Wednesday, November 21, 2012

DIY Serving Tray

Build: personalized serving tray

A wedding gift for a newly married couple.

A friend asked if I would come up with gift incorporating the map that was part of their invitations:

I made a wood serving tray with handles:

and personalized it with the couples names and the map:

Everything is sealed under clear lacquer to protect from liquid and spills, you can the shiny protective layer in this picture below:

Here's how I made the wood serving tray:

1. Cut the #2 pine boards:

3 - 1x5 @ 19"
2 - 1x3 @ 19"
2 - 1x3 @ 15"

2. I used pocket holes to connect the pieces, both the tray portion and the side pieces.
Then cut a 1/4" plywood piece to fit the bottom.
Glue and secure with 3/4" finish nails.

3. Make a template for the handle cut outs and trace at center on both short ends:

4. Begin by drilling circular holes with spade bit:

5. Then jigsaw remaining middle portion:

6. Prime and paint two coats Behr swiss coffee:

7. Paint on red strip detail then distress:

8. Stain entire tray to age:

9. Secure map (shown below is a wedding invitation from a similar tray) with matte mod podge on front and back:

10. Print out lettering to fit space: 

11. Line up and trace outline of letter with ballpoint pen:

12. Paint on and inside the indent left behind by the pen:

13. Repeat process for names:

14. To seal map and personalization, paint on multiple layers of Americana DuraClear gloss varnish on flat serving surface:

15. Finally seal the entire tray, sides inside and outside with Minwax clear gloss spray poly.


  1. You are so talented! Love it :)
    Happy Thanksgiving

  2. I LOVE IT! Such a great job! Thanks for the step by step. I may give this a shot.
    :) Cait @

  3. Look at you go with that drill! This is a most attractive and practical gift.....I could use a couple of these myself :)

  4. Hi :) what kind of brush did you use for this and what size is the brush? Is it script or round? Thanks :)