For my wedding, some twenty five years ago, my grandfather made us a tray each to have our dinner off as we had no table. I still have the trays but one of them is looking more like a piece of wood now….

2014-06-09_0001I checked out the TMK Pinterest Board and decided to make new trays from an old pallet, and although it had “Nailed It” written all over it, I figured that they are meant to look a little bit rough so I would give it a go.

I told the BF of my plan and he kindly went out to the tip to find me a nice clean pallet while I was at work. He got quite excited at the term upcycling, as he had never heard it before, and was dying to see what I would manage.

For the trays you will need:



One pallet, a saw, a screwdriver, two old door handles (these are new but only a couple of quid from B&Q), screws (25mm are the best length as you don’t want them too long), a screwdriver, a hammer, paint, sandpaper and another really big screwdriver .

Break up the pallet. This was, to be honest, the longest part of the job. I got as far as trying to get the planks off when the best thing happened… the BF could see this would take me all day and that I would be making a total pigs ear of it and elbowed my out of the way and did it for me! This is where the hammer and the really big screwdriver came in. It’s a great job for one suffering from PMT or an irrational disliking of someone.

2014-06-09_0003You can make the tray any size but I went for four planks across and roughly the same size working area as Grandad’s trays. Three wide didn’t really seem enough for a large plate.

Lay out your wood and work out your measurements…

2014-06-09_0004Here again I proved to be less than competent but the BF realised my errors before sawing began. I have tried to show you, above, how to measure it out, but I am sure it will be clear once you see the next few pictures.

To make your life easy make sure your pallet is dry before you saw the wood, otherwise the saw will stick and make life quite hard. In my case I was elbowed out of the way again and the sawing was done in no time!

2014-06-09_0006Here are the bits laid out so you can see what I mean by the measuring! Then screw it together. Make sure your screws are not too long as you don’t want them to come through the top. Screw from the bottom.



Once all the wood is screwed together (at least two screws per plank at each end)and you have sanded off any rough bits, you can start the fun bit and decorate them. You can personalise them, scorch them, paint them, distress them, paper and varnish them… whatever takes your fancy! I had some cream paint leftover from my new shed and used that. The BF pointed out that it could be  a great father and son project for a Father’s day.



You may have noticed that my hands now no longer feature at all in the making of the tray….



Patience is a virtue that I don’t really posses, so here is Digby watching the paint dry!



Once decorated attach your handles…



… then load up with goodies!



To be fair the BF did all the work, and to his credit he knocked out a second tray, ready for painting, in 7 minutes. The longest part of the task was breaking up the pallet. We made two trays from one pallet.

Then he excelled himself and used the same design, but the other way up, to make me a swing with what was left!