After hunting high and low for the perfect little tray to sit on my kitchen counter, I abandoned the search and made my own. Guess what?…it’s exactly the size and color I was looking for. That, my friends, is the glory of DIY. You get just what you want and I’m all for that. Why not whip one up for yourself? Here’s how I got my finished tray which is 14″ long by 10 1/2″ deep:
- 1″ x 4″ x 4′ pine ($2.76 at Home Depot, I had it cut to 3 pieces, 14″ each)
- 1″ x 2″ pine, 2 pieces 10 1/2″ long (donated from my brother’s shop, thanks Steve)
- 12 – #6 x 1 1/4″ wood screws ($2.19 at Canadian Tire)
- 2 drawer pulls ($2 each at the Restore)
- sandpaper, paint, screwdriver, drill and bits (I had all these on hand)
Sand all the pieces of wood just to make them “hand friendly”, as in you don’t get slivers when you pick them up.
Lay your 3 boards edge to edge lining up the cut sides. Lay the shorter pieces on top and on each side creating your tray’s sides. Flip this all upside down keeping all your boards lined up…well, actually just re-align them in the same pattern.
I predrilled 2 holes on each of my boards, also drilling through to the side pieces. Pine cracks and splinters easily so pre-drilling will take care of that risk. See the blue tape on the drill bit? – this is a trick I learned to make a marker where to stop drilling so you don’t go all the way through both layers of wood.
Screw the boards and sides together using the screws and predrilled holes. Tighten them up. Flip it over and you’re almost done!
Paint your tray using 1-2 coats of acrylic paint (the craft stuff is fine). I used chalkboard paint left over from my door project. The door and tray both live in the kitchen and match perfectly, my OCD heart loves that! Once the paint dried, I lightly sanded the edges and a few spots on the boards to give it a bit of a rustic look – this is completely optional.
The final step is to attach your drawer pulls to create handles on your tray sides. Depending on which you choose, you may need to drill holes from the bottom through the whole tray to attach them, or screw down into your tray handles from above.
I added thick felt pads to all the corners to keep any metal screw heads off my countertop (again with the OCD). And here she is….
This project took an hour-ish and cost under $10. Cheap and easy, just the way I like. Obviously you can customize it by changing the sizes of your boards, side bits, handles and paint choice to get a tray that suits your needs. I’m really happy with how this turned out and have big plans ahead for the wee one…Intrigue!