DIY Wooden Serving Tray

Crafting your own DIY wooden serving tray is a great way to enhance your home decor. It’s also a fun and satisfying project that can be done with minimal effort and cost.

Whether you’re looking for a unique centerpiece or something to spruce up your coffee table, making your own wooden serving tray is the perfect solution.

With just a few simple tools and some woodworking skills, you’ll have a beautiful new piece of furniture in no time!

Gather Your Materials

Creating a diy wooden serving tray is an easy and fun project that can be done with just a few tools and materials. You’ll need some wood, two handles, screws, nails, glue, sandpaper, and a drill.

Start by deciding on the size of the tray you want to make; the type of wood you use will depend on this decision. If you’re going for a rustic look and feel, you could choose something like pine or fir; for a more refined option, oak or cherry would work well.

Once you have all your materials ready to go, it’s time to get started. Begin by cutting your wood into the desired shape and size for your tray. Sand down any rough edges with your sandpaper before using a drill to attach the handles on either side. Secure them firmly with screws or nails depending on the material you chose.

Finally, use some glue along each edge to ensure everything stays in place while giving it that extra bit of durability.

Your DIY wooden serving tray is now ready to be used! Add some finishing touches such as paint or stain if you’d like – but no matter what it’ll be sure to add character and charm to any space.

Measure And Cut the Wood

Before you begin cutting the wood for your DIY wooden serving tray, it’s important to measure the pieces accurately. Start by measuring out two pieces of wood for the base that are each 19 inches long and 10 inches wide. Cut these pieces with a saw.

Next, cut two of the side pieces. These should be 19 inches long and 4 inches wide. Finally, cut two end pieces at 4 inches long and 10 inches wide.

Now that all of your wood is cut, use sandpaper to smooth down all of the edges. This will help prevent splinters when using the tray later on. Once all of the edges have been sanded down, you can move on to assembling the tray itself.

Using screws or nails and glue, attach one piece of wood to either end of the two side pieces to create a box shape that resembles a tray without sides or ends. Make sure to check that all four corners are even before attaching them in place permanently.

Once they are secure, attach the remaining two end pieces so that your DIY wooden serving tray is complete!

Sand And Finish the Wood

Now that the wood pieces have been cut and glued together, it’s time to sand and finish the DIY wooden serving tray.

Sanding should be done with a fine-grit sandpaper and requires some patience. Start by lightly sanding the entire surface of the tray. Make sure to get into all the corners and edges, as these areas will likely require more attention than the flat surfaces. Once all of the surfaces are lightly sanded, use medium-grit paper to smooth out any imperfections until you achieve a uniform texture.

When preparing to finish your wooden serving tray, make sure you have:

  • A dust mask
  • Protective eyewear
  • A lint-free cloth
  • Wood stain or paint
  • Polyurethane sealer

Once everything is ready, begin by wiping down your tray with a damp cloth to remove any debris left behind after sanding. Allow it to dry completely before adding a coat of polyurethane sealer.

For best results, apply two coats of polyurethane in light passes rather than one thick layer. If you choose to stain or paint your tray instead, make sure you use a high quality product and cover evenly, making sure not to miss any spots!

With proper care and maintenance, your DIY wooden serving tray is now ready for use!

Drill Holes for the Handles

Drilling holes for the handles is a crucial step in making your wooden serving tray.

The first thing you’ll need to do is mark out where the handles will go. Measure the width of the handles and draw an outline on either end of the tray, leaving room for the thickness of the handle.

After that, use a drill bit slightly smaller than the diameter of your screws to make pilot holes at each corner of your outline. To create larger holes, use a spade bit or hole saw to cut through each outline.

Before drilling all four holes, check that they are even by measuring across diagonally with a ruler or tape measure. Once satisfied, carefully drill through all four corners. Make sure not to over tighten as this can cause splitting in your wood.

After you have secured your handles into place, sand down any rough edges to give it a smooth finish and you’re good to go!

Attach The Handles

Now that the serving tray is completely assembled, it’s time to attach the handles.

Start by finding the two holes on either side of the base. Place a dowel through each hole, making sure they’re centered. Use a drill to secure them in place with screws. Make sure you don’t overtighten them as this could cause splitting in the wood.

Next, take your handles and place them over the dowels. Secure each handle with screws so that they are firmly attached to the base. If you find you need extra support for your handles, use an adhesive such as wood glue or epoxy to hold them in place.

