If you don't have one of these that you're willing to transform, don't fret. Any respectable thrift store will have a few to chose from. I purchased my silver tray at a yard sale for 25 cents. I wanted something simple with an easily embellish-able edge.
First, I primed the entire tray--front and back--with a spray primer (don't skip this step...it makes tray painting so much easier!) Next, I used white spray paint to cover the entire front and then back of the tray. After that was dry, I applied chalkboard paint to the inside of the tray leaving the rim white. I needed two coats to get maximum coverage.
Let's take a moment to talk about my button collection. I've been snatching them up for years at thrift stores and yard sales. Is it possible to have too many buttons?! I was proud of myself for actually using a small part of my button stash for this project. I tend to have some hoarding characteristics when it comes to buttons so this was good therapy.
Back to the tray, starting at the inner edge of the rim (where the black meets white), I attached various sized buttons. It's kinda like a jigsaw puzzle fitting the right size button into the space. I kept my button palette mostly in the white family, but inserted a few chalky colored buttons for interest.
tahDah! I positioned my finished plate on a plate stand (a stand that was an ugly bronze, but a quick coat of black spray paint changed all that) and wrote my welcoming message.
I'll undoubtedly personalize the message for the various family and friends that visit and stay in our guest room over the year. We love our visitors, so I'm very excited to have this extra welcoming touch.