Versatile (Double Sided) DIY Outdoor Entertaining Trays

Let's get this summer outdoor entertaining party started, shall we?!
Whenever we entertain I like to use something that is personal, handmade, or meaningful. I think it makes a thoughtful gathering. Thankfully, you can make something once and use it all summer (or even all year) - like these multi-purpose versatile trays!
I am SO excited to share with you today these versatile outdoor entertaining reversible trays. They are easy to make, extremely useful, and are like a chameleon – they can really morph into whatever you need them for at that time.
Here are some ideas on how to use them:
•Eating trays for when you run out of table space and guests are perched in chairs trying to balance their food and drink.
•A hors d‘oeurves, dessert, or drink tray that can move from room to room.
•An afternoon tea and cookie tray for a drop-in from a friend.
•A children’s chalkboard to stay entertained while those adults talk (and talk and talk and talk).
•Breakfast (or any other meal) in bed tray.
•A laptop desk when everyone leaves.
Now that we have a bunch of ways to use them, let’s get to how to make them with these oh-so simple steps!
Here are the materials needed (steps are in the pictures below):
•A 18x48x1 board
•Various paints (including chalkboard paint)
•Stain (optional)
•Painters tape and brush
•Clear protective gloss spray
•4 inch bolts (4)
•Corresponding nuts (12)
•Screw Eyes (8) that bolts can thread through
entertaining #
Here is my sneak peek teaser to get you as excited as I am about making these trays!
1. When picking up your wood, have them cut it down for you in-store. I had them cut two 20 inch pieces to make two trays.
2. Sand down the sides, edges, and corners so they are smooth and rounded. Clean boards thoroughly.
3. Paint one side of each of the pieces of wood with chalkboard paint. I did three coats.
4. When dry, paint the other side of the wood. I used painters tape and paint samples (free! Find those coupons in magazines for free paint samples at Lowe’s!). I did a different pattern on each but kept the same color palette so they looked like a pair. As a bonus (and to try to help cover any paint drips on the side) I took a dark walnut stain and stained the sides.
5. Once dry, use a clear protective gloss spray paint to cover the paint side and stained area. This will protect the tray from spills.
Here is the other one finished. Do you notice the handles? I made them with nuts and bolts! Read on for directions on how to make those handles!
Make your own handles from nuts, bolts, and screw eyes!
This is what you need for one handle: two screw eyes, one four inch bolt, and three nuts.
1.To get your handles centered on the side of your tray, find the halfway point and then subtract two inches (if using four inch bolts). Put your first screw eye there.
2.Then thread the bolt through and start two nuts on the bolt. Use the bolt to measure where the next screw eye should be. There should be space for the bolt to thread through the second screw eye and be secured with a nut.
3.Screw in the next screw eye and finish with a nut.
4.Repeat three more times to finish the handles for the tray.
Now let’s get to some pretty pictures of them in use, right?! Here you can use it for a meal tray when you don't have a table nearby! Perfect for when all those seats are taken during a party!
Now what's more yummy looking? Those strawberries or the tray?
I LOVE chalkboard anything! I love bringing it into a party - that way the guests know exactly what you need them to (like what they are eating) without having to explain it a million times or having them guess.
Those azaleas are just an amazing color too! The perfect addition to this tray!

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Megan Aubrey

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

Join the conversation

  • Trisha D. @bnwobsession
    on May 21, 2014

    Really love the double-sided feature those arrows are so playful!! And don't even get me started on the genius behind those handles!! Bravo!!

    • Megan Aubrey
      on May 21, 2014

      @Trisha D. @bnwobsession Aw thank you so much! I appreciate it! Yes, I'm loving those handles too. Such an easy way to make them!

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