December 3, 2016

3rd Day of Craftmas – Rustic Wood Tray

Rustic Wood Tray

Hi Friends,

on the third of Craftmas I bring to you a beautiful rustic wood tray.  So far we brought to you a personalized caster and a gallery wall starter kit.


Rustic Wood Tray – Little note

So this DIY is more complicated than all the other ones I shared with you in the past.  We created our tray out of an old pallet which required a jointer.  I know that not everyone may have one, so you can buy at least 10 feet of 1”x4” pine at the big box store or your local lumber yard.

Rustic Wood Tray – What you need

Wood (10 feet of 1″x4″)

Wood glue

23 gauge finish nailer

Table Saw with miter gauge

Bar or pipe clamps

Sander and sandpaper

MinWax in Dark Walnut {affiliate link}

MinWax in Golden Oak {affiliate link}

Americana Decor Clear Creme Wax {affiliate link}

Lint free cloth {affiliate link}

Step 1 – Create the tray bottom

The first step is to create the tray bottom.  We simply glued three pieces of wood together with wood glue and held them together with bar clamps.  Make sure not to use too much pressure because you can squeeze all the glue out of the joints, making it very weak.

Step 2 – Cut compound miters

The next step is to cut the compound miters which required a table saw.  Start by setting your table saw’s blade to a 15° bevel, then the miter to 27° and make your rough cuts.  Suggestion: make this cut on one end of each of the four side pieces all at once.  This way you only have to turn the miter gauge to 27° on the other side of zero once to make the cuts on the opposing side of all four pieces.

Step 3 – Cut pieces to height

Now you need to rip each side not only to your desired height, but with a bevel to make them parallel to each other and so that it will sit flush with the surface of the tray’s bottom.  These rips will be made with the blade at 30°.

Step 4 – Build tray sides (frame)

We chose to butt glue the tray sides together, holding them in place while the glue dries with 23g finish nails.  Once you’ve nailed them together, you can lay it upside down onto the base you created in step 1 and transcribe your dimensions onto it.

Step 5 – Cut the tray base to size

The next step is to cut the base to size with your miter gauge set to zero, and your blade set to 30° as before.

Step 6 – Combine Base and sides

Now glue your sides or frame onto the base with some wood glue and then nail them together.

Step 7 – Sand and stain

Use a sander or hand plane to remove any wood that may be sitting proud (above other wood nearby).  Afterwards sand down the tray and then wipe it off with a cloth.  I used a mixture of Golden Oak and Dark Walnut to stain it.

Step 8 – Finish

The last step is to apply a finish to the tray.  I used clear creme wax since I never used before but have seen tons of other bloggers use it.  Just apply the wax with a brush and wipe off all the access afterwards.  As an alternative you can also just use a lint free cloth to apply it.

And that’s it.  I really really love how this rustic tray turned out!

I know that this tray requires some skill and this is not one of my easiest DIY tutorials.  But I know that you will be able to do it!  I will show you guys a simpler tray some time soon!

Alrighty guys that’s it for our 3rd day of Craftmas.  Come on back tomorrow to see what we have for you on our 4th day and check out our 1st day and 2nd day in case you missed it.

As always thanks so much for stopping by and happy craftmas!


* This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure here.*

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  • Reply Sarah December 4, 2016 at 3:20 am

    Such a cute tray, Sabrina! I don’t think it looks too complicated. The like mixture of Golden Oak and Dark Walnut stain – I think those are my two favorite shades, never thought to combine them!

    • Reply Sabrina December 5, 2016 at 6:03 pm

      Thank you Sarah, I am glad you don’t think it is too complicated. I never really thought of mixing them myself until recently.

  • Reply Lora December 5, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    It might not be the simplest, but it is sooo pretty. The angles really make it look high quality.

    • Reply Sabrina December 5, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      Thank you Lora, we felt the same way. The next step will be to make two more and turn them into a tier tray!

  • Reply Kelly December 13, 2016 at 4:15 am

    You made this look so easy, Sabrina! I love the angled sides; it adds a great touch to the rustic feel!

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