How To Make A Rustic Wooden Tray

I really want to get into woodwork and whilst I’ve built lots of big things like chicken runs and wheelie bin shelters I’ve never really made anything that involves any finesse so this weekend I decided to make a tray.

I’d seen quite a few designs on Pinterest and decided to make the tray from pallet wood with the only material I needed to buy was the plyboard for the base.

Planing and cutting

After taking the pallet apart and removing any nails I cut the wood to the lengths I needed. I then planed the wood with my electric planer but made sure to keep some character in it and not make it too clean.

Pallet Tray (1)
Pallet Tray (10)

Making the handles

Next up was making the handles and you can see the steps in the below photos. Drill holes, cut out the middle section with a jigsaw, then finally sand and work the area using a multi-tool sander.

Pallet Tray (9)
Pallet Tray (8)
Pallet Tray (7)

This was also a good time to sand down the rest of the wood using sandpaper.

Putting the tray together

I put the sides together using simple butt joints with a little glue and some oval wood nails which provide good strength. Once all together I used it as a template to measure out the base and cut the 3.6mm plyboard. This was glued and then fixed using 20mm veneer pins.

Pallet Tray (6)

Giving it the vintage look

Once the glue had dried I got my multi-tool sander out again and rounded all the edges. I then used fine sandpaper to smooth it all off and give it the illusion of being well-worn and aged.

Pallet Tray (5)
Pallet Tray (3)

The finished product

And there you have it. I’m very happy with how it turned out and am already planning to refine the process and make more. The process will be fairly similar for boxes etc too so watch this space!

Pallet Tray (4)

Pallet Tray (2)

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