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.
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.
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.
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.
- 1 12″x24″ galvanized sheet metal
- 7′ of 1×1 hardwood
- 2 drawer pulls
- 1″ finishing nails
- wood glue
- table saw
- miter saw
- brad nail gun
- 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.
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.
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!
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!
Now I can easily clean things off after I use it to serve all kinds of treats this holiday season!
And those delicious crackers just look better with a beautiful tray to sit on 🙂
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