Once everything is secured and dried, your wooden serving tray is complete!

Your beautiful wooden serving tray can now be used for anything from crafting projects to serving drinks at a dinner party – whatever suits your needs! With its sturdy construction and unique design, it’s sure to last for years to come!

Assemble The Tray Base

To assemble the tray base, you’ll need a few supplies to start. First, you’ll need some wood glue, sandpaper, and four wooden boards cut to size.

Here is a numbered list of the steps to follow for assembling the tray base:

  1. Spread a generous amount of wood glue on one end of two boards and place them together, perpendicular to each other.
  2. Use clamps or heavy objects to hold the boards together until the glue has dried completely.
  3. Sand down any rough edges and apply another layer of wood glue on the remaining ends before standing them upright so that they form a rectangular frame.

Once you have completed these steps, your tray base should be ready! With just a few simple tools and materials you can easily put together a sturdy wooden serving tray in no time at all.

Glue The Tray Base

Now that the pieces of wood have been cut to size, it’s time to begin gluing them together. The first step is to lay out all the pieces in order and make sure they are properly aligned. Once everything is lined up, it is time to get out the glue and start putting the board together.

It can be helpful to use some clamps to hold the pieces in place while the glue dries. Make sure not to use too much glue as this will cause a mess when applying pressure with the clamps.

The next step is to apply a generous amount of glue on either side of each joint, making sure there are no gaps between each piece. Once that is done, it is time to begin clamping down on each joint one at a time until all joints are firmly held together.

When clamping down on each joint, make sure not to over tighten as this could damage or break apart the wood. Once all of the joints are secure and the glue has had enough time to dry, you should now have a sturdy wooden serving tray base!

Now you can move onto sanding down any rough edges and adding some finishing touches like paint or a stain before using your finished product.

Add A Bottom to the Tray

Now we’ll add a bottom to our serving tray. To do this, we’ll need some wood glue and some screws.

First, lay the bottom piece of wood on your work surface. Make sure it’s lined up with the two side pieces that you already glued together.

Now, apply a generous amount of wood glue along all four sides of the bottom piece and fit it into place between the two side pieces.

With everything in place, use your drill and screws to secure the bottom piece.

That’s it – our serving tray is now complete!

Cut The Tray Lip

The journey of crafting a wooden serving tray is a unique experience, one that allows us to take pride in our own creations. We feel empowered as we watch our vision come to life right before our very eyes.

Getting the dimensions of the tray right can be tricky, and cutting the lip requires precision and attention to detail. Here are some tips to ensure you get it just right:

  • Make sure your measurements are accurate before you begin sawing.
  • Take your time in order to make clean, precise cuts.
  • Double check your measurements as you go along—it’s better to be safe than sorry!
  • Test out different saws until you find one that works best for your material and project.

With careful consideration and practice, we can create a beautiful piece of work that will be admired for its craftsmanship for years to come. In the end, all of our hard work will pay off when we finally get to put it on display in our home or give it away as a gift!

Attach The Tray Lip

Now that you’ve finished cutting the lip of the tray, it’s time to attach it.

Start by placing a thin line of wood glue along one edge of the tray lip. Make sure the glue is evenly distributed and that there are no gaps.

Press the lip firmly against the rest of the tray, making sure all edges are flush with each other. Use clamps to ensure a secure bond while the glue dries.

To keep your work neat and tidy, sand down any rough edges on both sides of the tray using an electric sander or sandpaper. Be sure to wear protective eyewear and a dust mask for safety.

Once you’re satisfied with its appearance, apply a coat of wood finish to protect your work from water damage or wear and tear.

When your tray is dry, you can use it as decoration or serve small snacks or beverages on it at your next gathering. Your guests will be impressed by your handiwork!

Attach The Feet To The Tray

It’s almost time to finish your DIY wooden serving tray! After all the effort you’ve put in, it’s finally time to attach the feet to the tray.

Gather all of your supplies and get ready to attach the four feet to the bottom of the tray. You’ll need a drill, screws, and a ruler.

Make sure that each foot is placed evenly around the edges of the tray with at least one inch of space between them. It’s important that they’re all straight so that your tray sits flat when it’s done.

