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Decorative Holiday Tray Tutorial

What can be used to serve your thanksgiving pie to your holiday guests and be displayed for decoration? Check out this amazing DIY tutorial. When you see this, you will want to make one for yourself!

You will need:

An old pallet or wood planks
Hammer (optional)
Nails (optional)
Wood glue
Paint brush
Hack saw

The first thing you need to do is build a tray. Remove 4 boards from your pallet.

Measure the boards to the length you want your tray. I cut mine to about 23 1/2" long.

Measure the width of the tray and cut two end pieces. Mine measured about 14".

Apply glue to the end pieces

Secure with c-clamps. I placed one c-clamp per board. Let dry overnight. Remove C-clamps. The wood glue should hold it in securely. But if desired, you can nail the boards in place.

Next, you need a stencil to paint onto your tray. You can buy a stencil or use a cricut or silhouette machine to cut the vinyl design you want to use. I went for a Thanksgiving theme for mine. If you like my design, you can get the precut vinyl here. These directions will reflect how to use precut vinyl as your stencil.

Place your vinyl onto the tray.

Peel the backing a bit and stick it to the tray so that it doesn't move. Then peel the backing and smooth the vinyl on, making sure it sticks in all places with no bubbles. Next, peel the front paper off and continue to smooth the vinyl.

Now you're ready for painting. A sponge brush or a flat stippling paint brush works well. Put a little paint on your brush and lightly tap your brush onto the stencil. Use light even coats.

If you put the paint on too thick, the paint could bleed under the vinyl. Continue layering paint until you get the desired thickness of paint. Wait for paint to dry and carefully peel back vinyl.

Installing the handles comes next. Choose what handles you want to go on your tray.

Measure and mark where you want your handles to be. I centered mine into the middle of the end rail of the tray. Take a look at the screws that are connected to your handles. They may be too long for the depth of your tray. If they are too long, you may need to cut them. Grab a pair of pliers and a hack saw. Measure the length you need your screw and mark where you will cut it with a sharpie. Hold the screw tightly with the pliers. Place the hacksaw on the screw and saw away.

Grab your drill and drill your holes on the marked spots on your tray. Be sure to drill forward and then reverse to really clean out the drill holes.

Drop wood glue into the holes.

Push the handles hard into the glue filled holes. You could use a rubber mallet to pound the handles in if necessary. Just be careful not to crack your handles. (I may or may not have made that mistake).

Let glue dry well.

Lightly sand the paint to get the look you want. I really like the weathered worn look.

And now your done! I absolutely LOVE this tray! Serve your thanksgiving pie on the tray, or tip it up for a great display!

Here are some other trays that I have made that are available in my shop.

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