Pro DIY Project: David Stark's Visual Memorabilia Cocktail Tray

Pro DIY Project: David Stark's Visual Memorabilia Cocktail Tray

Janel Laban
May 14, 2013

To get ready for summer entertaining season,  this month we're sharing a mini-series of pro tips and projects from our guest blogger, party planner extraordinaire and designer David Stark.  This week, his idea for a fun one-of-a-kind tray to commemorate a fun event or honored guest.

Last week I was at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami giving a presentation and signing my new book David Stark: The Art of the PartyIt was a fabulous day not only because the crowd was amazing, but the museum has a lot of meaning to me — it is the site of one of my favorite projects in the    the recent 15th Anniversary Gala we created for MOCA.

Utilizing 15 years of the graphic materials of this fabulous institution cut into perfect 6 inch squares and reassembled in an abstract modulation of color, invitations, posters, reviews, and exhibition catalogs upholstered the walls floor to ceiling, transforming the museum  galleries into a crazy quilt of MoCA history.  

We also used these historical materials to create grand lighting fixtures suspended from the ceiling and table centerpieces that showcased open pages of all of the catalogs from 15 years of exhibitions.  For me, this décor schematic is the perfect amalgam of design and conceptual thinking, making what the evening is about totally implicit in the room.

This strategy, carried out in a grand way for MoCA, can be executed  on any scale, really, for smaller parties at home.  All it requires is imagery that you love. It can be pages from your favorite books, photographs scanned and printed out on the computer to honor a birthday boy or girl, a collection of vintage postcards, tickets you have saved from sporting or theater events, or seasonal imagery that celebrates a holiday.  Go nuts and cover your walls, or scale smaller and make a fabulous serving tray.

Here’s how . . .

Pick up an inexpensive frame. We got ours from West Elm. 12x12 makes for a good size tray. I wouldn’t go much bigger, you don’t want to over stress the glass.  Then gather all your favorite memorabilia — old pictures, post cards, concert tickets. Take a trip to your local copy center and color copy all of your favorites or scan them on a home computer scanner. Feel free to blow some up as well.

Cut each copy into 2” squares. If you use a 12x12 frame like we did, you will need 36 squares. Lay them out on the cardboard that comes with the frame.  We use non-permanent double stick tape (that way you can easily move the squares around). Clean the glass and assemble the frame.  Voila!

The tray is great for drinks or hors d'oeuvres, and you can wrap it up after the party and give it to your guest of honor as a souvenir!


More info and inspiration from David Stark: 

(Images: 1 & 6: Susie Montagna, 2-5: KT Merry, Book Cover: Aaron Delesie)

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