Growing up, my parents always told me homemade gifts meant more to the recipient than a store-bought gift. If you’re like me, and enjoy making things and have a lot of wood scraps, you’ll love making many of these Quick DIY Trays and Gift Boxes!

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box

Several years ago I shared this tutorial, but I’m updating the post to show you an alternative base for your tray. You can use a variety of thin woods to cover the plywood for a more decorative look. Previously I used leftover Timberchic end caps. But, this past weekend I whipped up a tray for my girlfriend’s birthday using vintage rulers and I couldn’t be happier with the results.


Instead the self-adhesive Timberchic, use wood glue to affix any thin wood to a plywood base. Then build the sides and you have yourself a beautiful gift tray (or gift box if you make your sides taller.)


Now it’s time to share the tutorial with you because this will be easy, quick, and frugal (all things I like in a good DIY project!) Let’s learn How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box.

Question: What’s better than giving a one-of-a-kind gift? What’s better than giving a gift basket that will be useful long after the contents have been consumed? And what’s better than spending money on a gift basket?

Answer: Building your own Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box that will be used long after the contents are gone and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm or a leg when you are using scraps from your workshop! #Winning

These rustic beauties are perfect for filling with a bottle of wine or to use as the base for a cellophane-wrapped gift basket.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

The tray is probably my favorite because you can use it to serve lunch on the porch (or breakfast in bed.) And who doesn’t love a good tray to corral loose items in your living room, bedroom, or kitchen?

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

The crate is a close second in my heart because it makes the perfect place to store toiletries for a guest. But, we all know it can also be used to organize desk supplies and much much more.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

What do you need to make this Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box you ask? Well here’s the 411 on this project.


(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl



Cut your plywood base to size. (My tray was 11″ x 15″ and the gift box was 4″ x 10″.)

Set your slats on top of the plywood to figure out their ideal placement.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Use a ruler or square and your pencil to mark the cut offs.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut the slats and return to the plywood base. If you are using the TimberChic end caps, remove the adhesive backing and place the slat on the plywood. (If using other slats, use wood glue to adhere them to the base.)

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

For a perfect edge, you can turn your base upside down and trim the edges on the table saw. (Not necessary, but gives you a cleaner edge.)

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Line up your side material against the base and mark where to cut each piece.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut the sides at a 45 degree angle to create mitered edges (or simplify the project by cutting 90 degree ends). Test fit the sides to make sure you have a tight miter at each corner. Sand the sides smooth to remove any rough spots.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint your sides with Fusion paint (or chalk paint of your choosing.)

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Wipe off immediately for a rustic look.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Run a line of wood glue along the side of your base.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Press the sides in place.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Nail brad nails through the sides and into the base to secure the sides while the glue dries.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Find the centers on the two smaller sides of your tray. Center the door pulls on the sides.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Attach the handle to the side of the tray with provided screws.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Add felt pads to the bottom of the tray to prevent scratching of surfaces.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Your tray and gift box are done! Fill them up with goodies your recipient will love.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl


A bottle of wine should fit nicely in the gift box:

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

And when the gift tray and box are empty, they will be enjoyed for years to come.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Did you like this simple gift idea? Well, there’s lots more where that came from! Here’s a gallery of other DIY Gift Ideas!

Like using vintage rulers? Check out this frame I made with more vintage rulers:

How to Custom Build a Vintage Ruler Picture Frame

Or these scrap moulding trays:

DIY Scrap Moulding Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Happy gifting!


This is by far one of my favorite gift crafts. Grab a few recycled jars or bottles and use your favorite chalk paint to create simple chalk-painted jars!

DIY Chalk Paint Mason Jar Flower Vase

Simple Chalk-Painted Jars

Two weeks ago I spent less than 20 minutes whipping up some really cute vases using recycled jars painted with Farmhouse Paint. Wait…What is this paint?

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

Well, it’s a one-step furniture paint (previously known as chalk paint.) I was sent a few jars to try. But, you can use any chalk paint you already have or make your own using this tutorial to make any color chalk paint.

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

The key material is recycled jars, I like to keep a fair amount on hand.

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

All you have to do is wash the jars well. Remove the labels and any glue residue. Here’s a great tutorial for easily removing glue from bottles.

