Style Me Pretty Living: DIY Crafts

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Project 2: Herringbone Tray

This intricately patterned wooden tray looks professionally made, but don't be fooled! With a few cuts and some gluing, you'll have your very own in no time -- without breaking the bank or raiding the hardware store for heavy-duty tools. We love how the herringbone pattern dresses up an ordinary tray and takes it to the next level of glamorous!


  • Wooden tray (ours is from Bed, Bath & Beyond)
  • Wood stain (try to match the color to the color of the tray)
  • Foam brush
  • Balsa wood flat sheets (we used three sheets that were each 4"x24"x3/32")
  • Turquoise paint (or color of your choice)
  • Wood glue
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Utility knife
  • Heavy books


Step 1: Paint half of one of your balsa sheets turquoise. Stain the rest of that sheet and the other two sheets with the wood stain and let dry (You only need to paint or stain one side of each sheet).

Step 2: On the back side of each sheet, draw a vertical line down the center (it should leave you with two inches on either side). Then use your ruler to mark every 1/2 inch down the length of the wood -- draw lines across horizontally.

Step 3: Use your utility knife to slice out each rectangle strip, keeping the size and shape as even as possible. Once you have all your strips, you're ready to begin gluing.

Step 4: Arrange your strips in a herringbone pattern (basically a zigzag pattern where the end of one strip overlaps the other). Start on one end of the tray, and create a zigzag line with your wood-tone strips that touches the sides of the tray. Make sure your angles are correct -- the lines of strips meeting should be straight. When you are happy with the first row, you can glue it in place. Dab wood glue on both the tray and the strip, and make sure the ends of the strip are glued down so they don't curl up later.

Step 5: Continue by adding rows down the tray. After about halfway down the tray, you'll want to put a book down on the section you've glued so the strips don't lift up as they dry. Once you're about 2/3 down the length of the tray, use the turquoise strips instead of the wood strips for two rows. Then do another row of wood, one more in turquoise, and then continue in wood until you cannot complete another full zigzag. Pile on several books and let dry for a few hours.

Step 6: Now that the center is full, you just have to fill out the edges. Hold a strip up to the spot where you would next lay it, and use your pencil to mark where you need to cut it to make it fit.

Step 7: Cut it and glue it in place. Continue until the sides are full. Lay books down again, and let it dry. Your tray is ready to serve!



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