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It’s amazing how serving food on a rustic tray can elevate your standard meal or dessert into an elegant occasion. This simple decorative rustic pallet serving tray is a simple project anyone can do!

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray

When I worked on a deck makeover with my sister, Caitlin (of Symmetry Designs), we shopped for a lot of the accessories ahead of time. She wanted me to find the perfect Bali-esque tray. Unfortunately I was coming up empty-handed. But, sometimes, you just have to DIY it! This Rustic Pallet Serving Tray was the brainchild of my sister, but I took her idea and ran with it.

Here’s how to make one for yourself.

Materials:

(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.)

Instructions:

Fold a piece of paper into eights. Cut a design along the edge. (I used a simple scallop shape like this “}”.)

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

When you unfold the paper, you should have a paper template to use for tracing.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Trace the template onto a piece of thin plywood.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Use a jigsaw or band saw to cut out the shape. You might find this tutorial helpful for cutting out intricate shapes.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Lay your plywood shape on top of the rustic boards. Move the boards around until you like the sections that will make up the tray. Mark a square around the shape with a ruler.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut the boards down to size using the pencil mark as a guide.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Dry fit the boards together on the plywood shape.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Wet both the plywood shape and the boards with a damp rag.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Apply Gorilla Glue to the plywood shape.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Set the rustic boards into the glue on the plywood shape.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Weigh the boards down with weights or heavy books.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Allow to dry for at least an hour. Remove the weights and clamp the boards onto a work surface (with the area needing to be cut hanging over the edge. Make sure there is clearance for the jig saw blade. You’ll need to cut half the boards and then turn and re-clamp to cut the entire circumference. The Rockwell JawStand works beautifully for this task.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Draw a pencil line 1 inch out from the plywood shape. Cut around the pencil line with a jig saw.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Sand edges and grooves with sandpaper or Dremel Multi-Max.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Measure and mark the location of the handles on the tray.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Pre-drill holes using a bit that is the same size as the handle screws.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Flip the tray over and drill countersink holes with a larger drill bit.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Attach the handles with the screws. The screw heads should sink into the plywood.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

If you want a truly rustic look, lightly sand your handles.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

If you are going to use your tray for food, use a plate or doily under the food.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

What do you think? Do you like this beautiful rustic tray? Think you could make one? I bet you could!

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

You can see this tray and our Bali-inspired deck makeover here.

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This DIY Rustic Pallet Serving Tray is easy to create with a cutout pattern | Plank serving tray | Pretty Handy Girl #DIY #woodworking #DIYtray #servingtray #rustichomedecor

12 replies
  1. Lis
    Lis says:

    Love the combination of the lovely Moroccan shape with the pallet wood! Great job- wish I had just half the tools you have, girl!!! 🙂

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Before I had a jigsaw, I used my bandsaw for many curved cuts (and even ripped some lumber with it.) Although it may seem like an extraneous tool, having a bandsaw can be your friend when you want to make precision profile cuts in any wood. You’ll notice I didn’t include a scroll saw on the list and that’s because I would guess that 90% of the time the bandsaw (or a jig saw) will perform the tasks you think you need a scroll saw for. One of my favorite projects using a bandsaw is making this pallet serving tray. […]

  2. […] Did you like this simple tutorial? Want to create some more simple projects for your home like a rustic wood serving tray? […]

  3. […] you spy my little rustic pallet serving tray? Pitcher and glasses were also thrift store […]

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