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Country Wood Crafts - How To Make a Rustic Tray

By Edited Jan 21, 2014 1 2

If you love to create, and have a lot of left over wood laying around, then here is another great country wood crafts idea.. A rustic wood tray. You can make this wood craft tray and then decorate it any way you like. No matter what your favorite medium is, or your talent, you can come up with a great way to personalize your tray.

It just so happened, then I found a few 1 x 3" pieces of wood laying around that were actually headed for the scrap pile. You can use wider if you have it, and it all depends on the size of the tray you want to create.

What you will need to make a country wood craft tray.

4 pieces of 1 x 3 inch pine or other wood cut to 1.5 feet long (this part is up to you but I found this to be a nice sized tray)

2 pieces of 1 x 3 inch pine or other wood that are cut to fit the sides when you lay your four pieces of wood together (depending on your wood this can vary, so put the pieces of wood together and then measure for the sides.

1.5 or 2 inch wood screws (they need to go through the thickness of the wood and into end of another piece)

drill, in the right size for your wood screws. It is better to pre drill for the wood screws to prevent cracking, especially with older wood.

purchased handles from the hardware store or home improvement center x 2

wood glue

rope for the two sides of the wood craft rustic tray. I used a nautical theme, but you could use thick twine or mesh or whatever your theme is going to be.


country wood crafts (29435)

Lay your already cut to size, 4 pieces of wood side by side to form the main tray piece. You need to make sure they are cut exactly the same length so the ends are even. You can use wood glue and glue these together to help with the assembly, but sometimes the wood is older and may not fit right, so you may need help holding the wood pieces together while you pre drill for the end rails.

Take one piece of your wood end rail and hold it up against the tray pieces, and then with your drill, pre drill a hole that will go right through the side piece and into the end of one of the tray boards.

Then take your wood screw and screw these together. Do, this with all four pieces of the main tray and the side rail. Do this again on the other side. You should now have a pretty sturdy tray.

For the rope sides, in my rustic wood craft tray, I used white rope, so I then drilled holes about one inch in from the ends of the side wood pieces, big enough to thread my rope through and then tie a bit knot to hold it there tightly. I created a "x" type shape with the rope, to create the side rails.

If you are going to paint your country wood crafts tray, then you can either do this before putting the side rails on, or after. I tend to paint my projects after, just to make sure they all go together well. I would hate to spend the time on the picture and then have something go wrong in the construction. Especially if you are using older wood like I was.

I painted mine with a wash of white, which is acrylic paint mixed with some water and then just brushed it on like stain, so that you can still see the wood grain. You may not be able to see that detail in the picture of my wood craft rustic tray, but it is there. I then painted a lighthouse scene.

If you do not like to paint, you can decoupage photos, or use stamps, or write sayings and/or phrases on your tray, I just happen to like to paint. I get accused by may family of painting anything that moves! I find wood to be a great pallet for painting, it adds depth and is forgiving with errors.

Once you have created your country woods tray, you then need to attach handles to the side. Follow the instructions on the package, but usually they come with a handle and a couple of screws. You need to measure to the center of each wood side rail and then attach your handles. I will add wood glue to the pre-drilled holes when I am doing these projects, just for extra strength with the screws.

If you are planning on staining your country wood craft, you need to be careful with wood glue. If you get any on the wood surface, wipe it off very quickly as stain will be repelled by any wood glue residue, and will not give you an even look.

I am a bit messy, so therefore I stick to painting!

Once you have created your rustic wood tray, you need to protect it with varnish. If you have painted your project with any white or light colored painted, then you need to purchase water based varnish, as this will not yellow your whites. Oil based varnish will yellow and white areas in your paint. If you like that effect, then that is fine, but personally I wanted my whites to show through on my country wood crafts.

Water based varnish is tough as nails, and if you put a couple of coats on, it will project your country wood crafts projects, plus you don't get that nasty smell! You should still do this varnishing in a well ventilated area, but somewhere, where it can dry without and sanding dust around. You can paint it on or spray it on, both work well.

Then use your rustic country wood crafts tray, and show it off! Useable art is fun to make, and is a great way to use up leftover over pieces of wood. If you sell crafts for a business, you may find, like I did, that useable art tends to sell. Plus, using your imagination, you can make the same tray look totally different each time with themes.

Country wood crafts, are a great way to recycle, reduce and reuse.. Make some for gifts! Also see

How to Make a Rustic Checkerboard and How to Make Decorative Hooks and country wood crafts acrylic painting and Country Wood crafts Rustic Frame for some more great country wood crafts ideas



Oct 11, 2010 12:59pm
Fantastic. Country wood crafts are the best.
Oct 12, 2010 1:31pm
Love your wood craft tray and your beautiful artwork. Another suggestion for non-artists, is to create artwork with stencils and acrylic spray paint. I just discovered how easy airbrush painting is (see my review on ColorArtz)and like you, I'm painting anything that doesn't move! Thanks for great instructions and a terrific article.
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