Great Gift Idea, Form AND Function. DIY Wood Tray

Madison McGahan
by Madison McGahan
4 Materials
60 Minutes
One of the greatest gifts I ever made my husband (other than his man cave) was a tray He could use in his cave. If your husband-significant other is like mine, he/she likes to eat in front of the TV especially during football season. So loading up his tray with caloric goodies and carrying it to his cave in a lazy Sunday afternoon is one of his cherished things to do. As I write this Father's Day is coming and I thought I'd do a tutorial on just how easy it is to make a tray for a gift for Father's Day or any time really!
Any time I want to make anything I always start first at the clearance wood cart at Home Depot. As you can see, instead of paying 14$ for a board, I got some boards for 70% off. I just have them cut it so it can fit in my car.
I cut 2 boards to 24" and used my E6000 and a clamp to get my base
While I was at Home Depot I also got some trim and some cheap fence board caps, and a couple of cheap handles.
Now this part you can 100% personalize with stain, paint, stencil etc. I decided to decoupage my base with close out fabric I got at Any time they decide to discontinue fabric they sell what they have left for pennies on the dollar, it's a great way to get a discount on fabric. I cut and decoupage my fabric onto the base.
I cut my trim to into 2 pieces at 24" and 2 pieces at 11.5" which was the width of my base minus the width of two of the trim pieces which would be placed on either side. Using chalk paint I painted my trim a blue that matched the blue in my fabric, but it was a little too much. So I put a layer of crackle medium over it and a coat of white after the medium had dried.
next I took the fence caps and stained them a dark Walnut, but once again it just didn't look right with my fabric so I painted them black and attached them to the underneath side of my base.
I weighed the "feet" (fence caps) with soup cans until it dried.
I attached the trim once it was dry with E6000 and finished it with finish nails from my nail gun. Then attached the handles.
The finished tray. Here you can see it as kitchen decor.
And here it's all ready to serve someone special breakfast in bed. Who wouldn't love seeing this tray with a great breakfast on it!!
I have several trays in my home that are used for decor. This is the coffee table Tray I made, the handles came from Hobby Lobby. And the base I did a crackle paint on with a stencil. The style possibilities are endless,
And this is my kitchen tray which is all wood. So as you can see they are great for decor, but my husband's "TV tray" as he calls it, is something he uses nearly every day. It's one of those gifts that can be both form and function, and can be personalized as a gift or for decor.
Suggested materials:
  • Clearance wood   (Home Depot)
  • Metal Handles   (Home depot)
  • Trim   (Home depot)
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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 20 questions
  • Celia merrick Celia merrick on Oct 10, 2017
    hello Madison,
    first thanks for sharing this beautiful DIY.
    question? - on your video (the cloth serving tray) you mentioned that if the tray was going to be used for serving food etc, that you would coat the top , you said you would decoupage it with Mod Podge, HOW MANY COATS WOULD YOU DO, AND WOULD YOU SEAL IT WITH SOMETHING AFTER THE M-PODGE?

  • Celia merrick Celia merrick on Oct 18, 2017
    hello Madison, serving tray Queen,
    not sure what happened to my question, but can't find an answer,
    on your video you mentioned about if the serving tray is used for food, and eating purposes you would cover the material with modpodge, How many codes would you use, and would you seal after, if yes with what. thanks

  • Mar28763756 Mar28763756 on Mar 15, 2018

    I am in love with your trays. I think I can do it. But I am not sure about the wood to buy. Can you please give me more details? I know you cut 2 pieces 24in long. What about the width and deep?

    Thanks in advance.

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2 of 68 comments
  • Jod7933997 Jod7933997 on May 27, 2018

    I would make the tray for my friend who is battling cancer

  • Margot Margot on Apr 16, 2022

    You can make a tray using a picture frame and change the cloth or picture under the glass and just add handles