Build a DIY tiered tray to help clear countertop clutter, organize essentials, or to use for decorating counters and tabletops. Get the building plans, tutorial, and steps for a square tiered tray.
Beautiful tiered trays have been everywhere we look lately — from home shows to boutiques to our favorite home decor shops. So we decided to build one of our own, but with a twist… get it? We added a simple and affordable turntable mechanism to the bottom, giving this two-tiered square tray a bit of a height boost and an added bit of spinning flair. Build your own tiered lazy susan tray following the video tutorial and building plan below!
This double layer of trays looks chic with a two-tone paint job and can be put to use in any room of the house. Use it in the kitchen to hold utensils, fresh fruit, or spices. Put it on the bathroom counter to organize makeup, perfume, nail polish, and other necessities. Use it on a dresser to hold jewelry, or take it to an office or craft room to hold pens, pencils, and other supplies. Where would you use a tiered lazy susan tray like this? Check out the video for building tips and tricks, and be sure to subscribe to our channel to see new projects every week.
As you can see from this photo, we took a whole jumble of craft supplies (homemade Valentine’s, here we come!) and cleared the countertop (which is doubling as our desktop work surface for the moment) by organizing them on this new stacked spinning tray — it may not seem that big, but its organizational potential is HUGE! (or if rustic metal is more you style, check out this upcycled rotating metal tiered tray DIY!)
Ready to build your own? Watch the video above for tips and pointers, and read and download the printed instructions below for specific measurements and cut list.
How to Build a Square Tiered Lazy Susan Tray
- 1 – 1″ x 8″ x 4′
- 1 – 1/4″ x 3 3/4″ x 5′ Bender board
- 1 – Lazy susan turntable (we used 4″ but you could adjust to a larger size if you’d prefer)
- 1 – Wood Baluster
- 1/4″ dowel pins
- Titebond Wood Glue
- 3/4″ brad nails
- 1 1/4″ brad nails
- Miter saw*
- Table Saw*
- Doweling Jig Kit (I love this little tool!)
- Paint brushes
- Brad nailer & compressor
As with most projects, if you don’t have a miter saw or table saw, you can make these cuts using a miter box or a circular saw with a straight edge (like shown here) as well.
From 1×8 cut
1 @ 7 1/4″
2 @ 14 1/2″
Using remnant from the cuts listed above.
Cut @ 6″
Then cut that down to 6″ the other direction.
Join the two 14 1/2″ pieces using the doweling jig. Mark 3″ from the edge on both pieces.
I like to set the two pieces side by side when I mark them so that I know they will line up.
Then rotate the square and mark a line across both pieces.
Line up the jig with the line you marked.
Adjust the clamp so the the jig is secured against the lumber. I am using the center location for the collar which will center the hole in the lumber. Adjust the collar on the bit to allow the bit to remove 1/2″ from the pieces.
Each piece will look like this after you have drilled out each dowel hole.
Run a bead of Titebond glue on one board, making sure to place glue in each hole for the dowels. This glue is especially important for the strength of the overall piece.
Place the dowels.
Attach the second piece.
Clamp in place.
Adjust table saw blade to a 20 degree angle. I used my square to adjust the fence so that when I cut the lumber the piece stayed the original size on one side.
Run your piece through cutting all four sides. The widest surface will be the top of the piece.
Do this for the following pieces.
14 1/2″ x 14 1/2″
7 1/4″ x 7 1/4″
6″ x 6″
While the table saw is still set at 20 degrees rip down the 1/4″ MDF bender board into 1 3/4″ strips. Doing this step while the saw is set at the angle you used for the other pieces ensures that all of your angles are the same. I found that cutting the bender board into 18″ pieces made it more manageable when cutting the angles with the table saw.
Run each piece through the saw removing only enough to cut the angle but not remove any width.
I set the fence to 1 7/8″ for the next cut, and ran each piece through.
Then I used the strips that were just cut to set the fence for the next cut.
You will need to flip and rotate the remaining pieces when you cut them so that the angles are in the right places.
The angle should be parallel to each other.
Cut baluster into a 7″ piece.
I adjusted it until I liked the amount of detail that would remain.
