pottery barn inspired tray

PB tray_overlay

I’m convinced that if you put clutter in a tray it immediately looks organized, neat and tidy.  With this thought in mind I decided to make a tray for our coffee necessities to keep it from looking like a pile of chaos on our kitchen counter tops.

This project not only looks great when finished, but is so cheap too!

Here are the supplies you need:

  • 2 – 9′ furring strips
  • 2 drawer pulls
  • Gorilla wood glue
  • small wood nails
  • Low grit sandpaper
  • long clamps
  • stain of your choice (I used two stains- ebony+walnut)
  • polyurethane

Cut List:

  • 7 @ 18″
  • 2@ 12.25″


These are usually 9 feet long and cost $2.12 each (they’re probably cheaper where you live?).  I do a quick eye-ball inspection of each piece as some can look pretty gnarly.


After you make all of your cuts, grab 5 of the 18″ pieces and glue them together.  Run a bead of Gorilla glue down the sides and sandwich them together.  (Be sure the end pieces do not have glue; just the middle 3).  Now clamp them together.

PB tray_wood clamped

To prevent buckling, I placed something heavy on top (my daughter’s sea shell collection – the joys of living coastal).  Let this sit overnight.

PB tray_shells weight

 STEP 2:

Now it’s time to assemble the sides.  Grab the last two cuts at 18″, run a bead of glue down the edge and nail into the bottom of the tray.

PB tray_sides added


Repeat this process for the shorter sides of your tray.  Grab your two 12.25″ cuts, run a bead of glue down the edge and nail into the base of the tray.

PB tray_gluing sides on


Once the glue is completely dry (I usually let it sit overnight one last time) it’s time for the fun part…staining!  If you like the look of Pottery Barn wood, then use two stains- one black  and one lighter.   I used ebony and special walnut.

PB tray_stain

 Stain your entire piece (I skipped the bottom as I don’t find it necessary, but if you’re more motivated than moi, please feel free!) black.  Let it dry according to the manufacturer’s suggested time.

PB tray_long view full



Distress your tray to your liking by sanding the edges, sides, etc.  I also skipped sanding the inside bottom as I figured you’re not going to see it


Re stain the entire tray using the walnut stain.  This color will seep into the bare spots you distressed. Let this dry again.

PB tray_close up detail


Once completely dry give it a coat of poly.  This might be overkill, as the stain I used has a poly in it, but I do this just to be safe.


I picked up 2 of these brass drawer pulls from HD and added one to each side of my tray.



Fill your tray with whatever you’d like and enjoy!  As I mentioned earlier I am using my tray to hold our coffee necessities.  I think this clutter looks nice and tidy!  I think I would have to make 931 more trays to make all of our clutter look organized!

PB tray_styled

PB tray_styled coffee maker

PB tray_styled side view2

PB tray_close up side

These would also make a great Christmas gift!  Who doesn’t have clutter?!!

PB tray_overlaysignature_hugs_amy

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2 Responses to pottery barn inspired tray

  1. Julia@Cuckoo4Design says:

    Look at you doing the carpentry thing! Love it and it looks so good as your coffee station.

Thank you for your comments!