Dry the jars thoroughly then coat with two coats of chalk paint. I’m in love with the Farmhouse paint. The colors are vibrant and you don’t need to wax after painting. Just a light sanding with fine-grit sandpaper and it gives you the same soft sheen as waxing would.

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

After the paint has dried, sand some areas (especially on any writing) to distress them.

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

Finally, add some fresh cut flowers from the yard and tie a string around the neck with a personal message.

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

These little vases were adorable. They were cute and they seriously took me less than half an hour to put together (20 minutes to paint and a few more minutes cutting flowers in the yard.)

In the past, I made these little chalk painted vases for teacher gifts. This year, sadly we never got to say goodbye to my sons’ teachers. For all you teachers out there, we appreciate you more than you can imagine. Especially as we do our best to homeschool our children during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

What do you say? Why not whip up a little chalk-painted vase to appreciate a friend, a loved one, an essential worker, or just to brighten your day!


P.s. Did you like the chippy paint board backdrop I used? It’s not real wood, it is actually a vinyl backdrop made by my good friend Leen the Graphics Queen. It rolls up and stores neatly away. She should be selling them soon.

Pin for later!

DIY Chalk Paint Mason Jar Flower Vase

Spring is here and there are countless flowers awakening from the cold winter slumber. When it happens you can pick some blooms and turn them into easy gift ideas. Today I’ll show you how to make easy pounded flower art.


Easy Pounded Flower Gift Ideas

The results can be used for a framed quote, a paper-wrapped vase, notecards, and much more! I’d go so far to say, the results are close to high end (and expensive) handmade pressed flower paper.

Ready to make some beautiful pounded flower paper? I am (because I could also use an activity to get a little frustration out 😉.)


(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)



First, you’ll want to collect some flowers. Smaller colorful flowers work best. But, you can collect larger ones and experiment.

Lay one sheet of paper on top of the block of wood. Arrange your flowers on top of the paper and tape down any strands that don’t cooperate. (The flowers I picked are from a money plant that grows in our woods.)


Lay a second sheet of paper on top of the flowers.


Pound the hammer around the paper until you have squished all of the flowers beneath. (This doubles as a stress relief exercise, trust me!)

Peel apart the papers and you’ll have a pulpy mess.


Remove the flowers and wipe off the excess bits and pieces with a clean chip brush.


Look at that! You got two prints that are a mirror image.


Print out a quote or type a message on coordinating paper and tear around it. Tape it onto flower paper.


Put your verse artwork into a frame for a sweet gift to your sister, your mother, or a friend.


Take the other sheet and wrap it around a can, mason jar, or vase.


Wrap some twine around the paper to hold it in place. Add water to the vase and pop some fresh flowers in it.


Quick and easy gift idea, right?! Give a vase to brighten someone’s day. The best part of this gift is it only cost a pound! (Get it? Like a British £? I know, I have a corny sense of humor. You can blame it on my Dad, it runs on his side of the family.)

Maybe I’ve also been hammering a little too much lately. Leave me a comment if you have any corny jokes to share!


Do you have any creative ideas for using this pretty flower paper? I set some up for the kids and they had a blast pounding flowers.


Are you a wine drinker? Nope? Well how about a beer drinker? Either way you can stop throwing away those pretty bottles and cut them to use as glasses, containers —or my favorite—flower vases!

don't throw away wine bottles. Cut them in Half

Don’t Pitch Bottles! Cut Them in Half!

About a year ago I bought a bottle cutter off Amazon. I had grandiose plans to make vases and drinking glasses galore. Instead the glass bottle cutter sat in the box. Recently I decided to take the leap and try it out. (Especially because my yard is overflowing with flowers to share.) I figured this was a great way to upcycle wine bottles and use them as free vases for friends and neighbors. Ready to learn how to make wine bottle vases, or drinking glasses, glass containers, or votive holders?

We’ll need a few tools to make this magic happen.  


(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Feel free to watch the video or keep ready to learn how to cut glass bottles easily and safely.


Before cutting your bottle, you’ll need to remove the label. Here’s another tutorial to easily remove labels from bottles

Make a small mark at the bottom of your bottle. This is where you will start and stop your cut.

mark bottom of wine bottle with white paint pen

Adjust the glass cutting wheel to where you want to make your cut. Release the glass cutting wheel on the cutting jig. Slowly rotate the bottle until you have completed one full rotation.

turning bottle to cut

Remove the bottle and check that your bottle has been scored the full way around.

pointing out scored cut line on wine bottle

Time to move into the kitchen. Make sure you are wearing those safety glasses.

