How to Make a Footed Tray and Style It for Christmas

6 Materials
1 Day

This DIY is so easy, you could have it finished in one day. This was the first project I've done where I made a wood craft from scratch and seeing how easy it was has given me the confidence to try some more woodworking projects in future. That said, this is a great beginner project if you want to dip your toe into the woodworking scene.

As a friend of mine said, "don't worry if it's not perfect, just hide the crappy bits with more decor!" Luckily, this project turned out to be so easy that I didn't have to hide any of it!

These pretty farmhouse style risers are useful in so many ways and are fabulous for making your décor stand out. Style them up as table centrepieces for parties or weddings. Use them as dessert or drink stands. Turn one into a coffee station for your kitchen, or even a cool desk accessory for your office. Wood pedestal trays are really inexpensive if you ‘do it yourself’.

This tutorial is far too long and detailed for me to post of all of it on Hometalk so if you'd like to have a go at making one of these yourself, I encourage you to read the full tutorial on my blog Chalking Up Success!

There are also many more photos in the blog post than I could share here both of the step-by-step process and of the tray all styled up for Christmas.

I've said below that this project cost around $15 to make. That's because I only had to buy the wood and the finials, I already had everything else on hand. If you are a Hometalker, you're probably a maker too so you might also have most of the materials already.

Cut the wood trim to size

The trim I bought was so thin that you could easily use a hand saw to cut the pieces.

I used a circular cutting saw because it was just sitting there and I’m all about making my life easier!

Cut two long pieces for each long side, the length of the base. Then cut two pieces for the short sides taking into account the size of the trim on the long sides.

The short pieces will fit inside the longer pieces.

All the measurements are in the post on my blog.

Stain the wood

Give all the wood pieces two coats of wood stain, I used a walnut coloured stain for this (see the materials list on the blog for all the details).

This is a good time to go and get lunch because you need to wait for the stain to dry.

Paint, distress, wax.

Once the wood stain is dry (mine took about one hour), paint the pieces with whichever colour paint you want your pedestal tray to be. I used Rustoleum Chalk Paint in Antique White.

After about twenty minutes, you can give the pieces a second coat – yup, chalk paint is very quick to dry!

When the paint is dry, distress the the paint with a sander and then wax with clear wax. (See the blog for these steps)

Glue the trim to the base

If you have them, it’s a good idea to tighten clamps to the wood pieces after glueing.

My wood glue only needed five minutes to dry so because I only had two clamps, I attached each section of the trim separately.

Glue the feet to the base

Apply wood glue to the legs and fix them to the base of the pedestal tray.

Use a clamp to press them tightly to the wood and leave them to dry.

If your finials are hollow inside, read the tip in my blog post where I show you how to fake a larger glueing surface so that the feet can be attached more solidly.


Now you have your very own footed tray! Wasn’t that an easy DIY? The best bit is, you can use your footed tray all through the year for seasonal displays.

See my blog post for a list of ideas on how to use your footed tray around the house.

Style your tray

Here's how I styled my pedestal tray for Christmas, (lots more pics on the blog).

What do you think? Do you like it? Would you try this yourself? If you would, how would you use yours?

Leave a comment and let me know.


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


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