How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box

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Growing up, my parents always told me homemade gifts meant more to the recipient than a store-bought gift. If you’re like me, and enjoy making things and have a lot of wood scraps, you’ll love making many of these Quick DIY Trays and Gift Boxes!

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box

Several years ago I shared this tutorial, but I’m updating the post to show you an alternative base for your tray. You can use a variety of thin woods to cover the plywood for a more decorative look. Previously I used leftover Timberchic end caps. But, this past weekend I whipped up a tray for my girlfriend’s birthday using vintage rulers and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

vintage-rulers-on-tray-bottom

vintage-rulers-on-tray-bottom

Instead the self-adhesive Timberchic, use wood glue to affix any thin wood to a plywood base. Then build the sides and you have yourself a beautiful gift tray (or gift box if you make your sides taller.)

diy-vintage-ruler-tray-on-ottoman

diy-vintage-ruler-tray-on-ottoman

Now it’s time to share the tutorial with you because this will be easy, quick, and frugal (all things I like in a good DIY project!) Let’s learn How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box.

Question: What’s better than giving a one-of-a-kind gift? What’s better than giving a gift basket that will be useful long after the contents have been consumed? And what’s better than spending money on a gift basket?

Answer: Building your own Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box that will be used long after the contents are gone and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm or a leg when you are using scraps from your workshop! #Winning

These rustic beauties are perfect for filling with a bottle of wine or to use as the base for a cellophane-wrapped gift basket.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

The tray is probably my favorite because you can use it to serve lunch on the porch (or breakfast in bed.) And who doesn’t love a good tray to corral loose items in your living room, bedroom, or kitchen?

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

The crate is a close second in my heart because it makes the perfect place to store toiletries for a guest. But, we all know it can also be used to organize desk supplies and much much more.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

What do you need to make this Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box you ask? Well here’s the 411 on this project.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Optional:

Instructions:

Cut your plywood base to size. (My tray was 11″ x 15″ and the gift box was 4″ x 10″.)

Set your slats on top of the plywood to figure out their ideal placement.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Use a ruler or square and your pencil to mark the cut offs.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut the slats and return to the plywood base. If you are using the TimberChic end caps, remove the adhesive backing and place the slat on the plywood. (If using other slats, use wood glue to adhere them to the base.)

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

For a perfect edge, you can turn your base upside down and trim the edges on the table saw. (Not necessary, but gives you a cleaner edge.)

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Line up your side material against the base and mark where to cut each piece.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut the sides at a 45 degree angle to create mitered edges (or simplify the project by cutting 90 degree ends). Test fit the sides to make sure you have a tight miter at each corner. Sand the sides smooth to remove any rough spots.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint your sides with Fusion paint (or chalk paint of your choosing.)

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Wipe off immediately for a rustic look.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Run a line of wood glue along the side of your base.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Press the sides in place.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Nail brad nails through the sides and into the base to secure the sides while the glue dries.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Find the centers on the two smaller sides of your tray. Center the door pulls on the sides.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Attach the handle to the side of the tray with provided screws.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Add felt pads to the bottom of the tray to prevent scratching of surfaces.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Your tray and gift box are done! Fill them up with goodies your recipient will love.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

diy-vintage-ruler-tray-on-ottoman

diy-vintage-ruler-tray-on-ottoman

A bottle of wine should fit nicely in the gift box:

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

And when the gift tray and box are empty, they will be enjoyed for years to come.

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Quick DIY Tray & Gift Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Did you like this simple gift idea? Well, there’s lots more where that came from! Here’s a gallery of other DIY Gift Ideas!

Like using vintage rulers? Check out this frame I made with more vintage rulers:

How to Custom Build a Vintage Ruler Picture FrameHow to Custom Build a Vintage Ruler Picture Frame

Or these scrap moulding trays:

DIY Scrap Moulding Trays | Pretty Handy GirlDIY Scrap Moulding Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Happy gifting!

 

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