Scott and I recently spent some time with Scott’s parents at their home in the country, outside of the Kansas City metro area. They live on 40 acres which is always a bit like a vacation for us. Scott went to work every day but as soon as you drive down their driveway, it’s like entering a whole new world of quiet and beautiful nature. It’s very rejuvenating!
I went into the week armed with some projects I wanted to accomplish since I would be around my father-in-law’s power tools. I have a few finished products to blog about over the next couple of weeks. This breakfast tray below is one of my favorites…
I saw a similar project on the Funky Junk Interiors website and wanted to try something like it myself.
For junkers and dumpster divers, part of the thrill of the chase is to find the least expensive way to accomplish something. Or at least, that’s part of the fun for me. When I start a project, I often go straight to my local ReStore for supplies. Why not help out a good cause while you’re at it?!
I priced handles for the tray at Lowe’s, then I priced the handles they had at ReStore and decided, instead, to buy two drawers ($1 each) that had handles on them that I liked. I’m sure I will come up with a use for the drawers down the road somewhere. (okay, I admit: I already have a few in mind!)
For the wood, I used some leftover tongue-and-groove pieces my father-in-law had laying around the barn, and some leftover 1x boards. Scott and Larry (my father-in-law) cut the pieces for me. It was fun to see them get excited about finding pieces we could use and being involved in the creation of it.
After measuring and cutting and gluing the base pieces together, it was my turn. Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of this project was explaining to my father-in-law that I wanted to paint it, but then I wanted to distress it before putting all the pieces together. He could not understand the craziness of this! He’s used to making something, putting it together and then painting it all nice and neatly. Needless to say, for the rest of the week he kept saying everything was ‘distressed.’ If the lasagne didn’t come out just right he’d say, ‘That’s okay; it’s just distressed.‘ Etc., etc. The teasing was merciless!
I painted each individual section separately before we put them all together.
This isn’t a paid endorsement, but I have fallen in love with Valspar paints over the past couple of years. Rarely do I need to paint things multiple times, their paint is so thick and creamy. Plus, I love buying their little sample sized paints (under $3) for projects like this.
Male, meet Female (teeheehee)
I didn’t paint all the way down the board on the side pieces so that the wood glue could bond even stronger when we put it together.
I then went to Larry’s belt sander and sanded down the edges and any areas that would naturally distress over time. I also slightly rounded the top edges of the side pieces to increase the ‘aging’ factor of the piece.
(Wish I’d thought to re-do my manicure before taking these pictures! Blech. Oh wait!!!, they’re just distressed!)
After the edges were sanded, I quickly rubbed on some Minwax Wood Stain: Red Mahogany is one of my favorites to use over darker paint to give the wood a weathered look.
The trick is to get the stain on and then rubbed in and off, quickly. I have to tell you, I panic every time I do this. You’d think I’d chill over time, but I haven’t!
Below you can see the tongue-and-groove bottom section has been stained and the individual side pieces have not been stained yet. Can you see how weathered and ‘old’ the tongue-and-groove piece is? The tray would still look fine without any stain at all, but it gives it just that little extra something when you’re going for the distressed look.
Scott nail-gunned in the side pieces and then finished them off with some screws into the sides.
We took the handles off the ReStore drawers and screwed them into the sides and voila’! A serving tray big enough for plates, glasses, coffee mugs, a flower vase and the morning newspaper!!
Grant it, I used lumber we had laying around, but even if we’d purchased it, I think the whole project could be done in under $20. I spent about $10 on this one.
I love it!!
Most importantly, it has a story attached to it and I LOVE it when home pieces have stories associated with them. ‘Remember that time in October of 2014 when you and your dad helped me build that serving tray and your dad kept making fun of me fordistressing it??…’
The biggest irony of this whole project is that Scott is most definitely our Breakfast Maker. He makes yummy, yummy, delicious breakfasts. So in the end, he was helping me build a breakfast tray that he, himself, would be filling with food!
Making this project, complete perfection!