DIY Farmhouse Style Tray

Paula Skulina
by Paula Skulina
4 Hours
A tray is not only decorative, but also useful. On a coffee table, they can corral magazines and remotes. On a table, they can be base of a centerpiece or seasonal vignette. And of course, they are good for their intended purpose, to transport items from place to place.

I wanted a farmhouse style tray that I could use for decor in any season, so I made my own.

The main thing that you will need to make a DIY Farmhouse Style Tray are:
1 Sheet Birch Plywood – 1/8” x 2 ft x 2 ft
2 Poplar Project Boards – 1/2” x 4” x 4 ft

See my blog post for the complete list of supplies.
The sides of the tray are made from two 1/2” x 4” x 4 ft Poplar project boards.  The long sides were cut at 24” each and the short sides at 16-3/4” each.
I wanted the bottom of the tray to fit into the wood, so I used a 3/8” x 1/2” Rabbeting Bit to cut a groove in the sides and end boards.
Since I intended to butt joint the tray ends (handle side) to the long sides of the tray, I routed rabbets the entire length of the long sides, but had to rabbet only the interior edges of short sides.  The rabbet depth was approximately 1/8” deep.
A routing table is a handy tool to have for projects like this.
This is the groove cut on the two side pieces.
Here you can see how the bottom of the tray is flush with the sides thanks to the routed groove.

See my blog post for the rest of the details on making the side pieces. You will find step-by-step directions with pictures there.
To make the handles, start by measuring the center of each end piece and mark with a pencil.  A center finding ruler makes this a snap!
These are the completed pieces that go on the end of the tray. Get the directions for how I made the handles on my blog post.
This is the completed tray. I achieved this beautiful finish with Minwax Weathered Oak stain. The right angle metal brackets add a decorative touch to this tray.
I've enjoyed using this tray this spring and summer and look forward to styling it for fall!
Paula Skulina
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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