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How to Make DIY Wooden Tray

Creating a DIY wooden tray can be incredibly fulfilling. Giving it as a gift to family and friends will surely be appreciated, as it shows your thoughtfulness. 

Moreover, it can serve various purposes such as a guest room amenity tray, a coffee tray, or even a decorative display tray. There are countless styles to choose from, but for beginners, aiming for a simple yet elegant design is ideal.

Before Your Begin

Before you start making the wooden tray, take some time to think about a few things: Where will the wooden tray be used? What style and color do you prefer? What materials will you use? Do you want to add handles?

 If so, what kind? Also, what tools will you need to make the wooden tray? If you’re unsure about any of these questions, you can search online for popular styles and pick one that suits you best.

 Design Choice

wooden tray style

Wooden trays come in various designs, with common shapes being square, rectangular, circular, and hexagonal. Handles typically include cutout handles or metal handles available in various colors and styles. 

Additionally, there are many wooden trays available in different colors. However, for beginners in DIY wooden tray making, opting for a conventional wooden tray design is a great choice.

Raw Wood Material Choice

If you’re making just one DIY wooden tray, you don’t need to worry about material costs. Choose the material that suits your preferences in terms of wood grain and durability. 

Common materials for making custom wood trays include walnut wood, oak wood, pine wood, plywood, veneer, and rubber wood. For more detailed information, feel free to reach out to our design experts of wooden trays manufacturer

 Handle Choice

wooden tray handle design

Wooden tray handles come in various styles, such as cutout handles with rectangular or oval shapes inside. There are also metal handles, rope handles, and more, each with its unique craftsmanship and style. 

Different handles provide different experiences, so simply choose the handle that complements your wood tray.

Surface Selection

Choose colors and patterns based on your preferences. Different types of wooden materials have distinct patterns. Applying clear varnish on the surface can not only waterproof it but also showcase the natural wood grain, providing a more authentic feel and extending its lifespan. 

You can also spray various colors to match your interior style. Additionally, there’s an option to spray colors while still allowing the wood grain to show through. For more information, please email our product expert.

Safe Concerns

If you’re using your wooden tray for food or coffee, make sure to choose materials and paints that are eco-friendly, non-toxic, won’t contaminate food, and won’t affect food safety. 

Try to avoid materials like MDF, wood veneer, or plywood, and opt for solid woods like cherry, walnut, maple, or oak, which are food-safe and non-toxic. When it comes to paint, pick ones that meet international standards for food safety, such as butcher block oil, tung oil, or linseed oil.

With many people facing cancer nowadays, it’s crucial to select materials and paints that are safe for food and meet international standards. When painting, consider craftsmanship to prevent peeling and ensure waterproofing for a healthier you.

Tools Need

Before making the DIY wooden tray, please make sure to have the following tools ready. If some tools are not available, you can try using alternative ones:

Tools Material
Miter Saw Oak Wood
Table Saw Wood Glue
Measuring Tape 120-200g Sand Paper
Pencil Wood Stain
Clamps Food Safe Wood Oil
Orbital Sander Black metal handle
Drill Bits
Lacquer Material
Router Bits

How to Make Your DIY Wooden Tray

 Here’s how to make such a straightforward and durable wooden tray.

Step1: Cut Your Wood Desired Dimensions

First, you need to decide the size of the wooden tray you want to make, where you’ll place it, and what you’ll use it for. Common sizes are usually 40030030mm and 35023030mm.

If you decide to make a wood serving tray that’s 40030030mm with a thickness of 5mm, you’ll need to cut 3 pieces measuring 400mm in length and 100mm in width, 2 pieces measuring 300mm in length and 30mm in width, and 2 pieces measuring 400mm in length and 30mm in width. All pieces will have a thickness of 5mm.

Step2: Sand The Edges

To prevent gaps when the wooden blocks stick together, it is essential to polish and sand the edges of each block to make them smooth, free of sawdust, ensuring they can bond perfectly together.

