How to Style a Tiered Tray

Tiered trays are so popular right now, and for good reason! They’re a great way to display some of your favorite decorations in a pleasing vignette. Don’t let styling a tiered tray intimidate you! As long as you follow a few simple principles, they come together pretty easily. Here’s how to do it!

Decide on a theme before you start
Your theme can be a color, a season, a holiday, an event (ie a birthday); anything you want! The sky is the limit. The sky can even be your theme!

Variety is the spice of tiered trays
Choose items of varying sizes, heights, colors, and/or textures. This will create visual interest and keep it from looking too uniform and uninteresting.

When placing on your tray, start with larger items first
It’s easier to place smaller items around bigger ones than vice versa. This is especially true of any focal point or anchor piece you want to highlight. Place that first.

Balance is key
Items do not need to be equal in size, but like-sized pieces need to be balanced throughout all tiers of your tray. For example, if you place a taller item on the left side of the bottom tier, consider another taller item on the right side of the top tier.

Play with varying heights
Use risers or stack items to fill in vertical space, not just empty space on the tray itself. If it will be hidden, anything can be a riser, even a small cardboard box!

If it fits, it sits
Other than size, there are no limits to what you can put on a tiered tray! Stack old books, dishes, candles, planters…don’t limit yourself to knick knacks. Get creative!

Vary texture in your fillers
Once your larger pieces are placed, it’s time for fillers, the smaller items that fill out the leftover space. For these, play with various textures. This is an especially great place to include some live items, like fruit or greenery. Fillers aren’t limited to the tiers, either; draping textiles or beads over the edges create great interest. Just don’t forget to balance it all!

Sticky tack is your best friend
Sometimes, things are wobbly, or placing an item at an angle creates visual interest. Use sticky tack to secure any item that doesn’t sit straight up.

Reminder: For tiered trays that will be seen around all 360 degrees, make sure you design it so that there is no “back side” and it is visually pleasing from every angle.

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