Have a pot of hot water on the stove almost to boiling. Next to this have a container with ice water ready.

Dip the wine bottle into the hot water, making sure to submerge the bottle to the cut line. Hold it there for 15-20 seconds.

wine bottle in hot water

Then immediately immerse the bottle into the ice water. Try to separate the bottle (if it doesn’t separate on its own.)

wine bottle in ice cold water

If it won’t break, resubmerge into the hot water and then the ice water again. 

cut wine bottle in half

Once the bottle has separated, the edges need to be filed. For even smoother edges, sand the rim with progressively finer sandpaper. I started with 150 grit and worked up to 600 grit. 

Be sure to clean up your glass shavings, take care because they can cut you.

Now you can use your newly cut bottles as containers, drinking glasses, or vases!

Fill them with water and flowers to give as a gift. 

wine bottle vases

Now promise me you’ll never throw away glass bottles again. They are too pretty not to re-use. Especially once you have a bottle cutter.

Need a quick gift using scrap wood? A Creative Block Desk & Art Utensil Holder is an easy and fun gift to make and certainly a project that you can customize to meet your needs. Best of all, the kids can help with the painting step!


Creative Block Desk & Art Utensil Holder

Mother’s Day is this coming weekend! Have you decided how to show her your appreciation and love?! I did! My mother is a professional artist. She creates amazing paintings that inspire others and brightens their homes. For Mother’s Day I wanted to brighten her studio with these art utensil holders. I call them “Creative Blocks.”

Go ahead and raid your scrap pile and join us as we make these colorful and fun Creative Block Desk & Art Utensil Holders.


(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)



1. Block assembly: Select two 2×4″ scraps cut to the same length. Spread glue on one board and sandwich them together.


Clamp the wood together and drill two small holes to countersink the heads of the screws. Drive two screws into the bottom of the wood to hold the pieces together.


Use a band saw, jigsaw, or table saw to trim off the rounded edges of the wood so you have a square block of wood with straight corners.


Putty any cracks or holes. Sand until smooth.


2. Creating the mask:

If you have a craft cutter (Silhouette or Cricut) you can create a mask in vinyl easily. But, if you don’t you can use the computer to print out your words. Lay the print out on top of a strip of Painter’s Tape. Use a few pieces of tape to secure the corners.


Trace around the words with the X-acto knife (be sure to have a few fresh blades on hand.) Transfer the resulting cut-out tape onto the block of wood. Press the edges of the tape mask to secure the tape.


3. Painting the block: Paint a base color onto the block. Then use a brush and/or palette knife to dab thick paint over the block (minus the base.) Use the X-acto knife to gently peel off the tape mask. Let the paint dry thoroughly overnight.


4. Drilling Holes:  After the paint has dried completely, mark the location of the utensil holes with a pencil. Put a piece of painter’s tape on the drill bit to mark the depth of your holes. Clamp the block and drill holes at each pencil mark.


Dump sawdust out of the holes.

Wrap up the blocks in gift wrap and enjoy the look of joy as your Mom opens her Creative Block Mother’s Day gift!



You know, as an artist myself, I almost loved these too much to give them away. But, my Mom is worth it. (And I can make another set if I want ;-).)


For more last-minute Mother’s Day gift ideas and many other creative projects, check out the Gift Ideas section here on the blog.

PHGFancySignIf you liked this project, you’ll love these floating picture frames using more 2×4 scrap wood.


Every year I try to come up with a simple and inexpensive gift idea for teachers and service providers in my life. But, I don’t want the gifts to look cheap. This year I put together these simple Hot Cocoa on a Stick Gift Mugs. They look festive and provide a nice warm treat for anyone on your “I really should get them a little something” list. Read on to learn how to make these simple gift mugs.

Holiday Gift Idea: Hot Cocoa on a Stick

There are a variety of hot cocoa on a stick recipes. But, the recipe I used for the hot cocoa on a stick can be found on the King Arthur Flour website. The mug and coaster gift idea can be put together quickly and efficiently to make several for a last minute gift idea.



