How to Build a Wooden Tray Centrepiece for a Dining Room Table

6 Hours

Shortly before Christmas, I built a wooden centrepiece for our dining room table. It was bulky and rustic and looked perfect filled with pinecones and candles. I imagined how I could dress it up for every season.

Then spring rolled along and my wooden centrepiece wasn’t so perfect anymore. I moved it to the deck since I think it would be perfect as a planter for colourful flowers. And that left me with a bare dining room table once again!

I did, however, still like the idea of a wooden tray kind of centrepiece. Something wider, lower and less robust. So back to the drawing board I went. I should actually say, back to browsing the isles of Home Depot, I went!

Getting the right materials

I wanted the end product to be roughly 1 x 4 feet. Most pieces of wood or board are sold in 4 x 8 feet pieces but that is way too big to handle or fit into a car. The section in Home Depot with pieces cut down to 2 x 4 feet, is my favourite! Quarter inch plywood was perfect for the base on which I wanted to create a herringbone pattern.

I also found a bundle of thin, narrow, 4 feet long pieces which I’m fairly sure are made to build a lattice but it was perfect for what I had in mind. The price was even more appealing!

Let’s build a wooden tray centrepiece!

I cut the 2 x 4 feet piece of plywood in half with the table saw, leaving me with two 1 x 4 feet pieces.

With the mitre saw I cut what felt like hundreds of small pieces to create my herringbone pattern.

Here you can see how I planned out my pattern and made sure to cut enough pieces.

With wood glue and the help of a few clamps, I attached the small pieces to the base.

The wood strips are not all perfectly sized and left uneven gaps here and there. I used natural coloured wood filler to fill all the gaps. Once dry, I sanded it down with my palm sander.

I used the same 4 feet long wood strips to build the sides of the tray. A light white wash was all it need to be finished.

I almost forgot! Handles for the short sides? Yes, please! They are mostly decorative but could be handy when the tray needs to be moved. Let’s add the spring decor!

Ready to decorate

This wooden tray centrepiece works so much better than the previous one. I do like it, but to be totally honest, I’m not 100% convinced that it is the perfect size and look this table needs. For now, it is great but there might be a third attempt somewhere in the future.

In the photo above you can see the patio furniture covered in snow (thank you Alberta) but inside we are all about spring!

You can pin the image below, or anyone for that matter, to Pinterest if you would like to remember this project.

Let’s chat! Leave a comment down below and tell me what you think about this tray.

My next project, which I’m already working on, is a room makeover for my youngest, and it is going to be SO good; you do not want to miss it. Make sure to subscribe (there is a box at the bottom of this page), and you will be the first to know as soon as the next post is published.

Home with Marieza
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Frequently asked questions
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  2 questions
  • Darlene Garner Darlene Garner on Jun 02, 2021

    You mentioned your unsure if you like the tray size on this table. Would you make tray larger or smaller ?

  • PeprmintPatti PeprmintPatti on Jun 01, 2022

    Its beautiful….. have you thought of buying the Jenga wooden toy game from the dollar tree to add feet to the bottom of your runner to give it some elevation?

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3 of 4 comments
  • Home with Marieza Home with Marieza on May 27, 2021

    Thank you! icon

  • Susan Beery Susan Beery on May 31, 2021

    Very clever...

    just inserting colored fabric on the bottom whatever is set on top changes the look of the table. For example, a red felt or fun fabric with a glass vase of ornaments and candy canes set on a round or square mirror Inside this tray and your ready for Christmas celebrations, change it up just a bit, add battery string of lights & 2 champagne flutes, greenery, maybe a bottle of spirits & you’re ready for New Years Eve. I love to use household items to add depth, dimension & whimsy to tablescapes.