Now, with a few simple steps, you’re ready to complete the project. Place each foot on the underside of the tray and use a drill bit slightly bigger than your screws to make pilot holes for each screw. Then insert screws into each hole until they are tight and flush against the wood surface.

You can also add extra strength by adding wood glue around each foot for added stability. With these easy steps, you’ve completed your DIY wooden serving tray!

Measure And Cut the Tray Insert

Let’s get started on the fun part – actually making the tray insert! To make sure everything goes smoothly and accurately, we have to measure and cut our wood pieces. After that, it’ll be time for assembly. Here’s what you need to know:


  • Measure the length and width of your tray using a ruler or measuring tape.
  • Cut two pieces of wood for the top of your insert according to your measurements.
  • Cut four more pieces of wood for the sides of your insert, adjusting their length so they fit snugly against each other and form a box shape when assembled.
  • Make sure to double check all your measurements before you begin cutting!


  • Use a handsaw to cut your six pieces of wood along your marked lines.
  • Smooth any rough edges with sandpaper or a file.

Once you’ve finished this step, you’re ready to assemble your tray insert!

Glue The Tray Insert

Now that you have measured and cut the tray insert, it’s time to glue it into place.

To do this, you will need wood glue, clamps, and a damp cloth.

Start by applying a thin layer of wood glue to the underside of the tray insert.

Use the clamps to press the tray insert firmly onto the bottom piece of wood.

Then, use a damp cloth to wipe away any excess glue that may have seeped out from the sides.

Once all of the pieces are glued together, let them sit for a few hours before using your new wooden serving tray.

With some patience and care, you can create a beautiful homemade serving tray that will last for many years.

Cut The Tray Divider

The excitement of creating your own serving tray is palpable! You can almost taste the pride that comes with it as you imagine how much your friends and family will appreciate it.

Let’s get started on cutting the tray divider.

Gather all of your materials and tools needed to begin. It is important to double check that you have everything before starting. This includes a wooden board, saw, drill, screws, clamps, and a measuring tape.

Once you have collected your supplies, measure the size of the board and mark the measurements with a pencil.

Using the saw, cut along the measurement lines – take extra care to ensure that your cuts are precise for maximum stability in your finished product.

And there you have it: one tray divider ready to be used in an upcoming project!

Attach The Tray Divider

Now that you’ve cut the tray divider, it’s time to attach it. This will involve a bit of measuring and some careful gluing. But with a few simple steps, you’ll have your finished tray ready for serving.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you attach the divider:

  • Measure the width of the tray and determine the placement of the divider, making sure that it fits evenly within the tray.
  • Glue each side of the divider securely with wood glue. Make sure that each side is affixed firmly in place before moving on.
  • Add small brad nails around the perimeter of the divider for extra stability. This will ensure that your serving tray is sturdy and able to hold heavier items without shifting.
  • Finish off by sanding down any rough edges on both sides of the divider before you begin using it.

Once all these steps are complete, your wooden serving tray is ready to use! And with its beautiful handcrafted look, it’s sure to become an eye-catching centerpiece at every gathering or dinner party you host.

Add A Coat of Finish to the Tray

Giving your DIY wooden serving tray the perfect finish is an essential step towards achieving a beautiful and durable product. You need to apply two to three coats of finish, letting each coat dry thoroughly before adding the next.

With the right supplies and a bit of knowledge, you can give your tray a finished look in no time!

The type of finish you use for your tray depends on its purpose. If you are using it for displaying food or drinks, choose a food-safe finish that won’t harm those who come into contact with it. If it’s for general decoration purposes, you can go with any type of wood sealant including varnish, polyurethane, shellac, lacquer and wax.

Before applying the coat of finish to your tray, make sure that all surfaces have been sanded smooth and free from dust or debris. You should also prepare the surface by wiping down with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits or denatured alcohol.

After allowing the surface to dry completely, you’re ready to start applying your chosen finish following manufacturer instructions!

Sand And Wax the Tray

Once the wood pieces of the tray have been cut and glued, it’s time to sand and wax the tray. Sanding is an important step that ensures a smooth surface by removing any saw marks or glue residue. Begin sanding with 80 grit sandpaper, gradually increasing the grit until you reach 220 grit. This will help make sure that the wood is completely smooth.

Once the wood is completely sanded, it’s time to apply a finish. For this project, we will be using a blend of beeswax and mineral oil. This finishing combination provides protection from water damage while also enhancing the natural beauty of the wood grain.

