Coffee Table Alternative

We stayed with a friend in NYC this weekend at her elegant apartment.  Instead of the usual coffee table, her living areas had large, upholstered ottomans.  Since ottomans don't provide a steady surface on which to place a drink, each ottoman was topped with a decorative tray.  This eliminated the need for coasters, which I'm always corralling and stacking on my coffee table.  

I searched online for decorative trays and my favorites were these boldly patterned trays by Madeline Weinrib (available at Barneys).   Unfortunately, they are beyond my budget, but have a look and see what you think: 

The black and cream chevron print is my favorite

A pretty fabulous black and cream Ikat print 

Even the plain, black tray from Barneys is pricey.

This had me thinking that maybe I could make my own tray.  Craft stores will probably carry unfinished wood square trays in the same shape as Madeline Weinrib's (I've seen them somewhere...) and maybe I could decoupage them in decorative paper.  My favorite papers are from PaperMojo:

Black and gold chevron print (currently sold out)

I love this brown and cream Japanese print

This bold black and cream print would be fun.

Another bold black and cream Japanese print

Black and gold print

Another Japanese print, this time in black and cream

Black and gold leaf print

Black and chestnut-brown

The same print in black and cream

Do you have any experience with decoupage?  I'm not sure this is much of hobby for anyone (other than John Derian), given all the technology available this days. If you have any tips, I'd love to hear them.