Are you ready for the quickest and easiest tutorial on the Pretty Handy Girl website? Set that stopwatch, because once you have all the materials this Holiday Gift Idea aka Hot Cocoa on a Stick is going to solve your small gift giving dilemma.

Ready. Set. Go! Put the pine bough, hot cocoa on a stick, printed directions, and (if you’re feeling extra generous) add a gift card. Insert all items neatly into the mug. Center your mug on the wood slice coaster.

Use washi tape to secure the mug to the wood slice coaster. (Overlap at least an inch or two of washi tape inside the mug rim. Use one continuous piece of washi tape going from one side of the mug, under the coaster, and back up the opposite side of the mug.) Use caution when handling the mugs as the washi tape can rip if jostled too much.

Add a gift tag if you like. Or set them on a tray to deliver in person or put them out as holiday party favors.

What do you think? Easiest holiday gift idea every? I’d love to hear if you have ideas or variations on this holiday gift idea.

In the meantime, I’ll be sipping on a fresh mug of hot cocoa on a stick! Yum!

P.s. Looking for more last minute DIY Gift Ideas? I have an entire Pinterest board full of DIY Gift Ideas here.

Top 16 Gift Ideas for the DIY Enthusiast

Cyber Monday is the perfect day to look for online deals and steals. Even if you missed Cyber Monday, I have some stocking stuffer ideas for your little (or big) DIYer? These are gift items I know any DIYer would love to have in their stocking. In the list are items I’ve found useful while working on a variety of projects this year (including building a whole house.) Here’s my list of 16 gift ideas for the DIYer in your life (in no particular order):


  1. Swanson Framing Square
  2. Iso-tune Bluetooth Noise Reducing Headphones
  3. DeWalt Battery USB charger adapter
  4. Workman’s Friend Barrier Cream and Moisturizer
  5. 10-in-1 Painter’s Tool
  6. Kreg Jig
  7. Capital Gaines by Chip Gaines
  8. Rockwell Oscillating Tool
  9. Stanley FatMax Fit in Hand Tape Measure
  10. Greenlee Non-Contact Voltage Tester
  11. Pro-Sensor Precision Stud Finder
  12. No Cry Safety Glasses
  13. DeWalt Random Orbital Sander
  14. RZ Re-usable Dust Mask
  15. DeWalt Jobsite Bluetooth Speaker
  16. Hand & Body Warmers

About my gift suggestions:

Swanson Framing Square – This year I’ve used this framing square for many framing and cutting needs especially when using my circular saw. In addition, I’ve used it to scribe a line for ripping lumber with my circular saw. Any good carpenter would be lost without a good framing square.

Iso-tune Bluetooth Noise Reducing Headphones – When you are trying to protect your hearing (but dread using ear plugs), this set of noise reducing ear buds will keep you happy and safe as you jam to your favorite tunes while working.

DeWalt Battery USB charger adapter – While preparing for Hurricane Florence, I pulled this USB charger adapter from my tool box and brought it inside. Although I didn’t have to use it, this little adapter has been invaluable for freeing up the outlets while my crew and I were running on conditional power. (It does require a DeWalt battery to attach to for charging.)

Workman’s Friend Barrier Cream and Moisturizer – I’m very particular about hand lotions. They have to provide a lot of moisture without leaving a greasy feeling. The Workman’s Friend moisturizing cream in my opinion is the perfect consistency, but it also acts as a barrier cream keeping your hands cleaner after a day of getting dirty.

10-in-1 Painter’s Tool – I didn’t think there was any way to improve on the standard 5-in-1 painter’s tool, but Purdy proved they could do it. Tucked into the handle of this tool is a small flat head and philips head screwdriver. In addition to the screwdrivers, you can also use this tool to set nails, scrape, open cans, spread compound, open/clean cracks, clean rollers, pull nails, and hammer.

Kreg Jig – The Kreg Jig has been my favorite tool for building furniture and frames. It’s an invaluable tool for anyone getting started in woodworking. You can read my tutorial for How to Use a Kreg Jig here. Forget the more expensive models of the Kreg Jig, the K4 is all you need.

Capital Gaines by Chip Gaines – This book may seem random in a list of tools, but I highly recommend everyone read this book. Chip has written a book that is full of inspiring quotes and mindsets to push you forward in any endeavor you choose!

