Multi-Wood Serving Trays

3 Materials
$20
3 Days
Easy

A lot of credit here goes to my wife. She wanted to give gifts to her coworkers and loved the idea of creating something herself. A lot of those coworkers enjoy hosting, so she came up with the idea of serving trays. A few pieces of wood, a few drawer pulls/handles and a little TLC later, we had several different varieties - each unique in its own way. This is a really quick and pretty simple DIY - whether you are looking for a gift like us or want to create something pretty for your own kitchen.
We purchased 3 different types of wood. The pine board on the right is for a different project - but the Aspen, Cedar and Oak boards will all be used on these serving trays. The idea was to find types of wood that will look good together but represent a few different shades.
We started by making a plan for how to mix and match the boards for each serving tray. Some will have only two types of wood, some will have all three. The beauty is you can make your own design. The first cuts we made were to cut each board to length. We went with 20 or 22 inches for each tray.
Then, we cut boards to the desired widths. Some were more thin pieces, others were thicker. Again, just about anything works here so have fun with your own design.
The next step was to lay out the boards for each tray. We certainly couldn't have done this without our little helper in the photo above.  He just had to get in on the woodworking, and I love it.
Then, apply wood glue. We used Gorilla Glue.
I also learned from experience on past projects and spread the glue out with a foam brush so it was a nice, uniform, thin layer.
We used bar clamps to glue the boards together and let each tray dry for at least 24 hours before removing the clamps. Once the clamps were removed we ran the boards through the planer, cut the ends flush and did some fine sanding. We were lucky enough to be able to use my dad's planer. If you don't have one, you can still do this project. It just means a bit more sanding to get the top smooth.
We applied butcher block oil to each serving tray for a protective finish.
We put one coat of oil on the bottom and two coats of oil on the sides and top of each tray. It didn't make a drastic difference in the color of the wood, but did make the grain pop nicely.
We marked for our holes centered from side to side and 1 3/4" from the ends.
We drilled holes then attached the handles with the screws provided.
We used several different styles.
These were just simple drawer pulls you can find at any hardware store.
Some were more simple/plain than others. Again, the best part of this project is you can SO easily customize it to fit your style.
And here you have it! The boards we purchased gave us enough wood for 4 different serving trays, each completely unique. Follow me on Instagram at  @woodyworking for more simple woodworking DIY or home improvement projects. Happy building!
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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Kati Heintzman
    on Jan 10, 2020

    Did you countersink the screws on the bottoms? Or place non-skid buttons there?


    • Hi Katie,

      We didn't countersink the screws, but in retrospect, wished we would have. They were fairly large screw heads. We did try non-skid/non-scratch pads, but they weren't a great fit because of the rounded screw heads.

  • Jjqq
    on Jan 10, 2020

    Are the screws coming up through the bottom of the tray? Could we get a pic of what that looks like?

    • Suzi Quall
      on Jan 21, 2020

      So you could use small plastic caps to cover them. It would raise them up a hair, but that gives them another dimension. I save caps of different sizes for a myriad of projects. I have used bottle caps and the smaller tube caps for such purposes. They also sell things like that in craft stores. I like the caps from my hair dye conditioner tubes. You might for variety make a few serving trays that sit a inch or so up over counter, using interesting things like marbles, old metal bottle caps, small jewelry box legs. For holidays I would like 3 level steps for snacks.

Join the conversation

2 of 25 comments
  • Pam Hill
    on Jan 17, 2020

    Love this idea! I see boards and handles often at yard sales & estate auctions cheap!!! Thanks for sharing.

  • Phil Beattie
    on Jan 17, 2020

    Beautiful job, thanks for sharing

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