DIY Farmhouse Style Tray

A tray is not only decorative, but also useful.  On a coffee table, they can corral magazines and remotes.  On a table, they can be base of a centerpiece or seasonal vignette.  And of course, they are good for their intended purpose, to transport items from place to place.  For this month’s Power Tool Challenge Team project, we are all making  trays.  It’s going to be fun to see what everyone created.  You’ll find links to the trays that my friends made at the end of this post.

I love the DIY Wood Tray that I created and it’s going to be fun to use in décor in any season.

DIY Farmhouse Style Tray - Learn how to make your own with a step-by-step tutorial. virginiasweetpea.com

 

This tray is large measuring in at 2’ x 16 3/4”.  I really love the look that the Weathered Wood stain gave the new Poplar used to construct it.

DIY Farmhouse Style Tray - Learn how to make your own with a step-by-step tutorial. virginiasweetpea.com

 

Decorative banding added to each corner gives this new piece an old look.

DIY Farmhouse Style Tray - Learn how to make your own with a step-by-step tutorial. virginiasweetpea.com

 

This tray is ready to decorate my coffee table for spring.

DIY Farmhouse Style Tray - Learn how to make your own with a step-by-step tutorial. virginiasweetpea.com

 

My aunt passed along this Blenko vase that belonged to my grandmother to me at Christmas.  This is the first time I’ve had an opportunity to use it.  It looks pretty filled with Viburnum cutting from my yard.

Viburnums in a Blenko Vase

Now let me show you how I made this tray.  Be sure to check out the trays that my friends made by clicking the links at the end of this post.

How to Make a DIY Wood Tray

Materials

1 Sheet Birch Plywood – 1/8” x 2 ft x 2 ft

2 Poplar Project Boards – 1/2” x 4” x 4 ft

8 Right Angle Metal Corner Brackets (Decorative)

Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner

Minwax Wood Finish in Weathered Oak

Minwax Polycrylic

Wood Glue (We like Tightbond)

Router Bits:  3/8” x 1/2” Rabbeting Bit and 1/4” Roundover Bit

1 3/8” Forstner Drill Bit

Clamps (our favorite) and Pipe Clamps

Clamping Squares – We use these for nearly every woodworking project that we do!

Circular Saw

Router

Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Dremel Rotary Tool

Drill Press

Jigsaw

Orbital Sander

 

This project cost just about $44 to make. I had to purchase the wood, decorative corners, wood conditioner, and the wood stain.  The lumber cost was about $18. How to Make a Farmhouse Style Tray - Step-by-Step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

Procedure

Make the Sides of the Tray

The sides of the tray are made from two 1/2” x 4” x 4 ft Poplar project boards.  The long sides were cut at 24” each and the short sides at 16-3/4” each.

I wanted the bottom of the tray to fit into the wood, so I used a 3/8” x 1/2” Rabbeting Bit to cut a groove in the sides and end boards.

Since I intended to butt joint the tray ends (handle side) to the long sides of the tray, I routed rabbets the entire length of the long sides, but had to rabbet only the interior edges of short sides.  The rabbet depth was approximately 1/8” deep. See photos below.

A routing table is a handy tool to have for projects like this.

How to Make a Farmhouse Style Tray - Step-by-Step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

This is the groove cut on the two side pieces.

How to Make a Farmhouse Style Tray - Step-by-Step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

Here you can see how the bottom of the tray is flush with the sides thanks to the routed groove.

How to Make a Farmhouse Style Tray - Step-by-Step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

The two end pieces were also routed but with 3/8” left unrouted on each end so that the rabbet is not visible when the short sides are glued to the ends of the long sides.

How to Make a Farmhouse Style Tray - Step-by-Step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

The router bit left rounded edges that needed to be squared off so that the tray would fit into the groove  A Dremel was used to make a straight cut and then the excess wood was chipped out with a chisel.

How to Make a Farmhouse Style Tray - Step-by-Step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

You can see the cut the Dremel made here and then the pencil line indicates where the wood was removed.  A sharp razor knife would also probably do the same as the Dremel tool, if you are careful.

How to Make a Farmhouse Style Tray - Step-by-Step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

Here you see the end pieces now have a squared off groove so that the bottom will seat properly when the tray is constructed.

How to Make a Farmhouse Style Tray - Step-by-Step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

Make the Handles

Measure the center of each end piece and mark with a pencil.  A center finding ruler makes this a snap!

How to Make a Farmhouse Style Tray - Step-by-Step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

Each handle is 3 1/2” wide and is formed by using a 1 3/8” Forstner bit, a drill press, and then a jigsaw.  I measured down 1/2’ and then marked off where each Forstner bit hole would be drilled.

How to Make a Farmhouse Style Tray - Step-by-Step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

Use a drill or drill press to make two holes for the sides of the handle.

