I am very excited to introduce my first contributor here on IC.   I asked Brook from Being Brook if she would join the ranks here at IC.   She has yet to be discovered by most of you but she is brilliant and I am excited to showcase her each month here.

Hello Infarrantly Creative fans (including me!) I am Brook from BeingBrook, and I am so excited to be one of Beckie’s contributors here at Infarrantly Creative.

Today I’m going to show you how to build a super easy wood tray finished with my favorite wood aging technique! This is perfect for a Valentine’s Day breakfast in bed for your sweetie!


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DIY Tray Dimensions: 23.5″x16″x3.5″

Supplies: Two-1″x4″x8′ pine boards

1 inch screws


Steel Wool Pads Tea

Cut list: Four-22″ for bottom

Two-23 5/8″ for long sides

Two 14.5″ for short sides


Take one of the 1×4’s and cut it into four 22″ pieces for the bottom of the tray. Cut two 23 5/8″ for long sides. Cut two 14.5″ for short sides. Use a table saw to cut the two 14.5″ at 1.5″. This will leave two piece 1.5″ and two pieces about 2″.

Now we are going to trace a template for the handle onto the two pieces that are 2″ by 14.5″. I used a square Rubbermaid container. Mark the middle of the container and the middle of the board and place the container 1″ from the bottom.


Cut out with a jig saw.


Use screws to attach the bottom part of the short sides to the bottom pieces. You could also use nails and glue but I think the screws hold better.


 Now attach the long sides to the bottom with screws.


Take the two 14.5″ by 1.5″ wood pieces and attach them to the top of the short sides with screws. You might have to really work to wiggle them into place!


Now we are going to use a fun treatment to give the wood an aged, rustic look. First brew a couple of tea bags and brush the tea into the wood with an old paintbrush. The tea won’t change the look of the wood but will react with the vinegar/steel wool. Then mix a few steel wool pads with some vinegar. I put mine in a mason jar and leave it overnight to give the steel wool time to mix with the vinegar. The mixture won’t change color and should be ready to use after 12-24 hours. I rinse the brush I used for the tea mixture and use the same one for vinegar mix. Just brush it onto your tray and then wait! The wood should start changing immediately but sometimes takes about an hour to change.


 Different kinds of wood react differently to the mix but the pine turns a nice grayish color.


 Finished! You could put some furniture wax or even polycrylic on the tray to give it some water resistance.


All ready for breakfast in bed! I might try and leave my tray like this in my kitchen and see if my family gets the hint and brings me breakfast!


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  1. Love the tray. I’ve been doing that aging technique for a couple of years now and it always turns out beautiful. Different woods create a little different finish each time, but that is half the fun! Always a surprise.

    Have a great day!

  2. This is a fantastic DIY! I really liked learning about the steel wool/vinegar technique. I wanted to do some weathered wood boxes for flowers for our upcoming wedding. This would be a great technique. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. I love this! Brook, you made an excellent guest. I have yet to try my hand at building something, but this project seems quite do-able. And I LOVE the wood stain. It’s worth trying to build the tray just to get to the stain part! Thank you!

  4. Love the tray! I use the steel wool/vinegar mixture all the time, I’ve never heard of the tea but I’m glad it worked, your tray came out great!

  5. Pingback: DIY Rustic Tray {Building} — beingBrook
  6. Amazing work!!! What’s your vinegar to steelwool ratio to get that beautiful grey color ?

  7. I love this rustic, natural tray! I’ve been looking for something just like this to make for Mother’s Day. I’m gonna see if I can get my “master of power tools” to come up with something similar. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the inspiration!

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