Pinterest is full of pallet projects, and with good reason — the wood is cheap (or better, free) and comes with built-in rustic style that's so perfect for farmhouse, industrial, or eclectic styles. But once you've found the perfect pallet and taken it apart — what to build? This pallet wood tray is quick and looks great too! I have wanted a tray like this for my coffee table for a while, but didn't want to spend a lot. That is the beauty of a pallet wood project! Similar trays on Etsy start at $25, but even if you buy new handles for your tray you will spend less than $10 for this build!
Disclaimer: Building with pallet wood will give you a very rustic finish. The boards may have twists. If you want to have a very square finished product I recommend buying new lumber. If the rustic look is what you are after, then tear that pallet down and get started!
This post is part of our week-long pallet extravaganza, Pallets Aplenty. Be sure to subscribe by email or RSS and follow along over on Facebook and Instagram with #palletsaplenty so you won’t miss a single one of the amazing posts we have coming up!
How to Build an Easy Pallet Wood Tray
(2) 3'4″ x 5 1/2″ boards – cut @ 24″
(4) 3′ x 3 1/2″ boards – (2) cuts @ 25 1/4″ (2) cuts @ 14 1/2″ (1) cut @ 24″
- Miter Saw
- Belt Sander
- Biscuit Joiner
- Size 0 bicuits
- Wood glue
- Vinegar & Steel Wool Stain
- Tea Stain
- 2 drawer handles
Step 1: Make Cuts and Biscuit Holes
Using your miter saw, make all cuts as listed.
In order to simplify cutting the biscuit holes, I line up my joiner with the edge of my project, and then cut one on center. This cuts down on the time I spend measuring! I also cut all the biscuit joints first. Then all I have left to do is glue!
Step 2: Assemble the Base of the Tray
Join (1) 5 1/2″x 24″ board with the 3 1/2″ x 24″ by running a bead of glue along one edge, place bicuits in openings and clamp together.
Join the next 5 1/2″ x 24″ board to those from the previous step. Clamp to allow the glue to set.
You have completed the base of your tray!
After the glue set I ran my belt sander across the base to even it out so the tray would sit as flat as possible.
Step 3: Cut Biscuit Holes and Attach Sides
Here is a quick look at where you will need to cut biscuit holes for the side pieces. Again I line up my joiner on the edge of each piece of wood, and at the center. Make sure you also cut matching biscuit holes in the base to attach the sides.
I attached the ends first. Remember glue, biscuit and clamp for each step!
Now glue, biscuit, and clamp the sides.
Here is a quick side view of one side being glued on.
Step 4: Stain and Add Handles
To get the same finish I have: I used 1/2 C of a very strong tea stain, and added 1/8 C of vinegar and steel wool stain.
Once your tray is dry measure the spacing between the mounting holes on your handles. Transfer the measurement centered on the ends of the tray, and drill for the mounting screws.
Now fill it up, make it pretty, and enjoy your new tray!
More easy pallet projects:
and coming up later this week: a rustic pallet memo board!