A beautiful functional wood tray that doubles as a game board.
I was looking for a fun, functional wood tray for our front porch. I wanted a tray I could set on a metal tub thingy (so to speak) which could double as a side table. And because I’m stinkin’ fun I also wanted it to be used for impromptu front porch Checkers games! So I did what I aways do when I can’t find exactly what I’m looking for – made it myself!
I love anything that serves a functional purpose but is also pretty. It makes me feel like I’m making responsible choices in life! Look, this tray is useful AND pretty! Yay! It’s the little things in life, amiright? I also love that it serves multiple functions: tray, side table, game board.
A great perk of DIY is personalization! I love that I was able to use my Silhouette to make a vinyl stencil to easily personalize the tray with my family’s name. No problem if you don’t have a cutting machine to make your own stencil – I’ve got plenty of 12” x 12”vinyl stencils in my shop – check them out here. You could also hand letter the tray or just leave it bare!
The faux leather handles really pull the whole tray together. I will point out that when you flip the tray over to the checkerboard side the screw caps help it sit evenly on the table but not completely flush. This does not bother me in the least but I mention it in case it may be a dealbreaker for you.
Even though this gorgeous tray is functional, it is primarily for decorative use. I don’t mind a little wear and tear so I only used a coat of wax to seal it. I chose to seal my tray with wax since it will only get occasional use and we don’t place wet, sweaty glasses on it. If you want your tray to be more protected, seal it with a coat of polycrylic. A quick note about sealing with polycrylic. Be sure your paint is fully dry AND cured before brushing on sealer. If you rush it, your paint will smear with the brush strokes. Please learn from my mistakes! Nothing is worse than accidentally ruining a project on the very last step.
Without further ado, here are your instructions to create your very own double sided wood tray with leather handles!
Double Sided Wood Tray with Leather Handles
- 18″ wood round panel board (got mine at Home Depot)
- 4 small screws
- 4 screw cap covers
- 2 strips of leather: 1″ wide, 8″ long
- Brown stain
- Black paint
- Wax or Polycrylic
- Paint brush
- Foam brush or rag for staining
Vinyl stencils: create your own or buy from my shop.
- 12″ x 12″ Family Last Name stencil
- 12″ x 12″ Checkerboard stencil
- Drill with 3/8″ drill bit
- Scissors to cut leather
- Stain your board according to the directions on the container. Let dry completely.
- Lightly sand and wipe away all dust.
Apply Vinyl Stencil
- Attach vinyl Family Stencil. For steps on how to apply a vinyl stencil, see this post.
- Paint a light coat of brown paint over the stencil openings. This step helps seal the stencil and any paint that would otherwise ‘bleed’ out of the stencil will now be the same color as the stain. Let dry completely.
- Paint the openings on the stencil black. Let dry completely. Add another coat if needed.
- Remove stencil. NOTE: it is ok and preferred to remove stencil when the paint is still a little wet.
- Touch up any areas if needed.
- Once the family side is dry, flip over to the opposite side and apply checkerboard stencil.
- Paint a coat of brown paint over stencil openings. Let dry completely.
- Paint a coat of black paint over stencil openings. Remove stencil.
- Once all of the paint is fully dried and cured (at least 24 hours), apply wax coat or polycrylic.
Attach Leather Straps
- Cut 2 strips of leather 1” wide and about 8” long. I used regular scissors but it probably would have been much easier using scissors actually made to cut leather.
- Make a hole in the leather about an 1” down from the top and another hole 1” from the bottom. I used my drill for this step because I didn’t have a leather punch tool.
- Arrange the leather handles on the sides of the tray. Take note that your straps will need some give so you have space to slide your hands through.
- Predrill holes for the screws – be sure not to accidentally go all the way through!!
- Slid your screw threw the screw cap hole. Use your drill to screw into the wood. Push screw cap cover onto the screw.
I’d love to see how yours turned out! Don’t forget to tag #ThePolishedPine when posting.