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 …). 🙂 🙂

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. 🙂 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). 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. 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! 🙂 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. 🙂 🙂

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

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How to Hang Barn Wood on the Christmas Tree

A lovely pair for the Christmas tree - aren't the cut-outs pretty? A touch of sparkle highlights his good detail work with the scroll saw.

A lovely pair for the Christmas tree – aren’t the cut-outs pretty? A touch of sparkle highlights his good detail work with the scroll saw.

He cut this out for me and I added the frosting. Isn't it welcoming?

He cut this out for me and I added the frosting. Isn’t it welcoming?

I cut this one out myself! The glittery hoofs add a little extra sparkle.

I cut this one out myself! The glittery hoofs add a little extra sparkle.

 

These were all crafted from barn wood that we salvaged from an old Corn Crib. Cottonwood is light, strong, and takes paint so very nicely. This year we will have barn wood on the Christmas tree! Is there anything better than a handmade Christmas?

The Reindeer was cut by me! One of my first attempts on the scroll saw, you can tell that I picked a much simpler design than the details that Mr. Woodworker accomplished. Using the scroll saw is so easy and rewarding – it’s rather addictive, actually. Wait until you see what I have in the works for my Christmas decorations … 🙂 But that’s for another post.

Consider this your daily inspiration.

~ Woodworker’s Wife