Rockwell Oscillating Tool – This is one of those desert island tools that will get you out of a jamb and allow you to make precision cuts to molding, cut nails and score in tight spots. I never take this tool out of my truck.

Stanley FatMax Fit in Hand Tape Measure – I get it, you already have a working tape measure. But, if you try this tape measure you’ll understand my new found love for the “fit in your hand” tape measure. As a woman, I struggle with larger tape measures, but this one fits nicely in my hand, and it’s perfectly balanced if I want to drop extend it while standing on a ladder. Finally, it beats all other tape measures in a stand out competition. (Let’s be honest, it’s lots of fun to beat out the boys in a stand out competition. LOL.)

Greenlee Non-Contact Voltage Tester – Never take on any electrical job without this tool. It can test for power through wire insulation and is easy to see and hear when voltage is present.

Pro-Sensor Precision Stud Finder – This is by far the simplest and easiest stud finder I’ve used. It visually shows where the start and end of studs are in your walls.

No Cry Safety Glasses – I have a small head, but these safety glasses fit perfectly on my face without slipping down my nose. But, they also fit a larger head circumference comfortably. The No Cry Safety glasses are my new favorites.

DeWalt Random Orbital Sander – This orbital sander is another favorite tool with a dust collection bag or port to hook up to a vacuum cleaner. The hook and loop pad makes changing sandpaper a breeze.

RZ Re-usable Dust Mask – When it comes to safety equipment, you’ll be more likely to wear it if it’s comfortable. That’s why I like the RZ dust masks. The soft fabric doesn’t leave mask marks and the velcro closure provides a more comfortable fit. The inner filter can be changed as needed, and the exterior can be used over and over again. It’s better for you and the environment!

DeWalt Jobsite Bluetooth Speaker – This little bluetooth speaker has great sound, it’s small and can withstand being dropped and kicked around.

Hand & Body Warmers – Working in my unheated garage or on the job site this time of year leads to frozen fingers. I like keeping a stash of these hand warmers nearby to keep my fingers and body warmer (allowing me to work longer hours.)

I hope you liked this list of 16 Gift Ideas for the DIY Enthusiast. Anyone who works with tools or on a job site will love them too.

DIY Pencil Vases

DIY Back to School Pencil Vase

Last year my son’s teachers asked for a pack of pre-sharpened pencils. Instead of just giving them a box of pencils, I wanted to give his teachers something prettier than a box of pencils. When I found a colorful package of pencils, I knew I was on to something. After some  sharpening pencils it was time to get creative.


(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)


Remove the label and clean your recycled glass bottle. Dry it thoroughly. Apply double-stick tape to the top and bottom edges of your bottle.

Lay one pencil onto the bottle vertically. Press it against the tape for a temporary hold.

Continue adding pencils around the bottle. At about 1/3 – 1/2 coverage, slip a rubber band around the middle of the bottle over the pencils. This will help hold the pencils in place.

Continue adding pencils until the bottle is completely covered.

Choose a coordinating washi tape and tape one end of the pencil stack.

Press the tape firmly against the pencils and repeat along the bottom edge of the pencils.

Remove the rubber band.

Fill the bottle with water and add some flowers.

Deliver this beautiful DIY Back to School Pencil Vase to the recipient.

You might have to convince them it’s okay to remove pencils as needed.

Either way they look cute on the desk for a while.

Here’s a video tutorial to show you how easy it is to make the back to school pencil vases:

Like this idea? Pin it for future reference (and to share the love):

DIY Pencil Vases

If you liked this idea, you’ll love some of these other teacher appreciation ideas:

Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas Series | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m sure you are feeling that crunch to get gifts for those last people on your list. Or maybe your cousin you haven’t seen in years is suddenly coming for a visit. I get it, there’s nothing worse than feeling the pressure to purchase last minute gifts for people. Today I’d like to ease your burden and offer you 31 Last Minute DIY Gift Basket Ideas. The best part about this collection is that they can be tailored to even the most quirky and unique people in your life! Most of these ideas only take half an hour to make and you may even have many of the supplies on hand. Oftentimes the supplies for a DIY Gift Basket are no further than your scrap wood pile or a quick trip to the local hardware store.

