This DIY breakfast tray is super easy to make

I come from a family of present makers.

If you’ve read this blog for more than one Christmas you know that every year we exchange handmade Christmas presents we make for each other.

Through the years you might have seen several editions of the present exchange.

There was the picture made out of words from my blog.

And the bowl carved out of the tree that fell in the yard.

And the book of love letters from Box 54.

And so many more.

This DIY tray project is a great addition to your home

But have you ever noticed that I never post on the blog about what I make?

Umm….there’s a really good reason.

Just between us, most of the time they are a little lame.


Like the year I tried to make handmade soap and it half way melted in the box.  Or the year I made arrows and tried to paint them in the car on the way to my mother’s house and they turned out a really random shade of gray that will never be found in nature.  Or the year I couldn’t figure out a DIY and threw in the towel and went to Anthropologie and bought candles and these super cute measuring cups and was so all about them that I bought extra gifts just for myself.

You can make your own breakfast tray with a few simple items

But this year.

Truthfully?  We brought it.

We made these DIY breakfast trays.  You see, in our family we have a tradition that you get breakfast in bed on your birthday or anniversary or if you won a really big basketball game or sometimes just because you are special.

Most of the time the breakfast in bed comes on a cookie sheet with a flower from the yard and breakfast on a fancy dish towel.

But those cookie sheet days are over.

Meet my new breakfast tray.

Want to make your own?

Here’s some easy DIY instructions.

Here's how you can make your own breakfast tray

DIY Wood Breakfast Tray Instructions


2 pieces of 1 x 4 x 14.5

4 pieces of 1 x 4 x 24


white paint

over-sized hardware handles

Homeright Finish Max Sprayer

The supplies you'll need to make your tray

Step 1:  Cut your boards

The sizes are listed above.

These started out as a length of 1 x 4 at the home improvement store.

You can have them cut the boards for you there from the 1 x 4.

Place the boards together like this

Step 2:  Assemble the boards

Place the four boards together and add the shorter board at the end until it looks like this.

If you have your wood cut at the home improvement store, you might want to check it there before you leave to make sure that all of the pieces fit snugly.

Turn the tray over and screw them together

Step 3:  Screw boards together

On the reverse side of the assembled tray, start at one end and screw the shorter board to the longer board.

We started with one screw for each board and then added the second screw for stability.

Repeat the process on the other end with the other shorter board.

Paint the trays and let them dry

Step 4:  Paint your tray

Your tray is almost ready.

The last step is to paint the tray and add hardware.

Here’s the Christmas presents lined up in a row ready to paint.

If you elevate the tray on something like a sawhorse, it makes it so much easier to paint.

Use this paint sprayer to paint the trays

Here’s what I used to paint the trays with.

If you haven’t ever used a paint sprayer before and are making your new year’s resolutions, this is the one for you.

It is so easy to use.


And the finish that you get makes the tray look super professional (especially if you are giving them as Christmas gifts).

No brush marks, just an amazing smooth finish.

Here's how to use the paint sprayer

Here I am using the paint sprayer.

All you have to do is fill up the container with paint and plug it in.

That’s it.

The key to a really great finish is several light coats.  Let the paint dry in between coats and lightly sand any places that look rough.

The finished breakfast tray with hardware

Step 5:  Add hardware

I found this hardware in the utility section of the home improvement store.

It came in a variety of finishes, but I chose a nickel plated finish.

Simply screw in the hardware and you’re done.

That’s it.

If you make it as a gift for yourself….

….you just might get breakfast in bed. 🙂

A giant shout out to Homeright whom I adore for sponsoring this post.  They make all things possible like chalkboard calendars.  All opinions are my own.  Please see my disclosure page for more information.

DIY Wood Breakfast Tray Instructions

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  1. Image for nancy nancy

    Lovely project!!! I'm bit klutzy, however, and would add some 1x2 or 1x3 trim on the sides to keep my coffee cup from ending up in my lap. :)

  2. Image for jennifer farnes jennifer farnes

    my prouda you! i made a breakfast tray one year, although it didn't look anything like yours. i bought a big old picture in a wooden frame. i wrapped cloth around the picture and put it behind the glass. i painted the frame and then put two handles in each of the shorter ends. the picture frame gave me enough lip on the edge so everything on the tray wouldn't end up on the bed and the the celebrant. the fabric was lovely to look at beneath the plates. and the tray wasn't at all heavy to tote to the celebrant in bed.