Start by heating up your mixture on low heat in a double boiler for about 15 minutes. Then, use a soft cloth to rub it into your tray in circular motions until it is evenly spread throughout. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes before buffing it off with a clean cloth and wiping away any excess product.

Here are some tips for applying the wax:

  • Make sure your mixture isn’t too hot when applying – if so let it cool down before application
  • Apply several thin coats instead of one thick coat
  • Make sure to get into all of the crevices and corners
  • Let each coat dry before adding another (about 30 minutes)
  • Buff off any excess wax after application

By following these steps, you’ll have a beautiful wooden serving tray that will last for years to come!

Stain And Seal the Tray

Bringing your wooden serving tray to life is an exciting process! From picking out the perfect wood for your project to staining and sealing it, each step involves a unique set of skills that can help you create the perfect customized piece. Now it’s time to stain and seal your tray to make sure it looks great and stands up against wear and tear. Let’s get started!

The first step in staining and sealing your tray is preparing the wood surface. Use sandpaper in increments from 150-220 grit to remove any blemishes or rough spots on the wood. Be sure to sand with the grain of the wood, not against it, for a smooth finish.

Once you have finished sanding, wipe away any dust particles with a clean cloth.

Now you can apply a protective sealant or stain of your choice to give your tray its desired color and texture. If you are adding a sealant, use a foam brush or lint-free cloth to apply an even coat on all sides of the tray. Allow this coat to dry according to directions before applying another one if needed.

For staining, you can use either a foam brush or lint-free cloth as well; however, be sure not too add too much product as this could cause blotching or discoloration on the finished product. Once you have applied the stain evenly throughout, let it dry completely before using your beautiful new serving tray.

Add Decorative Accents to the Tray

The possibilities for decorating a wooden serving tray are endless. From paint to decoupage, the options can be overwhelming!

Some of the most popular decorative accents include stencils, washi tape and stamps. Stenciling is an easy way to add a personal touch to the tray. Choose a design that speaks to your style or that of whomever will be using it.

Washi tape is another great option that adds a colorful and unique accent. Choose from various designs, textures and colors for a truly special look. Stamp designs are also available in a variety of styles from simple geometric patterns to more intricate designs.

All these accents will bring the tray to life, making it one-of-a-kind and perfect for any occasion. With just these few touches, you can create an eye-catching centerpiece for any gathering or simply set it out as an elegant display piece in your home.

Create A Template for the Tray Handle

Building a wooden serving tray is a project any DIYer can tackle with a little patience and determination. For the final step in making this useful piece, you’ll be constructing the handle. With these easy steps, you’ll be able to make an aesthetically pleasing handle that your guests will appreciate:

  1. Cut two pieces of wood to the desired length and width of the handle.
  2. Sand down all of the edges until they are smooth and even.
  3. Attach one end of each piece together with wood glue, creating an L shape, then clamp them together for extra stability while drying.
  4. Pre-drill four evenly spaced holes on either side of the handle before screwing them into place from the inside, ensuring that they are flush against your tray’s surface when finished.

Once your handles are securely attached, stand back and admire your work! You now have a beautiful wooden serving tray ready to use for years to come – perfect for displaying hors d’oeuvres or presenting desserts at your next dinner party.

Cut The Handle Pieces

Now that you have the wood cut for your serving tray, it’s time to make the handles.

You’ll need two pieces of wood that measure approximately 5 inches long and 2 ½ inches wide. Use a saw to carefully cut these pieces.

Once they’re cut, use a chisel to round off the edges of both pieces. This will give your handles a smooth finish.

Next, drill two holes in each handle piece, about an inch apart from each other. You can use a ¼ inch drill bit for this step.

Make sure the holes are drilled in the same place on both handle pieces so that they line up when you attach them to the tray later on.

After drilling, take some sandpaper and lightly sand down all of the surfaces of your handles until they are nice and smooth.

Then, you’re ready to attach them to your tray!

Sand And Finish the Handle Pieces

Using sandpaper and a bit of elbow grease, the handle pieces are smoothed out, ready to be finished. The wood grain almost shimmers under the soft light of the workshop, giving the handles a warm, organic feel.

After they’re lightly sanded and wiped clean, it’s time to apply a finish. A few coats of varnish is applied to each handle, which reveals an even more beautiful natural luster.

