DIY farmhouse style serving tray :DIY Home Decor

A common decorative element in country style is a wooden serving tray. Trays are an easy way to add style and functionality. This DIY serving tray in country style with handles is so easy to create that I can’t wait to show you how to do it!

DIY Farmhouse Industrial serving tray DIY farmhouse style serving tray

Hi! Chelsea off here Make Manzanitawhere to make your home a home! I am very happy to be with you today. I love renovating and integrating country-style decor into our house. One of the easiest ways to decorate is a serving tray. You can put it on a coffee table to protect surfaces from drinks, style it with a plant and candle, or use it to serve!

Let’s make this super simple DIY farmhouse style serving tray!


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Step 1: paint the wooden edges

Paint the edges of your wood with a foam brush with black acrylic craft paint. You may be wondering why this is the first step. I didn’t love the freshly cut raw edges of the wood I used. To give the serving tray a desperate industrial farmhouse feel, I painted the cut ends and corners with black paint.

Paint wooden slats with black paint

Step 2: Emphasize the texture of the wood to add character

If the wood you use for your farmhouse has a raised wood grain, dip your brush in the black paint and let it run gently over the top for a rustic look. This step improves the rustic texture of the wood.

Brush the foam dry black on wooden paneling

If your wood has a smooth surface, you can achieve a similar look by using a dry brush technique with a bristle brush. This works best if you’re using an old, shabby-looking bristle brush. You put a little paint on the brush and then mostly wipe it off on a rag or paper towel so the brush is essentially dry. Then run the brush lightly over the wood. The result is an improved grain pattern and a desperate farmhouse look!

Step 3: assemble the wooden tray of the farmhouse

Once the paint has dried, it’s time to assemble your wooden tray for the farmhouse. First lay out the three larger pieces of wood horizontally. Next, place the smaller pieces of wood vertically on each edge. Leave about 1 inch from the edge of the tray.

Place the Brad nail gun on the assembled wooden bowl

Before nailing, make sure everything is square. Use a nail gun to nail the smaller pieces of wood from the top into the larger one with a few nails in each board.

Step 4: add handles

Measure the center of the vertical parts and place the painter’s tape on it. Measure the width of your cabinet pull and mark where the holes on the top of the tape should be drilled. With the painter’s tape, you can see the markings on darker wood.

Mark the handle sides in the middle of the compartment

Align your drill (adjust the diameter of the drill to the handle screws) at the markings and drill holes through both pieces of wood on your serving tray.

Use a countersink at the bottom of the tray to get a flat surface on the bottom of the wooden tray of the farmhouse. (If you do not have a countersink, use a larger drill bit to create a recess for the screw heads into which the screw heads can dip. This will protect any surface on which you place the wooden bowl from scratches.

Countersink drilled in wooden bowl bottom

Turn the tray over and admire your new industrial serving tray in country style.

rustic gray painted wooden tray

You can stop here, but to add a monogram, read on.

Step 5: cut template

Design your monogram with a vinyl cutter and cut your stencil.

Budget tip: Use dollar tree contact paper as a cheap, single use stencil material.

self-adhesive shelf paper for vinyl stencils

To recreate a monogram like mine with an industrial farmhouse style, here are the details:

  • Font: Baskerville Old Face
  • Font size: 489
  • Circles were created by using the shape tool to draw two circles around the letter

Step 6. Apply template

Cut off the transfer ribbon and attach it so that it fits over your template. (Using transfer ribbon helps align and center everything the way you designed it.)

Weed excess vinyl from letter J stencil

Peel off the template and transfer the tape from the pad. Remove the part of the design you want to paint (in my case this is the circle border and the letter).

Remove the transfer paper from the adhesive template

Measure the center of your serving tray and press the template down. Carefully pull the transfer ribbon off the template. (I found that the ghost wood I used didn’t really “pack” the stencil well, so this part was a bit difficult for me. If you use a smoother wood, it should be a little easier.)

Adhesive template in the middle on the tray

Step 7: seal the template

There is a magical step that I use for all of my wooden signs and stencil projects to prevent stencils from bleeding. Before painting the stencil, seal it with Mod Podge. Rub a little Mod Podge over the stencil edges once it sticks to your wood. Before painting, wait until it feels dry (usually about 15-20 minutes).

Seal the template edges with Mod Podge

You can read more about this great hack for here how to stencil on wood. (I found that this rough ghost wood needs more Mod Podge than normal because the grooves in the wood and stencil don’t stick as well as normal.)

Step 8: paint over the template

As soon as the Mod Podge is dry, paint over the stencil with acrylic craft paint with a foam brush. Dabbing the brush up and down several times instead of running across the stencil will prevent the paint from bleeding under the stencil.

painted letter j on tray

Step 9: remove the template

When you’re done painting, you can peel off the stencil immediately, except in areas where small, intricate details can smear. In these cases, wait for the paint to feel dry before completely removing the stencil.

Remove the template

Check out these beautiful, clear color lines! So beautiful!

finished rustic wooden serving tray with a J monogram in a circle

Step 10: close the serving tray

To protect your serving tray, seal it with 2-3 layers of spray sealer before use.

J Monogram Rustic Wooden Serving Tray

There you have it! A DIY farmhouse style serving tray with handles that add style and function to your decor!

Industrial pipe handles on the serving tray

I love the industrial atmosphere that the handles and the gray textured wood bring into this serving tray.

The best thing about this wooden tray is that nobody else will have exactly one (just one of the many reasons why I love doing my own home decor).

Farmhouse serving tray close-up. Letter J monogram

The next time a friend comes over for a cup of coffee, you can grab this serving tray with handles to serve coffee and snacks.

Rustic wooden serving tray of the farmhouse on the couch

She will surely ask where you got such a sweet wooden tray from. You will proudly answer that you did it yourself!

rustic wooden serving tray on black couch, pillows in the background

Thank you for coming to me today as I showed you how to make this farmhouse-style DIY serving tray.

Chelsea - make Manzanita

My name is Chelsea and I am the founder of Making Manzanita ( I amWe found that many women don’t know how to start decorating or modernizing their homes. That’s why it’s my passion to help others make their home a home they love. In my Making Manzanita blog, my readers enjoy decor inspiration, crafting and DIY tutorials in simple English, and simple household chores to run their homes more efficiently. One of the things my readers love most is my perspective of working with what you have because your home doesn’t have to be perfect to make you feel at home.

I’m mother of the most adorable little man (with a little girl coming soon!) And wife of my DIY partner. We love our life in beautiful Central Oregon as we continue our journey to renovate our 2nd fixer upper. We love to inspire others with budget-friendly renovation projects like ours Faux shiplap Wall and Wooden air conditioner cover made with pallets.

You can connect with me Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest.

What a great tutorial! If you like this DIY farmhouse tray, you will also love these other DIY trays:

How to Build a Fast DIY Tray and Gift Box | Pretty handy girl

DIY wooden slat shelf and gift box

DIY scrap mold trays | Pretty handy girl

DIY scrap mold tray

Rustic pallet serving tray

Rustic pallet serving tray

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