Friday, December 21, 2012

Make a Serving Tray from Pallet Wood!

Have you ever spotted a discarded pallet on a curb? Why not adopt it and transform it into something beautiful and useful?  When we picked-up some old pallets several months ago, my mind began racing as to what we could build with it.  Our first project was this chic rustic tray made entirely from pallet wood.

We love it!  Last month it was a centerpiece for my Thanksgiving tablescape.  Today, it gets used often to serve hot chocolate or tea.

- 13.5 by 26 inches

- A wooden pallet
- A skill saw
- Small nails
- Wood glue
- A hammer
- Drawer handles (2)
- Two small strips of felt or fabric


1) Disassemble the pallet.  I really recommend cutting the wood rather than trying to remove the strips by taking out the nails.  They are TOUGH to get out!  A skill saw made the removal incredibly easier.

2) Cut the boards into four 18-inch strips and four 8-inch strips.  Also cut an additional two 10-inch boards for the cross-joints on the bottom of the tray (so 10 pieces total)

3) Lay-out the tray on a flat surface according to the diagram below.

4).  Place the 2 cross joints (10 inch boards) perpendicular to the other boards as shown in the diagram.  The center of each cross board should be 8 inches from the outside edge of the tray.

Note:  I also placed extra thin strips of wood closer
to the edges to give the tray a little more sturdiness.

5)  Place wood glue on the cross joints and nail them in place.

6) Stain seal the tray to your taste.

7) Attach the handles and glue felt or some sort of fabric to the bottom of the cross joints.  This will keep the nail heads from scratching surfaces when you use the tray.

My tray is tinted with this Rust-Oleum
golden mahogany stain applied with a rag.
 I then sealed the tray with a satin varnish.

There you have it!  A beautifully made rustic tray.  Enjoy it for tea!

Linked up here:
Transformation Thursday733 blogWhatever Goes WednesdayA Bowl Full of LemonsAll Things With PurposeEmbracing Change


  1. Such a beautiful and useful project! yay for pallet wood!!

  2. New follower, visiting from Transformation the pallet tray. I just picked my first pallet and have been looking for creative things to do with it. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Wow. I really need to find some pallets soon!

  4. and my hubby told me yesterday not to go pu the birch pallet for free...uummm
    yours is Lovely
    thank you for sharing this idea

  5. How depressing to find this AFTER a local PALLET MANUFACTURER went out of business!! But I'll keep looking!
    Mother Robin's Notes from the Nest

  6. I love how your tray turned out! Pretty and very simple to do.
    Saw you featured at Transformation Thursdays
    Debbie :)

  7. I have a pallett sitting outside my garage that I sent my husband to get in a hurry over a month ago and I couldn't think what to do with it. This is a great starter project, thanks so much for sharing!

  8. Oops I forgot to say that I love your blog and am now following.

  9. Adorable results! Sharing at

  10. how can the tray be 14.5 inches when you use 8 inch and 18 inch boards

    1. Oh my goodness, thank you for catching this. Definitely an error. It is 13.5 by 26 inches. I have made the correction in the post.

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