• Lauren Makowski

DIY Decorative Wood Tray

I'm not sure what it is lately, but I've been really into DIY home projects, and I'm loving it! We've been working on updating our fireplace with shiplap, and I built some custom shelves, but my favorite might just be this DIY wooden tray. It's the perfect color of espresso that makes it look rustic and adds a nice contract to all of the light furniture in our living room. I used Shanty 2 Chic's plans to build this (check it out here!), but I went a little bit rogue on the dimensions and wood choice to make it fit on our entertainment center and match the shelves I made.

I went into the pre-cut lumber section at Home Depot and found birch wood that I really liked and wasn't too expensive. I think I spent $25 total for everything since I already had the espresso stain at home.


  • 2 ft boards, 4 inches wide (4)

  • 2 ft boards, 3 inches wide (2)

  • Matte black handles

  • Espresso Stain

Step 1: Cut the boards to size

I started by cutting the ends of the 4 inch boards to make sure the ends were a nice clean cut. We have the Ryobi Mitre saw (12 inch) and it is the best thing I've ever purchased. It really makes projects like this so much easier! If you don't have a saw,

Home Depot will be able to make the cuts for you! After cutting one end of the boards, I lined all 4 boards up against a flat surface and measured exactly where I wanted to make the next cut on the opposite end, and cut all 4 boards to the exact same size (23 1/4 inches long).

Then, I lined up all 4 boards together and out the 3 inch wood on top and measured to size and made the cuts for the top boards. Next up, I sanded each board to make sure the surface was nice and smooth and stained each board.

Step 2: Wood Glue Boards Together

This next step was super tricky, and I should have bought wood clamps, but what can you do. I was too invested on finishing this project, so I just made it work! I wood glued together all of the 4 inch boards and smushed them together using anything I could find in our garage. Again, I do not recommend this method, but hey, it worked!

Once that was dry, I placed the 3 inch boards on top and wood glued those to the 4 inch boards. We put heavy items on top while the wood glue dried because again, no wood clamps.

Step 3: Nail Bottom Boards to Top Boards

Once that was dry, we flipped the tray over and used our Ryobi Nail Gun (second best thing ever) and nailed each board with 2 inch brad nails. The reason we flipped it over was to ensure you couldn't see the nail holes once it was finished. Here's a fun little video my husband put together showing a bit of the process!

Step 4: Add Handles

The last step was the handles! We drilled a pilot hole for each hole and screwed in the handles with the screws that came in the package.

Voila! The project is now complete and I absolutely love it! I'm really happy with the results and it was super simple to make!

Join the party on Instagram where I share a lot of behind the scenes for project just like this!

Join in on the fun!

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