Tuesday, January 3, 2012

DIY Pallet Wood Tray - Tutorial

How We Did It
DIY Pallet Wood Tray Tutorial

This project started with a stack of pallet wood.  We all know what this looks like so I did not photo this glorious stack of wood.  Though I should have, it was pretty impressive.  To prepare the wood we scrubbed it down with some soapy water and let it dry for several days.  Then we sanded the crap out of it to give it a smooth finish.  To achieve this finish we started with 80 grit and then finished with 220 grit.

Once the sanding stage was complete, we measured and cut the wood to the size desired.  This can be as large or as small as you like.

Don't worry if some of the wood is not straight (as you can see ours isn't).  It DOES NOT have to be perfect. In fact, you don't want it to be! These are suppose to look old, used and "vintage"! So it's okay if everything isn't totally square or lined up perfectly.  Just go with it...

Then with the help of our Porter Cable finishing stapler and some wood glue we have a completed tray.

So totally Simple!  And again, it is NOT perfect.  We didn't worry about filling nail holes because all of those nooks and cranny's are what makes these trays have lots of "personality"  :)  Just like us! 

Then it was time to add some handles to this beauty.  We had a bag of 3/8 " rope that we picked up from Home Depot for like 8 bucks so I decided...why not?  Lets use that!

I measured out where I wanted the handles to be and then took a 3/8" drill bit and drilled two holes in the fronts of each tray for handles.

I then cut the rope to the length I wanted...wrapped the ends with some duct tape to make it easier to slide through the holes...and tied off with knots.

To make sure the knots stayed "put", I applied a little Loctite liquid glue to the knots.  It is IMPERATIVE that you use the liquid and NOT the gel for this project.  The liquid will soak into the rope where the gel will not.  Check it out! 

Love IT!  And it was so totally SIMPLE!  In fact, I loved the look of it so much that I decided not to stain it after all.  Instead, I sealed it with 3 coats of Minwax Polyurethane in the Satin finish.  And Wah-LAH!

It's SUCH a great option for coffee tables, and costs about the same as your traditional run of the mill basket that you can pick up at your local home decor store. Also, think of the possibilities... 
You could add a cool stencil and then sand it a bit to jazz up the top, some decorative handles, or paint the tray a fun color!
What do ya think? Could you find a way to use this simple pallet wood tutorial to build a tray of your own, for a space in your home!?


  1. I makin one of these!

  2. You so totally should! I love mine :) Have fun with it!

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  4. I LOVE this!!!!! What a great idea!!

  5. Fantastic! Exactly what I was looking for (our "coffee table" is a stuffed ottoman...not ideal for setting drinks on!).

  6. I am planning to make them a lil deeper to create drawers!!

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  8. These are truly fascinating, You are an extremely wood artiest. looks forward a greater amount of your awesome wood work. I must say it is a motivation in Watson

  9. Can you share the sizes you cut your pieces? Love this tray

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