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DIY Wood and Steel Serving Tray

These last couple weeks I’ve been a little MIA. I am still not back to my regular self after getting sick last week. I thought I was feeling better on Monday, but then after using a ton of energy cleaning up gallons of water from a broken washing machine, I was down again.

I ended up taking two naps on Tuesday and another on Wednesday, and I do not nap. Usually if I nap, I cannot go to sleep at night so I avoid it. This week, I had no problems going to sleep earlier then normal even after my naps.

I guess I need to take it easy for a bit more. But I did manage to finish one project so I am excited to share it with you. In preparation for the parties and food with the upcoming holidays, I made a simple, but beautiful wood and steel serving tray.

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Make a simple and beautiful wood and steel serving tray for the holidays. A great DIY for gifts or to entertain this season. | HousefulofHandmade.com
I wanted to make a tray that could have many uses. I won’t always need it to serve food, so it had to have other uses as well or it would just be more clutter in my entertaining cupboard. I have many plans for this simple wood and steel serving tray. For now, I am using it for my favorite holiday appetizers, homemade jams/jellies over cream cheese with crackers.

Make a simple and beautiful wood and steel serving tray for the holidays. A great DIY for gifts or to entertain this season. | HousefulofHandmade.com

To make this easy tray, I wanted to use a hard wood so that it could stand up to lots of use. I used 1×1 inch walnut for my tray. At $1.60 a foot, it wasn’t the cheapest option, but still ended up costing me less than $25 for everything I needed for the whole tray. That is still a bargain for a beautiful hardwood serving tray.

I chose to make the bottom of the tray out of a sheet of steel. I love the mixture of the steel with the walnut, and you can write on the steel with a dry erase marker. This can come in handy when you have lots of different foods to serve and want to easily label them. Or if you want to use the tray in a cute display, you can draw right on the tray to make a fun statement piece. See, lots of different ideas to use this serving tray for.

Make a simple and beautiful wood and steel serving tray for the holidays. A great DIY for gifts or to entertain this season. | HousefulofHandmade.com

Putting together this serving tray was pretty easy, if you pay attention and don’t let your kids distract you! I had to take it apart and put it together a couple times because my kids wouldn’t leave me alone to focus. But it still wasn’t hard.

Materials:

Tools:

  • table saw
  • miter saw
  • brad nail gun
  • clamps
  • measuring tape
  • rafter square

I used the table saw to make grooves in the wood for the sheet of steel to sit into. It’s really easy to make grooves with the table saw. I set the height of the blade to 3/8″ and the guide 1/2″ away from the blade. Then ran the wood through it.

Make a simple and beautiful wood and steel serving tray for the holidays. A great DIY for gifts or to entertain this season. | HousefulofHandmade.com

I cut the wood to 1/2″ shorter than the sheet of metal. I would measure and cut to fit because my piece was 1/8″ short on one side. I cut the corners at a 45 degree angles so they fit together beautifully. I love my rafter square for making beautiful corners.

Make a simple and beautiful wood and steel serving tray for the holidays. A great DIY for gifts or to entertain this season. | HousefulofHandmade.com

Using wood glue and a couple finishing nails, secure the corners. This is where you want to pay special attention, unless your groove is in the exact center of the wood, you cannot just attach the wood together without making sure the grooves match. Mine didn’t the first time I put it together, then again the second piece I attached!

Seriously, I wanted to scream at this point. It is not hard to put the corners together, but trying to take them apart without messing them up is hard. So double check that a couple times, then secure.

Once three of the pieces are attached, you can slide the metal into the grooves and then attach the last piece. Easy peasy!

Make a simple and beautiful wood and steel serving tray for the holidays. A great DIY for gifts or to entertain this season. | HousefulofHandmade.com

To secure the handles I glued them on with some gorilla glue. I didn’t want to muddy up the inside of my pretty wood with screws and I knew I wouldn’t be carrying anything too heavy with it. I decided to glue on the handles before finishing the wood so it would be able to secure to the wood really good.

Then I chose to oil the wood like you would a butcher block or cutting board. I read a lot of stuff about what to use to seal the wood, the common option is mineral oil, but it is not all natural and I didn’t have any around. So I chose to use coconut oil with a little beeswax.

The coconut oil will go rancid, but not for a long time and the beeswax gives a nice little waterproof barrier to your wood. I used a mixture of 1 oz coconut oil and 1/4 oz beeswax, melted that together, then rubbed it all over the wood. Using a clean cloth, I wiped off the excess oil and presto, all done and ready for use!

Make a simple and beautiful wood and steel serving tray for the holidays. A great DIY for gifts or to entertain this season. | HousefulofHandmade.com

Now I can easily clean things off after I use it to serve all kinds of treats this holiday season!

Make a simple and beautiful wood and steel serving tray for the holidays. A great DIY for gifts or to entertain this season. | HousefulofHandmade.com

And those delicious crackers just look better with a beautiful tray to sit on 🙂

-Kati with picture of blog author Kati

 

 

 

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Jennifer Dawn

Wednesday 9th of December 2015

Love this idea! It's so neat to have a tray that you can write on too. Just wanted to let you know that I'm featuring it at this week's link party! http://www.thelifeofjenniferdawn.com/2015/12/diy-kitchen-gift-ideas-and-little-bird.html

Kati Farrer

Wednesday 9th of December 2015

Thank you Jennifer! And thanks so much for the feature :)

Sherry

Friday 27th of November 2015

This is a beautiful tray! Thanks for sharing with us at Funtastic Friday.

Kati Farrer

Saturday 28th of November 2015

Thank you Sherry :)

Carlee

Thursday 19th of November 2015

I hope you are feeling better! It is amazing how long it takes to recover sometimes. I love that you can write on this tray. What a great idea!

Kati Farrer

Thursday 19th of November 2015

Thank you Carlee, I feel back to normal this week! I haven't been that sick in a while so I forgot I needed to give myself time. The ability to write on the tray is where the whole idea started.

Amanda @The Kolb Corner

Wednesday 18th of November 2015

Great job--such a clever idea with the steel to make it easy to write on. Thank you for sharing at Merry Monday!

Kati Farrer

Wednesday 18th of November 2015

Thanks Amanda! I have so many fun ways I am going to use the write-on feature.

Jenny @ Refresh Living

Wednesday 18th of November 2015

What a fabulous idea! I love the mix of hardwood with the steel, and to be able to write on it is perfect. Pinning to my group boards!

Kati Farrer

Wednesday 18th of November 2015

Thank you Jenny! I love being able to write on it, perfect for cheese trays or party platters.

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