A Tray is a Tray? One Style, Three Ways

Well, two styles. Anyway, the point is that I want to show you how one simple tray “style” can become three totally different things when finished! Trays can be a blank canvas (of wood) and be completely personalized. We like to build our trays … (and both of these are our designs!) but you could just as easily transform one that you purchased at the craft store (if you HAVE to …). πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

This first one is just for fun .. I had some reclaimed cedar fence boards left over from making a panel (for a friend) and the scraps were just the right size for a “serving” tray. I used quotations there because, let’s be honest – you can’t actually serve anything on a tray without sides. This tray is just for the table top – just for pretty things that you find make you smile when you walk by. Including, but not limited to, Mason jars, flowers, candles, shiny objects of any size … you get the idea. πŸ™‚Β barnwood tray 15barnwood tray close up

This tray is SO PRETTY, and it was a custom order we did for Christmas last year. The monogram really makes this classy and personal at the same time. I’m contemplating adding one to the tray above, as well … maybe for a wedding gift? The Red distressed look is very classic, in a way, and easy to achieve using three coats of a good quality paint, a hard sanding, and then a coat of stain (apply and wipe off) on the top. For extra durability, you should finish it with a coat of poly (over the monogram as well).Β Quintero Tray

And this one’s for the Huskers. Obviously. One coat of Minwax “Early American” stain, paint the logo, then finish with three coats of water-based poly. I used Matte finish poly on this one just because it’s a more rustic style overall. We have cut the handles instead of installing them on the sides, they are rounded off with the router too for a more comfortable grip. Perfectly practical with sides and everything. Perfect.Β husker serving tray ruler tray 2015I’ve saved the best for last. This one is the exact same build as the two above! Look how different it looks! πŸ™‚ I simply left the body of the tray natural (it’s reclaimed cedar again, just with the age planed off of it) and used an assortment of antique rulers to fill the bottom. I stained a few of them dark to add color variation. They were simply cut and glued down with (gel) super glue. I weighted them down for a few hours afterwards to help the glue set and keep things in place. LOVE how it turned out.

One basic tray can be so many beautiful things, and so practical, too. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

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DIY Jewelry Holders

Every girl needs a storage system for her jewelry – and these are the perfect, rustic piece. The great thing about using a mixture of decorative knobs is that you can put together ANY look you like. No need to be limited by what’s in stock (pre-made) at the craft store, you can easily put together one of these with a piece of scrap wood and your own choice of 4-6 knobs or drawer pulls.

Mine usually range in size from 4″ tall to 12-18″ long depending on how many knobs I’ve picked out to use. My favorite spacing between the knobs is usually 3″ on center from one knob to the next. (Give yourself a little more room if you’re using oversized knobs or odd shapes) There are a MILLION distressing tutorials out there on the web- why write another one? πŸ™‚ The other option you have is to paint chevron on the back (see below), or use barnwood. That’s the other beautiful thing about doing it yourself … πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

On the back these are finished with two sawtooth hangers for easy installation.

On the back these are finished with two sawtooth hangers for easy installation.

If you’re like most people and you want to pick your knobs (but don’t want to mess with drilling holes and distressing wood) you can always hire us to build you one. πŸ™‚Β 

Adorable in turquoise and orange, the owl is the perfect focal point!

Adorable in turquoise and orange, the owl is the perfect focal point!

Rustic barnwood and red knobs give this one a classic look with a twist - the little brass hook at the end for larger necklaces and bracelets.

Rustic barnwood and red knobs give this one a classic look with a twist – the little brass hook at the end for larger necklaces and bracelets.

Yellow and blue for Spring, of course! The distressing shows mainly on the edges of this board because it's only 3" tall.

Yellow and blue for Spring, of course! The distressing shows mainly on the edges of this board because it’s only 3″ tall.

This one is 5" tall and only 12" long, because we used fewer knobs. That pink oval is just perfect.

This one is 5″ tall and only 12″ long, because we used fewer knobs. That pink oval is just perfect.

Confession: I love making these. They are quick and easy and gorgeous no matter what combination you end up with. πŸ™‚

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

A Little Bit of Husker Curb Appeal …

Husker Football is kind of a big deal around here. Okay, that was an understatement: it’s part of our identity. We’ve made a lot of different (adorable) doorhangers, but these two are my personal favorites. Why? There’s just something about chevron and Huskers, right?

A touch more subtle in grey chevron, the message is still clear: Forever a Husker!

Both of these designs were dictated by the customer – and both of them are beautiful! I painted them with your standard acrylic craft paint, then sealed both sides with three coats of matte spray sealer. Just in case you can’t protect them with a storm door, the sealer keeps the moisture out (and the wood underneath from warping!). Β The finishing touch is a simple knotted twine hanger. Rustic perfection. πŸ™‚

Red chevron screams "Huskers!" and we added the perfect bit of silver sparkle on top.