Then measured from that 7″ from that cut for the next cut.
Drill dowel holes for each tier level. I originally did this in a different order. I put the edges on first then drill the holes. That was not so easy. So do this step before you put the edge pieces on!
Measure the center of each tier. The top tier will need a hole on the bottom.
The bottom tier will need a hole on the top
Then drill holes where you marked. Be careful not to drill all the way through.
Then mark the center of both ends of the baluster.
You will also need to mark the bottom side of the bottom tier for the turntable. I measured from corner to corner, and then lined the holes on the turntable with the markings. Then marked where the holes were to drill pilot holes later.
Cut edge pieces by placing them on your miter saw so that one angle is flat on the base of the saw, and the other is flat against the fence.
Cutting the edges will be like cutting crown moulding. The angle on the base of the saw is the top of your piece. It’s important you keep that in mind as you are cutting. Because in order to reduce waste you will be flipping the pieces for the shorter cuts, and you will need to make sure the cuts are going the right direction.
Cut the first end at a 45 degree angle on the right end.
I set a stop so that when I rotated the blade to make the left side cut it would cut the piece so the top measures 8 7/16″ and the bottom measures 7 1/4″ from the blade.
Then rotate the saw to cut a 45 degree angle on the left side.
Your remaining piece will look like this. Flip this over so the bottom is now the top,
Slide against the stop, and cut again. Repeat two more times so you have a total of 4 pieces.
Now cut the edges for the bottom tier. you might want to double check the the your bottom tier piece is 14 1/2″ on each side. If the sides aren’t all 14 1/2″ cut each piece to match your measurements.
Cut the angle for the right side. Then measure and mark 14 1/2″ on the inside edge of the bottom, rotate the saw to cut the left 45 degree angle, and cut. Repeat this four times.
Attach edge pieces to tiers.
Run a bead of Titebond glue along one edge,
line up the edge piece, and using 3/4″ brad nails attach the edge pieces.
Repeat for all four sides on both tiers.
I wanted the wood base for the turntable to be the same size as the actual turntable. So I used it to adjust the fence on my table saw.
Then run the remaining piece of 1×8 through.
Then rotate the piece you just cut 90 degrees and run it through again to get a square.
Your turntable should fit perfectly on top!
Fill any gaps with wood filler.
Mark the holes for the turntable on the base.
Drill pilot holes for the turntable on the base and bottom tier.
Sand as needed.
Paint! I wanted to paint each piece separately to make painting easier. I used a little pot of paint I found at my hardware store that has a chalk paint look, but a latex paint feel. It didn’t require priming, so that’s a bonus for me!
After a couple of coats I used a little stencil. I painted a light base coat of the gray paint to seal the stencil edges.
Then I did a couple of coats of yellow.
You can use a small paint brush to touch up the stencil if you think you need to.
Originally I wanted the base tier to be stenciled as well, but my stenciling look horrible! So I improvised! I ran tape along the edge, and painted over my sad stenciling to hide it. I mean, to seal the tape!
Then painted a couple of coats of yellow.
I am a tad bit impatient, and decided to see what else I could do while the paint dried. Because who likes waiting for paint to dry? Not me!
So I put a dab of Titebond glue on the top of my baluster, and in the dowel hole.
Because I painted the pieces before I glued them, my dowel needed a love tap with a hammer!
After the baluster is in place, I used my square to make sure every lined up!
Attach the turntable to the small base with 3/4″ wood screws.
Then attach the base with the turntable to the bottom tier.
Attach the 6″ square piece the the turntable. Using the square, make sure the base is centered. Then, using 1 1/4″ brad nails, attach the base to the turntable. I put a couple nails in at an angle to make it more difficult for the base to separate.
Now that my paint is dry, I added a second coat and removed the tape.
Place glue on the baluster, and in the dowel hole on the bottom tier. Tap the dowel in, and set in place.
Use your square to square everything up!
Sometimes when I am working in the garage, and I finish a project I’d like to hear a little fanfare! Look at this little beauty!
One pinned project complete, and only 999,999 to go! I hope you give this project a try! And be sure to pin it to your to-make list 😉
More DIY trays and organizing ideas:
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