DIY Christmas Tray Centerpiece

This post may contain affiliate links (disclosure here).

I thought it time to start giving some of my thrift store trays makeovers!  My stash is growing.  For some reason, I can’t pass them up, especially if it’s wood!  This one caught my eye.

Thrift Store Tray With Ugly Tile Bottom

Not because of the tile, but the wood and the curves were gorgeous!  Two of the tiles had scratches (hard to see from the photo, but visible to the naked eye) and could not be repaired. One tile was chipped on the edge. But, at $2.00 (It was the color of the day), of course, it had to come home with me.  With the holidays fast approaching, I needed a centerpiece for my new coffee table.  Well, not exactly new, but new to me!  It was a $40.00 coffee table that we gave a makeover.  Want a peek at what we did?  You can see it HERE.

Old Teak Coffee Table

DIY Christmas Tray Centerpiece

My first thought was to remove the four tile pieces.  After attempting to remove one, I decided that it may not be the best solution.  I was damaging the wood, and those little suckers were attached rather tightly.  For this reason, I had to come up with another plan.

While staring into the air, literally trying to figure out what to do, my eyes wandered to my scrap wood stash.  It needed to be thinned out.

I came across a few of these thin pieces of scrap wood.  They would be perfect for the bottom of the tray.

They needed to be cut down to size to fit the tray.  My tray was 10″ x 10″, so the Hubs cut each piece 10″ long x 2.5″ wide.  It required four strips.

Wood Strips Cut to Size

I was going for a farmhouse look. Therefore, the tray needed to be distressed to expose the wood and look worn.  By painting it white, it would allow me to change the décor when needed easily, and not have to worry about coordinating colors.

Painting and Staining

Before beginning painting, I stained the four strips of wood with Minwax Dark Walnut and laid them aside to dry.  I just took a shop towel and wiped the stain on.

While the strips were drying, I used Windex to thoroughly clean the tray inside and out.  It took three coats of white paint for full coverage. This is after the second coat was applied.

Once the paint dried completely, I used a piece of 220-grit sandpaper and sanded around the edges and curves, exposing the wood.

I then removed the sanding dust with my tack cloth.  To seal the piece, I applied one coat of Minwax Paste Finishing Wax.  As a result, it really made the wood stand out!

I applied a small amount of glue using my hot glue gun and attached each strip to the bottom of the tray over the tile.

Now for the fun part!  The décor!  I visited several thrift stores, and the Christmas décor was slim pickings.  Therefore, I decided to make a Hobby Lobby trip.  All Christmas Décor was 50% off. 

My overall theme for the Christmas holidays is a farmhouse theme, including my Christmas tree.  With that in mind, I browsed the aisles.  And to my surprise, there was literally an entire aisle of farmhouse holiday décor! 

As I have said in previous tutorials, I am a HUGE fan of black and white buffalo check.  So obsessed, I even have a shirt and tote that I purchased off Amazon! I know right, OBSESSED! (I have provided affiliate links for your convenience at no extra cost to you.)

Here are some of the items that I chose to use to decorate the tray.  I may or may not use them all.

Check out these buffalo check Christmas tree balls!  Are they not adorable?

I also had this small, white Christmas tree in my stash.

Supply List:

Affiliate links have been added for your convenience at NO extra cost to you.

Wood Strips

Minwax Dark Walnut Stain

Minwax Finishing Paste Wax

Old Tray

Waverly Inspirations White Chalk Paint

Wooster Silvertip Paintbrush

Decor for Tray

I removed the pine combs and small balls from the stemmed pieces. Then, I placed the items on the tray.  There is not a wrong or right here, just simply preference. What’s neat about the tray makeover, is that it will be very easy for you to change the decor when the next season rolls around.

DIY Christmas Tray Centerpiece

Here is the finished tray. The total centerpiece cost less than $15.00. 

Other thrift store projects you might like:

Thrift Store Picture Frame Makeover

Old Mail Sorter Makeover

“It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it will be.”


8 thoughts on “DIY Christmas Tray Centerpiece”

  1. Christina, I really do love this! You’ve done an amazing job with it. I’m a big fan of the farmhouse style too and think how you’ve used it is adorable. Those checkered colors and unique styles for Christmas just make it perfect. Unique is always best, isn’t it? 🙂 Normal is boring, haha. I’d buy this piece from you in a heartbeat!

    Enjoyed the whole post and the process. I’m a new fan for sure! Hope you and your family are well this day. ♥

    1. Hi Holly! Thank you so much for visiting my blog and your kind words. It’s so nice to meet you and I am
      So glad your a fan! I am a sucker for checks haha! Have a wonderful day as well 🙂

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