The combination of wood and varnish creates a complex visual effect that adds much needed dimension to the tray. As light reflects off the handles, it gives them an almost liquid-like quality that adds to the overall design.

When complete, these handles will be both eye-catching and practical additions to the tray. Attaching these newly finished handles requires patience and precision; one wrong move could cause considerable damage.

Nails are used to secure each handle in place and once completed, it’s clear that no other design would have done this project justice. The handles are now firmly attached with no room for error; a job well done!

Glue The Handle Pieces Together

The next step in creating this beautiful serving tray is gluing together the handle pieces. To ensure a strong bond, it is important to choose the right glue. A wood glue that dries clear and is waterproof will provide the best results.

Here are five tips for successfully gluing together the handle pieces:

  • Select an appropriate wood glue for the job
  • Carefully align the edges of each piece
  • Apply adhesive evenly along the length of the joint
  • Place pressure on the pieces while drying
  • Allow adequate time for drying before use

With these tips in mind, constructing a handle with strong adhesion will be achievable. Once dry, your wooden serving tray is ready to adorn your living space and be used for many years to come.

Attach The Handle to the Tray

Now that the tray has been assembled, it’s time to attach the handle.

First, measure 1 inch from either side of the tray and mark it with a pencil. Then take your ruler and draw a line connecting the two marks. This will be where you place the handle.

Next, use a drill to screw in the screws at either end of the handle into the marked area on the tray. Make sure you don’t over-tighten them or they could break through the wood.

Finally, check that everything is secure and that there are no gaps between your handle and your tray. Your DIY wooden serving tray is now complete!

Add Final Touches to the Tray

Now that the hard work of constructing your wooden serving tray is complete, it is time to add some final touches. With just a few more steps, you will be able to transform your creation into a beautiful and unique item for your home.

Here are the items you need to make this happen:

  • A foam brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Polyurethane finish
  • Wood stain

The first step is to use the sandpaper to give the tray a smooth finish. This will help ensure that the polyurethane finish applies evenly over the wood surface and protect it from wear and tear.

Once you have finished sanding, use a foam brush or cloth to apply an even coat of wood stain. You can choose any color you like, but try to choose one that complements the grain pattern in the wood.

After letting the stain dry, apply several coats of polyurethane with a foam brush or cloth. Make sure that each coat is completely dry before applying the next one.

Once all of these steps are complete, your tray will be ready for display or use! With its new protective coating, it should last for years with proper care and maintenance.

Your handmade wooden serving tray is now ready for all your entertaining needs!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Wood Is the Best for the Tray?

When it comes to choosing the right type of wood for a serving tray, there are several options.

Hardwoods such as maple, walnut, and oak are great choices as they are more durable than softer woods like pine and cedar. They also provide a natural beauty that is perfect for any home decor.

Cherry is another popular option that provides a classic look and feel.

Each type of wood has its own unique characteristics and should be chosen based on the desired look and purpose of the tray.

Do I Need Any Special Tools?

When it comes to constructing a wooden serving tray, the tools you’ll need will depend on the type of wood you plan to use and the complexity of your design.

For basic designs, a saw, drill, hammer, nails, screws and clamps should be sufficient.

If you’re looking for more intricate designs, you may need specialty tools such as chisels or routers.

Additionally, if your project requires that you shape or bend wood, you may need to invest in a jig saw or band saw.

How Long Does the Project Take?

Building a wooden serving tray requires basic tools and materials, and the project itself can take anywhere from a few hours to an entire day depending on your skill level.

If you’re new to woodworking, it’s best to set aside an entire day so that you have plenty of time to complete the project without feeling rushed.

Do I Have to Use a Template for the Tray Handle?

No, you don’t have to use a template for the tray handle.

If you’re making a wooden serving tray, you can make the handle any shape or size that you want.

You can even customize it to make sure it fits your needs.

You just need to make sure that it’s strong and sturdy enough to hold up whatever is going to be placed on the tray.

Can I Use a Different Type of Finish on the Tray?

If you’re looking to customize your project, you can definitely use a different type of finish on the tray. Whether it’s varnish, oil, paint or wax, it’s up to you what look you’re going for and which material will best suit your needs.

Just make sure that whatever finish you choose is compatible with the wood you have chosen so that it won’t cause any damage.