Man Cave Lap Tray
What holds your soda, chips and salsa bowl, candy tray, remote control, and phone or tablet all at the same time? A lap tray. It is the perfect tool for a man cave. I use the two trays I built for a lot of different things. In fact, I am writing this very step-by-step guide while sitting on a very comfortable leather recliner with my lap tray serving as a keyboard and mouse holder. When I watch movies, I use another lap tray to hold my snacks and drinks. I love them because they are versatile, durable, easy to clean, and padded for long-lasting comfort. They look pretty cool too.
I’m sure that you can think of at least one use for a lap tray in your own man cave. But do you know how to build one? Follow this guide and you’ll have one in no time. This took 45 minutes to build (once I had all the supplies rounded up). The guide is meant as just that – a guide. Please feel free to customize to meet your needs. You might have ideas that I didn’t think of that would make yours even better than mine. More power to you. I hope you improve upon my concept, so let’s get started.
Step 1 – Attach Vinyl With Staples
Wrap vinyl fabric around the plywood and staple it to the underside.
Pay particular attention to the corners. It takes a little bit of thinking ahead to make sure the corners turn out right. Cut away any extra material. Hammer the staples in all the way if any of them are not flush.
Step 2 – Apply Double Sided Tape
Apply double sided tape to the underside of the plywood.
This tape will hold the foam in place as you continue the build. It will also provide greater strength and durability to the tray. Leave about ¾-inch space between the edges of the tray and the tape. This space will come in handy later on when you staple the rest of the fabric into place and apply the cotton rope trim.
Step 3 – Secure Foam
Apply the foam padding to the underside of the wood. Set the piece on a hard and flat surface and push the plywood downward onto the foam – just make sure that all sides are flush. Hold the downward pressure firmly in place for a good 20 seconds so that the tape gets a good grab on the foam.
Step 4 – Staple Underside Fabric
Wrap the underside fabric around the foam and staple it to the underside of the plywood.
Staple in the gap around the edge where the foam meets the plywood. This will allow you to hide your staples. Cut away any extra fabric.
This is a delicate step because you don't want to accidentally staple any of the foam in the process. Be careful to not pull the fabric too tight as you progress through the stapling or else the foam will end up with ripples and waves from the tension.
Step 5 – Apply Rope With Hot Glue
Apply hot glue in the gap and place the cotton rope on it. I like to push the rope into the gap just far enough to be flush with the edges of the board and foam.
You need to apply the rope to the glue quickly because hot glue dries in a matter of seconds. This step is much easier to accomplish with two people.