Make a serving tray from recycled wood

Make a serving tray from recycled wood


Just in time for Mother’s Day, you can make this serving tray in an afternoon.

Several years ago I designed a few logos, labels, and packaging art for some local vineyards and wineries. I collected a few wine crates that wound up in my shop. I’ve used them for storing car cleaning supplies and electrical/computer cables and wires.

Funny how we often never give a second thought to something disposable like a wine crate. After building my last few pallet projects, I started looking at those old boxes in a new light! Not only free wood, but wood with character!

Wine pairing 

The base of this tray is made from two of the crate’s side panels. I still have the other sides and the bottom saved for another project. I wanted the sides to be half-inch thick, to keep the tray from looking bulky, so I scrounged around in my shop and found a redwood board that was the perfect length. I like the idea of pairing a Northern California tree species with a Northern California wine.

Options to fit your woodworking

This is a flexible project that you can make using any tools and materials you happen to have. A few options:

  • This would make a great pallet wood project.
  • The base can be made with a scrap of plywood.
  • You can cut the curved sides with a jigsaw.
  • Cut out the finger holes with a coping saw.
  • Use an inexpensive miter box and a hand saw to make the miters, or…
  • Don’t bother with the miters: just butt the sides together with glue and nails.
  • Instead of making a groove for the bottom, just glue it underneath the sides.
Free plans



  1. Cool idea! I really like how it turned out–not too bulky but still sturdy.

    What’s that spray you use at the end? I’m sure you’ve named it in a previous video, but I can’t recall what it was. Thanks!

  2. Whenever I take a very long time in the restroom, I always make sure to use a clock wipe motion to clean up when finished.

  3. Hi this is rosewood59; I was wonder if you could do a video on how you do you layout in PDF files for the plans.(like this one) I really like how you do it ((But I have no idea how to do it)and how do you add in the full sale template as well? You make the PDF plans so helpful. Thanks!!! Love your work!!!

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