Gift baskets can take many forms. They can be a crate, a basket, a tray, or anything that holds things can become a gift basket. I love giving gift baskets because you can use the “basket” long after the contents have been used or consumed. Plus, they don’t require gift wrapping!

Gift Caddies:

One of my favorite caddies was made out of an old wooden box and a branch. Once painted and distressed, this Branch-Handled Rustic Caddy would look adorable filled with seed packets, gloves, garden sheers, twine and a trowel! But, that’s just my idea, fill it with anything you want.


This multi-functional caddy has nice clean lines and would thrill anyone after they remove all the gifts. How fun would it be to fill this caddy with a bottle of wine, some crackers, cheeses, and other munchies.
How to build an easy scrap wood multiuse caddy

How impressive would it be to buy a vintage toolbox caddy and fill it with lots of little gifts? This gift idea requires no building, crafting or sewing, making it a snap to assemble.
Get organized before the school year creeps up on you. This toolbox homework caddy will help your kids find everything they need. | Toolbox Homework Caddy

Sometimes you have a few smaller items to gift, and don’t want to use a large basket. In that case, this pint-sized picket fence caddy would make an adorable gift basket.

I’ve seen a lot of beer caddies in stores that look flimsy, but this custom built caddy will definitely hold a six pack of micro-brews without sweat. Add a wall-mount bottle opener and you have the perfect gift for that guy or girl on your list that loves a good brew.

DIY Tool Tote Gift Idea | Pretty Handy Girl

Can you name one person who wouldn’t appreciate getting a DIY Cupcake Tray Caddy filled with cupcakes? Neither can I, so get working on this cute project and use it for a gift basket this holiday season.

DIY Cupcake Tray Carrier


Gift Crates:

The only difference between a caddy and a crate is the lack of a handle, although a few of these crates have rope or ribbon handles on the sides.

I get it, some of you haven’t broken out the power tools yet (but if you want to learn, I have an entire library of power tool tutorials.) In that case, feel free to Build this Rustic Crate using no power tools! None, nada, zilch. And you can still create a beautiful custom crate to fill with gifts (or flowers.)

How to Build a Rustic Crate Centerpiece (No Power Tools Needed!) | Pretty Handy Girl

Creating your own DIY Rustic Wood Box Crate is a great way to custom build a larger gift container for gifting bigger items (think pillows, throw blankets, or a plant.) When the gift has been opened, your recipient can use it for storage. For fun, you could add to the character and charm, by attaching some rusty hinges or odds and ends you’ve been hoarding.

How to Build Custom Rustic Box Crates | Pretty Handy Girl

Forced bulbs are a beautiful and thoughtful gift for the holidays. Why not gift them in a unique White-Washed Wine Crate?

I love repurposing driftwood. A few years ago I collected lots of driftwood from my favorite beach and kept it in my workshop until I came up with this fun Driftwood Gift Crate idea.

Make a Driftwood Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

You can’t get a more simple gift crate than this! To “make” this Rustic Wine Crate, ask you local wine shop or Costco if you can have their extra wine crates? Stain the outside, drill a hole for rope handles and fill this crate up with some gifts.

Easy Rustic Wine Crate Box

Gift Trays:

Trays are one of my favorite bases for a gift basket. You don’t have to add a lot to make it look full. And trays are perfect for use anywhere in your house. They help corral items to keep things looking neat and organized. If you worry about items falling off, use double stick glue dots or cellophane to keep the items secured onto the tray.

In the spirit of all things shiny, you can make these simple sheet metal trays to hold anything you want to give to a friend or family member. Plus, you can use up your scraps of wood in the process!

DIY Sheet Metal Trays

I love a customizable project that allows you to Build a Tray or Gift Box to the size you want. These cute little gift trays can hold anything you want them to. Simply gather your gifts and measure the size you want to make the box. The tall and skinny one works well with just a bottle of wine inside!

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

If you’ve taken on a room renovation, you may have loads of scrap moulding laying around. Why not use those scraps to make adorable Scrap Moulding Trays. These little trays provide many uses: from organizing desk items to corralling hair products. You’ll surely find something special to add to this gift tray.

DIY Scrap Moulding Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

One of the easiest trays to make is this DIY Bathtub Tray. Think about how nice it would look if you tied beautiful towels, soaps and a bath bomb to the surface! Makes for an instant spa-themed gift basket.

Rustic Wood Bathtub Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Building a tray is a simple idea, but you can elevate the gift by creating a DIY Cut Out Tray with the recipient’s name on it. Talk about being the “talk of the season” when you deliver this beauty with baked goodies on top.

What to do with all those scraps of pallet wood you harvested? How about a Rustic Scalloped Pallet Wood tray to serve as a gift platter?

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

This City Pride Rustic Tray is an easy DIY project using scrap wood and upholstery tacks. As a bonus, I’ve included my source for making free watercolor prints of your favorite city. How cool would it be to gift someone with this map tray filled with local goodies?

City Map Rustic Tray

If you are scared of the power tools, this Painted Scrapbook Paper Tray can be made using a few items from your craft store. Purchase an unfinished tray, paint it, and get crafty. Then fill it with thank you cards, cookies, or anything your gift recipient might like.

Autumn Mantle Décor and Vignettes | Pretty Handy Girl

What could be better than a fun upcycled gift idea? Make a tray out of an old cabinet door and then load it up with baked goodies.

Make a Cabinet Door Tray


Gift Bins, Pails, and Baskets:

These round vessels can be extremely inexpensive options for gift baskets. Hunt your local thrift store, dollar store, or the hardware store for a bin or pail to use as a gift basket.

Dollar Store pails and buckets are one of my favorite vessels to use for gift baskets. For the holidays, I like to tuck an inexpensive scarf inside to line the bucket and then fill it with chocolates, hot cocoa mix, and a Dollar Store mug. These are the perfect Instant Warm & Cozy Gift Baskets for last minute gifts.

What busy Mom doesn’t deserve a spa day? Why not create this Aged Painted Pail Gift Basket and fill it with some indulgent bath salts and treats. You’ll love my frugal idea for making the fabric liner. I bet you’ll never guess what I used!

So you have a golf lover on your list?! You can’t go wrong with this Golf Gift Basket. Don’t stress about buying all the golf balls. Read my blog post to learn my secret to making the basket look full and not spending a ton on golf balls.


A homeowner will always find good use for this Hostess Gift Basket in a Chalkboard Pail. Especially when you tuck a Lowe’s Gift Card into the basket. Include some scented soaps and candles to freshen their home for the holidays.

Paint Can Hostess Gift Idea | Pretty Handy Girl

Who says laundry isn’t fun? This Laundry Fun Gift Basket is also the perfect gift for that person who is moving into a new house or apartment (or the new college student.) Sew a basket liner and fill it with DIY Laundry Detergent and more. (Bonus, you will save them loads of money when they learn they can make their own DIY Laundry Detergent.)

Laundry Gift Basket - Perfect for a College Student or new Home Owner


Creative Gift Containers:

Remember when I said anything that can hold items can be a gift basket? Well here’s the proof. Tuck a gift card inside a mug, glass, or jar with some snacks and you have an instant gift basket!

This is a gift idea I threw together for my sons’ teachers one year. Make some Lemon Zest popcorn and throw a movie theater gift card (wrapped in plastic) in the center of a mason jar mug. Then fill popcorn around the card.  The teachers raved about this gift idea.

Lemon Zest Popcorn {Gift Idea} | Pretty Handy Girl

Who wouldn’t love this DIY gift idea: Hot Cocoa in a Jar. It can be incredibly fun to line up a bunch of mason jars and fill them with hot cocoa mix and top it with a bow. Even the kids can help make this gift idea.

Hot Cocoa Mix in a Jar

Coffee lovers will flip for this idea! Sew a draw string pouch and include coffee and an insulated cup inside to make a super simple Coffee Lover’s Gift Idea

Coffee Lover's DIY Gift Idea

These Custom Etched Glasses are gift enough on their own, but if you wanted to use them as a gift, personalize one and fill it with a gift card and some sweets for your special gift recipient. Or make one for a teacher and fill it with pencils, pens, and a gift card to an office supply store.

Custom Etched Glasses

These chalkboard painted mugs are right on trend with the chalkboard craze. Fill them with some hot cocoa, coffee, or a gift card to Starbucks and you are done.

Chalkboard Painted Mugs

Okay, I get it, sometimes purchasing a gift card is the simplest solution for that hard to buy for friend. Why not hide the gift card in a super secretive book with hidden storage? Tuck the gift card inside and watch your friend’s reaction as they open your gift.