Step3: Bond The Base

After polishing and sanding these three pieces of wood, each measuring 400 millimeters in length and 100 millimeters in width, they become smooth and flawless. 

Pre-drill a rectangular hole in the middle at each side of each piece of wood to create a wooden connector that joins two pieces together, then glue them for a stronger bond. Without the connector, the boards might split easily when heavier items are placed on them. 

Once the three boards are joined into one, clamp them tightly with a fixture, wipe away any excess glue, and let them dry slowly. This method not only prevents splitting but also ensures durability.

Step4: Sand The Base

After the three boards become one, start sanding. Smooth out any raised areas from the glue and make sure to remove any wood chips to achieve a very flat, smooth surface.

This ensures a smooth finish when painting. It’s important to sand before installing the four edges, as it becomes difficult to handle afterward.

Step5: Make Groove at the Four Side Frame

wooden side frame groove

If we directly stick the bottom board onto the four side frames, it’s prone to cracking and the lifespan will be affected. 

However, if we design a long groove at the bottom of each side frame, insert the bottom board into it, and then use glue to fix it, the structure will become very sturdy. 

Even when heavier items are placed, the bottom board won’t easily detach. This groove design effectively enhances overall stability and prolongs the lifespan.

Step6: Glue The Sides and Bottom Panel 

Apply glue to the four edges of the bottom board, then insert them into the grooves at the bottom of each frame of the wooden serving tray. 

Apply glue to each side of the frame, press them firmly together by hand, and secure them with clamps to prevent deformation. 

Wipe off excess glue, let it sit for 1-2 days to dry gradually, and become even more secure.

Step7: Hammer Inside Nails

To make the tray stronger, hammer nails into the inside corners. These nails won’t be visible from the outside. The most common problem with trays is that they tend to crack, especially larger ones that need to hold many items.

Step8: Sand the Entire Wood Tray

Once the wooden tray is completely dry, use splinters to sand the entire wood serving tray, making it smoother and free from wood chips and dirt. 

This way, when you spray paint it, the surface will be smooth, and clean, without any black spots or protrusions, giving it a beautiful and high-end appearance.

Step9: Rout The Small Rounded Edges

If you want to make your wooden tray more refined, smoother, and safer for children, you can use a router fitted with a roundover bit to create small rounded corners at each corner.

Step10: Wooden Painting

Following the eight steps mentioned earlier will help you create a stunning wooden tray. To enhance its durability and make it resistant to water and moisture, you can apply a layer of paint on the surface. 

You have the option to choose colored lacquer or clear lacquer, depending on your preference.

In high-quality factories, the process typically involves applying three coats of paint: primer, sanding, primer, sanding, and then the final topcoat. However, to reduce costs, some factories may only apply one coat of primer and one coat of topcoat. 

This method, unfortunately, doesn’t provide adequate waterproofing or moisture resistance, making it unsuitable for bathroom use.

Step11: Increase the Handle of  the Wooden Tray

Drill two round holes on each side of the wooden serving tray in symmetrical positions. Glue the black metal handles into the holes. Let it dry before using.


Making a simple wooden tray isn’t too hard, but crafting one that’s truly beautiful and durable requires attention to detail. You can reach out to our engineers for more detailed guidance on DIY-ing a lovely wooden tray.

Our product experts have 25 years of hands-on experience specializing in crafting wooden trays, wooden tissue boxes, and more.

More Resources:

What are Hotel Amenities – Source: GoodFaith Hotel Amenities Supplies

How to Choose Hotel Bathroom Accessories – Source: GoodFaith Hotel Amenities Supplies

Types of Bathroom Accessories-Source: GoodFaith Hotel Amenities Supplies

3 Ring Binders  -Source: GoodFaith Hotel Amenities Supplies

Bathroom Tray Ideas -Source: GoodFaith Hotel Amenities Supplies


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