Trays from Pallet Wood, with handles

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by ~Julie~ posted 06-14-2011 07:18 PM 2530 reads 10 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a lot of pallet wood and enjoy using it to make new things. I also bought a bag of used handles not long ago, so I figured I would incorporate them into the new projects which are trays.

Four of the handles were soaked in a mixture of vinegar and water with a ball of steel wool thrown in the tub which makes the handles look old and rusty. They are attached with screws from the inside after the tray is made.

The pallet wood is planed and trimmed to size. Holes remain from the original use. These trays are 10” wide, 15” long and 3” high. The sides will be joined with a half-blind lap joint. I could have just nailed them together, but wanted something a bit fancier that held better. In retrospect this added many, many hours to the project and for this tray it wasn’t really necessary, but does give a nicer finish.

Here’s the steps:

First the long sides have a dado (groove) cut into them the width of my table saw blade

The shorter ends will then have a tongue that is the exact width of the dado just made, so that the tongue will fit into the dado. This takes two steps and is easier shown than written.

The corners then fit together like this:

There are three bottom pieces which are tongue and grooved, the middle piece has a groove on each edge and the bottom two side pieces have tongues on each long edge.

All three pieces will have tongues on the ends and the sides of the tray will have a dado just up from the bottom that the tongues of the bottom pieces will fit into.

Everything is clamped together after glueing the corner joints. I don’t glue in the bottom.

When the clamps come off this is what it looks like:

The first tray was stained in a dark blue. The bottom inside was painted white.

The second tray was painted black first with a coat of dark blue over the top of it. Then it was lightly distressed and waxed.

On the tray with the white bottom I used Mod Podge glue to attach a printed French label I downloaded online from a blog called The Graphics Fairy. I did cut the image into three pieces so that it would line up with the edges in the bottom pieces.

Here’s the two trays together:

-- ~Julie~

9 comments so far

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3647 days

#1 posted 06-14-2011 07:23 PM

Excellent looking Trays Julie !!!

Love the blue looking stain with the pine grain

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Joe Weaver's profile

Joe Weaver

523 posts in 4293 days

#2 posted 06-14-2011 07:58 PM

Great looking trays,

-- Joe, Ga

View JSCW's profile


1 post in 3145 days

#3 posted 06-14-2011 08:05 PM

Nice little project to make use of pallet material. Good job Julie!


View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3473 days

#4 posted 06-14-2011 08:11 PM

Julie, these are really nice looking trays. Good work.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View robbinscabin's profile


313 posts in 4094 days

#5 posted 06-14-2011 08:23 PM

Love the idea! Was your Mom’s favorite saying “Waste Not, Want Not?”...LOL

-- Robbinscabin,

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4201 days

#6 posted 06-14-2011 08:56 PM

Sweet, I’m gonna have to get busy with my pallet wood. Great job

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View degoose's profile


7265 posts in 3961 days

#7 posted 06-14-2011 09:13 PM

Good design and well executed.. again very striking..

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View bluesmarky's profile


21 posts in 3523 days

#8 posted 06-14-2011 09:44 PM

Nicely done! The proverbial silk purse from a sow’s ear.

-- bluesmarky..........................................."If you're here & I'm here, doesn't that make it our time?"

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3876 days

#9 posted 06-14-2011 09:55 PM

Great Job! Excellent recycle….there are a lot of treasures hiding out there in pallets….I’ve grabbed several with exotic woods on them….depending on where they come from.

The only drawback is whether you can tell if something caustic or poisonious was carried on them. I would never use pallet wood for any direct contact with food…other then that..anything is fair game.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics