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DIY Serving Tray

Learn how to make a stylish DIY serving tray with handles!

DIY serving tray with leather handles

This DIY wood serving tray is really easy to make, you only need three tools, a brad nailer, drill and a miter saw!

This is our Day 4 project for the 10 Days of DIY Challenge & Giveaway going on right now, don’t forget to enter the giveaway here!

diy serving tray finished and unfinished

It can be used in so many ways, and provide both function and decor to your home!

Final Size of Serving Tray: 12″ wide x 16″ long x 2 1/4″ tall

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more info see my disclosures here.

How to Make a DIY Serving Tray:

Materials:

Tools:

Video Tutorial:

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1. Make the lumber cuts

Cut the plywood sheet to 10 1/2″ x 14 1/2″. We had our plywood cut at the home improvement store.

Make the following cuts from the 1x2s with 45 degree cuts using a miter saw:

  • (2) @ 10 1/2″ from short point to short point
  • (2) @ 14 1/2″ from short point to short point

Make the following cuts from the 3/4″ square dowels with 45 degree cuts using a miter saw:

  • (2) @ 10 1/2″ from short point to short point
  • (2) @ 14 1/2″ from short point to short point

Note: We cut our 1x2s and 3/4″ square dowels at a 45 degree angle for clean ends but you can do straight 0 degree cuts if you want to make this project even more simple.

cut wood with a 45 degree angle using a miter saw
lumber cuts for serving tray sides

2. Line up all the boards

Before assembling the DIY serving tray, line up all of the boards to make sure everything will be a perfect fit, with the 1x2s against the plywood and the square dowels on top of the 1x2s.

Before assembling the DIY serving tray, line up all of the boards

3. Drill holes for the handles

Using one of the 1x2s at 10 1/2″, mark the center with a pencil at 5 1/4″. Then make a pencil mark on the left and right side of the center mark at 2 3/4″. Finally make 2 more pencil marks 5/8″ from the bottom of the 1×2.

Line up the bottom edge of the handle with the 5/8″ marks and in between the 2 3/4″ marks. Hold the handle in place and trace the circle where the handle holes are on the 1×2.

make marks for handle holes on sides of serving tray

Use a 1/4″ drill bit and drill a hole through the 1×2 where you marked the circles for the handle screw holes. Align the tip of the drill bit with the center of the hole marked as best as you can.

drill holes for handles

Repeat these steps for the second 1×2 @ 10 1/2″.

holes pre drilled on two serving tray sides for handles

4. Assemble the 1×2 frame to the base

Attach one of the 10 1/2″ 1x2s with wood glue and 1 1/4″ brad nails to the side of the plywood so that the short points are flush with the plywood edges. Use clamps to help hold the wood in place. And make sure the handles holes are above the plywood.

use a brad nailer to attach side 1x2s of serving tray

Repeat this process for the other 3 sides.

use a brad nailer to attach side 1x2s of diy wood serving tray
all 1x2 sides attached to DIY wood serving tray

5. Apply the paint and stain to the DIY wood serving tray boards

Prime and paint the plywood and 1×2 frames. We used simply white by Benjamin Moore.

Stain the 3/4″ sqaure dowel boards. We used Early American by Minwax.

Allow everything to dry.

DIY serving tray wood stained and painted before assembly

6. Install the square dowel boards on the tray edges

Attach the square dowels boards with wood glue and brad nails on top of the 1×2 tray edges.

We lined up all the square boards in place and then clamped one board down at a time to nail it in place on the tray. You can see all of this in action in our step by step video on how to build a serving tray!

attaching top stained boards to painted tray sides with wood glue
using brad nailer to attach serving tray together
DIy serving tray built before handle installation

7. Install handles on the DIY wood serving tray

The last step is to install the handles using the pre-drilled holes and a screw driver with the screws that came with the handles. I used these leather drawer pulls.

using screwdriver to attach handles to serving tray sides

And that’s it, enjoy your handmade, DIY wood serving tray!!!

DIY wood serving tray in living room
DIY serving tray
up close of leather handle on DIY wood serving tray
side view of DIY wood serving tray

What do you think of our DIY serving tray? What would you use it for? I’ve been using mine on our ottoman and on our entertainment center shelf!

Make sure to join our Woodworking for the Home Facebook group and share this project there if you make it! Or tag me on social media @angelamariemade or #angelamariemade!

Don’t forget to enter our holiday giveaway and check out all of the other fun projects in our 10 Days of DIY Challenge & Giveaway!

Follow along for my latest projects and sneak peaks on Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest!

DIY serving tray

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Jennifer

Sunday 24th of January 2021

I love your diy projects and detailed explanations! Looking forward to making your trays for family as gifts.

Angela Marie Made

Monday 25th of January 2021

Thank you so much!!

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