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 …). ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 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).ย 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.ย 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! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

Reclaimed Wood Porch Pumpkins – Welcome, Fall!

There are so many beautiful things about Fall … cooler weather, evenings with loved ones around the campfire, a mug of hot tea in your cold hands, fuzzy blankets on cold nights … gorgeous rainbow colored leaves falling to the ground! Everything pretty and cozy comes into season for Fall. โค

I’ve been scanning Pinterest for inspiration on Fall projects. There’s no lack of inspiring photos to get the creative juices flowing!! I found several different versions of reclaimed wood pumpkins (for the front porch!) and decided to give it a try. It’s no coincidence, either, that the very same week that I decided to try out this project, the Woodworker and I decided it was time to sort through our mountains of scrapwood and use it or lose it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

This is PERFECT project for scrap wood odds and ends. I used a mixture of scraps (barnwood, pine value board pieces, etc.) and reclaimed cedar fence boards from our neighbor. 20-40 year old cedar boards get that gorgeous grey, worn look to them from living outdoors. The wood-grain sort of becomes “deep” and gives you this awesome texture to work with! But enough words … you want to see pictures, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

porch pumpkins trio

I LOVE how these turned out. I truly do. Those nail holes are from the wood’s previous life as a privacy fence. Cool, right? Each pumpkin has a “stand” on the bottom, painted black, that holds it up nicely.

pumpkin duo

wood pumpkins in a row

The pumpkins were painted with acrylic craft paints, then sealed with two coats of water-based poly (which will not yellow over time). They stand roughly 15-20″ tall.

So that’s my version of porch pumpkins!! ๐Ÿ™‚ What do you think? If your curious to see my “Pinspiration” you can find that here. I didn’t use her method in constructing mine, but she does have a great tutorial that’s easy to read with great pictures!

Happy Fall!

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

How to decorate with wooden CRATES!

How to decorate with wooden CRATES!

I just had to share this little bit of inspiration with you all… it’s a wonderful collection of different crates stacked, painted, papered… the possibilities are endless!ย 

*Admission* I really thought that crates were the “most beautiful” in their raw, bare wood state. I think I’ve changed my mind. The painted, papered crates are just as beautiful – and so cheerful looking, too! Don’t you just LOVE the turquoise set with papered backs? I’m in love.ย 

 Wooden Crates Furniture Design Ideas 02

I think we might have to make a few that are shallow like these just for the pretty factor. They would be perfect for bathroom storage, or little display boxes in a nursery.ย 

Is there anything that you CAN’T do with crates?ย 

~ The Woodworker’s Wifeย 

How to use crates – Inspiration for home organization

I have a stack of TEN wooden crates in my living room right now. Is this a problem? No. Do I know exactly how I want to use them? Not yet! I know, don’t get me wrong… I’m not ungrateful, I just want to make the very best use of them that I can. They are a beautiful, blank canvas –> and I have SO many ideas for how to decorate them/with them.

Here are some great ideas for using crates … everything from bookcases to to shadow boxes and mudroom storage. Pinspiration!

Easy Entry Upgrade with DIY built-in coat hooks and wooden crates via @Jenna_Burger, www.sasinteriors.net

I love how she used a few crates to add storage to a small entry way. Great tutorial, too! Read it right here.

DIY Vintage Crate Boot Rack~Tutorial

Another cute use of crates for a mudroom – although I have to admit that I feel like using pre-made (purchased) crates is cheating. Making them is so much more rewarding. ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, you can see how she hooked them together here!ย 

Painted Crates for Shelving

This little beauty is from flikr – I love all the bright colors!! It might be a little too elaborate and busy for our home, but the idea of painting just the inside of the crates for a splash of color is brilliant, and easy. ๐Ÿ™‚

More bookshelves...

And finally, a simple idea for storing extra books. This is what most of my crates will be used for, no doubt. {Library book sale, anyone?} I love the dark stain – it can add age to crates that are really “new.” What could be better?

There are hundreds of other great ideas for crates out there {coffee tables, entertainment centers, toy storage for the kiddos, rolling crates for blankets and living room odds and ends…} ย and I have pinned a LOT of them. Yep, it’s true. If you want to check out my boards, be my guest. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

What would you do with crates in your home??

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

Rustic Coat Racks Find a Home.

I just had to share these pictures with you. After making a coat rack for the Fire Station, we made two more for one of the Fireman who is stationed there. He was kind enough to share some pictures of the coats racks in their home. I love it!ย 

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There’s nothing better than seeing your hard work being enjoyed by a friend, in their home. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

~ The Woodworker’s Wifeย 

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