to match your theme. This is both frugal and will allow you to put a personal twist on your display. Also, if you find several similar items at a great price, you might be able to get a bundle price if you are shopping at a goodwill or consignment shop for taking several of the same items (don’t be afraid to ask). You can use all of them in your display by creating symmetrical balance in your display AND save some room in your budget.

  4. Use dried or silk flowers or plants to help create anchor pieces in your display that can be used and interchanged for multiple seasons and themes. I have found cute pieces at Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Target, and Michaels. Amazon also has some great and affordable choices. Another great tip is to shop for items that are off-season. I have lucked out and walked away with some end of season close-out florals for $.50 at Walmart, Dollar Tree, and Michaels!

  5. HAVE FUN! Don’t feel obligated to style a tray at the level of a professional interior designer or to blow your budget buying high end decorative accessories. This tray is to make YOUR space more comfortable, should reflect YOUR style, and be aesthetically pleasing to YOU, and stay within the financial limits you have set for your project.




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