Monday, June 6, 2011

Trays with Handles

I have a lot of pallet wood and enjoy using it to make new things.  I also bought a bag of used handles not long ago, so I figured I would incorporate them into the new projects which are trays.

Four of the handles were soaked in a mixture of vinegar and water with a ball of steel wool thrown in the tub which makes the handles look old and rusty. They are attached with screws from the inside after the tray is made.

The pallet wood is planed and trimmed to size.  Holes remain from the original use.  These trays are 10" wide, 15" long and 3" high.  The sides will be joined with a half-blind lap joint.  I could have just nailed them together, but wanted something a bit fancier that held better.  In retrospect this added many, many hours to the project and for this tray it wasn't really necessary, but does give a nicer finish.

Here's the steps.
First the long sides have a dado (groove) cut into them the width of my table saw blade

The shorter ends will then have a tongue that is the exact width of the dado just made, so that the tongue will fit into the dado. This takes two steps and is easier shown than written.

The corners then fit together like this:

There are three bottom pieces which are tongue and grooved, the middle piece has a groove on each edge and the bottom two side pieces have tongues on each long edge.

 All three pieces will have tongues on the ends and the sides of the tray will have a dado just up from the bottom that the tongues of the bottom pieces will fit into.

Everything is clamped together after glueing the corner joints.  I don't glue in the bottom.

When the clamps come off this is what it looks like:

The first tray was stained in a dark blue. The bottom was painted white.

The second tray was painted black first with a coat of dark blue over the top of it.  Then it was lightly distressed and waxed.

On the tray with the white bottom I used Mod Podge glue to attach a printed French label from The Graphics Fairy. I did cut the image into three pieces so that it would line up with the edges in the bottom pieces.

Here's the two trays together:

Edited: The tray with the graphics is sold, the other one is for sale and I can make any size or style you may like......... please send me an email if you are interested.

I made these plywood trays over a year ago,

not as fancy, but durable, you can read about the making of them here

Linking this up at
The Graphics Fairy
Under the Table and Dreaming
Savvy Southern Style
Sisters of the Wild West
Shabby Chic Cottage
Blue Cricket Design
My Repurposed Life
Dittle Dattle


  1. these are awesome!!!!

    im interested in buying one for sure!

  2. Thanks Kimberly please send me an email at if interested, the trays are currently $45 plus shipping

  3. You are one creative soul!!! I have just found your blog - thanks for sharing & Happy Trails!

  4. I love the idea of soaking the shiny brass pulls to make them look more rustic. I pulled dozens of these from my kitchen cabinets, and I was hoping to find a new use for them. Thanks for sharing the tip!

  5. Awesome! I love this. The handles are a great idea, too

  6. Great job on these trays! I love them! Thank you so much for linking up last week at Sew Woodsy and being a loyal linker! :)

  7. Julie - The tray look fantastic. I love the colored wood grain - very cool! The graphic lined inside is a creative touch. Thanks so much for linking to the Sunday Showcase Party. I am a little behind commenting - but I have featured this Monday. Hope you are having a wonderful week ~ Stephanie Lynn

  8. Julie, the trays look fabulous. I love graphics from karen! :)
    I'd like to see a new handle next to the "rusted" one. I have some newer handles I'd love to rust! :)
    great job... I'll just nail mine. :)
    ps catching you!

  9. So glad to have found you on MRL. This is so cool! And I love that you made them yourself from scratch no less! Amazing!The handle "thing" is great too! I'll have to try that. I redo furniture and am always looking for ways to us the disguarded handles.

  10. Wow, you are so creative - and handy! I'm amazed. :D


I appreciate all your comments, they keep me blogging! I like to personally reply to each comment I receive but many of you are "no-reply commenters" which means your email address is not connected to your comment. If that is the case I cannot directly reply, sorry.