How to Make a Farmhouse Style Tray - Step-by-Step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

Mark lines to cut to form the rest of the handle.How to Make a Farmhouse Style Tray - Step-by-Step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

Use a jigsaw to cut on the lines to form the handles.

How to Make a Farmhouse Style Tray - Step-by-Step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

Attach a 1/4” Roundover bit to the router and route each side of the handle.

How to Make a Farmhouse Style Tray - Step-by-Step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

Make the Bottom of the Tray

Use the 1/8” x 2 ft x 2 ft sheet of Birch plywood to make the bottom of the tray.  Since the bottom is to be rabbeted into the tray sides, the bottom dimensions have to include the depth of the rabbet on each side of the tray sides.  Additionally, the short pieces of the end tray are butt joined to the long pieces of the tray.  The dimensions of the bottom plywood panel were determined by measurement after the sides were dry fitted together.  Once the bottom dimensions were determined  I used a carpenter’s square to draw a line at at the appropriate measurement and then made the cut using a circular saw.

How to Make a Farmhouse Style Tray - Step-by-Step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

Sand

Sand all of the pieces with an orbital sander.

How to Make a Farmhouse Style Tray - Step-by-Step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

Construct the Sides of the Tray

Glue the side and end pieces together.  Use clamping squares in the corners with clamps to insure that all corners are square.  Use pipe clamps to hold everything in place while the glue dries.  A woodshop cannot have enough clamps on hand.

How to Make a Farmhouse Style Tray - Step-by-Step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

The Tray Unfinished with the Bottom Not Attached

Here the tray is unfinished and the bottom isn’t attached but you can see that it fits into place.

How to Make a Farmhouse Style Tray - Step-by-Step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

Bottom View

How to Make a Farmhouse Style Tray - Step-by-Step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

Stain the Tray

I didn’t have a stain color in my stock pile that I wanted to use on this tray, so I went shopping at Home Depot for a new color.  I purchased Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner to use before staining and Weathered Oak stain.  The sample boards in the stain section sold me on Weathered Oak;  I liked how the stain made the wood look old barn wood.

Minwax Wood Finish Penetrating Stain in Weathered Oak and Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner

 

Attach the Tray Bottom and Add the Decorative Brackets to the Sides

I attached the bottom of the tray to the sides with glue and brad nails.  Felt pads will protect table surfaces from being scratched.

How to Make a Farmhouse Style Tray - Step-by-Step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

Decorative brackets were added and the tray was complete.

DIY Farmhouse Style Tray - Learn how to make your own with a step-by-step tutorial. virginiasweetpea.com

 

This tray has already made it’s way to the lake where when not used as décor, will be immensely useful for carrying food from the kitchen to the dock.

DIY Farmhouse Style Tray - Learn how to make your own with a step-by-step tutorial. virginiasweetpea.com

 

If you like this project, please pin it for others to discover.

DIY Farmhouse Style Tray - Learn how to make your own with a step-by-step tutorial. virginiasweetpea.com

 

Now it’s time to enjoy the trays that my friends made.  Click on the link below to visit each project.

DIY Tray Tutorials from the Power Tool Challenge Team

Designed Décor – DIY Serving Tray

Interior Frugalista – DIY Farmhouse Tray

H2OBungalow – Coastal Rope Handle Tray Tutorial

Virginia Sweet Pea – DIY Farmhouse Style Tray

My Repurposed Life – DIY Tray Using Metal Tiles

My Love 2 Create – DIY Chalkboard Serving Tray

Create And Babble – DIY Wooden Quilt Square Tray

The Kim Six Fix – Easy Hexagonal Tray

Domestically Speaking – DIY Coastal Tray

Comments

  1. Wow Paula, your woodworking skills are impressive! Love the rustic charm of this tray and the decorative metal brackets are such a great touch.

  2. Beautiful tray! I’m impressed with your collection of tools too.

  3. I love this tray. I especially love the corner brackets. What a clever idea!

    • Sweet Pea says:

      I was really happy that I thought about adding corner brackets and that I planned ahead enough to get them in time to use them. All of the trays this month were great.

  4. I love this tray! I love how you cut out the wood for the handles! I am going to have to try this whenever I build another tray! The metal corner details are perfect!

    • Sweet Pea says:

      The wood cut out handles make it easy to carry this tray. I am planning to load it with food to carry back and forth between the kitchen and our dock this summer at the lake. I also like the corner brackets and am glad that I thought to add them.

  5. I love your farmhouse tray Paula! Your stain choice and those corners are perfect and I really like that you routed the edges for assembly. You are so right about having enough clamps – I need to add more to my workshop and appreciate your advice on which ones to get.

  6. Love the weathered oak stain… so pretty!
    Maryann @ Domestically Speaking recently posted…How to Make Your Own DIY Painted FurnitureMy Profile

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