DIY Tiered Tray From Frames

I have a hard time passing up nice wooden frames when I see them. With a little paint, these would be great to use as actual frames, but I had another plan. I’ve had my eye on those gorgeous tiered trays you see everywhere for quite some time.
Here’s how I made one for around $12:
Frames (at least 2 of varying sizes)
Paint (I like using the 20z. chalky paint for small projects)
Wood (an old pallet works great!)
Miter saw
Wood glue (aff link)- here is the glue I used
Satin Poly
Wooden candlestick and finial- (aff link) you'll find lots of finials to choose from here
First, I took out the glass so I could easily paint the frames.
I painted both of them with CraftSmart chalky paint in Linen. It’s a perfect neutral color. I also distressed them quite a bit.
I had originally planned to put fabric in the frames under the glass, but I wasn't sure how this would work for a tiered tray. I've only ever done this with a one layer tray. Plus, I wanted something a little more rustic. I’ve had pieces of a pallet in my garage for a few months (years) because I knew that one day I would need it!
The time had finally come and I’m sure my husband could not have been happier to finally be using it. He even cut the pieces for me!
I added a layer of satin poly to bring out the color a little. The wood was glued together and cut to the perfect size to fit snugly in the frame. I turned the frame over and slipped the wood in from the back.
Now, it was time to assemble the trays. I bought a wooden candlestick at the craft store and painted it the same color as the frames.
The frames were screwed onto the top and bottom of the candlestick so it would be as sturdy as possible.
I added a finial to the top tray.
I really love how it turned out (and I especially love the price!)
*Please note that I only use my tray for decorative purposes (the apples in the picture were not eaten). If you plan to use yours for food, you may want to use new, untreated wood and seal it with something that indicates it is safe for food contact!

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

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Kate_tremul Kate_tremul on Aug 30, 2016
    Could you please tell me what make that drop saw is your husband is using . kind regards .

  • Peyton Peyton on Sep 07, 2016
    could you use liquid nails rather than screwing the candlestick to tray?

  • Mhe12691510 Mhe12691510 on Nov 16, 2016
    Had you thought about using the glass that was in the frame, then backing/gluing pretty paper onto the glass from behind? This would make the tops cleanable. Granted you would have to rely on glue to hold the pieces together, is that do-able?


Join the conversation

2 of 150 comments
  • E95656 E95656 on Dec 08, 2020

    I love this idea. Yours turned out beautiful!

  • Bucko2000 Bucko2000 on Dec 08, 2020

    I have a friend that is always hosting small parties. I think I will make this for one of her Christmas gifts! Thanks for the inspiration.