  3. Image for Velia Velia

    My dear friend, I can't believe that you create lame gifts, you are very creative. The breakfast tray is lovely and will attempt to make one. Too often we hesitate to give handmade gift because we are unsure how they will be received. When I do give something I created it comes from my heart and hope that the recipient will except it as that. This Christmas I created photo books for my in-laws using photos I have taken on our trips to Montana where they live. After they were printed I was hesitant to send them due to the fact that two of the family members are accomplished photographers. I convince myself that I was not trying to compete with their talent but merely sharing my perspective of their beautiful area. Creativity is my word for 2016.

  4. Image for Michelle Rudis Michelle Rudis

    I love this idea! It's so simple and smart and adorable!! I started a tradition of ginormous Christmas baskets for my two kids and their families because their families were growing and it was getting way too expensive for me to buy individual gifts for everyone. I choose ridiculously big baskets and fill them with homemade goodies everyone can share, of course, but I also always include a family game, one or two Christmas ornaments, then add things like individual mason jars filled with a layers of hot chocolate mix, crushed peppermint, chocolate chips and finally miniature marshmallows. Each jar had a family member's name on it. And one year I made flannel pajama bottoms for each person with their name tag inside and included them in the baskets. Next year, I'm definitely making these breakfast trays and decorating them with each family name! I think you are one of the most creative people I know so I can't imagine your gifts were ever lame, KariAnne. Oh, and just a side note: The second picture, the one with the bowls sitting on the awesome new breakfast tray and capturing the morning that picture! Mornings are my favorite time of day, especially sunny ones after a snowfall. Have a wonderful day, sweet friend!

  5. Image for Rebecca Turner Rebecca Turner

    Great idea! That reminds me of one of my projects waiting in the wings, so to speak. Recently, while antiquing with my mom, I decided to buy a kitchen towel holder made out of wooden dowels. My parents have one too, that has traveled with them from home to home, cabinet to cabinet. I have always wanted one but they are difficult to find. When I stumbled across this one, I called over an employee to help me remove it from the wall...but then we realized that it was attached to a heavy board, inside a wooden frame. The wooden board insert has a hideous picture painted on it. Go figure! They must've used a sturdy board to secure the towel holder, and then hung the whole thing from a wall...but since I am going to attach the towel holder to my cabinet, I can make the rectangular frame into a wooden tray, similar to yours! I'll probably Modpodge something pretty on the bottom. Or paint it with chalkboard paint. But it's definitely going to have handles!

  6. Image for Mary Mary

    I love the idea of the paint sprayer. Never used one because I dreaded the idea of clean up. What is the process to clean up this bad boy??? Are they expensive?? Who sells it?? So many questions.... sorry about that. Mary

  7. Image for Amy K Amy K

    Question about the Homeright Sprayer? Do you have to thin the paint or can you use it straight out of the can? Thinking about purchasing one specifically for painting basement walls and I know that paint is super thick. Let me know if you can. Thanks!

  8. Image for Karen Chaudoin Karen Chaudoin

    This is a beautiful and simple to do idea! It looks great. So do the white bowls. I am needing white bowls and really like the decorative edge to the ones you have. Do you remember where you got them or who makes them? Thank you!

  9. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Oh Pshaw!! You could never make a lame gift -- whatever you give I know it's from the heart. And I love special traditions like breakfast in bed. I'm too antsy - I could never stay in bed. Psst! I want to whisper an idea I wanted to do but I'm not very crafty. Here it is -- it has to do with a tray. You find a really fancy old picture frame and under the glass you could put some extra special fabric or paper. Now I can imagine some of KariAnne's fabric. The backing is a light wood -- like luan and then the feet are cute knobs. the handle could be as fancy as you like. *sigh* I always wanted to make that. You rock!! Sending hugs!

  10. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    We started out making gifts at Christmas 'cause we had no money, then as we got older it mean more. Keep on trying!!!

  11. Image for Cindy Cindy

    I don't think I've ever had breakfast in bed...It definitely could happen though! Fresh Krispy Kremes, along with a Venti-Triple-Shot-Pumpkin-Spice-With-Extra-Whipped-Creme and I am GOOD TO GO! LOL:D

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