Decorative Wood Serving Tray

Decorative Wood Serving Tray

Hey friends! I’m so glad you’ve stopped by the check out how to make this gorgeous wood serving tray!

A friend recently asked me to create a wood serving tray for her to use and also display in her living room. After checking out some photos of her room, and brainstorming some ideas, I decided to make it completely functional yet try to keep it really pretty, too.

If you like this project, please PIN this image on Pinterest.

Decorative Wood Serving Tray pinterest image

(There are some affiliate links in this post which simply means that I get a small commission if you purchase through those links, at no cost to you.  More details can be found in my Disclosure page. Thanks for supporting my small venture.)

So here’s what I did:

Supply list (with affiliate links)

Build the frame:

Wanting the outer dimensions to be exactly 14″x18″, I started with the frame. I used my miter saw to cut the upright corners at 45 degree angles. Then I put it together in a dry fit and measured the dimensions inside so I could cut the boards for the bottom of the tray to fit inside the frame. Here I used 1×6 boards and cut three pieces to the exact length needed inside the frame. Again, I did a dry fit to make sure it all went together right, then glued and used this strap as a clamp to hold it while the glue dried.

wooden serving tray - clamping frame

Next, I used my nail gun and nailed all the pieces together as well. Just for good measure and added stability.

Making the design:

Isn’t it pretty? I googled “quatrefoil pattern” and found the best clipart version, copied it to my Silhouette Design Studio program and customized it to the right size. I then used my Silhouette Cameo to cut it out in black vinyl stencil, as you can see here.

Wooden serving tray - applying stencil

Next I took some white Behr interior paint and painted on the design. When doing this, be careful not to brush the paint on, it may seep under the vinyl, instead use a stippling type stroke. It’ll look messy as you go (as you can see below) but it makes seepage less likely. Once it is mostly dried, go ahead and start peeling off the vinyl.

wooden serving tray - painting and removing stencil

You end up with a beautiful white design. You can leave it like this if you want the light wood color and just seal it with polyacrylic, or you can stain like I did.

wooden serving tray - clear white stenciled paint


Lastly, I stained with Minwax Dark Walnut, staining right over the white paint which tones it down a little but still keeps it pretty white. It all blends together perfectly! Once the stain is dried overnight, drill the holes for the handles, then apply the polyacrylic. I ended up doing four coats of poly, as it’s a serving tray that will be used a lot and I wanted it to hold up well, even if it gets wet. Be sure between every poly coat to sand it lightly with at least 220-grit sandpaper. This ensures a beautiful, smooth, shiny finish.

Add the handles:

Just use the accompanying screws in the holes you’ve already drilled.

All finished!

And voila, you have a gorgeous wood serving tray!

wooden serving tray - finished corner viewwooden serving tray - finished handle viewwooden serving tray - finished birds eye viewwooden serving tray - finished - with dishes

I hope this inspires you to try one for yourself! It would look awesome with so many different patterns or stains. If you’re not able to make one yourself and want to order one, email me and we can work out a custom order for you. hazelandgold at gmail dot com.

Also, if you haven’t seen it yet, check out the Christmas tray I built this last Christmas! 13 Days of a Woodworker Christmas: Day 5!

Thanks friends! Get out there and make something!


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