Serve meals on fab trays

For Annie Modica, beauty is as simple as rock, paper, scissors – no, make that glue, paper, scissors.

Modica is a former art teacher who transformed a hobby into a thriving business.

Fifteen years ago, she gave up teaching for decoupage, the art of decorating objects with colored paper cutouts and varnish. She began with trays but now offers planters, stools, boxes, wastebaskets and lazy susans.

Though she has a staff of artisans, each handcrafted tray is designed and signed by Modica.

Purchase Modica trays at Locally, they are sold at Indulgence Bed & Bath on Bainbridge Island (206-780-2218).

If you’re serving meals outdoors this spring, try an Annie Modica creation or one of these lovely trays:

1. The octagonal shape and striking black-and-white design make this limed ebony-and-ivory Global Views tray a standout. $155 at dh Collection, Fort Worth; or 817-877-1994.

2. Annie Modica pineapple-design tray, orange with black-and-white-striped trim around the edges. The back has a butterfly design and Modica’s signature. $307 at P.S. The Letter, Fort Worth; or 817-731-2032.

3. Faux wood Black Forest Tray is a replica of a French antique. Despite its wood look, this sturdy (and quite heavy) tray will stand up well to the elements. $64 at Wisteria,

4. For a sophisticated look, you can’t beat this large Gracious Goods oval wrought iron and ceramic tray with an antiqued mirror bottom in a brown-and-black mottled pattern. $224 at That’s Haute!; or 817-545-8600.

5. Feeding a crowd? At 30 inches by 16 inches, this oversize lacquer tray in a cheerful yellow will carry the day. $99 at Pottery Barn;

Cathy Frisinger, McClatchy Newspapers