Book with Hidden Storage | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you have any creative DIY gift basket ideas? I’d love to hear them in the comments below. Hope you have a Happy Holiday!

Love these ideas? Be sure to pin this image for reference throughout the year!

31 last minute gift basket ideas pinterest images


You’ll also love these DIY Gift Ideas:

35 Upcycled Gift Ideas

35 Upcycled Gift Ideas | Pretty Handy Girl


50+ DIY Gift Ideas

50+ DIY Gift Ideas

DIY Sheet Metal Gift TraysDIY Sheet Metal Gift Trays

The holidays are fast approaching and it’s time to start thinking about gift giving ideas! Gift trays are a great way deliver gifts to your friends, neighbors or teachers. The best part of a gift tray is it can be reused for anything they want and nothing goes to waste! Follow along with this tutorial to see how to make these DIY Sheet Metal Gift Trays.


(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Materials: Sheet Metal Gift Tray

  • 1/2″ or 3/4″ Plywood scrap wood
  • 2″ pieces of lathe or scrap moulding
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B000W49NPC’ text=’Sheet metal scrap’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’4f103892-cbe2-11e7-a00c-3fda84932599′] (large enough to cover plywood base)
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B00009OYFY’ text=’Sheet metal snips’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’56db011a-cbe2-11e7-88c9-230adf5bdb2c’]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B000S7ZSTS’ text=’Construction adhesive’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’65c9549d-cbe2-11e7-8619-39ed35fc6585′]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B000DZF2Q4′ text=’Caulk gun’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’6d3fe28c-cbe2-11e7-bb25-e144f3be5a89′]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B00125NQBC’ text=’Sandpaper’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7f0ff979-cbe2-11e7-b34f-fb2f071c5869′]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B001JYVDSE’ text=’Steel wool’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8e654c5e-cbe2-11e7-b495-0ffc93a9294c’]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B01I7DNOYA’ text=’Gloves’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b09e21ba-cbe2-11e7-91af-d908a698cd02′]
  • Drill
  • Pencil or Marker
  • 4 – [amazon_textlink asin=’B01N6NID4X’ text=’L brackets’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’de9d5670-cbe2-11e7-84b2-2f143e838863′] and 1/2″ wood screws
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B001PNH8D8′ text=’Brad nails ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’0337c2d4-cbe3-11e7-b1d7-3dfa06c67bf1′]Nail gun


Cut your piece of plywood to the desired size for the tray base. Lay the plywood base on top of the sheet metal and trace with a permanent marker. Use tin snips to cut the metal to size.

1. Cut base and mark sheet metal size.

Put on your safety gloves and use the sanding block to remove some of the shine from the sheet metal. Smooth over any sharp edges.

2. Sand Sheet metal edges and base.

Rub the steel wool over the entire sheet metal piece to give it a soft polished finish.

4. Use steel wool to dull sheet metal surface.

Load a tube of construction adhesive into your caulk gun. Apply a fair amount of adhesive to the plywood. Glue the sheet metal to the top of the plywood.

5. Add Construction Adhesive to wood base

Press the sheet metal down evenly on top of the adhesive. Wipe off any excess if needed with a paper towel.

6. Press sheet metal on top of wood base.

Cut the 2″ pieces of lathe or scrap moulding to the length of the two shorter sides. Next, measure and cut two pieces of lathe for the long ends. (Be sure to allow extra length to overlap the short pieces of lathe/moulding.  Use the construction adhesive and brads to secure the lathe to the sides of the plywood. Clamp the sides until the adhesive cures.

8. Clamp sides while glue cures.

Once the adhesive is cured, remove your clamps. Attach the L brackets on the lower half of each corner using 1/2″ wood screws. The L brackets will reinforce the sides and add an industrial look.

9. Add corner brackets for extra support and decoration.

There you have it! These DIY Sheet Metal Gift Trays are easy to make, look great, and are an extra special and environmentally-friendly way to give gifts!

10. Add gifts and deliver!

I hope you love this project. Do you have other ideas for quick gift giving? Please share!

Want some more gift giving inspiration?

DIY Scrap Moulding Trays


Make a Driftwood Gift Crate

Make a Driftwood Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl